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I never feel more alive or free than when I’m in the mountains. No matter how chaotic life may seem at times, sometimes all the soul needs is to spend a little time in the mountains. It is here I’m able to experience nature in its purest form, a wild and untamed environment of unparalleled beauty; life seems so much simpler out here. I can’t decide if it’s the people, the task at hand, the fresh crisp air, unpredictable environment, or the immense grin from ear to ear resulting from a combination of all of these things. This for me is living, truly embracing every moment and never taking anything for granted.

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I don’t get to see her often, but when I do Austyn Heinlein and I always have the best of times together, and this trip was no exception. I arrived in Leavenworth Tuesday evening and found myself dancing late into the night to folk music full of mountain people and whiskey. We had a great time making new friends, seeing old friends, and dancing our asses off!

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Over the next few days we lost track of the days and time altogether up at Steven’s Pass, skiing trees, steep chutes, pillow lines, and attempting to throw down in the park. The snow at Mt. Baker is typically so amazing and unbelievably deep that I have a somewhat difficult time ever leaving to visit new mountains. Traveling certainly makes you appreciate what you have and opens the eyes to the great unknown, which can surprise you in the best of ways!

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I can’t wait to come back and explore the surrounding peaks and back country. I could also get used to waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee every morning! We summited ridges, dropped tough lines, practiced beacon scenarios, took in incredible sunsets, attempted ice axe self-arrests, threw back Raniers, and cooked delicious food; I think I could get used to RV living!

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We would like to summit some volcanoes this spring, so we even worked on our ice axe self-arrests!

We talked about a BC Hut trip, driving to Alaska and summiting as many mountains along the way, ski mountaineering and glacier traveling, a Chamonix trip, and Patagonia. We love to dream sure, but our dreams seem to be becoming more and more attainable, and I can’t wait to chase them wherever they may take either of us!

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I was able to spend my last night celebrating my friend Lubes 25th birthday at a friend’s cabin on Lake Wenatchee. It was so much fun and so good to see all my buddies. We don’t get to see each other all that often during the year, but when we do it’s always an awesome time. However, I have never met a group of people who can party so hard and still class 5 adventure the following day, while I can't always keep up, I will certainly always try like hell too! To being wild and free! #shegoes

-AL

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