Reflecting on 2012

I usually wrap up the year with Top Gear of the Year posts. But instead I find myself reflecting back on 2012 – goals completed, the adventures I had, and the people I had them with. Here they are, my top 10 moments, good and bad, of 2012.

10: Climbing desert peaks on New Year’s Day

On our way up Boulder Peak
On our way up Boulder Peak

We spent New Year’s weekend in the desert with friends and climbed two desert summits on New Year’s Day. I thought it was a good omen for a 2012 full of many summits.

9. Attempting a 14er in January

It looks so harmless...
It looks so harmless…

On our New Year’s trip, after a campfire discussion about unseasonal dry conditions and lack of precip in the forecast, we decided to come out the following weekend to hike White Mountain just to say we’d done a 14er in January. Well, sure, there was no snow, but the -40 degree windchill had something to say about our arrogance and forced us to turn around just below the summit.

8. The Great American Beer Festival

GABF
GABF

In October a few of us caught a flight to Denver and stumbled around the Great American Beer Festival for a few days. It was fun, but I found myself eyeing the mountains more often than not.

7. Finally getting to the snow. On Memorial Day. In the Desert.

As it starts...turned into ~1 ft by the next morning
As it starts…turned into ~1 ft by the next morning

After the disappointingly dry winter in which we never got out to play in the snow, an unexpected snow storm in the Nevada desert had us scrambling to stay dry.  Fortunately everyone took it in stride and we relocated to the dry, southern Sierra where we climbed a 12k peak instead.

6. Training for and running my first 15k.

Me and my sister before the race
Me and my sister before the race

I’ve been running for years as a way to stay in good cardio shape, but I’ve never ran more than a few miles. This year I decided to train for longer distances and found I really enjoyed it.

5. But my over-training led to a stress fracture a week after my successful 15k.

A bad, blurry shot of my foot MRI
A bad, blurry shot of my foot MRI

Unfortunately, a week after running the 15k I did a 10k and broke my foot. It was an extraordinarily disappointing injury since I was only a few weeks away from my planned nine-day Sierra backpack.

4. My triumphant return to the mountains!

Yay! I'm back!
Yay! I’m back!

Although I was incredibly disappointed to be unable to go on the big backpacking and climbing trip I’d been planning for months, I was happy to be back. This is me on top of Wonoga Peak, the first summit of my recovery.

3. Making up for my time on the DL by cramming in a bunch of great peaks in September and October

On Basin Mountain
On Basin Mountain

In September and October I got out to several awesome Sierra summits such as Mt Tom, Basin Mountain, Mt Baldwin, and Mount Morgan. I did my best to make up for lost time during my injury.

2. Thanksgiving feast in the desert!

Desert feast!
Desert feast!

Since my family is on the other side of the country, I end up spending almost every major holiday with friends, usually camped out somewhere in the middle of nowhere. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, which we always spend adventuring and eating really well in Death Valley.

1. Being part of the Columbia Omniten

The Omniten at Havasu Falls
The Omniten at Havasu Falls

I had no idea what was ahead when I received that simple email from Columbia at the beginning of 2012. The whole Columbia OmniTen experience has been incredible, and I’ve been able to meet some amazing people and check Havasu Falls off my bucket list. 2013 has a lot of living up to do to top this one.

Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

Free range human. Mountain sports addict. Craft beer drinker. Tech nerd. The best days are those spent above 10k ft. Team OmniTen and Evernote Ambassador. Meet me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +