Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Back in Washington

In a perfect world, right now I wouldn't be sitting here writing this blog post. I would be rest stepping my way up to base camp, with a heavy pack on the Emmons Glacier. Finally fulfilling the goal we set out for months prior to this. As we all know, life gets in the way and things change. In which case, this past week has been a prime example.
Mt Baker 2016 PC JDStylos

I arrived back to Washington two weeks ago, ran the morning I left and felt great and confident that I had one more week of work then we were to set up our first objective of the summer mountaineering season, Mt Rainier. Truly feeling the most fit and prepared I have ever felt

I pulled into the farm, and the second sentence out of Joe’s mouth was “there’s been a cold floating around the farm and I think I have it!” So, the second day in Washington, I woke up with a small tickle in my throat and here I am two weeks later still coughing and sniffling.

It’s been one of those colds that gives you false hope and you start to feel better, then the next day you wake up feeling worse than you did the day before.

Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burritos at the Cabin
Having the cold has been a good excuse to try to “rest”. Which I am honestly not very good at. The week I got here Joe and I took some time to head to a friends Cabin in Grayland, WA. Where we enjoyed quality time together after spending two months apart. We read books, cooked good food and tried to kick our colds. The day after we returned I headed to California for another week of work. It was nice to make some money, but on the flip side, long work days didn't help me get over this head cold and throughout the work week I slowly declined.

Not only is being healthy a huge factor when it comes to climbing but anybody who's anyone knows that it's a lot nicer to be outside on a sunny day rather than a snowy one. So of course we have been watching the weather like hawks. Mountain Forecast shows the weather five days in advance. As our projected climbing days approached, I pulled up the forecast a few times a day. Just like my sickness, the weather slowly declined. But if you don't trust the weather forecast you can always just walk outside and go look in the direction of the mountain. If you see massive, grey clouds engulfing its entire frame is a pretty good indicator that you probably shouldn't bother with trying to climb.

So with that, here we are. Officially pushing our climb back a couple of weeks until after the Aspen Event. The unfortunate outcome of all of this is the fact that our friend (who also works with Joe)  we had hoped to climb with won't be able to join us after the event. As this was his only opportunity to climb with us. With work picking up for Joe and Trav here, and me picking up a few days as well, we will all be to busy to try to fit some sort of climb in until a couple of weeks.
Mt Rainier via my dad from the plane just a few days ago.

Of course it's a big bummer, but I try to look on the bright side of things. For example, even if the weather forecast was perfect, I still would not be able to go climb right now, because I am still to sick. In which I still need to remind myself that we have close to two months to fit in another trip up Rainier and our other mountain objectives. More importantly though, this will give me some time to rest and give my body what it needs to heal... Even though I find that incredibly difficult to do. I am looking forward to getting back to my fitness schedule and climbing again, because two weeks feels like ages at this point!

In the meantime, we bought some tickets to go listen to Tommy Caldwell give a talk up in Seattle tomorrow night. Which ended up working out great, because initially we thought that we weren't going to be able to go, but since we aren't climbing we have a little bit of extra time!

View of  Rainier from the farm, AKA old school weather radar.
I did forget to mention the most exciting news of all of this. Even though it feels like we just finished the road trip, a couple of weeks ago Joe and I purchased tickets for our next fall/winter excursion. Another climbing objective filled adventure located in New Zealand! Not without a quick stop to Australia on the way of course:). So to all of our traveler friends out there, if you have been to NZ please give us any information that you think we would find useful.

Hopefully pushing back our climb a couple of weeks will set us up for success when we finally do get to put our feet in our boots, attach our crampons and start trudging up the mountain. Cheers!