I’m originally from Moonta (South Australia), a quiet coastal town with no traffic lights and a long, long way from Los Angeles (which has 4,114 traffic lights if you’re interested).
After thirteen years growing up riding horses I changed four legs for two wheels and became Communications Officer with Bicycle SA, a non-profit organization promoting the benefits of cycling. I added a motorbike to the pedal power then sold it to fund a trip to Nepal for a trek over three high passes (Kongma La, Cho La and Renjo La). As with many visitors to Nepal, the people and the places changed my life.
Returning to Australia, excited and inspired about mountains, I read every book in the State Library on mountaineering and climbing. When they ran out, I bought more to devour.
With the words of Herzog, Harrer and Hall in my mind I knew I wanted to get closer to mountains. I wanted to be an ant on their giant white flanks, not taking photos from faraway. I booked a Technical Mountaineering Course with Alpine Guides in New Zealand.
Eight months to learn how to rock climb, tie knots and become fitter. I met wonderful climbers who took me under their wing and taught me the basics. I completed the mountaineering course as the only female, in horrid weather, after I had a nasty gastro bug. I came back more inspired than ever.
My friendship with climbing and the people who love it grew. I was at Arapiles nearly every weekend to climb to my heart’s content. A few times I ventured to climb at Moonarie in the Flinders Ranges. I never climbed the hardest climbs but I always had fun. I still don’t climb the hardest climbs, but I still have fun.
My career diverted to media and I answered the phone catching the bus, on the toilet, having birthday dinner, and on Christmas morning. It was a fast-paced gig and a great stepping-stone. In February 2010 I returned to New Zealand with a new climbing partner, Dikko. We returned to Australia with a MacPherson/Talbot traverse, a Barrier Peak summit and a relationship.
In December 2010 we returned to New Zealand again, wanting to summit Mount Aspiring and surrounding peaks. Unfortunately, our plans and training went down the drain with a nasty weather system keeping us in Colin Todd Hut for nearly ten days. Of course, the day we had to walk out was great for climbing the mountain. That trip was a great lesson in patience and making the most of the situation you have.
Climbing took a backseat with growth in our careers. I became a Communications Manager at a major Australian bank and Dikko was all over the world to conferences and finishing his PhD.
In May 2012 Dikko had a job offer in Los Angeles and we saw the chance to live closer to a rocky, pointy, snowy playground – California’s beautiful Eastern Sierras.
We packed up, shifted out, organized visas, wondered what we were doing numerous times and arrived in sunny Los Angeles in 2012. I started this blog to share experiences with my family and friends back home. On the career front I took a break to study a Masters in Applied Project Management full time.
I love mountains, being in nature, learning, exploring and experiencing whatever corner of the Earth I find myself in. I’m also passionate about sustainability, technology, creative ways to address old problems, complex systems thinking, communications and spending time with good people.
I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy creating them!
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