Today was part one of the wilderness first aid certification. We started at 9am, had a break for lunch, and ended at 5pm. The next part is tomorrow and it’s just as long. We did some really cool stuff. Even after only a few hours, I feel like if someone on a trip in my group got hurt, I could really make a difference. Good stuff… When we move to Colorado, I’ll probably go for wilderness first responder and wilderness medical technician and do some part time s&r.
Work is nuts as usual. I’m making time to go to the gym and play racketball again. Monday and Friday for the gym, Tuesday and Thursday for racketball, wednesday for bouldering at the rpi gym,and then the juggling club after that. Full schedule again. It’s no wonder I have no social life.
All’s well that ends well, off to get some dinner.
The snow commeth.
Two weekends ago was supposed to be our Mount Marcy extravaganza, I got sick on Wednesday the 5th and didn’t recover until the following Monday. The trip was off. A friend of mine told me about a movie that was playing at the Palace Theater in Albany. It was a Warren Miller movie about extreme skiing. The ticket price of 22 bucks included 6 free lift tickets to local ski resorts, not bad.
I went skiing for the first time this last weekend at Jimminey Peak in Mass. My brother, myself, a friend, and his friend came along. We had all went to the movie the week before and got our free lift tickets, schweet. Mike (he works on the same floor as me and my brother), took us to the newbie slope. He concluded that we could skip the bunny slope since we were doing fine on the slightly larger one that was next to it. We did that a few times and then headed over to the novice run. We did that a bunch of times and then mike convinced us to go to the top of the mountain and do an intermediate. That wasn’t too bad, only wiped out like 10 times, but we made it. I went again to the top but my brother stayed at the bottom since he was getting a bit beat up and sore. I didn’t wipe out as much, and I’m slowly getting a little better. Skiing is really addicting, I’m itching to go again and make good use out of our free tickets.
We got a snow blower finally, it made the task of shoveling snow out of the driveway much quicker and easier (duh). It was really surprising how much quicker. The foot and a half or so that dumped on us was quickly cleared out in about an hour and a half as opposed to the usual three hours plus or minus that it would usually take us.
It’s almost Christmas and it makes me want to be in a relationship. It’s just so nice to have someone to share it with.Â Winter brings on those cravings for some cuddling in front of a fireplace, but alas. I started talking to a girl who seemed to be Cindi’s twin I swear. First year English teacher, vegan, outdoorsy, likes celtic and folk, and all that. It seemed to be going good and then she stopped talking to me. Recently there was the mountaineer, ice climbing, rock climbing, super adventurous girl who seemed like the perfect match. She also no longer talks to me either. I don’t get it. Why does it seem like they just drop off the face of the earth when everything starts to go so well. I find myself missing Cindi. Hopefully she’ll have some time over winter break to hang out for a day.
Work is going insane. We have so many pending deals it’s crazy. We have been going at an incredible rate for the last few months, and this last week we just picked it up a notch. Once the deals go through we can hire someone new to take some load off. I’m not sure if we will be able to handle all the new stuff otherwise.
This past weekend was the annual ADK younger members camping extravaganza. Thursday night me and my brother packed up some food (we should have packed more), and made a list of food we need to buy. Friday morning I threw some gear together (should have got up earlier and put more gear together) and then busted out to work. During lunch I went across the road to do some shopping and got our weekend goodies of: block of Monterey Jack cheese, two boxes of nature valley oatmeal/granola bars, four packages of single serving turkey coldcuts, organic dried banana chips, organic dried pineapple/papaya mix, and some yogurt covered raisins. That mixed with stuff we already had: a pound of pasta, various seasonings, some bagels, oatmeal, and powdered milk should hold us over for the weekend.
I got home from work and we started packing, ideally we wanted to leave around 6-6:30. It was currently 5:30. I got most of my stuff together: tent, groundcloth, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp chairs, stove, fuel, pots, cups, my spork, headlamp, hiking clothes, change of clothes, rain jacket, climbing gear (in case we have some energy to climb on sunday), and I think that’s about it. My brother got his stuff together and we threw it in the car. By the time we finished packing and eating dinner it was 8 and we hit the road. Two hours later we get to Heart Lake and find our camp spot, set up everything and passed out.
In the morning it was pouring rain. We got up and met the rest of the crew. Dave (the fast guy), Porsche and her guy friend, Laura and her guy friend, Heather and her guy friend, and us. For some reason I only remember the names of the girls. We found out that the plan was to hike Gray Peak. We would take the trail from the ADK Loj to the four corners and then bushwack to the trailless Gray Peak, about 15 miles round trip.
We headed out and it was still raining. I really need to waterproof-wash my rain jacket since it likes to absorb rain rather than repel it. It still keeps you dry on the inside though. The 2.2 miles to Marcy Dam was really quick and we hung out a bit and did some snacking. By then the rain stopped, whew. We got going again and were going and going until we hit a sign a couple miles later that pointed towards Marcy. Everyone was a little puzzled. We all concluded we made a wrong turn somewhere and decided we might as well go up and over Marcy to the four corners and then hit Gray and then make a loop out of it back to the Loj. The trail was pretty crowded, more than usual. We kept passing groups and when we would wait for everyone else to catch up, the other groups would pass us. We would then pass them and repeat the process until we hit the summit of Marcy, which was packed. The views were pretty okay but it was socked in with clouds most of the time.
The trail down the back of Marcy was all ours. We got down to the four corners and looked at Marcy… completely clear! If only we had started a little later we would have had the nice view, but still be up there, and not down here…
We found some nice comfy sitting rocks in the stream that crosses the four corners and snacked and lounged around. We then headed over to Lake Tear of the Clouds, got water, and headed up Gray. There was actually a nicely beaten herd path to the top. I think that trail is by far the roughest I’ve ever been on. We lounged around the summit for a bit and then headed down.
It’s about 6 miles back to the Loj from the four corners. The slower group (Laura, Porche, plus the respective guy friends) split up into their own group and me, my brother, Dave, Heather (and her guy friend) went on ahead. Dave was mostly leading. I would like to know the secret of hiking as fast as he does. It just seems like he is walking leisurely, yet I take about the same stride as he does, with faster turnover, and can barely keep up.
After 11 hours and 17 miles we arrive back at the Loj. We happily strip off our wet stuff and lounge around making dinner and swapping epic backpacking stories. The slow group arrived about an hour after we did and joined the fun.
Sunday morning we were pretty beat. Some people were planning a short hike, some people were just busting out, and we debated what to do. If we went on any hike, our bodies wouldn’t be too happy, so we decided to eat some breakfast bagels and hit the road. And to think we were doing this every day on the AT… I got out of shape pretty quick.
Pictures can be found over here
It seems this week I’m reaching a new level in climbing.Â Yesterday was the fifth day in a row climbing: Friday (Gym), Saturday (Gunks), Sunday (Cannon), Monday (Gym), Tuesday (Gym).Â Yesterday I toproped an 8 for a warmup, lead a 9 for some more warmup, and then blasted up an 11 twice, and still felt pretty good afterwards.Â Since when Cindi would come to the gym we would just go bouldering, my percentage of time bouldering went up quite a bit.Â I have a feeling that was responsible for the recent progression.
I’m going to work on moving back to the normal schedule starting today, which means I’ll be climbing for a 6th day in a row.Â I’m feeling pretty good as of right now, so we’ll see how things go.Â I want to lead that pink 11- in the middle today.
If there is the possibility of backpacking for my vacation in September I should start training now so I can actually have a hope of pulling it off.Â The AT through Shenandoah National Park is roughly 110 miles.Â I’ll have to average 22 miles a day for 5 days.Â It’s just some walking, how bad can it be?
I’m thinking of doing two loops around the Tongue Mountain Range this weekend.Â I’ll get a nice starting point going.Â Hit up the trail Saturday morning with a standard 2-3 day load, do the 10 mile loop over the 5 peaks, camp out, repeat.Â The following weekend do two loops on Saturday, camp out, repeat.Â Should be fun.