Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mount Rainier 2015

I left it all out there. That’s all I can say. I tried, I pushed through, I dug as deep as I could, and I still came up short. It’s frustrating, and it leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. But for now, that’s all I’ve got. It’ll be fine, it’s not the end of the world, and I’ll get to try again next year. I’m ok with that, but I wish I didn’t have to answer the inevitable question, “Did you summit?” Because, “no, I didn’t”, for the second year in a row, is an aggravating answer.

Last year, I had to admit that I had not trained sufficiently, and in the end, I had to turn around at the top of Mount Rainier’s Disappointment Cleaver, at about 12,000 feet of altitude, 2,400 vertical feet and still many hours from the summit. Nonetheless, I had a wonderful time, an amazing experience, met some great people, and used all that to set things up better for another attempt this year.

I felt ready this time. I trained hard, I felt positive about the climb, I was looking forward to it, I visualized it, I updated some of my gear, I packed smarter. I strained a calf muscle a mere two weeks before the climb while training at the gym; I did everything I could to treat that injury and give myself the best chance possible. It worked; the calf was pain-free at the start of the climb. I – was – ready.
With Rachel sightseeing in Vancouver

I flew to Vancouver a few days before the climb, and visited my friend Rachel, who moved there last December. We had a lovely time together, and I discovered what might have just become my favourite Canadian city. I took the train to Seattle a couple of days later, enjoying the journey through the Cascades and the Pacific North West. Upon arriving in Seattle, I immediately caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island, where I visited with my friends Dan and Paddie. As always, our time together was special, and I greatly cherish their friendship. My love of hiking and trekking and mountains, and of Nepal, Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, all really started with that memorable trip to Nepal that Dan organized back in 2002. Thirteen years later, I’m on my second attempt on Mount Rainier, right in Dan’s backyard. I blame Dan for all that, but it’s with a big grin on my face, and especially, a big “Thank you!”.

With Dan on Bainbridge Island

On Wednesday, I took the ferry back to Seattle, and attended the mandatory Gear Check at Alpine Ascents International. Familiar with the routine, I had most of my equipment, clothing and other gear ready. At the end of gear check, managed very effectively by guide Eric Salazar, I was confident that I had all that I would need, and only what I would need. The weight of my pack was well within the range I had trained with for the last several months.

Gear Check was also the first time we met our fellow climbers. This time, it would be me, plus seven guys. Being the only woman in a group of guys can sometimes be intimidating, especially in an athletic endeavour where I fear being the slower, weaker female pseudo-athlete. But, after a few climbs with (mostly) men, and especially, after three years of cycling with the boys of the Morning Glory Cycling Club, I should know better: I have never been made to feel like the weakest link by the guys. Just the opposite, I always get a lot of support and encouragement from them. All that to say, at Gear Check, when I met my fellow climbers, I wasn’t intimidated, and appreciated immediately how friendly everyone was. Right away, we were a team, and we followed Gear Check with a group dinner during which we shared our excitement and trepidations about the challenge ahead.

At 6am the next morning, all of us were back at Alpine Ascents, ready to head out to Ashford to meet the rest of our guides, and then on to Mount Rainier. Guide Eric Salazar (“Salz”) was to meet us in Ashford, as was lead guide Devin Bishop. Our other two guides, Stephen Williams and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, drove with us from Seattle.

A quick word about our guides: this was my third climb with Alpine Ascents International (AAI) since 2004. I have been impressed with every guide I have had the pleasure of climbing with, and have learned valuable things from every one of them. They are great company, excellent cooks, and demonstrate an unrelenting work ethic, commitment to customer service, and above all else, an absolutely unwavering focus on safety. Mount Rainier is no joke, even the “easy” 3-day Muir route. Their attention to detail and uncompromising attitude towards safety, 24 x 7, are two qualities that cannot be undervalued.

I was very excited to have Pasang as one of our guides this year. A young Nepali woman from the Khumbu area, she is a smart, talented and hard working athlete, who has completed successful climbs of both Mount Everest and K2 (Pakistan). K2 is known as the most difficult and dangerous mountain in the world (“the savage mountain”), and Pasang climbed it in 2014 as part of the first all-female climbing team to reach its summit. It turns out, she’s not only an exceptional climber, she is also a great person, friendly and always smiling, and willing to share her skills and knowledge with the rest of us.
Pasang Lhamu Sherpa: a bright star in her
 country of Nepal and in the mountaineering world

Lead guide Devin is the kind of guy who takes no prisoners: direct, clear and uncompromising, he made a point of trying to instil the fear of God (in this case, of the god of big bad mountains) in us prior to our summit bid. The thing is, if any of the clients leave for the summit with less than a 100% commitment to climbing safely, that person will put the rest of the group at risk, and that’s unacceptable. Devin made sure we were tackling the challenge with our eyes wide open.

Salz provided good cheer throughout the expedition. Salz packs a tremendous amount of strength and a very high power-to-weight ratio on his comparatively smaller frame. His cheerful personality, quick smile, funny stories, frequent banter with Devin, and tasty burritos made him fun to have on the expedition. His experience and skills made him a great asset to our team.

Stephen, the “strong, quiet type”, seemed to observe carefully everything going on around him. Quick with a smile, he would end up being my personal guide later on in the climb.
Stephen, who accompanied 
me on the way down to camp

The start of the climb, from the Paradise parking lot on the south side of the mountain, was drastically different than last year. With no snow at lower elevations this year, we started walking on paved hiking trails, in bright sunshine and 80F temperatures, surrounded by tourists and day-hikers ogling us as we carried our full packs and walked as a tight group of 12 people. Soon, as we made our way up through beautiful fields of wildflowers, we approached Pebble Creek, and changed into our climbing boots before heading onto the Muir Snowfield. Up into the corn snow we went, getting used to the slightly steeper terrain and practicing our “rest step” to get into the rhythm of a steady pace, with all members of the team climbing in unison.
Hiking up through the meadows

A couple of our team members were suffering. Jason, a “strapping young lad” who looked fit as a fiddle, was hurting badly. He had cramps in his quads and his calves, all at once. Legs seizing up, he struggled to stay with the group and eventually lagged behind with one of the guides accompanying him. Fortunately, there would be an easy solution to Jason’s problem: he loosened his boots, got the blood to flow back into his legs better, and by the next morning, he was back to his normal self. What a relief… 

Jason grabbing some water at our
 first break at Pebble Creek, on Day 1

Young Mason, one half of the father-son duo from Orlando, FL, suffered the entire first day from an upset stomach, most likely the result of our Tex-Mex meal the night before, maybe compounded by the normal anxiety that comes with a first experience in the mountains. At 17, Mason is an exceptionally bright young man, headed to college in the fall, and he and his Dad Mel were having one last father-son adventure before Mason goes off to school. Needless to say, we were all cheering for Mason, and his perseverance getting to Camp Muir after a tough 5-hour hike impressed all of us.

Panorama shot at Camp Muir, at sunset

After we unpacked our gear in Alpine Ascents’ “Gombu” hut – a small wooden structure with sleeping platforms to accommodate eight people and their gear – we had a very tasty meal of hearty burritos (mercifully, without beans…) in Alpine Ascents’ “weather port” tent a couple of hundred yards away from the Gombu. Our first up-close look at the upper part of the mountain revealed a rockier mountain than last year, with a thinner mantle of snow, but still resplendent in the glow of the setting sun against the kind of cloudless and clear sky that one only sees at altitude.

Peace and quiet at sunset

Sunset on Mount Adams, 
with a glimpse of Mount Hood in the distance

As the sun set, it alternately bathed in orange and purple shades the flanks of Mount Adams, before shifting its attention to Mount Hood in the far distance of Oregon, then briefly illuminated the broken sides of Mount St. Helens, before once more returning its alpenglow to Mount Adams. I stood there, in the quiet of the early evening, chatting with my fellow climber Ron. We were shooting the breeze, talking about life, admiring the scene, and both felt the calm of the mountain as we contemplated the next day’s hard work.
After a somewhat restless night – eight people lying side-by-side in two rows of four, in a hut much too hot and noisy for any deep sleep to be possible – we started our day at 5am, getting up, using the facilities, packing our heavy bags once again, and taking a moment or two to breathe in the fresh air of a mountain morning as the sun slowly swapped places with the moon.
Our 6am breakfast in the weather port tent was an impressive affair: crisp bacon, scrambled eggs, and amazingly delicious blueberry pancakes, with a healthy serving of piping hot French press coffee, all prepared expertly by Stephen, Devin, and Pasang, while Salz (who had served us burritos the night before) got to enjoy breakfast with us. All of us clients were feeling great – other than poor Mason, who had had a bit of a rough night and was still recovering. The rest of our group, Leo, Jason, Cameron, Brad, Ron, Mel, and myself, were all feeling chipper and energized despite the lack of deep sleep. The sun was shining bright in a sky that was an amazing shade of deep blue in the rarefied atmosphere.
Pasang demonstrating her pancake-flipping skills!

At 7:30am, snow school opened for business. 
Devin started the lessons with teaching us a number of techniques for walking efficiently on steep snow, with crampons. Walking uphill for hours with feet pointing straight is not advisable: calf muscles will seize or cramp, quads will eventually fail, hips will grow weak, and the mind will want to quit. Mountaineers use various steps – the duck step, the “one foot straight, one foot pointing out” (half duck step…?), and the most effective to make steady sustainable progress, the crossover step. With crampons on, all these require practice. Up on the flanks of Rainier, snagging a crampon or stumbling is not safe. Down here, at Camp Muir, on the placid expanse of snow just outside the weather port, we got to practice, stumble a bit if we must, got a feel for what it is like to snag a crampon, and learned to go up as efficiently as possible. 

Devin talking about snow-walking techniques
Going down is straightforward. I mean, literally, it is straight forward: feet pointing down straight, with all twelve crampons planted firmly on the surface. On a moderate slope, no problem. On steep ground, it can be intimidating, and uncomfortable for the ankles. So we practiced that as well. Then we learned how to carry and use our ice axe, and practiced a few self-arrests, by throwing ourselves on the ground and holding and planting the ice axe in a specific way. Since the snow was soft, there was little opportunity to truly slide and self-arrest. But the snow on our climb higher up would likely also be soft, so the risk of slipping down an icy slope was low to non-existent (not much surface ice when the temperatures did not go below freezing). Nonetheless, falling was still a bad idea. Self-arrest is a last resort: the first rule is, don’t fall…
Wrapping up snow school - time to head up!

After putting on our harness and clipping into our respective ropes – four ropes of one guide and two clients each – we left Camp Muir around 10:30am, in the direction of Cathedral Gap and Alpine Ascents’ High Camp on the Ingraham Flats. The climb went through a relatively gentle slope on a snow track, in an area of rock fall (“don’t stop here and move fast!”), followed by a steeper slope, where we got acquainted with the joy of climbing on rocks with crampons. Generally not fun, but safer than having all clients remove crampons, then put them back on, in areas potentially subject to rock fall in the middle of the day.
Happiness is being on a mountain!

Less snow, more rock, this year

After just 1:15 hours of climbing, we arrived at High Camp at approximately 11,200 feet: one of my favourite places on the planet… A cluster of seven tents pitched close to one another, on a wide expansive flat glacier perfectly located above a rocky peak called “Little Tahoma”, and with a perfect view of Mount Baker and Canada in the distant north, and the rest of Washington State to the east. Far above camp, the jumble of the broken ice falls and gaping crevasses provides an incredibly dramatic backdrop and a stark reminder of the seriousness of Mount Rainier. 
It is awesome and mesmerizing...

At roughly half the altitude of Mount Everest, Mount Rainier (14,411 feet) is still a big mountain, in every way possible: terrain, weather, and objective danger. It also offers superlative views and breathtaking scenery. 

So impressive is the setting at High Camp that it is a full-body experience: the air was still as we reached camp, there was no wind. The silence, unless broken by our voices and noises, was nearly deafening; the occasional sound of distant rock fall was shocking and intrusive. The contrast of the heat from the sun radiating off the snow, with the delicious coolness of the ambient air, was just enough to keep us from feeling uncomfortably warm.

Little Tahoma, from High Camp

We settled into our tents (I shared one with Leo, a Peruvian software engineer who has lived and worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years, and who has climbed a few big mountains along the way), and tried to rest. We had been instructed on what and how to pack for our summit push. After a late lunch of hearty chicken soup (Stephen’s recipe this time), our job was to finish packing our summit bag (food, water, layers), and then, rest. 

Hard to sleep. After all, it was 5pm, the sun was still high in the sky, and the mind was wandering. I knew what the first part of the climb was like – I did it just a year ago. I was calm and confident, but still, sleep did not come easily. I listened to an audiobook, and periodically dozed off, before waking up and trying to find the last sentence of the book that I remembered hearing before dozing off. 
Resting in the tent. Getting close to "go" time.

Thus we spent a few hours of rest, before our 9:45pm wake-up call by the guides. One more meal before heading up to the summit. “Breakfast” at 10:15pm consisted of instant oatmeal with a dab of peanut butter melted into it, and a bit of coffee. I finished packing my bag, checking and rechecking everything. I paid one last visit to the snow fort (my name for the snow wall that served as a privacy screen for the most scenic high-altitude squatting spot). Then it was time to secure the harness, make sure the avalanche beacon was on, put on crampons, and tie into a rope. Once more, I tied into Devin’s rope, with Jason in the middle between Devin and me. Mel and Mason having stayed in camp, we only had three ropes of climbers.

We started up from High Camp at 11:15pm. Due to the abnormally warm weather up on Mount Rainier, maximizing our time climbing in the dark ensured we would benefit from the firmest snow conditions for the longest time possible. As soon as the sun would start hitting the snow in the morning, the snow would soften, become more difficult to walk on, and more importantly, the risk of rock fall would increase significantly. Besides, walking in the coolness of the night (the temperature was well above freezing) was more comfortable for us than walking in the hot sun. We aimed to reach the summit rim by 6am (and the actual summit before 7am). Devin was clear that if we didn’t reach the rim by 6am, we would turn around no matter where we were on the mountain, for safety’s sake.

Within 10 minutes of leaving camp, our rope, which was first in the procession, reached a “ladder bridge” across a crevasse. A regular ladder laid horizontally across a crevasse, with a wooden plank on which to walk, spanned a gap of about 5 feet. Looking straight across to where I was going, as opposed to straight down into the abyss, made the crossing easy. A few minutes later, another ladder, with the same scenario: with confident steps, the ladder bridge was crossed in a just a few seconds. We continued to the base of Disappointment Cleaver, a long and fairly steep rocky ridge that marks the beginning of the difficult part of the climb. Devin got a call on the radio that one rope (Stephen’s, with Cameron and Leo) was heading back to camp, after Leo realized he was not comfortable crossing the ladder bridges, and decided to turn back. Everyone faces their own internal challenges on mountain climbs – some struggle on the lower slopes, some on the upper elevations, some struggle to conquer a specific fear, and others manage to pull it all together…

The rest of us climbed to “the Nose”, a part of the Cleaver where we could take an unexpected break in safety, while waiting for Stephen and Cameron to come back and rejoin us. Fortunately, they did not have a great distance to cover, and within 15-20 minutes, were with us again. The ascent of the Cleaver resumed in earnest.
After the first hour (about 5 minutes from taking a break at the top of the Cleaver), I started feeling… not-quite-right. The rest of this account may contain “too much information”, but if anyone asks me “what happened?”, well, this is it…

I felt a sudden and strong need to have a bowel movement – something absolutely impossible at that moment, as I was roped up, following a steady pace, and was wearing a harness and backpack, all while climbing a rocky hill on crampons. I tried to ignore the pressing need, but soon felt my stomach becoming upset. This was a familiar sequence of events – I went through the same thing last year… Except this time, a few minutes later (just before our scheduled break), after a quick warning to Devin and Jason, I stopped to throw up on the side of the track. The relief was instant and I predictably felt much better. With our next break just a few minutes away, I got going again, and reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver, feeling somewhat decent. I now had about 10 minutes to put on an extra layer, drink some water and eat some food while sitting on my pack, before we got going again. I was able to drink, and had a few bites, but admittedly did not have much of an appetite.

Last year, at the same spot, I decided to turn around, knowing I didn't have it in me to make all the way after I’d felt the same kind of “digestive distress”. This year, however, I pushed through and kept going.

For the next hour or so, the terrain was intermittently easier, and at other times harder. We were off the rocks and onto a narrow snow track, with a few ladder bridges and fixed ropes along the way. It was still dark and hard to get a view of the “big picture”, but it was still magnificent and awe-inspiring. Not scary. It required focus and attention, but there was no fear involved.

I felt fine on the steady, "easier" (less steep) terrain, and I could manage to maintain the right pace (12-15 vertical feet per minute). When I came to the occasional obstacle, like a big step to take, or a more difficult short section, my heart rate would spike, and I struggled to recover after. I could feel my insides acting up again. Once more, about another hour into this part of the climb and just before our second break (about 2:15-2:30am by then), I threw up. There wasn't much to bring up at that point, and while I felt "better" after, I also felt quite depleted. But I kept going to the break.

Sitting on my pack trying to recover and drink some water, I chatted with Devin and Stephen. We all agreed that I should go on a different rope alone with Stephen, which would allow Devin, Jason and Cameron (who would trade ropes with me) to keep going at their pace, and me to go at a slightly slower pace (slowing or stopping when roped with others is a no-no - you've GOT to keep pace... there is no "getting dropped"). So I roped up alone with Stephen, took a longer break and watched all my companions head up towards the summit, now only about 2:15 hours away. I decided I could still go forward and told Stephen I wanted to keep going up. However, at this last break, I could barely get water down. I tried eating a gel, and could hardly ingest any of it. So, I started up at 13,000 feet, with zero calories in me... at that point, the outcome was obvious, but I was still determined to keep trying.

We went up for about 15 minutes. We were now on the approach to the summit rim: a long series of switchbacks, but with the end in sight. The summit was another hour after that. Fifteen minutes after getting started again, I was dry-heaving, bringing up absolutely nothing, but wracked with stomach spasms. I finally caught my breath, and told Stephen, "Ok, this is it... this is now becoming stupid, it's time to call it and head down".

I felt pretty frustrated and upset, but I also knew I had pushed myself to the maximum and I had – literally - left it all out there... Stephen said, "If you keep going another 150 vertical feet up, you'll exceed the height of Grand Teton... do you want to try that?" It was too tempting, so I said, "oh, why not. Let's give it another try".

I was actually thinking, if I can make it those 150 feet, maybe I can keep going up another 150 feet after that, and go all the way to the summit while aiming for these short goals over and over again. I walked 30 steps, and once again, got really violently wracked with dry-heaves. There was nothing left, but it still took a few minutes to catch my breath again. And then that was it. There was no fighting it anymore. It was time to head down. With one last, forlorn look uphill, I turned around and took the first step back towards camp. I was at about 13,640 feet, roughly 800 feet short of the summit, and approximately 1,640 feet higher than last year’s high point. Close, but no summit.

Mountain climbing is not all about going uphill; it is mainly about coming back down safely after going up. Because I was so depleted, I (and Stephen) knew I had to be extra-careful going downhill to avoid stumbling or tripping. I also knew we needed to descend fast, to avoid staying on the mountain long after the sun started warming up the snow. It was still dark, but a faint line of colour was starting to tinge the horizon in the east.
Despite my lack of energy, I made it a point of pride to not slip or hesitate, and maintain a strong confident and steady pace all the way down, and it worked. Stephen never had to tell me to accelerate. The sun was coming up, and the scenery in front of me unfolded in spectacular glory, with shark-fin shaped seracs perched high above deep crevasses, and the rising sun shining through thin gaps between edifices of snow and ice in the distance. Breath-taking.
The sun rising as we make our way down 

The sun rising as we descent Disappointment Cleaver

As we progressed, the temperature started rising as well, and I felt increasingly more dehydrated. We stopped again at the top of Disappointment Cleaver where it was safe and I was able to drink. The physical effort descending was far less, and my stomach calmed down. I was thirsty and able to keep water down, but I was not hungry in the least and therefore was still not absorbing any calories.

Stephen and I got back to High Camp (12,000ft) by 7:15am or so, and Salz was waiting for me with a litre of hot water, which I gulped down as quickly as I could to settle my stomach once and for all. I visited the snow fort, and that helped too... After another hour, I was finally able to eat some bites of apple and half an orange I had saved. The sweet juicy orange tasted like heaven.

I got to rest for about an hour, catching up with Leo, Mel, Mason and Salz, and then re-packed all my gear. The rest of our summit party came back to camp around 8:45. There were heart-felt congratulations all around - accompanied by guides Pasang and Devin, climbers Jason, Ron, Brad, and Cameron reached the summit in style! 
We left High Camp at 9:30am. The way down to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet included some rocky sections but went well, and I was descending pretty fast with Pasang and Cameron. After another quick break at Camp Muir, we started walking down unroped in loose corn snow, from 10,000 foot, with our goal the parking lot at 5,000 foot. Lucky for us, we were able to slide on our butts several times (the English name for that is borrowed from the French, “glissade”), saving us from having to walk every step of the way. Plus – it was lot of fun, playing in the snow like kids!

Ron, Pasang and I reached the parking lot first, about 10 minutes ahead of the next group - I was obviously feeling fine again by then. I think I felt the need to prove to myself that I was not weak and was not going to keep anyone waiting. Throughout the entire climb, up and down, my legs were strong and never got sore. In the last couple of hours going downhill, only my feet and toes were hurting from going downhill for so long, but that seemed to afflict everyone, and it was completely normal.

It was nice to clean up a bit and change into clothes we had left behind for that purpose, and drive back to Ashford in an air-conditioned van. Leaving the parking lot and throughout most of the drive, I kept looking back at the top half of Mount Rainier, wishing the scenario had been different this time.

That's it... I’m happy, ecstatic, I loved it, it was amazing, and I can’t wait to be on the mountain again. I’m pissed off, disappointed, upset, annoyed, and even a little embarrassed. The only thing I know for a fact: I'm going back next year. Not just because I do want to reach the summit, but because it is such an incredible life-affirming feeling, to be on that mountain... Next year, next year… In the meantime, back to training.

Walking out... 

So... why do I think this happened again?

I loved every minute of it – well, except for the actual few minutes spent throwing up... I am disappointed that I didn't summit - again. It is frustrating. I have been, since 2002, at much higher altitudes many times, and have rarely felt the kind of “digestive distress” that has afflicted me on Rainier twice. In hindsight, I’ve had minor issues (one quick bout of nausea, but then completely fine) reaching 18,000 feet in Nepal, on the summit bid of Kilimanjaro, also around 18,000 feet, and on Middle Teton last summer at 12,000 feet (the theory below applies to that event as well). But crossing high passes in Peru, Bolivia, in the 14-15,000 foot range, no issues… So what’s the difference?

The “good news” with repeating a "scientific experiment" – or, in this case, a climb under comparable circumstances – is that a pattern might emerge that can be used to identify and prove or disprove a theory. I think I’ve identified a set of factors that I can now find ways to address. I’ll head back to Mount Rainier next year, and will hope to have found the right approach beforehand!

A tent with a view: 
Little Tahoma 

For those reading this who are still interested in what I’ve identified so far, here it is: having a meal (even just a simple one) just before starting a very hard effort, with a climbing harness and backpack cinched very tightly around my waste (something that is required), means my digestive system has to work very hard, while the rest of my body is also working very hard to climb. Blood flow to the stomach (“splanchnic circulation”) is in conflict with the need for blood to flow to my muscles to propel me uphill. The effort to climb is intense and sustained, with little if any chance of recovery. My heart rate during the climb was high but sustainable (well within my training range), but occasional spikes became harder and harder to recover from. 

The tightness of the harness and backpack around the waste is not something I trained with as much – the backpack, yes, but not in combination with the harness, and the avalanche beacon (slightly bigger than a deck of cards) which sat squarely on my stomach. I can’t help but think that this surely impacted my ability to digest while working hard, and probably contributed to gut distress and stomach pain once the “cycle” started. Fitness is obviously a factor here. If I were not always on the edge of red-lining (most of the guys around me didn't seem to be), maybe this would not be a problem. I was fitter this year compared to last year, by a lot - and I think this is what enabled me to keep pushing hard, where last year I turned around earlier.

Altitude is only a secondary factor: the decrease in oxygen does mean that I'm breathing harder and faster at effort on the mountain than at sea level. Eventually, between the elevated heart rate and rapid respiration, and the digestive system struggling to get enough blood flow and oxygen itself, I end up with a “general system failure” where eventually, the digestive system can't cope anymore. I’m not a doctor, and I have just started researching this, but I believe my theory matches the signs and symptoms.

The question is, can I train my digestive system to cope with this kind of stress, OR is the answer in approaching nutrition and caloric intake differently on the night of the summit bid? What kind of additional interval training do I need to do to increase my fitness and avoid being so close to the red-line for so long? I have a year to figure it out and test approaches. 

Magical Vancouver sunset

Magical Vancouver sunrise :)
Panorama shot on the Bainbridge Island ferry

On the ferry to Bainbridge, with Mount Rainier in the distance

Sunny and warm...

No snow at lower elevations this year...


No comments:

Post a Comment