Into the Alpine 

As always, the beauty of the mountains quieted my doubts and anxieties and filled me with contentment. This was where I belonged. — Arlene Blum, Annapurna: A Woman’s Place

My compulsion to explore alpine environments began in January, 2015 when I joined a research expedition to the Llaima volcano in southern Chile. Since then, backpacking, rock climbing, and mountaineering have become integral components of my life. From routine hikes up the highest mountain on the east coast, to icy summit bids in the Cascades, to long days in the backcountry of national parks — the allure of the alpine world remains constant.

Ben Gorelick climbs an ice wall on the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska | July 2019

Ben Gorelick climbs an ice wall on the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska | July 2019

Ridge lines in Canadian Rockies (outside Canmore) appear vivid after recent snow fall | August 2015

Ridge lines in Canadian Rockies (outside Canmore) appear vivid after recent snow fall | August 2015

Jon Haas approaching Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier | May 2017

Jon Haas approaching Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier | May 2017

The last light of the day from our camp at Lake Helen on Mt. Shasta | July 2018

The last light of the day from our camp at Lake Helen on Mt. Shasta | July 2018

Brett Ryne coils a rope after climbing an ice wall at the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska | July 2019

Brett Ryne coils a rope after climbing an ice wall at the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska | July 2019

Grateful for the reliable traction of my crampons after a successful summit bid on Mt. Hood | May 2017

Grateful for the reliable traction of my crampons after a successful summit bid on Mt. Hood | May 2017

Navigating the backcountry of Glacier National Park with Jen Haas and Jon Haas | August 2018

Navigating the backcountry of Glacier National Park with Jen Haas and Jon Haas | August 2018

Cloud inversion at sunrise over the Black Mountains of North Carolina | October 2017

Cloud inversion at sunrise over the Black Mountains of North Carolina | October 2017

Mitchell Cobb plays in the snow in Olympic National Park | May 2017

Mitchell Cobb plays in the snow in Olympic National Park | May 2017

Jon Haas and I wake up to an epic morning sky in the backcountry of Olympic National Park | May 2017

Jon Haas and I wake up to an epic morning sky in the backcountry of Olympic National Park | May 2017