I am often asked what portion of my Wilderness Adventures trip I remember the most during my time as a student. Was it the kayaking? Backpacking? Whitewater? Climbing?
While all of these memories live in my mind, interestingly, it is one rainstorm that I remember the most. Our group was in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. We had a long hike to do the following day, the days had been hot, and we had had some run-ins with bugs in the area. We sat in our backcountry campsite playing games and prepping for the next day, and quickly the weather changed. A big gust of cold air rolled through our camp, followed by a storm, which brought snow and then rain. I had never seen snow in July before and the phenomenon boggled my mind. Our leaders encouraged us to put on our rain jackets and pants that had gotten little use up to this point.
After suiting up in our rain gear, we came outside to listen and watch the storm. I can still remember the sounds of the rain hitting our rain jackets as I tightened up the hood around my face, proud of sitting in the rain and not getting wet at all. I remember laughing with my fellow participants and enjoying the marvels of the summer storm.
Fast forward to this summer, where last week it snowed on a few of our trips. Some of our groups have seen windstorms and days where they experience weather from all four seasons. We recognize that these moments won’t be easy for all, and our trip leaders train to be able to support our students in rain, sleet, or snow. Still, it is in these moments that great memories are made. Memories built on perseverance, grit, and tenacity. Memories of feeling completely in touch with nature and with those around you that are experiencing the moment as well.
I would love to say that each and every day at Wilderness Adventures consists of perfect weather and clear trails. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While the elements do not always cooperate, our WA team works diligently with our students so that each and every participant can look back on their journey with fondness for each and every moment: no matter the elements that are thrown at them.