Hood & Baker: It’s happening…

After several months and iterations of climbing partners, I’m about to embark on climbing Mt. Hood and Mt. Baker. I’ll be leaving Colorado on June 9th, returning sometime after June 21st.

I’m psyched.

Mt. Hood

I still have a lot of research to do on this peak. I’ll be skiing it with my partner, and we need to be careful to pick the proper route on the way down. There are many cliffs bands that can thwart our efforts if we’re not careful.

Still, I’m super psyched to do what Mickey always wanted to do, and ski down this peak with my awesome setup. He climbed it some years back, and said it was one of the most beautiful sunrises he ever witnessed. I can’t wait to see it for myself. I’ll be placing another memorial for Mickey on top, for sure.

We’ll start at the ski area on June 13th, I think it’s called Timberline, and hike from there at midnight or so. There should be enough snow to skin from there, even though the West Coast is in serious drought. Once at the top, we won’t linger, for the snow will get too mushy, but make tracks close to after sunrise, when the snow is just coming into “corn” status.

 

Mt. Baker

I know even less about this peak, as my partner is climbing it right now, on Friday June 5th. He’s going with some sort of pre-planned group thingy, and is scouting the route & campsite for our party to climb it on June 20th.

We’ll be on one of the mellower routes, but likely roped up because of crevasse concerns. I’m hoping to have some glissade options for the way down, to ease my tired dogs. However, unlike Shasta, I’ll be wearing my ski boots, so I hope my feet will be relatively comfortable throughout. Until I can save the big bucks for the La Sportiva Spantik’s, it’s ski boots and crampons for me. Call me a dirtbag if you will…I own it.

I’m hoping with shared camping gear, our packs will be pretty light. Certainly light for the summit. Mickey also climbed Baker and said it was a “classic”. I’m really excited to be traveling in his footsteps. I’ll be leaving a memorial at the top as well.

Angle That Ankle!

It’s ice-the-janky-ankle time again! Yup, my first “light” hike after being flat on my back for 3 weeks with pneumonia resulted in a slight “tweak” to my left ankle, that resulted in a big “tweak” to my ankle ligaments while skiing Red Mountain #3 the other week. Argh. I’m so tired of my flipping ankle crapping out all the time.

But, as I told the excellent massage therapist at Montrose Massage clinic today, I can only hope that each “tweak” results in more healing & strength once recovered. With each meltdown in the last year, my ankle comes out better in the end. I can now point my left foot almost as far as my right foot, something I couldn’t do 6 months back. So, in the end, it’ll likely all be for the best, but it’s a pain in the foot while in the recovery process.

The masseuse mentioned that the initial trauma to my foot was so severe, that the ligaments keep “remembering” to go back to that traumatized state whenever re-triggered or anything. He said the massage and strengthening I’m doing is helping re-train the muscles and ligaments to “forget” the trauma, and create a new homeostasis. I agree, and am mentally and emotionally coaxing my ankle to this new place of health. I equate it to talking to your plants to help them grow.

So, despite the gimp factor, I’m taking it easy, and resting up before the trip.

 

TRX Nation

I tried the TRX class at the Rec Center here in Montrose on a whim. What a painful whim! I’ve never been so sore after a class in recent years. Even with all the acupressure I know, I was stiff for 4 days.

BUT! I’ve never been stronger. The best part of TRX is that all the stabilizer ligaments and micro-fascial tissue gets worked because of the suspension system. Even so, we work the gross muscle groups, so _everything_ gets worked, large or small. Gravity is our friendly nemesis. I’ve only taken 3 classes, and I feel more able to carry my pack and lift heavy items than I have in years. Hiking along with a lot of weight, I feel stable on my feet, despite the “trick” ankle. My hamstrings have traditionally been weak, but I never knew how to properly strengthen them. TRX hamstring exercises get the back of my legs on fire! As a result, my quads are stronger, and my hiking more stable. This is crucial for Hood & Baker where pack weight might be heavy or awkward (because we’re carrying skis). It can only help my rock climbing, too.

My goal was to get in shape quickly for the two peaks, knowing I had limited time and mobility with the ankle funk. I’m glad I took a chance on TRX – it has not let me down.

So, if you want to get strong & in shape quickly and you don’t mind a little pain (ok…a lot!), try TRX. You won’t be disappointed.

Happy Summer to all! Wish me luck on these peaks!

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