Sunday, June 27, 2010

David Heads to Camp Muir!

Nice work getting up to Muir, David!  You picked an awesome day to go up!
June 27, 2010

Made the climb up to Camp Muir yesterday. A great experience overall. I think I’m in good shape for the summit climb in a few weeks, but for one item of note. This was my first climb at altitude. I found that altitude and me are going to have to come to an understanding.

I was doing very well, and from what other climbers along the way were saying, I was on pace to reach Camp Muir in about four hours. But that was not to be. At about 9000 feet (from what another climber said), I really began to feel it. Some of this may have been my pacing (I am very, very bad at that, way too impatient for my own good), and another problem may have been that I was wearing my base layer bottoms, which in the warm weather was sucking the energy from me. But I still believe the main issue was the altitude.

I stopped for a break at an outcropping of rocks where a number of other climbers were stopping. I stayed longer than I should have, because I only felt more fatigued when I started out again. As I began to traverse up that last snow field below the camp, I began to seriously wonder if I was going to make it. That damned camp never seemed to get any closer. I began experimenting with rest step (which I still haven’t figured out). Looking above and below me, I could see that a number of other climbers were having a tough time of it as well, and this actually urged me on.

In the end, due to the long break and the very slow trudging up that last snow field, it took me almost 5 ½ hours to reach Camp Muir, longer than I had hoped.

I stayed there about 45 minutes before heading back down. Once I had descended a ways, I actually felt pretty good again.

Some of that feeling good may have been due to my first experience with glissading. Glissading is very, very cool. I loved it, though some of this joy may have been because of my impatient nature and my desire to get back to my car. I glissaded at every opportunity.

Being a novice at glissading (and at mountain climbing in general), a couple of things I would like to point out to anyone else who has yet to experience glissading down the mountain…

Whatever you do, take any items you may have in your backpack side pockets and safely stow them inside your pack. Especially if it is your very last bottle of water and you are still within sight of Camp Muir and have a long hike down still before you.

Also, take note of the fact that some glissade slides end in the middle of a snow field; snow very soft and very deep. In such situations, the hike back onto the main trail will require more time and effort than you saved.

Still, the descent back to Paradise took me less than two hours and I felt pretty good all the way down.

Okay… a couple of other items to anyone else (like me) doing this for the first time.

First, when applying sun screen, do not forget your ears (ouch). Next, while climbers around me were wearing shorts, I was dressed for the Himalayas. This was my second conditioning climb (the first being Mt. Rose) and I regretted wearing base layer bottoms both times. For me… never ever again. I’ll put them on after I reach Camp Muir.

And a final note, this about being in contact with family. I told my wife that if I had a signal I would call her from Paradise before I started up, though I did warn her that I may not get through. And I didn’t have a signal. Being that I am a beginner at this, she was of course concerned about my climb. While I told that the hike up to Camp Muir was like the Interstate 5 of hikes, she nonetheless had this image of me standing all alone on some snow-swept mountain top where no one would see me when I fell off a cliff. I tried several times to call her on the way up (some have said they had a signal with Verizon), but in the end couldn’t reach her until I was back down and had driven out of the park. She was worried sick.

Make alternate plans. Find a land-line phone at Paradise and call before you go up and when you get back.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Quick Update From David!

Beshears Journal Entry - June 18
I worked this week on preparing for my conditioning climb up to Camp Muir next week. I carried 40 lbs on my mountain trail hike and pushed it on the grades, and gave a little extra on the treadmill work and my stair climbs. I’ll keep at it and then back off a little for a couple of days before my little jaunt up the hill.
I’m psyched and ready to go. Wish I was going tomorrow. Let’s do this. 

David, we're looking forward to hearing about your trip to Camp Muir! Good luck and have fun out there!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lindsay Prepares for a Race!

So, this is going to be a quick blog this week.  My husband and I are in a mad panic trying to prepare for our trip to the mountains this weekend to participate in the K-100 relay race.  Although we won’t be climbing or doing any hiking it will be good to finally get out to the mountains to experience some altitude.  I’ll be running the 4th leg of the race which involves about a 200m elevation gain over 14 Km.  The weather forecast is perfect for the weekend, about 15 degrees with sun and clouds.  Aside from that my week of training went well.  I was able to get in two sessions of weights and a couple of runs including some hill interval training.  That’s it for now – I’ll keep you posted on how the race goes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Laura is on McKinley!

Whittaker Mountaineering's Retail Manager, Laura is on her way up Mount McKinley!  Her climb arrived at Camp 1 yesterday!  Stay tuned in to her climb's status and read their dispatches here!

Laura also took a SPOT tracker with her - so we can follow along as she makes progress on McKinley!  Visit our SPOT Adventures page and select the McKinley tab at the top of the Live Map... And you can follow along with several RMI climbs on Rainier too!
*Be sure to select the "Satellite" or "Terrain" feature on the Google Map!

Friday, June 11, 2010

David steps up!

Beshears Journal Entry 8 - June 11
With another conditioning hike in the near future, David kicks up his training!

June 11, 2010
I’m back on the stairs this week, and I’ve picked it up to 30 flights round trip, 3 times a day, 3 days a week. I was doing 20 flights, but I’m feeling the urge to push it, so I added more and am going at it harder. I still make sure to hit every step, both going up and coming down. I saw how I benefited from that when I made the climb up Mt. Rose. That steep descent from the summit went a lot better for having done the stairs work all these weeks.
I would do more, but I’m doing this during my breaks on the three days that I work at the office, and I can’t be away from my desk for too long…
I added more blocks to the front of my treadmill to give me more incline. I’m back on this 3 days a week as well. I carry a pack on my back and put a light dumb bell in each hand and go at it for an hour. I then move over to the Bowflex and work on that 30 to 40 minutes. Between the two machines, I get a decent workout. Felt good this week, and the regular routine has become a comfortable habit.
I bumped my stomach crunches from 75 up to a 100 count, and I got it in 5 nights this week. I wasn’t planning on going to a 100, but one night after reaching 75 I just kept going. Now I feel like if I was to only do 75 I’d be cheating.
I went out on a 2 hour hike once this week, focused a lot on that section of steep grade. I was hoping to go out twice, but couldn’t get it in. I will be going out again on Monday when my brother-in-law is visiting us. He’s a marathon runner, so I’ll take him out there with me. He hasn’t really done mountain trails, but he definitely does endurance, and I’m hoping to get some pointers from him that I can apply to my own environment. Im really looking forward to the Camp Muir conditioning climb in a couple of weeks. My first real exposure to altitude.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lidnsay preps!

Lindsay is training physically AND mentally! (and be sure to check out her recipe in the previous post! - Thanks, Lindsay!)

This week was a good training week.  I am finally feeling like my resistance training is paying off.  I’m not as sore as last week and I was able to increase my weight again.  My long run on Sunday was 12 Km and it felt really good.  I feel stronger in my core and I’m not feeling it as much today, when usually after a long run I wake up a little stiff.  Bought my new boots on Friday and can’t wait to get out to try them on some real trails.  I’ve never tried Scarpa boots before as I have always hiked in Solomon, so hopefully they work well for my feet.   My husband and I bought the rest of our gear that we needed for our climb, including helmets and another set of hiking poles.  I have to be honest that I completely look like a dork in my helmet, but I will certainly be more comfortable scrambling now that my head is protected.   Our hiking/camping trips have been planned out and I’m getting more excited for the climbs.  The only problem is I know that when I start out I am going to question why I do this.  I think when climbing a mountain you have to be physically prepared, but if you are not mentally prepared it will be that much harder to attain your goal.  I always start out climbs slow and eventually my body adjusts to the strenuous activity.  Right now, my motivation for going to the gym at 5:30 am is the fear that my body will not be prepared – that fear keeps me working hard to help my body adjust more quickly.  This includes a lot of intervals in my cardio training sessions.  I have been reading other blogs and it worries me a bit that I have not been able to get out into the mountains yet, but I keep telling myself that I’ll get there.  Half the battle is convincing myself that what I do each time I am in the gym puts me that much closer to the summit and it will get me back down!  It still seems like the climb is far away, but it is only a month and a half until August.  Better get training  :) 

Lindsay's Broccoli & Pesto Tagliatelle Recipe!

Broccoli and Pesto Tagliatelle
Serves 4-6

1 medium potato
1 head of broccoli
A large bunch of fresh basil
Sea salt
1 lb dried tagliatelle pasta
¼ cup green pesto
3 ounces parmesan cheese

-peel and cut the potato into very thin shavings using a peeler
-slice the end off the broccoli stalk and cut little broccoli florets off the head and put them to the side
-halve the thick stock lengthways, then slice thinly
-pick the basil leaves and discard the stalks
-grate the parmesan (if using a block)
-bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
-add the tagliatelle and broccoli stalks and cook according to the package instructions
-2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the florets and potato slices
-drain everything in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water, and return to the pan
-roughly chop half of the bail leaves and add to the pan with the pesto and half the parmesan
-give it all a good stir and if the sauce is too thick for you, add a splash of the cooking water to thin it out a bit
-divide the pasta
-sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and the remaining basil leaves
-serve with some salad

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monica get's down to the wire!

Moinca is headed off to Denali in one week! Here's her training for this week...

Not much to report in terms of training and preparation... Sunday I hiked heavy for 3 hours. The weight was the least of the problems. We've had a tremendous amount of rain, so it was very humid and slippery. I fell several times, and started musing on the advantages of crampons in mud. The following Saturday was too rainy and muddy, so I took it to the gym and did an hour on the Stairmaster and an hour on the treadmill, inclined 3-30 percent. I used only 60 pounds of weight, and it felt quite manageable. During the work week I did nothing physical, aside from the hour walk/run that my dog gets daily. But at this point those walks feel like a Hawaii vacation.

Other than that, just taking care of things at work so I can leave with nothing hanging over my head, paying bills in advance and grilling everyone I know who has climbed Denali. I have one more full work week, so next weeks emphasis will be on that and trying to rest as much as possible.

Friday, June 4, 2010

David's plans more conditioning...

Beshears Journal Entry 7 - June 4

David's getting after it! Despite a minor setback from blisters - David is still on track!

June 4, 2010

I worked mostly on the recumbent bike and the Bowflex this week, along with a little Yoga, and let the blisters on the back of my heels finish healing. They are looking and feeling much better, and I should be able to get out on a few two hour hikes this next week. Also next week, back onto the stairs and the treadmill.

If the weather is okay, I will probably be going on my next full day conditioning climb (this time up to Camp Muir) on June 24th (midweek, putting in leave time for that day); but I’ll also try to keep that weekend open, just in case the weather isn’t so kind. I also just heard that there is still 11 feet of snow at the trailhead. Hmmm. Think I’ll talk with RMI about conditions up there and how best to deal with it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lindsay hits the gym!

Well, the weather took a turn for the worse on the weekend. How about a snow storm to really get you motivated? There was enough snow to stay on the ground for a day or two, but June is here so hopefully it is the last time I see the white stuff until I am heading up Rainier. Watching my husband run in the Calgary Half Marathon over the weekend certainly helped get me in the mood to really hit the pavement. The winning time in the men’s half was just over 1 hour and 9 minutes. Definitely not something I will be able to accomplish, but very inspiring to keep at it. Day 2 exercises are starting to grow on me. I increased the amount of weight this week to see if this would improve how I felt about the exercises last week. The cable machine was being used so I modified my dead lifts to just using a 40 lb straight bar (3 sets, 15 reps/set). For the dirt digger exercise I used a 25 lb dumbbell weight, but I think I will be increasing this to 30 lbs next week (3 sets, 20 reps – 10/side – alternating). The assisted pull-ups I am using 60 lbs (the more weight you use, the more assistance you have) (3 sets, 12 reps/set). I’m only using 12.5 lb dumbbells while doing my lunges on a bench as this exercise really burns after running 6 Km on the treadmill (3 sets, 12 reps/leg). I used the 25 lb dumbbell for the oblique dead lifts, but I found more weight is needed to really work my obliques. As for the nutrition side, I have tried 3 new recipes, broccoli and pesto tagliatelle, chicken fajitas, and Moroccan stewed fish and shrimp over couscous. Each recipe was really easy and quick to make, plus you don’t need a lot to feel full. Very yummy if anyone gets a chance to try them.

Thanks, Lindsay! Stay tuned - hopefully we can get our hands on one of Lindsay's recipes...