November 23rd, 2008
There are times I am called adventurous. I suppose, to some, I could be. But I have a friend I to as a true adventurer. I keep asking her to write something but at best I get to write about her and share a media piece she produced over the summer at my “offices.” It was certainly a great excuse to hang out.
I’ve known Cece (pronounced See-See) since college. Over the years we’ve reconnected to share storeis and moments. The oddest was in 2006 when I was returning from a European trip with an NYC layover; I walked into the gate at JFK to find her sitting on the floor watching a CNN report on the refugee crisis Chad. An ex of hers, who she’d just seen in Italy, was running and aid camp for Sudanese in Chad.
Cece had just finished a stint on the Search and Rescue team based in McMurdo in support of the US Antarctica program. There she’s rappelled off the face of active glaciers, snow-mobiled to the top of Mt. Elbrus, an active, glacier-covered volcano shooting lava bombs into the air. She has stood in the dry valleys, run a marathon in sub-freezing temperatures, and helicoptered over landscape few will ever see. And there she sat, on the carpeted floor of a crowded JFK terminal heading back to Seattle by way of New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Italy.
Also a mountain guide, she has guided internationally for Mountain Madness, climbed Ama Dablam, narrowly survived an avalanche-threatened solo traverse in the Himalaya, and once found a pair of dress shoes in the backpack of a lagging client. Apparently he didn’t know what to wear around the campsite.
When we get together we reflect on what home means, how much we need relationships for sustenance, what is stability and what our individual contribution to society is. in her mid 30’s, like myself, these questions have growing importance; gone are the aimless and experimental 20’s. We have a better idea of what we want, even if we are lost on the path.
Today Cece is in Patagonia. I am in Cambodia. She was talking about settling down in Squamish, a rock climbing mecca in a country who’s culture and political climate she prefers. Canada. But then this trip came up: guide two back-to-back traverses of the Patagonian ice cap.
She laughed when she told me she couldn’t say no. I laughed too. We know each other too well.
Here is a media piece, shot on the North Cascades Institute “Girls on Ice” program. She put it together to support an application for a job that would be her ideal gig. And the handstand? Trademark Cece.
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