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...