I shot this image in 2018, on the descent from Sharidake (1,547m), a stratovolcano in Hokkaido’s Daisetsuzan National Park.
It’s interesting to look back on it now, because at the time the section of trail in this photo (which is quite a bit steeper than it appears, but clearly not a difficult descent) felt really scary. At that point, I’d climbed fewer than 30 mountains, all of them in the five months leading up to this ascent. I still didn’t really know what I was doing–personally or on the trail.
The key is, I did it anyway, and as a result, I have images like this (and the memories that go with it) to look back on.
I was 47 years old when I started climbing mountains. I just turned 52–and while I’m still a long way from “all-pro” on the trail, it’s amazing how much difference those few years make. I want to go back to Shari and climb it again. Slopes like these aren’t scary anymore.
The point is this: if there’s something you want to do, or try, don’t put it off, even if you’re scared. Find a way to minimize the risks, of course, and please be safe…but life will pass you by before you know it. Find your trail and get climbing. Five years from now, you may be surprised how far you’ve gone.