Monday, January 08, 2007

It’s that time again.

Every year around this time I start getting the itch to go to the mountains. Or at least to start planning something for the upcoming warmer months which usually leads to more backpacking and such wherever I'm living. Unfortunately, my whole life that's never been too close to the big boys. Catskills, north Georgia/NC mountains—that's as close as I get. Just hills, really.

The whole thing usually begins with a book I’m reading. Two years ago it was Aaron Ralston’s “Between a Rock and Hard Place”, a gnarly account of his self-amputation of his arm but a remarkably similar story to my own pursuits. This year, it’s Ed Viesturs’ “No Shortcuts to the Top” about his climbs of all 14 peaks of 8,000 meters or more. No small feat, that one. Not gonna go for that goal anytime soon.

It’s a fascinating read, especially for someone like me who maybe once aspired to climb the super bigs but realized later I love the mountains too much to suffer that much on them. Those guys literally kill themselves slowly for months to summit out. F that bidness. I like a good-multi-day climb as much as the next guy but coughing up blood and mucus and your brain swelling and your lungs filling just seem to be a tad on the excessive side.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not already deep into planning a nasty trip for this summer as we speak. I’d really like to go somewhere I’ve never been and ideally kick it in the backcountry for like a week or more and hopefully hit some high peaks along the way. Potential sites right now include the Sierras, the Canadian Rockies, the Wyoming Rockies, and the Cascades (lot of rain and lots and lots of snow and crevasses, however). Or maybe the southwest corner of Colorado down near the San Juans or the Sangre de Cristo range. Not sure yet.

Last year's trip to the Rockies was fun but only one climb (the painfully laborious Navajo Peak) was truly new. And the altitude sickness/food poisoning I suffered on day three threw my energy for a loop on the last two climbs. In hindsight, zipping up to 13,000 feet the day after I flew in wasn't smart. But I was rarin' to go! I couldn't help it!

And not really being a hard-core exerciser for the sake of exercising, it helps me to have something to train for. Fortunately the weather is sunny and nice out.

In other news, I’m off to NYC tomorrow for a couple of days of radio records and hopefully see some friends if I get a moment. And then it looks like we might be shooting another spot in the next three weeks or so and so will be gearing up for that. Big times. I’m telling you, this is the year.


Blogger minus five said...

too bad you weren't here last night. you could have met up with all of us to watch the game.

11:31 AM  

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