A few weeks ago, contributor Seth Heller dove into ski-mountaineer Caroline Gleich’s 2016 attempts of Mount Cook and Mount Dixon in New Zealand. In his article, “Just Walk Away,” Heller discusses Gleich’s decision-making process that led her and her team to turn around before the summit of Mount Cook. And in Heller’s interview with Gleich, her motivations and past experiences that informed that tough call are clear. Here’s what Gleich had to say.
A few hours before dawn in early November 2016, Caroline Gleich adjusted her gear inside the long bunkroom of the Plateau Hut in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand. Nearby, Seth Orton and Cody Hughes, Gleich’s friends from Salt Lake, and Anna Keeling, a veteran New Zealand mountain guide, and Rob Lea, Gleich’s boyfriend, did the same. The sky was clear and the summit of Cook loomed in the distance.