Climbing That Mountain, Part 2

Yesterday there was a blizzard, today it’s raining. It’s like Cleveland, that. First lesson? A foot of fresh, thickly packed snow makes things really difficult. Hiking, climbing, all of it. Heh, like I needed the extra challenge. *laugh*

Today was spent on one of the smaller climbing areas, learning to do everything. Well, not everything, but most of the essentials…

Different hiking/walking techniques, you have to walk in very different and deliberate ways when you’re wearing crampons. Took a little while to get used to that.

Ice climbing up a easy incline. Most of it was maybe 50°-60° with a few short areas near 90°. That part was pretty difficult at first, took some time to get used to doing things in a somewhat counter-intuitive way. Oh yeah, and that’s really rough on the ankles. Of all the parts of my body I had expected to be sore tonight, my ankles would have been towards the bottom of the list. *laugh* Live and learn.

Repelling was probably the most fun part, and not nearly as scary as I’d psyched myself up for. Perhaps the drive from hell yesterday helped with that. After that mess, everything else is cake. *laugh* One of the ice walls we repelled down was pretty much completely vertical for most of it, though not terribly tall. So I’m standing at a 90° angle from the ice wall, crampons dug into the ice, and only a rope (and my fellow climber) to support me. Good times.

<homer simpson voice>Mmmm… adrenalin…</homer simpson voice>

I have pictures of the bits I climbed, I’ll try and upload those in a little bit. Right now, I’m all kinds of tired, so I’m focused on sipping some tea and munching on some Clif bars. Not as tired (or sore) as I thought I’d be though. I guess all that exercise and working out paid off. I’ll need a lot more before I do this again though.

Tomorrow is much less of the technical climbing, and more of an endurance thing. It’s mostly hiking and low inclines, but it’s a lot of it. Almost two miles just to get to the mountain, then the trek up it. Oh yeah, and the cold and wind. I’ve seen Mt. Washington now, albeit from afar. It’s… big. This should be a lot of fun. (Any thoughts about trying to start the drive home tomorrow night are right out the window. I’ll likely be even more tired tomorrow than I am today, and there’s no way I’m driving anywhere right now. *laugh*)

Okay, I’ll stop going on and on about this now. Trust me, it’s all anybody is gonna hear about for a while, so I’ll chill for now and defer the rest to later. *laugh* Definitely doing this again. I hope Dan was serious about trying this, because I’m gonna get him out on a mountain if I have to drag him there. *laugh*