So What If I Shave My Armpits? Ice Climbing in Interlaken

To fully understand what you’re about to read, you should first know a few things about me. This will all seem pretty contradictory but no worries, I’ll explain. I LOVE the outdoors, kayaking, climbing, hiking, and the animals, all of it! I’m also a complete girly girl. I don’t even like to get my hair wet.
I get told a lot that I was not the “type” of person one would expect to like the outdoors. And although I can understand that you probably do not meet many rock climbing- makeup artists, the idea, to me, is not so complex. Why is it expected of me to wear canvas or hemp clothing, and stop shaving my armpits to be considered the “type” of girl that would enjoy the outdoors, and why then would I even want to be so cliché?
Although Florence is beautiful, I hadn’t seen a tree in a while, and I needed to fill the void left by not being able to do anything remotely “outdoorsy”. Interlaken offered so many things I had never done before–a buffet of outdoor adventures I could go home and brag about (cheesy I know). I immediately signed up for Ice climbing, and glacier trekking; two things that would probably be hard to find at my new home in San Diego.
The morning of my Ice climbing excursion, I woke up, put my makeup on, grabbed my hiking gear and sat in the lobby of the hotel waiting to be picked up. I was approached by a man named Hano; a long haired Swiss mountain man. As we drove up the mountain passing the most beautiful little towns, the mountains looked like they came straight out of the paramount pictures logo.
It took around an hour to trek across the Glacier and arrive at our climbing location. I went first, with Hano gently lowering me into the crevice of the glacier where I would then climb my way out. I couldn’t have been more intimidated but at the same time I was in awe over what I was doing.
I sat against the wall of ice for a second to take in the amazing view; this was really like nothing I had ever seen. Then came the challenging part– figuring out how I’m supposed to get back up! I took my time but made it up the wall of ice, with Hano yelling words of encouragement down to me like “come on Spiderwoman!” and “get your money’s worth”. When I reached the top, he looked at me with an impressed look on his face and said, “not just beautiful, eh!” I have to say that I was proud of myself–I had accomplished something that other people wouldn’t dream of doing. I did three climbs before I had to make the trek back to the van so I didn’t miss my bus back to Florence.
So here’s my advice for all the girly-girls out there:
Listen to those people who question your ability to be powerful and out going, take it all in, swoosh it around in your mouth a little, but dont you dare digest it. The only thing holding you back from doing what you want to do is you, and once you get rid of all that initial fear, all you have left is excitement. So just do it!
(and if you’ve got some serious skills, like me, you can do it all without even having to get your hair wet.)


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