Archives for category: photos

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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For a bit of training in elevation, I strapped on my snowshoes and hiked from Timberline Lodge up to Silcox Hut today. It was harder than I expected, but it was rewarding. I’ve never used snowshoes before, so it was definitely a learning experience.

I also learned how to lock my trekking poles in their extended position, since I’ve either been using them retracted or not using them at all while hiking. Unfortunately, I learned that while at the top, thanks to a friendly fellow who was skinning up at the same time. So, even though I hate to share this because it shows how much of a novice I am, I’m also kinda proud. I made it up from 6000 to 7000 feet in an hour(ish), in very basic snowshoes, no poles.

My right calf protested a bit on the way down, keeping me from digging in like I would have liked. Even still, I don’t get how people say that going down is harder than up. Up sucks. Especially with no poles.

Weather: Foggy. I put on my Gore-Tex shell to protect from light rain about halfway up.

A bit of weirdness: My iPhone turned off (died of cold?) when I pulled it out to take pictures before heading down. When it returned to normal temperatures, it turned back on with as much battery as it had had at the top — over 50%. Looking for advice and recommendations…I want to be able to use it to take pictures and tweet (if there’s signal) on my upcoming climb. Here are the couple that I was able to get today:

From Silcox Hut

From Silcox Hut, facing south (panorama)

From Silcox Hut (panorama)

From Silcox Hut, facing south

I took a big lesson in pacing today. It’s not a race. Choose a pace where oxygen can get to your muscles and just keep going. That was hard. Really hard.

But the biggest lesson was a mental one, as usual. I definitely got to a place — a couple times, in fact — where I felt like turning around, or even felt like What the hell am I even doing?. Learning how to push through that will be key. The biggest difference between stopping 100 ft short of my goal (which I desperately wanted to do) and making it all the way there was not the extra workout my legs and lungs got. It was the workout my brain got. It was the difference between doing what I set out to do and choosing to fall short.

In addition to my running, I’m trying to go out for hikes most weekends between now and Mt. Hood. Today I tried out my new hiking boots and my pack (which I’ve had for a couple of years but never used). And my new softshell pants and Capilene top. REI Outlet FTW!

The boots are these and I love them. One of my climbing partners got the same ones and she loves them too. They won’t be the ones we climb in (TMG is providing real mountaineering boots for us), but they’re great for training.

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Today’s hike through Forest Park: 8.7 miles in 3 hours, with a 20+-pound pack. It felt really, really good. There’s a mental shift here — I’m learning the ability to keep going…and going…and going. At first I looked at my watch every 5 to 10 minutes. Then, gradually, I stopped.

I’m glad I didn’t have a recurrence of last week’s sickness. With only four climbers, we think we’re only going to have one guide, which means when one of us has to turn back, we all turn back. I don’t. want. to be. the person who makes everyone turn back.