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Loneliness

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby SSSdave » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:19 pm

I'm another one that has spent much of my adult life living alone and learned from a young age not to let it bother me. Though note I come from a family with 5 younger brothers and one sister so grew up in a "community" and always had friends in school years. And as a hi tech working person over a few decades here in Silicon Valley especially in engineering groups have been up to my neck in communicating with others to the point I enjoy the quiet times. In fact I infrequently play background music or watch much tv when home because I enjoy quiet instead preferring reading non-fiction science and technical books or dealing with my never ending photography chores like post processing.

I do recall one time as a twenty-something feeling rather lonely out in the remote northwest Yosemite backcountry to the point it did shorten that trip. So maybe all of us have the capacity to feel lonely at times. The fact is during solo backpacking trips, I'm usually always so busy, I have little time to think about being lonely. That is despite the fact I primarily semi-basecamp thus am more often not on a trail hiking to the next destination. In any case I do prefer being with others in the backcountry versus solo if other persons are enthusiastic and can carry an intelligent balanced conversation.



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Re: Loneliness

Postby sparky » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:37 pm

I do get lonely sometimes in camp, but it isn't an issue. I would rather be alone in most situations, simply because my friends or family that I backpack with just want to walk a ways and then camp, where as I am all about getting into and exploring the high country, and finding out whats over the next ridge. The only time I get to hike my own hike is when I am solo. Therefore I solo on almost all my trips now a days.

The mountains are enough for me to keep me busy and entertained.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu May 14, 2015 11:31 am

I usually hike solo for a couple of reasons. First is that there is usually no one to go with me. However, what I found out rather quickly is that I enjoy going solo because as a pastor, I deal with people all the time. Solo backpacking is a way to get away from all of that, clear my mind, and allow the beauty of God's creation to put my focus on Him. When I do that it refreshes my soul in ways that I have not experienced otherwise. Silence and solitude are two of the spiritual disciplines and are very hard to find while off the mountain.

The only time I have ever felt lonely was at Iceland Lake (Emigrant Wilderness) the Saturday that the Rim Fire broke out. I was camped on the Western side and sat for over an hour (might have been two) watching the most magnificent display of Alpine Glow on the Eastern wall of white granite. It was beyond a doubt the most beautiful thing I have ever seen (well except for my bride on our wedding day). The loneliness was because there was no one to share it with. I must have taken a 100 pictures of the ever changing view that evening. I wish that I could share those with you but somewhere on the way down the drainage to Relief Creek I lost the camera. :eek: :crybaby: #-o
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby Cross Country » Fri May 15, 2015 9:09 am

I was really impressed by how thoughtful the responses to this have been. I did the large majority of my trips with other people because by in large human beings, we a scoical creatures and I certainly am also. I went on trips by myself only because at times none of my friends had the time go when I did. The longest trip I took by myself was 9 days from Kiings Canyon over avalanche, over colby and over lucy's foot. The longest I ever went without seeing any body was, I think, 4 days. I only felt really lonely during the evenings. I think this was because when I was cross country and it's late in the day I knew that no matter what I did I couldn't see or talk to anybody that day.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby Big Ed » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:07 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote: here in the Sierra, so few places allow dogs.


I'd guess about half the Sierra is National Forest, dogs are allowed there.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby MountainMinstrel » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:16 pm

Come north.
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Re: Loneliness

Postby Jimr » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:39 am

Earlier I wrote on this thread about not experiencing much in the way of loneliness when solo. That has now changed. Due to the series of late season storms last May, Hobbes and I bailed on our original plan to go from Taboose to OV. I decided I would go solo over Kearsarge and camp in the area, then head North to the creek and fish/explore.

The day after Memorial Day, I found OV empty, so I chose the best site I could find. It was drizzling from time to time, so I spent some time at camp and some time in my truck. I didn't set up a tent, rather chose to wait to see what the weather was going to do. I would rather sleep in the truck than pack up a wet tent if I didn't have to. There was a long window with no drizzle, so I started a fire and ate dinner. No matter what I did, I could not get that fire to keep a flame. It ended up smoldering and smoking me out all afternoon, so I got in my truck and read (80 pages in one shot), then called it a night and slept in the truck.

The next morning, something was off. I just couldn't get my head into starting up the trail, so I headed down to Independence and caught the cafe as soon as it opened. I had a very nice breakfast and several cups of Joe, then headed back up to the TH, secured my pack and started up trail. The idea of spending the next 3 or 4 days alone began to creep up on me and try as I may to shake it off, something kept pulling me back to the truck. I stopped on the trail, looked up, looked down several times. Then I sat and decided I needed to make a decision because this force up and pull down was not fun.

I never got far enough up the trail to lose sight of my truck. After sitting for several minutes, I stood up and walked down. This feeling was so powerful that I blew off a whole trip. I thought about shacking up in Bishop and fishing the big rivers (after all, I'm in trout mecca), but I would still be alone, the pull was now for home. I texted my wife and told her I was aborting.

I spent my whole single life doing things by myself because it was either do it alone or not at all. Not this time. Maybe I'm done with playing alone. Perhaps it was just a combination of factors that led to an isolated incident. Maybe the feeling would have passed, maybe not. I don't know, but I do know the feeling sucked and I do not regret bailing.
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