Howdy to All,
March is here and the Everest 2010 Advent Calendar’s doors are half open! The remainder of the road trip went well with two presentations in Calgary and I’ve been busy since my return trying to take items off of the mountain-sized to do list and sneak a bit of training in as well.
A highlight of the week was receiving a care package from Madame Edwards Grade Three class at CC Loughlin School. They sent along a sleeping bag and pillow for Flat Stanley as well as a bike for him to train on! Each child in the class also sent along a greeting card and I loved Noah’s interpretation on my name…he said TA’s Totally Awesome and Trying Again! Check out the covers of the cards at this URL: (http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=394562&id=509940550&l=12068c83ca)
I knew I wanted to jump in hard to training this week so Natelle and I took to the hill on Thursday with tires in tow. Neither of us had particularly checked the weather so when we found ourselves up high in the wind in the midst of freezing rain, we both declared, “We’re a bit underdressed for this.” We kept ourselves warm by dropping off the crest of the hill as soon as we could and set a new record for a single pull of 27:22 and for doing four pulls! The four pulls up and three pulls down amounted to 10.5 kilometers of pulling and nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain! By the end, we were giddy with exhaustion and cold but very pleased to have pulled it off (ha, ha).
As it’s taper time, I’m trying to maintain the intensity of training while dropping some of the volume, which is handy because there are a mountain of details to attend to over the next two weeks. Like securing my summit socks…as I’ve confessed before I am a superstitious creature of habit: I always put on my left hockey skate first. And I always buy a new pair of socks to wear on summit day. This pair of socks is left unworn until the chosen day to swaddle my feet in new and fresh loops of merino wool (clean socks are warmer than dirty ones). It’s a ritual I’ve used on all my climbs and I’m not stopping now!
Summit socks and send-offs…I was chatting with a friend last week about send-off possibilities and realized that I was more interested in a welcome home party than a good-bye one (as Ed Viesturs so aptly put it, “The summit is optional, getting home mandatory). So be prepared to party hard when we get back from Everest but in the meantime, I would like to invite you to a Signal Hill Send-Off of Sorts. On March 20, we’ll be doing our last big tire pull and then I’ll be doing an additional five ascents (as per my tradition of doing ten ascents of Signal Hill before each climb). We’ll start around 9 am or so and be on the hill road for the next 5-6 hours. We’ll pull/trek up and use cars for the descents.
Come join us for a hike up the hill-the tire ascents will be slower than the trekking ones and I’m sure the ascents will slow gradually over the day (so if you’re worried about being slow-come later). We’ll be looking for folks who can spare a little time as drivers that day to help out the team with descents. Come on out for a climb of the hill and then go log your accomplishment on the RNL Small Steps/Big Results Website as part of the Step Up to the Summit Challenge (http://www.recreationnl.com/smallstepsbigresults/). It’s an informal send-off and we won’t have much ability to carry on conversation, as tire pulling is hard work but do come out, wish us well, honk your horn, walk along side, and get some exercise!
And if you’re not in St. John’s, please find a hill wherever you are and go for a walk up it on March 20 and drop me a line or a picture to celebrate with us!
Speaking of which, Signal Hill is calling me now to get off my butt, into my pack and walk uphill! Have a good week!