Ice trails lead to falls

Icy trails lead to falls.
Tamanawas Falls

I went on a beautiful hike to Tamanawas Falls yesterday located on the east side of Mt Hood near Mt. Hood Meadows.  It was incredibly beautiful.  The plan was to snowshoe but since the weather has been a bit mild there wasn’t quite enough snow so it became a plain old hike, battling a sometimes icy path.

If you have never been to the falls I highly recommend a visit.  Yesterday’s hike reminded me of many of the principles we have been reviewing in class these last several months.  There wasn’t much snow but there was plenty of ice.  If you have ever tried hiking on ice then you will understand the trick of it.  Breathe, relax, structure and move.  All of those things were so critical.  I found if I let go of any one of those actions for just a moment I was likely to find myself on my bottom, which occurred only once thankfully.  Focusing on my breathing through the slipperiest areas helped me relax and lower my center of gravity.  That gave me better balance and a stable connection to the ground.  If I stopped moving I’d slide which created a major effort to start again.  Holding good structure also helped with balance and stability.  It was a real challenge and brought into play the value of the principles we have been discussing in a practical real life adventure.

I’m always just a little sad when I leave the forest and come back to the city.  It doesn’t last long but it’s hard to leave the beauty and serenity.  For me this is the roughest stretch of the year.  Getting out in the woods, finding some quiet time and challenging  myself with an outdoor adventure clears my mind and strengthens my spirit for the home stretch toward spring.  Happy hiking!  Breathe and relax, spring is almost here.

Love,

Sifu

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