Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lacelle, Laps and Ice Climbing (edited with link )

Yesterday morning was really dark for me. Another friend gone. This shit is getting really old. But we went out anyhow, and used black humor, sarcasm, anger, and physical effort to burn away some of the black cloud. I would not have gone yesterday without Guy in my head; he wouldn't even have bitched about the temperature. I tried not to. I'll write more about Guy Lacelle eventually, but not right now. The man deserves some thoughtful words and not my usual slap-the-spaghetti-on-the-wall-and-see-what sticks writing style (holy hyphen, don't think I needed all those). Here is a video about Guy's accident scene primarily from a snow-science standpoint, but very well done. Thanks to Doug and the others for doing this video.

The temperatures here in Canmore have been cold. Cars won't start, dogs refuse to leave the house, small children rebel at the quantity of clothing they have to put on to go outside kinda cold. But we've been training. The best system so far seems to be 20 minutes on, then the timer on the phone (gotta keep it in an inside pocket) goes off, switch. Everybody stays warm and gets the same climbing time.

I've been training with a horde of different people; one of the things I love about climbing is going out with a crew of people and having fun. Doing long climbs with just one person is great too, but there's something to be said for the social aspect of climbing and bullshitting summer or winter.

Today is a "reset" day. My house, garage, truck, business, and pretty much anything else I can think of or see from this table is a complete gong show. Nothing really bad, it's just that from where I sit I can see three duffels from three different trips that need unpacking, there are four ropes and three pairs of boots (all mine, crazy!) drying by the fire, and I can't count how many jackets, gloves and hats are loose, along with empty single malt bottles and RB shots. It's like a delivery truck to MEC (REI for y'all down south) crashed and was raided by tribe of feral drunk monkeys. I gotta get this scene back under control before the rest of the family comes home.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It sounded so simple...

Most of the really good ideas I've ever had in life are simple. Climbing for 24 hours seemed like a good idea, and it is simple. But in the last week I've discovered that doing anything for 24 hours is, ah, more difficult than anticipated, and ice climbing for 24 hours is a lot more difficult. In the last 24 hours I've done about 5,000 feet of ice and plice. I could have done a lot more I think, but at the end of every training session I've thought, "Gee, it's nice to be done with that."

Today it was -23 when we left the house, and I don't think it warmed up much. If I didn't have the goal for the dZi I would not have gone climbing, it's just too cold. But in one month it's game on in Ouray, and I do not want to be found lacking. So I trained, fortunately with a great crew of motivated people. But around 5:00 in the evening it was getting dark, it was cold, and I'd pretty much had enough fun. We started running laps and climbing around 12:30 (we wanted to let it warm up some, it's COLD here lately!). So, after four and half hours, I was feeling like a warm fire and a cold beer would be a great combo. In Ouray I'm going to have to go for another 19 or so hours. Not to whine, but I'm scared of what's gonna happen. Can't imagine how ice climbing is going to feel after even 12 hours...

I've done some big links of ice climbs, but a lot of the time on those links you're resting. Belaying, eating, driving, hiking, reasonably simple stuff. In Ouray it's going to be climb, lower back down, climb, repeat for 24 hours. I'll take some breaks to eat and whatever, but damn is that going to be hard! Fortunately I have some good people to help out from the dZi Foundation and around the world, but I just feel the weight of it all. This is good I think, pressure is motivational for me even when it's mainly self-produced pressure...

I've done a fair amount of "crazy" stuff in life, but this is a whole new level of personal abuse. The only thing to do is to keep training, ice the damaged parts regularly, and do my best. Yeah!