The Ring of Fire was an experience I will never forget! The plan was to ski every major volcano in the Pacific North West in two weeks. When Chris invited me on the trip, I was so excited! I also knew that I would have to do some training.
One of my favorite quotes by Coach Wooden is, “Failure to prepare, is preparing to Fail.” So I trained hard for the trip. By the time the trip came around, I felt prepared. A lot of people asked if I thought I would be able to keep up? If I really thought I would complete the trip? I always answered. I don’t know. That I would do best and if I needed to take a day off I would. I would just take it one day at time. One volcano at time. At least that is what I told people. I secretly wanted to see if I could do it and planned on skiing every single one of those volcanos.
We started in California. I met Chris and Daron Rahlves for our first volcano Mount Lassen. We moved our way North up to Mount Baker skiing a volcano everyday. We skied 15 volcanos in 14 days, walked, 141.32 miles, and climbed 78,674 vertical feet while burning 44,000 calories. It was a trip of a lifetime.
The enormity of the trip didn’t register until Daron Rahlves and I were half way up Mount Shasta. We stopped to put on our crampons. Chris was a couple 1000 vert ahead of us. He was still in sight, but we had lost all hope of trying to keep up with him. We were both exhausted and knew we had a long ways to go. Daron turned to me and said, “Jess are you really going to climb every single volcano? I gave him my rehearsed answer. I don’t know. My plan is to take it one day at time, one volcano at a time. Daron looked down and said, “Jess you may be taking it one volcano at time, but I’m taking it one step at time.” Daron Rahlves, the man who has won more World Cup Ski races than anyone else. I love Daron for being so incredibly honest. And I think this is why he is a true professional. He is always learning. He is not afraid to admit that he might fail.
All three of summited that day. And yes, to my surprise, I did ski and climb every single one of those volcanos.