Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Adirondacks

Hi and welcome back!

Mt. Marcy in the Summer
I think I mentioned in my last post that my dad and I were planning on going to the Adirondacks with my soccer coaches and a few other guys, and one of them climbed Mt. Everest.

We were going to leave tomorrow, climb Mt. Marcy (the high point in New York) on Friday, and get back Saturday afternoon.  This evening my soccer coach called to say that the way they planned the trip, it would be too far to do Mt. Marcy in a day, so they're climbing on Saturday.  That would have been too many miles for me, so we're going to do it some other time.

Instead, since I already had permission to be out of school, dad and I are going to climb the highest points in Pennsylvania (Mt. Davis) and Maryland (Backbone Mountain) over the next two days.

For those of you who asked, my leg is doing much better.  The cut is almost gone, but I have a feeling it's going to leave a scar, which is OK.

We haven't had a trivia question in a long time: who is the only American to have climbed all 14 of the 8,000-meter peaks?  He also did them without oxygen.  Here's a hint--he left a comment on my blog last Spring. 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My First 5.10!

Hi and welcome back!

Earth Treks

Over the weekend, instead of going to New Hampshire we went to Baltimore. About half an hour away from Baltimore there's a really cool climbing gym called Earth Treks. It has walls that are about 50 feet tall versus about 30 at our local gym.

I started out on a 5.7, which is usually a bit of a challenge on my home gym, but at Earth Treks it was really easy. Right next to it was a 5.9 (which I have never done before), which was also pretty easy.  Next I tried a 5.10b. It was hard, but I made it up!  Finally, I tried a 5.10d which I was unable to do. I'm still psyched that I did some form of a 5.10.
Altoid Survival Kit

I have to thank my sister's friend's friend for the survival kit he made me!  Some of the things it includes are matches, an LED flashlight, fish hooks, a compass, tinder, bandages, it's really cool!  And the whole thing fits in an Altoid tin. I've heard of people using the tins for these kits, but I've never seen one.  Thanks for thinking of me!  I'll definitely take it with me to Mount Marcy and on other climbs and trips in the future.

Next week my dad and I are going backpacking in the Adirondacks with my soccer coaches and a few other people.  One of my coach's friends summitted Mount Everest in 2008, so I can't wait to talk to him about it!  On that trip we're going to climb Mount Marcy, (the highest point in New York State) and a few other peaks.  I'll be sure to tell you all about it.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Mount Washington...

Hi and welcome back!

Because earlier in the week they were predicting snow and wind chills around -50 on the mountain this weekend, we decided to postpone the Mount Washington trip.

Crampon Wound
Before we decided not to go, dad and I were practicing ice axe and crampon techniques on the ice out back.  I accidentally caught one of the secondary points on my left crampon on my right thigh.  It hurt, but I hadn't ripped my pants, so I didn't think it was too bad at first.

After hiking a bit, I noticed that the inside of my pants was wet around where I'd cut it, so I assumed it was bleeding.  When I got home and looked, I saw that there was a cut about an inch long and pretty deep where the point got me.  We didn't tell my mom, but she found out about it later.

Since my last post we've had a few snowstorms, as well as some rain that froze on top of it.  It's made it really hard to hike, because I'm not heavy enough to break through the snow, and I've been kind of afraid to wear my crampons.


We were off school today, and we went sledding with some friends. To train a bit, I was pulling my little brother Jed up the hill.  They've already called off school tomorrow, too!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MORE Snow!

Hi and welcome back!

On Monday we got about 4" of snow, and because we were supposed to get more snow last night, I decided to bivy in the back yard.  It was right around 20 degrees overnight, so I slept in the Sierra Designs sleeping bag with the REI bivy and ThermaRest.

It was flurrying when I went out to bed, and by around 1:00 it was a full-on storm.  Since the REI bivy just has mesh over my face, I cinched the sleeping bag down to just a tiny hole and went down as far as I could into the bag.  There was some snow blowing into the hole, and it was melting inside the bag and making me cold.

Every once and awhile it would start getting hard to breathe in the bag, so I would have to open the hole a bit to let fresh air in.  When I did that, snow would blow in.

That went on until about 3:30 in the morning.  It was so uncomfortable I decided to just go inside.  When I went to pull on my mountaineering boots, which were beside the bivy, they were full to the top with snow.  So I left them there and ran in in my socks!

Hiking in New Snow

In all I think we got about 4" of snow and some freezing rain on top.

Around Noon it started to rain.  There was already a thin coating of ice on the snow from the freezing rain, so the rain stayed on top of the snow, and it's supposed to get down into the low teens overnight and single digits tomorrow night, so it's probably going to freeze and be thick enough for us to walk on top with crampons soon.

The other day dad and I were hiking down to the pond when we found a dead raccoon!  It was right underneath a tree, and two of its feet were at odd angles, so we think it fell from the tree, broke its legs (and maybe it's neck).  If you look at the picture you can see the broken legs.

Thanks for reading!