I was on the mountain by 8 AM yesterday, with one of my climbing partners, for an absolutely gorgeous hike. Again starting at Timberline, we took our time and topped out at around 7600 feet a little less than three hours later. Time flies when you’re having fun! Weather was overcast when we started but the clouds rolled off the mountain quickly, and at the top of our trek, this was our view:

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This was a good opportunity to try out a few new things, mainly Smartwool’s 250-g/m baselayer bottoms and mountaineer socks. (PS — All Smartwool socks are 30% off at REI right now. PPS — I’m developing a Smartwool addiction and I’m not going to rehab.) The new gear worked beautifully. AND I brought my husband’s homemade energy bites! Yum. These training runs are obviously good for getting physically in shape for climbing at higher elevation, but they’re also becoming instrumental in trying out my gear and making sure I’m accustomed to how everything works. One gear discovery this week is that my gaiters aren’t going to work…so those go back on the shopping list.

A bit of a bummer at the bottom of the mountain…almost as soon as I hit the dirt, I hit it too hard. And the rocks, too. With my knee.

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Eh. Today is a rest day anyway. Will do my PT for my knees, but not too much else. I feel good for making the effort without other injuries acting up.

All in all, this climb in was good for my mental positioning. I have to admit, as much as I enjoyed the showshoeing last week, it wasn’t inspiring. What was the difference between the two climbs? Hiking instead of snowshoeing, for one. Climbing with a partner, for two…having someone to help pass the time and share encouragement is huge. Experience. Being in a little bit better shape. Using trekking poles. 😉

Right now I feel better than I ever have about my own readiness — and I also feel inspired to keep working hard for 27 more days.

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