Not knowing what is to come.

 Ten years ago, when I was seventeen, I was preparing to leave for a winter season in La Grave, France.  This was going to be my first time living without my parents, my first time living in a foreign country, and my first time not knowing what was to come.  Now, a decade later, my husband and I just received word that our three-year French work visa application was accepted.  On December 5, 2013, we will be moving to Chamonix, France.  While I still might not know what is to come, I excitedly await this next chapter in my life.

Forest and I are on the road in the desert, climbing, working, and adjusting to the idea that we will be moving away from these wide-open spaces.  The vastness of America is overwhelming at times, but the solitude and beauty of a sunset in the desert is beyond words.  While we are moving to France for a multitude of great reasons, it is hard to ignore the bittersweet reality that we are leaving home.   

I will be returning to the States often for work, and for the continuation of my AMGA courses and exams, so it is easier leaving knowing that this is not a permanent shift away from the rugged snowy peaks of the Cascades, or the warm rock of the desert.

Because I am not yet an IFMGA guide, I cannot work as a guide in France, so instead I will be working on some personal climbing and skiing goals.  Check back this winter to see some projects that I will be working on!  Salut!

 Erin in La Grave when she was 17.  April 4, 2004.

Erin in La Grave when she was 17.  April 4, 2004.

 Sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunset in Joshua Tree National Park.

 Erin Smart and Kurt Hicks on the Isolation Traverse.  March 2013.

Erin Smart and Kurt Hicks on the Isolation Traverse.  March 2013.

 Aiguille du Midi.  February 2011.

Aiguille du Midi.  February 2011.