Monday, June 3, 2013

Hiking: emotional madness

My girlfriend and I went for a rather tough hike yesterday and on our way down (from the top of the mountain where it was SNOWING!), we started talking about all of the different emotional states you go through while hiking. How you start off a bit nervous, not knowing what you're getting into, then you get excited as you start making your way up the trail, and then 20 minutes later, you're cursing the heavens that you ever thought climbing a mountain was a good idea. Your legs are burning, your breathing is heavy, you're sweating like a pig and you're dreaming of a patio and a stiff mojito.

But of course you keep trucking. You don't want to let your pal down, after all. And then another 10 minutes pass and you're back to enjoying the scenery and you're again excited about the end result—that moment when you feel on top of the world, because you're literally on top of the world. I think I cycled through these emotions at least twice yesterday. It was a bit of a slog at points. But when we reached the top, I felt fantastic. My breathing calmed down (and I no longer sounded like an old man gasping for air), my heart rate slowed and my mind cleared as I looked out on mountains galore.  It was pretty magical...

And then the clouds rolled in and we couldn't see anything but each other and the ground we stood on. And then the snow started falling and it quickly got chilly, so off we went, back down the mountain to where he began. What an adventure.

Do you cycle through emotional states when you hike?


  1. Gorgeous photos! I can be a little whiny when I hike for sure - doesn't help that we're already at high elevation here so to go even higher means my lungs are just aching. Always worth it in the end though :)

    We hiked this one mountain in Ireland called Mangerton, Irish Gaelic for "deceiver." Every time we thought we were at the top, bam, there was another peak we had to climb. It was exhausting (and emotionally draining, haha). When we got to the top we could've had a beautiful view except for the dense white fog!

  2. Rather than emotional states, I tend to think a lot & deeply. While I hike, I just sort of awe at everything around me & ponder a lot of things on my mind. I don't go on really strenuous hikes too often, so most of the time I'm able to stay relaxed & calm. But I do understand the feeling of relief, satisfaction & wonder at finally reaching your destination. It's that moment where you can finally say, "Yes, I did it!"

    xoxo, Oleah
    Persun Giveaway!

  3. wow what a great hike! Is this near jasper?

    1. It's within the park, but it's about an hour drive from the town site. You start at the entrance to the Miette Hot Springs and then you go up and up and up!

  4. What a gorgeous hike! It's amazing the things we discover about ourselves, the challenges we overcome, and the ways we are able to think so clearly while we are out enjoying (or trying to) nature!

  5. This looks freaking beautiful!! I've been doing some data entry for a website called Tripleblaze, and I've put in some hikes from Canada. Usually they're all freaking gorgeous. The hike is totally worth the pain, especially where you are!

  6. Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing photos! Really, just freaking breathtaking!

    As for the emotional gamut, I'll get back with you after the end of the month...when I hike part of the Appalachian Trail with a friend. The views won't be as stellar but the overall feeling of accomplishment will *hopefully* be the same.


  7. You hit the nail on the head! It's like: 1. Yes! Hiking! I'm so outdoorsy. 2. This is fun! And easy! I'm gonna do this every weekend. 3. This is actually hard... 4. I'm dying and drenched with sweat, why do I do this?? And 5. when I reach the top--aahhhh! It's so worth it! Glad you get it! xx

    Allie @