One: Lay out all the climbing gear and double check the list once more.
Two: Package like items with like in lightweight zip bags
Three: Contain all climbing gear and conference clothes in North Face duffel and still have 10 pounds of baggage allowance to spare. Marian’s job in all this is packing supervisor. She makes sure I don’t take too little 🙂 as I am often want to do. 40 pounds including mountaineering gear…I’m pleased!
Starting to get excited now…New Zealand with be my forty-first country that I have visited. The first four days I am there I will be attending (and presenting at) the 6th Annual International Outdoor Education Research Conference in Dunedin. I then transfer to Wanaka for an attempt on Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand. I learned yesterday that I will be climbing with/guided by Lydia Bradey, the first woman to summit Everest without oxygen. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to climb with a woman guide and I feel so lucky and privileged to climb with such an accomplished mountaineer. Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching 3,754 metres.
Although lower than many of the mountains I have climbed, it is a much more technically demanding peak with a super long summit day so it will be one of the hardest mountains I’ve attempted lately. I’m a bit worried that I haven’t put enough training into the reserve bank but as Oma says, “What comes, comes.” My main goal is to have a grand adventure, learn lots from Lydia, return home safely, and see some awesome mountains views…and hopefully another country high point to add to my summit collection.
I leave Saturday morning and arrive there Monday late afternoon. New Zealand is 16.5 hours ahead of Newfoundland time. I return December 8th. It will be one of those fall to spring to winter to spring to winter transition kind of trips. I’ve packed both my hay fever meds as well as my woolies. In August when looking ahead to my fall non-teaching semester, I said, “It is already December.” The sentiment feels true. The semester has been filled with travel, research, and editing…when I get back, the countdown to Christmas will be in full swing and it will soon be time to welcome 2014! My goodness-doesn’t time fly…I’ve been doing this mountain climbing thing for almost a decade!
I’ll try to blog and share updates from my New Zealand adventures. I’m not sure if my sat phone will work but for the first few days I’ll have internet and should be able to post some pictures. Don’t worry if you don’t hear much from me while I am on the trip-I promise a full trip report upon my return. Off to count sheep…(soon I’ll be count in merino ones):-)