Waddington is a beast. Shimmering in the soaring temperatures, it was a furnace, imploding hundreds of years of accumulated ice and compressed snow. Two days later a storm front moved in, pelting their tents with sleet, rain and snow. When they re-merged, it was hot. This was to be the conditions for the rest of their time. It was unsafe to make an attempt, they all agreed.
The team did summit Mt Munday and had some great turns. They explored, chattered, took photos and worked what they could out of the terrain and the weather. As Hoji noted, that was: “Something that only a handful of people ever get to try and we made it with no blown knees and no injuries. That’s pretty fortunate.”
A dream is fuel for a plan. Without sufficient method and some luck, that fuel cannot convert itself into reality.
“Logistically, we overlooked some things and with the way the season had gone, there was no room for that.” Any one of the members of the group could be credited with this quote. The Mundays did eventually reach the northwest summit of Waddington, after twelve attempts, and even so, they deemed the true summit “unclimable.” It’s best not to have any expectations.
Group dynamics are life in a nutshell. Although the mountains amplify everything, the bottom line is that we are never who we think we are—we are only how we are interpreted by others.
Sweeny: “I am unbelievably humbled by this experience, but yet left so unsatisfied with a keen desire to return with a new plan.”
Lusti: “My lesson was getting involved in a trip where I wasn’t invested enough. The hike in was neat because it was hard and challenging and we had to keep going. It was super fun.”
Hoji: “In terms of adventure, that was one of the most memorable trips I’ve been on. Physically punishing and mentally tough.”
FOOTNOTE: One year later, Sweeny still thinks about this trip. “It can be hard to turn back, particularly when you’re so invested, but learning from our mistakes allows us to approach our goals through a new lens and a heightened desire to try again.”
Waddington was the prize, but the reward was the whole trip and experience. Messy, exhilarating, pure.