20 March 2016

climbing problem

The hike yesterday was, hm, let's just say: harder. 

Much of it was very steeply uphill, so I ate my way through the ziplock bag of sour jelly bellies that I had stashed in my cargo pocket, which is my method of keeping my energy up on steep hikes.  

There were more ropes - did I mention that we all have to take turns carrying 8 pound ropes tied to our packs? no? we do, and it is not pleasant, because they are heavy and unwieldy - so we each had to take more turns carrying them. With the rope, I started up the trail with a 33 pound pack. (Truth be told, I have no idea how my pack got to 25 pounds without the rope. Maybe it was the thermos of hot chocolate? Maybe it was the climbing harness and all the carabiners?)

Our fearless leader wanted it to be as challenging as possible, so we climbed straight up a boulder field half-covered in slippery, melting snow. We walked/slid straight down a different snow field. (Not a glacier, thank goodness. The class last week made me paranoid about glaciers and crevasses and avalanches, especially since I live in a place that has constant rotation between snowing / thawing / raining / freezing / snowing, resulting in slabs of snow between layers of ice, which is apparently the perfect set-up for slab avalanches. But this was a small snow field, and I don't think the snow was deep enough for an avalanche.)

When I took my pack off at the end of the hike, I felt so free that I could hardly help but jog on my way to the restroom. It's kind of weird to me that I have so much energy after so much hard work. Never fear, it disappeared completely by the time I got home and had to try to stand up to brush my teeth. I could have used a stool to sit on in the bathroom. I was that exhausted.

Then I slept for 11 hours and today I started thinking that maybe I want to climb this mountain again. I looked it up, and it's harder than what I did yesterday but maybe about the same difficulty as what I'm doing next Saturday. Although if I go at the right time of year, there is no snow on the trail (the best time is August/September). I have time to get into better shape. And the view from the top is incomparable. I'm not sure there is anywhere else in this state with quite the same view. 

I'm turning into one of those people with a climbing problem. 

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