Outdoor Trauma

"What conversations are we turning away from? What might it look like for our climbing community to fully engage with its collective grief? How do we presence ourselves with survivors and offer resources for individuals to better integrate their grief. I think it’s a beautiful thing that climbing offers us—to be present with the complexity of choosing to risk and being in honest relationship with our fragility and mortality."

— Grief Fund Founder Madaleine Sorkin

The above quote was intentionally and beautifully stolen from the main page of the American Alpine Club Climbing Grief Fund. The first organization to openly recognize this problem, the Grief Fund is bringing awareness and support to the thousands of outdoor sports enthusiasts who have experienced accidents and deaths. 

The mountains are our home. And the mountains are impartial. They don't care who you are or how careful you've been. If a snow pack is going to fall, it will fall. If lightning has to strike, it simply strikes. So often in our acceptance of this risk, we also adopt the "suck it up" mentality. We agreed to this risk, right?

Right. But that doesn't mean that trauma hasn't occurred, or that PTSD won't set in. Take a look at the stress continuum below to see how, for example as a climber, your behavior can change after experiencing a traumatic outdoor event.

ClimberStressContinuum (3).png

If you can relate with the loss of stoke, the physical symptoms of stress, or have had a significant traumatic event while engaging in the environment you love, there is a way out. You can feel that love and excitement again. Take a look at our resources below, or schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.