Sunday, January 18, 2009

Winter fun

This was a crazy week. After logging more than 30 miles last week, I thought I would be able to buid on it this week. Unfortunately, it was not the week I expected . Work was very busy, but I managed to get 4.5 miles in on the treadmill on Tuesday and also did some strength training. Great start. Wednesday and Thursday did not allow me to run at lunchtime, and I climbed with Dawn and the gym on both nights. No mileage. Friday was a busy day at work as well, but I managed to get 5.5 miles on the treadmill after work. Great!

Dawn and I decided to go skiing on Saturday. We went to Mohawk Mtn. and saw our good friend, Miriam, who is a ski instructor there. When we woke up that morning, it was -14 deg F. Yikes! I was hoping it would warm up quickly. It was Dawn's 2nd time skiing in 2 years and 3rd time in her life, so I was not expecting much. I did know that she is a fast learner and is very driven. After 2 runs on the bunny slope, Dawn was ready for something more challenging. We skied some easy runs and worked on her technique. Despite the cold, we were having a great time. By 11:30, Dawn's quads were toast, so I skied a few runs by myself and then met her for lunch. We went back out and Dawn gave the intermediate slopes a try. She struggled at first, but by the 3rd run, she looked like a pro. We decided to call it a successful day and head home knowing that we have another sport we can both share.

Today, the Goat and I did some ice climbing. Tara was throwing a Baby Shower for Jamie, and I wanted to evacuate the premises. I didn't expect to see so much snow in the morning since the forecast only predicted 1-2 inches. There must have been at least 3" on the driveway when I looked outside and it was still coming down hard. Damn! I quickly started the snowblower to clear the driveway before the Goat arrived. The Goat rolled in just as I was finishing the driveway and I threw all my stuff in the car. Before I knew it, we were cruising out to Racebrook Falls like two college guys heading to Florida for Springbreak. We were excited to see some blue ice. When we arrived at the parking lot, it was almost 10:30 and no one else was there. Wow! We have the place to ourselves? Yes! Then, the Goat panicked, "PB, I forgot my harness!" No climbing partner ever wants to here those words...especially after a 1.5 hour drive to escape a baby shower. Hmm, I thought, "Let's get creative." We used a spare sling and tied the rope around Goat's waist to make a pseudo harness. Cool. We're back in the game.

Another guy arrived while we were getting ready, and headed in ahead of us. Let's get going before more arrive. We hiked in and saw that the lower falls were climbable, but not nearly as full as we had expected. The pillar loolked decent, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to try leading it. Goat wanted to try the first lead as he hadn't led a pitch on ice in 2 years. I put him on belay and off he went. As you might expect, the Goat was a bit rusty on lead and the quality of the ice didn't help. It took awhile, but I was just happy to be outside. Unfortunately, I was starting to get cold though. Goat finished the pitch and we soloed up the easy sections to get to the upper falls. Now, it was my turn to lead. The climbing looked easy enough and I debated soloing it. I needed practice putting screws in though, so off I went with Goat belaying on a munter hitch. The pitch was quite enjoyable, and Goat followed with no issues.

The forest was so beautiful with fresh snow. It was a very peaceful scene. I wanted to get in more climbing, but it was getting late. Well, perhaps another day.

So, only 10 miles for the week. A small fraction of the mileage I was doing 1 year ago, but I have no regrets. In addition to the 10 miles, I went to the climbing gym twice, went skiing, and then a day of ice climbing. It was a good week with lots of fun activities. Maybe I'll get back to some serious miles this week :-)

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