David takes his training to the hills! Keep up the hard work David!
May 27, 2010
This week I finally made the climb up to the summit of Mt. Rose, near Lake Cushman. It’s about 4200 ft to the top, and it is all uphill; every step. There is no down, there is no level. It is all up.
I was told that with a light pack it should take 3 to 4 hours to make it to the top. I decided to go a little heavier, about 40lbs, and set off from the trailhead at 8:40AM. I came up on some deep snow about two thirds of the way up, much deeper than I had been told. It must have recently snowed. This slowed me down quite a bit, but I still made the summit at about 11:30. I sat through snow flurries while eating my lunch.
While the climb was fairly steep most of the way, and I did push myself, I didn’t have any problems physically. However, I did find myself a bit short of breath throughout much of the 3 hour ascent. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t speak in normal conversation (if there had been anyone to talk to), but it is still something I need to work on.
Now for the bad news… my climbing boots (not what I will be wearing on the Rainier climb) have always done me right. Not on this climb… perhaps because it was all uphill, or perhaps I had laced them up differently, or… I don’t know. But about two hours into the climb I felt blisters forming on the back of my heels. I was starting into deep snow by now, and I chose to ignore the forming blisters, planning on dealing with them once I made the summit. I had only taken two very brief breaks for a swallow of water up to that point and wanted to keep pushing. Big mistake. I should have dealt with it as soon as I felt them forming. Because I waited, they are now much worse. Sitting at the summit, I took out my first aid kit (one of the ten essentials), and treated the wounds.
The descent down the mountain was fine so far as the blisters were concerned. As it was all downhill, so the pressure was off the back of my heels. As with the ascent, I pushed hard going down. Again I was a little short of breath, but not too bad. It wasn’t until I got close to the trailhead at the bottom that I began to feel the muscles on the front of my legs, and I was glad that I had spent so much time pushing myself on the stairs (up and down). Getting back to the car, I took some time to stretch before leaving. That evening and the following day I put a little extra effort into my Yoga. Feeling fine…
Unfortunately, I have the blisters on the back of my heels to deal with. I won’t be able to do any serious work on the treadmill or the stairs for a few days, and I may push out my next conditioning climb (planning on Camp Muir next). I have been able to work on the exercise bike and the Bowflex, but I really need to get back out on the trails and push hard on the treadmill. Very frustrating, and I’m angry with myself.