Attention Whore


A few years ago, I received feedback from someone I admired greatly that my many posts and trip reports were being construed as a desperate grab for attention; an eg0-stoke with purely selfish intentions. “What would you do if you posted and no one responded?” he had asked. The words he spoke had their effect: I curtailed my writing, drew back from some of the online forums, only posting if I completed something “relevant” or “hard-core.” He had added, “Perhaps you should just write to your own blog,” in essence, put it somewhere that I don’t have to look at it.

In other words, I let his words have power over me, and now I fight, almost every day, to allow myself more freedom of expression through both my words and my pictures. The battle in my head is to never have someone think of me that way again.

Ain’t gunna happen.

Much as I would like it to, much as I would like to get along with everyone, I don’t, and I can’t.

The numbers below give me such a warm feeling inside. I put something to “paper”, and there are those out there who have taken the time to glance through it. For that, I am extremely grateful. I find the act of sharing some of my adventures, my experiences, my emotions while I’m out there both alone and surrounded by friends, to be cathartic. To be able to use words to convey what it’s like to stroll a trail or a slabby creek bed; to scramble above exposure; to ski a Sierra glacier; to nap on warm granite; to laugh with friends after a long day over a campfire, beer in hand and food on a plate; all of these are ways for me to connect to the outside world from my little town beneath big mountains.

It was a year of firsts: first ice leads; first lake skating; first trad lead; first time in new areas of the Sierra; first SAR involvement; first alpine ice climb. I returned to familiar places: Evolution Basin; the Ansel Adams Wilderness; Middle Palisade; Bear Creek Spire, the Whitney Zone. Both with friends and solo, I came back from my knee injury and started regaining that old confidence.

Thanks to everyone who joined me on the adventures of my life, both in the backcountry and here on the interwebs. I am hoping for so much more in 2013 and beyond.

<wicked little smile>

Buckle up, folks. Let’s take a ride…

 

Much love from the high Sierra, and from the luckiest girl in the world:

Climb Hard. Be Safe.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “Attention Whore”

  1. Wow! So long it has taken you to realize that what other people think is simply none of your business(!)**

    **Unless, of course, they sign your paycheck.

  2. I love to read about your adventures in the wilderness and your pictures of the wilderness are breathtaking!

  3. I like how your trips reflect your self examination and personal growth and demonstrate your abundant love of the outdoors. You have to pick the people whose opinions matter to you, as much as you have to pick your gear, your route, your partners and your timing. 🙂 best wishes for a fully fantastic 2013 Laura! 🙂

  4. Tony Condon Says:

    I enjoy your writing and thoughts immensely. Living in The San Juans of CO does not compare to the glorious granite of the High Sierra. Your blogs bring me back to them. Thank you. —Tony

  5. I have said this before . . . your writings allow those of us confined by suburbia to live vicariously through your adventures. It stimulates the dreams of those living in the shadow of tiny hills to dream of bigger mountains. It motivates those of us hundreds of miles from the Sierras to pack it up and live the dream . . . even if it is just for a week at a time. If in thought only, it allows us to step along with you on the trail, and somehow faintly feel that warmth of the granite, or hear the soothing lullaby of the nearby creek.

    I think whomever made that comment to you was jealous of your fan club. Keep it up, Laura! Our world is a better place because of your love to share your experiences!

    Still looking for the California moose in So Cal . . . Kandy

  6. Go for it! It sounds like you need to do this – great! Reading is optional, no-body is forced to read your posts. Keep them coming!
    Happy New Year
    Charles

  7. Laura, I have trouble imagining a woman more different from me than you are, and at the same time, I have never run into the situation elsewhere where I find someone has had the same experiences and written the same words I have written in my own climbing journals and trip reports at some point in the past. You do that all the time, for as long as I have followed you online, and with the eloquence I lack. When the experience you describe here happened to me, the scar it left was deep, and the pain resulting from the irreparable loss of that friendship still hurts many years later. But it may have been my phoenix moment. When I thought about that comment – would I still climb if no one ever read about what it was that I was doing? – and I knew the answer, it was then that I knew I was climbing for the right reasons. That person may owe me an apology – but I owe her a thankyou.

    • Teresa, thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. Yes, I have asked myself the same question, and, of course, came up with the same answer. I heard the sentiment I expressed above from more than one person, and I think it hurt all the more because of the friendships attached to them at the time. I agree, an apology would be a nice thing, but the “thank you”, I think, means even more. May your phoenix keep rising! (You sound plenty eloquent to me, by the way!)

  8. Brad (Great Western Divide) Says:

    Laura,

    Thank you for allowing me/us to tag along on your adventures in the High Sierra, a place near and dear to my heart. I first experienced the eastern Sierra in 1947 as a teen, yes I’m old and unable to any longer hike the trails, view the incredible vistas, camp near a pristine high altitude lake, but thanks to you I can vicariously relive my adventures through your camera lens (incredible photography) and your amazing writing.

    Not being able to get out and enjoy the great out of doors anymore I frequent the Whitney Portal and Mammoth Mountain Forums and on the Mammoth Mountain Forum there are the occasional individuals that like to spread hate and discontent. For the life of me I don’t understand why like-minded people would stoop to name-calling when discussing what they do for recreational enjoyment. I’m so glad that the individual that caused you so much grief no longer influences your writing; you are such a wonderful and talented writer. Some day he will be in my position and maybe then he will realize how wonderful it is to be able to vicariously have adventures in the Sierra through some wonderful giving person like you, but unfortunately some people are just destine to hate.

    Like your parents I worry about you and your solo adventures in the Sierra, I came very close to not returning from one of my solo adventures on the western slope in Paradise Valley. A very large and very angry rattlesnake struck at me from a ledge along the trail and just missed my neck due to my youthful reflexes and or good luck.

    Please be careful out there and please continue to post on the Whitney Portal Forum or what ever forum, these forums are for all of us not just the person that has something against you.

    Thanks again for letting me walk along (figuratively speaking) with you on your adventures.

    Brad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: