13 days to Departure for Peaks and Passes (Mera and Island Peaks)

As the countdown to the trip gets to lower numbers, it was time to start laying out gear and attending to the hundreds of small tasks that go into packing for a month long expedition. One of which was snow-sealing our trekking boots and Nikwaxing my guide gloves. It’s a wonderfully meditative process of smearing bees’ wax on the leather and using the heat gun to melt in it. I bet I am one of the few who went to Canadian Tire trying to decide buying a hair dryer and a heat gun and leaving the place thinking that all the things I could do with a heat gun fir outweighed the one time a year I might need to dry my hair. 🙂

Here are the boots wearing their shiny new coats of wax. In warmer climes, I might just use the warmth of the sun to let the wax soak in between coats. Here, however, since we are still being treated to snow, I resorted to the heat gun!

I don’t like packing in a panic and usually start well out from departure date. Here is this year’s system. Marked crates to contain like items such as electronics and navigation, snacks, camp and sleep, climbing gear, hike, and summit. What you can see are the piles of clothing that are behind me. Once we get closer, we’ll start double and triple checking against our gear list and start putting it into compression sacks and sip bags for packing in our duffels.

Another heat tool…this time Marian’s mini blow torch lighter that I brought her from Iceland last year. It’s fabulous for burning the ends of rope and webbing. Here I’ve cut our new prusik cord into 8 foot lengths and I am now melting the ends so they don’t fray. The back door is open to let the fumes escape. We’ve also been charging batteries, checking out camera mounts, weighing trekking poles to see which is the lightest, putting on zipper pulls, etc. etc. etc. These kind of fiddly jobs will continue up until the bags are packed…not to mention doing our taxes and grading student papers.

It’s a busy time but a good time-with each hour of prep filling the bank with anticipation and excitement. It’s take a bit of work to step out of life for a month but I’m looking forward to days and days of walking and climbing and big views. Last night, I uploaded the curriculum my students created for teachers to avail of while we are on expedition. It will be served out one day at a time complete with “Did you Knows” that we so popular last year when I was in Greenland. OK-back to checking things off the list.

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