Following Your Gut Feelings


Mtn Guide & Writer, Ken Wyle

When the Mountain Bites Back, And What Are the Lessons To Be Learned
Mountain guide, writer and longtime friend from Outward Bound days, Ken Wyle is writing a book about his accounts the day he was caught in the La Traviata avalanche in Canada that killed seven people. I had heard through the grapevine that Ken had been caught in a big one, and I felt a wrench in my gut. Mountaineering accidents, in which friends are involved affect me more than most things in life. Alan Bard was one of my ski-guiding mentors, and he goes and dies on the Grand Teton. One’s teacher isn’t supposed to do that. There was a cloud over me for a time after I had heard the news, and I did’t feel comfortable on the rock for a time too. There have been other friends too that are no longer with us, and I ask myself the same questions that we all do about events like this, and the meaning of it all.

Reading a few of Ken’s Facebook posts and on his blog, give me the impression, he too has been asking some questions. And while the answers are secondary, the questions he’s asking have weight, at least from my humble perspective.  While compassion is one of outcomes of teaching an Outward Bound course, it looks like Ken is living it.
I caught up with Ken on Facebook last week, and he suggested I check out his blog The Energies of Adventure. Some glimpses of what will most likely be included his book can be seen on his blog.
Here’s the lead-in to his first post on that blog:

Seven Cairns
Chapter 1, “Lost in the Fog”

January 20th 2003, deep in the Selkirk mountains of Canada’s British Columbia. It is overcast and white out.  Snow flakes are lightly falling from the clouds.  The air is moving softly out of the southeast. Two groups of backcountry ski tourers collect at the frozen, snow covered, Tumbledown Lake for our first tea break of the day. My smaller group of read the rest of this story..



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3 Responses to “Following Your Gut Feelings”

  1. Ken Wylie Says:

    Thanks Randy!

    This winter I will be working to finish the book and I will be looking for a publisher. What we experience, is designed to be learned from. No matter what it is. Who says there are no rites-of -passages these days. There are plenty.

    • mtnspirit Says:

      Ken, I agree. Life is a rite of passage. As a fellow Canadian of yours, Eckhart Tolle says, If you learn from your mistakes then they are not mistakes. In mountaineering, surviving from your mistakes so you learn from them is the key. Look forward to reading more. Good job on the blog. keep up the good work.
      Talk soon I hope,

  2. Learning to see « Mountain Spirit Institute: Blog Says:

    […] one back to their center.  In recent talks with Ken Wyle, he’s been relating how writing his book on being buried in an avalanche which killed seven […]

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