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Feb 4, 2024 by Megan Michelson

Trade Secrets: Embrace Discomfort

featuring professional climber and alpinist Emily Harrington

Home Base / Tahoe City, California.

Activities / Rock climbing, backcountry skiing, trail running, Nordic skiing.

Insider Knowledge

When she’s in a rugged mountain environment for extended periods, pro climber Emily Harrington relies on a few simple mantras. “Suffering is temporary. That’s important to remember in those moments. It will end,” she says. We live in an age when most people reading this article can avoid putting themselves in uncomfortable situations, but Harrington seeks them out.

We learn the most about ourselves when we’re in a place of discomfort, when we’re having to face emotions like fear and suffering and failure,” she says. “That’s when I feel most alive and when I learn the most about myself and the people I’m with.

Quick Tip

“Plan for the worst, but expect the best,” says Emily. “What’s your rescue plan? Bring extra gear, have a satellite connection in place, and discuss safety plans that you hopefully don’t need. Also don’t forget to snack. Snacks boost morale. I love chocolate and peanut butter and always keep that on hand.”

Photo: Boone Speed