Merry Adventure Eve. One Sleep. The countdown is over. I leave tomorrow at 5:00 pm to start flying towards Southern Chile. I fly from YYT to Toronto to Santiago to Puenta Arenas then pause for a few days and then fly to Union Glacier and then onto Vinson Base camp. If all goes according to schedule, this Saturday is the day we would fly to the ice. Excitement is growing with each hour accompanied with an equal dose of nervousness.
Today was a day of errands. OK. I admit it. I have a thing for gloves. And hats. But mostly gloves. I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of gloves for years. I have so many pairs that haven’t made the grade. My favourite-ist pair ever was a purple pair of hand-me-down ski gloves from my dad. They were already broken in, dextrous, and decently warm. I wore them up Denali. They every seem gave out after years of faithful service.
I have pretty small hands so it’s often hard to find a pair of gloves that fits well. Most gloves were my fingers actually reach the end are too small in the hand and those that are roomy enough in the hand are about an inch too long in the fingers-try tying a knot with an extra inch of fabric on each finger. Today, I hope I acquired a new pair of favourite. They are the First Ascent Guide Glove. I’d wanted to try them on for a long time and today I lucked out. They had one pair at my local Eddie Bauer store. They fit. I got the wrists stretched out at the Modern Shoe Hospital (they can fix anything leather) and then gave them some time on a salsa jar and they are ready to go. They’ll be an excellent choice as warm work glove and I can’t wait to put them into action. The store manager was very kind and even gave me a discount when I mentioned I was climbing with Dave Hahn (who she had met in Whistler one time). Yes, Marian I admit I am powerless over gloves and I am Imelda of the Glove World.
My new favourite gloves (I hope)
I also got a tooth checked out, got all my banking done, ordered the second batch of Xander T-shirts, got my skates sharpened, tried to get a second battery for my camera, baked some croissants, got a few groceries, and played my last hockey game for three or so weeks. It’s always startling how many tasks they are still to be done once the bags are packed. One last training session in the morning will complete the list!
Beware there is a ring of cloners in town…will the real Bobble Head Ted please stand up? Given the process of needing to get the duffels to a prescribed weight for the flight to Antarctica, the prepared mountaineer always has a back-up plan. BHT will get to go all the way to Patagonia and Puenta Arenas, Chile…just in said, BHT’s 500 grams is too much…we have a stand in…his twin brother…Flat Head Ted! (This is also a shameless last plug for the ten or so T-shirts I have in inventory).
Is he real or Memorex? Only children of the 80’s will get the reference…
For the next twenty-four days, the Visual Soliloquy daily post will be replaced by a Visual Lojong one. Lojong is a Tibetan Buddhist mind training practice based on a set of 59 slogans first formulated in the 12th century. For most of my climbs, my Buddhist mentor (or “Buddhist Personal Trainer” as I like to call her) prepares a list of slogans in advance based on the itinerary. Each day I use the day’s slogan as a way to work with any challenges that arise in my mind or surroundings or both. For Vinson, I’ve decided to share the slogans in my blog so that you can follow along with the slogans and the climb. For further information on Lojong (and what the slogans actually mean since some of them may seem a bit strange, you can google “lojong” and do some reading. I particularly like Pema Chodren’s interpretation of the slogans.
Thanks for all the hugs, good wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts. I’ll carry all those with me (since they don’t count in my baggage allowance). I appreciate all the love and energy that’s coming my way and I can’t wait to share all the adventures and photos along the way when I can! Take good care of yourselves.