South Sister, Oregon Epiphany
Scott Rowley South Sister Summit
On 5/11/13 I set out to ski climb South Sister. My adventure quickly went off course. I ended up on top of Devils Hill, where an epiphany smacked me square in the face.
Sitting on top of the hill something in my head told me that if I am to continue living a life that is largely absorbed by alcohol and pot then I will quickly end up in a very dark place. To put things simply..... I am not a person whom can handle these kinds of habits. That morning I packed up, went back to town and entered myself into AA and NA. Not by another persons will or demand, but rather my own.
This journey has just begun. I will continue to travel peaks and valleys. Some days will be harder than others, but with hope, faith, love and the right tools I will conquer this inner demon.
Today, I went back back to South Sister. This time with a clearer head and different mindset. I no longer felt alone.
My friend Rex and I left the trail head at 2:15 am and we were quickly thrown off route. It was as if my demon wanted us to go back to Devils Hill. This side track resulted in an additional 700 feet vertical of climbing, wasted energy and a doubt that we were going to make the summit.
Voices in my head persisted to tell me that I was not alone and we were going to conquer the mountain. I was not going back to the same dark place I was three days prior.
The sun began to rise as we scaled the ridge that drops into Moraine Lake. We were back on track and the summit was in sight. Thousands of feet above us sat a peak that would be our destiny for this day.
En route to the top I kept hearing people telling me things about myself that i'd never thought before. I kept thinking about all the moments that i'd messed up and people i'd hurt along the way.
We reached the summit, skis and all at roughly 10 am. We were climbing for 8 hours. Exhaustion felt like an understatement, but for the first time in a long time I was at peace. I had absorbed myself into something far greater than myself and started to regain hope in a life that is truly amazing. It was reaffirming to sit on the summit and reflect on my decision to get sober and stay sober for the rest of my life.
"A powerful, positive day awaits! Rise up!"
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