Adventures and Reflections from Cathy O'Dowd

Adventures & Reflections
from Cathy O'Dowd

It is early December and by all human timetables we should be out skiing. But nature works on another rhythm, one that makes no allowance for Spanish public holidays and local businesses desperate for custom. Yesterday I was out walking in the Vall del Riu with the Club Pirinenc Andorrà. Conditions are more like spring than early winter, but the mountains are as beautiful as they ever are, a ever-changing feast of colour and texture, sound and silence. It may not be what we want right now, but yesterday, moving slowly and easily through this lovely ‘back yard’ of mine, it felt like what I needed.

I often get asked – mostly by people who do not participate in ‘extreme’ sports – what one does after Everest? How can anything be interesting after completing the ‘ultimate challenge’. Leaving aside that Everest is not an ‘ultimate’ goal for a climber – that’s a topic for another post – it seems to suggest that the only satisfaction lies in overcoming ever more difficult obstacles. Maybe some people work that way. I never have. Every mountain is unique – beautiful, interesting, rewarding in its own way. Every outing has its own joy, some great and grand, some quiet and personal. Each one is a journey worth taking.

Yesterday was one such day. I’ve been over 8000 metres on four different expedition. Anne had never walked in snow before. Yesterday we shared a journey together than brought great pleasure to both of us, pleasure enhanced by being shared.

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