Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mt Rainier climb - Aug 2009

On 1/1/06, Sean and I summited Mt Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft in elevation. That day, I swore that I hated moutaineering and would never do it again. Now Kili was not technical at all, just a high altitude hike.

Fast forward to now...and we have just booked a trip to climb Mt Rainier in Aug 2009. Wait a second..what was that? Climb another mountain? So call me crazy...

My friend Daisy, who was also part of the Kili expedition, suggested a Rainier climb. We said, sure, why not. Not really looking into it, but thinking..oh, it's only 14,410 feet high..that's nothing ;) The treks book out fairly quickly, so we had set Thanksgiving as our booking date. These past few days I decided to start really looking in to the climb. Yeah, it's going to me more rigorous than I originally thought. Do-able, but rigorous.

I will be up there *hopefully*

The guide said it was the toughest endurance challenge in the lower 48 states -- summit day will be a 15+ hour day -- ascending 4400 feet, descending 9000 ft, over 12.5 miles. For a comparison, Kili's summit day was about 14 hours -- ascending 3600 feet, descending 8200 feet, over about 9.3 miles. The differences between Rainier and Kili...Rainier is much lower, Kili is at 19,340 where severe altitude sickness can set in..every foot higher puts you at more risk for altitude sickness. Kili is 4930 feet higher than Rainier. But that doesn't mean Rainier is easy. Rainier is a technical mountain. It is one of the snowiest places on *earth*. We will be roped in for the summit push, traversing glaciers, have to keep the pace of the group (and I am a really slow hiker, ascending). Do I really know what I'm in for???

With some doubts in my mind, 8 months and 8 days before the expedition, I want to revisit my Kilimanjaro summit push...grueling, windy, cold, not geared up enough, separated from my group...and I made it...to know what I accomplished...yeah, I can do it.

I have a little over 8 months to get my body superfit. I do have a kickstart in it with all of the wakeboarding and aerials that I have done. Now it's time to target the muscles that need to be worked.

I started training yesterday. Nothing difficult. Just took a walk with my dog through my neighborhood with a few short jogging sprints for about 40 minutes. Sounds like nothing, eh? Well, my neighborhood has a lot of elevation change in it, which is great for training.

Today, I'll strap on a 18 pound pack (I know, doesn't sound like much at all) and hike around with her again. I'll go down to the lake and back -- descending pretty much all the way down and ascending pretty much all the way up.

I wasn't so serious about training for Kilimanjaro. It was quite a half assed effort. We did fit in some longer day hikes to get used to the distance, time, and mental effort in a long day hike. But we didn't do *that* many. This time, I've gotta get serious. Being that this is day 2 of training...I hope I can keep it up...

Aerial silks thus far...

I haven't blogged in ages, so I thought I would catch up a bit...I took the Beginning Aerial Silks class at Blue Lapis Light for about 5 weeks (it was 6 weeks but I started 1 week in) and learned a lot, did things I never thought I would be able to do.

Some of the highlights from the beginner class (anyone can learn!):


Bat hang

Double footlock split roll up (rolled up twice)

Hip key

Single leg lock with pointy toe (that's not the name of it!)

The class ended with an informal student (beg/int/adv) and teacher performance at the studio. Kim and I did a duo, which we had figured out and practiced the class before the performance. We both got a bit nervous, too. But it all went well. Everyone did really well, and it was a fun event.

Check out our duo:


I also got some stills from our practices and performances. More pictures to keep you entertained:

Bat hang


Double footlock split roll up

Single footlock pointy toe (you never know how the fabric is going to spin)

Double footlock split roll up in motion

Double foot lock split


Bow and Arrow

And this really really hard bit (arms!!!) at the end

The rest of the student and teacher performances, which are all awesome, can be found at the link below:
You Tube - aerial performances

I had a lot of fun with the performance, but I was glad it was over just as well. Got a little bit of butterflies. I'm fine with public speaking, but I have never performed in any sort of way..well, except 10th grade drama class which I did horribly at! So it was a new arena for me.

Since then, Blue Lapis Light has had open studio twice a week, where I can practice on the silks and have a good opportunity to learn new things. There are some things that I still need practice at -- coming out of the bat hang and the single footlock pirouette. But I have had a chance to learn a few new things...

This one...gets way harder as the session goes by!

I've signed up for the intermediate class, which starts Jan 12th. I am excited what else I could learn. I feel like I've learned so much already that I have no idea what would be next :)