Tag Archives: mountain

This Soldier Suffers From PTSD, But Found Therapy In Hiking With His Dog…And Cat

It’s always a gift to have a soldier return home from war, but nowadays, about 20% of veterans returning from the Middle East struggle with PTSD, which is a different kind of battle entirely.

When Stephen Simmons came back from Iraq in 2008, he had trouble adjusting to life at home. His body had become so accustomed to the endorphins that were triggered by his high-stress occupation. To combat this, Simmons created his own “adventure therapy” program. He, his dog Puppi, and his cat Burma hike Oregon’s mountains to help the vet get back on track.

I’ve never seen a cat so cool with hiking…and in the snow, no less! I guess if Simmons can use the hikes to get over his PTSD, Burma is willing to get a little wet in the process.

If You’re Looking For A Crazy Adventure, Cliff Camping Could Be Your Next Thrill

I’m not what you would call “outdoorsy.” In fact, I would call myself “indoorsy.”

But even if you’re a lover of Mother Nature and the Great Outdoors, it takes a certain kind of person to want to camp on the side of a cliff. In Estes Park, Colorado, Harry Kent’s Mountain Adventure Company allows even inexperienced climbers the chance to camp on the face of a rock, dangling above the world as they sleep.

Kent has been cliff camping for years and he says it’s a common practice among climbers. According to CNN, climbers who tackle mountain faces too high or too difficult for just one day simply camp out before continuing. “Climbing for me is like brushing my teeth,” Kent says. “It’s something I just do as part of my life.”

Cliff camping involves setting up anchors in the rock, using a pulley system to get gear up the rock wall, and setting up “portaledges” that can hold climbers’ weight.

Read More: Here Are 10 Of The Dumbest Jumps This Daredevil Guy Has Ever Made

Guide T. J. Sanford told a CNN reporter trying the experience, “You are always anchored and backed up. Redundancy is the key, and you are attached to two separate systems. It’s safer than riding in a car. It just seems scary because you are not in your comfort zone.”

Sanford knows people are freaked out by the height. He notes, “I’ve never had anyone fall off the ledge. I’ve heard stories of climbers, typically couples, getting too rowdy and causing the ledge to flip, but I’ve never had anyone just roll off.”

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.defineSlot(‘/37886402/VN_PG_DCI1_BTF’, [300, 250], ‘VN_PG_DCI1_BTF_581bf4bfac0f1’).addService(googletag.pubads()) googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_MB”, “VN_”); googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_SC”, “VN_ORGN”); googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_TS”, “TS_D”); googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_AT”, “VN_ORGN_PG_D_REV_1.0_ASYNC_DEFAULT”); googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_CC”, “VN_ORGN_D_UNK_118332_A”); googletag.pubads().setTargeting(“NOVA_PG”, “1”); googletag.enableServices(); googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DCI1_BTF_581bf4bfac0f1’); });

Sanford also says that being afraid is natural when cliff camping. “Being afraid of heights just means that your brain works properly,” he says. “As humans we aren’t supposed to be comfortable hanging off steep cliffs.”

The people who’ve done it say the adventure is totally worth it. Check out Kent Mountain Adventure Company’s video of these brave climbers.

Read More: The Bolton Strid Is A Breathtakingly Beautiful Stream That Swallows People

If you can’t handle the heights for a night, Kent Mountain Adventure Center offers lunch and dinner packages to give you just a taste of the cliff camping experience. Check out the company’s site here!