Everest, et. al

Apparently, I’m not as good at updating this thing as I thought or hoped I might be.  I was shooting for once a week, but it’s been more like once a month.  Or in the case of January, not at all.  Oh well, things happen.

I thought January would calm down, since the holidays were over, but that wasn’t the case.  There was getting sick, dinners with friends, getting back in shape (I re-joined bootcamp), and the end of the fiscal year at work.  Early February brought Brian’s birthday and the super bowl, as well as a trip back to NY for my aunt’s funeral.  It was my dad’s sister, and she was too young – 69.  She was always the fun, eccentric, artistic one, and I have great memories of her from when I was little.  Many of them involve standing on a chair telling a story.  I’m pretty sure that happened a lot when I was six.  Many of the stories I heard about her over the weekend from family and friends made me wish I had more memories of her from adulthood.  Seeing a lot of family that I haven’t seen in awhile was nice – I met one cousin’s two little girls, met new second cousins, and learned that one of my cousins is an ultra runner.  While it was great to see the rest of the family, but would have been much better under different circumstances.

At the end of January, we picked our seats for Nepal and Everest.  So on 1/26, we were 90 days from take-off.  I don’t think I could be more excited.  We’ve been hiking every weekend to break in our stuff and get back in shape for the trip.  I’m treating this like a race – nothing new on race day, nothing new for the trip.

Two weeks ago, we did a seven mile hike in the headlands and tried out our packs, poles, water bottles, as well as ourselves (those hills were no joke ;)).  I should have tried out some gatorade powder or something in my water.  I ended up fighting low blood sugar all day.  Not fun.

The pack (Kelty Women’s 40 Liter pack) felt great, hardly knew it was there.  I did struggle all day to get the water bottle in and out of the holder on the bag, luckily, I would have time to practice.  Or so I thought.  Last week, I noticed a hole in the water bottle holder, so it had to be exchanged.  Good bye blue bag, hello black bag.  Which is fine – other than all of my outer layers are black.  Apparently I’ll be the goth girl on the mountain.

Poles were a great help once I got used to them.  Helpful going up hill, fantastic going downhill.  Excellent way to feel a little more stable.

Today, despite the rain, we decided to hike and headed up to Mt. Tam.  We were planning on a short hike, since it was raining and a little chilly.  But, we were excited to try out some more of our gear.  I had my new pack (still Kelty, but now black), it would definitely need some adjustments to fit me.

So, I pulled out the heaviest of the three base layers I had – Smartwool’s Women’s Mid 250 hoodie, and a pair of Exofficio underwear – tag line, ’17 countries in 20 some days…one pair of underwear’….(let’s hope it doesn’t come to that)….I also grabbed the shell of my component jacket – Marmot Women’s Cosset Component Jacket, as well as the rain/snow pants – also Marmot…I think the PreCip pant, but I can’t remember.

The good news is that the gear was fabulous.  I was actually a little warm, despite having only a base layer and an outer shell.  I also stayed dry.  All good things with the mountain coming up in just over two months.  We had a great hike….found a salamander, trekked through a waterfall (thank god our boots are fabulous), and got to experience nature in a way that it hasn’t been in a long time.

Overall, a good weekend – rested up Saturday, got some cleaning done, and then hiked today.  Now the Olympics are on for the rest of the night.  Until next time….

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