Wednesday, January 31, 2007

There are no Sherpas in New Hampshire

So, what do I know about mountain climbing? My resume, although varied, is light. I have climbed rocks in Joshua Tree and the Gunks in upstate NY. I love adventure activities and have a pilots license, an advanced open water SCUBA license, play hockey and love to ski.

So what does any of that have to do with climbing? Nothing of course!

Wish us luck.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Glacier Landing?

Glacier landing?

No, this isn't the plane that we will use to haul our sled dogs when we ascend Mt Washington. Its the Piper Cub that I flew today for the first time! 3 Grass landing strips, it was quite fun!

Training...the importance of dogfood

Mt. Washington is two weeks away and I am a flabby tub of goo.

Yesterday, I attempted physical fitness shock therapy by taking myself on a 10 mile hike while carrying a forty pound pack. As I prepped for my hike, I put on all the layers the EMS guides recommended and then, with movement restricted like a toddler in a snow suit, realized that I had to find forty pounds of household stuff to stick in the pack. After finding that carrying my Craftsman socket wrench set was a wee bit uncomfortable, I noticed our dog Abby staring at me as the Bergelene undies started to make me sweat like crazy. Abby gave me the idea that will result in my either gettting to the top of Mt Washington or eaten by ravenous dogs. To make the forty pound weight, I filled my pack with dry dog food.

As I walked around the Waterfall Glen Forest Perserve toting my duck and potato poundage, I could swear that I was being followed by a salivating mix of deer, stray dogs and the odd coyote. It made the hike kind of spooky as the sun went down.

I survived though and felt accomplished as I completed the circuit and climbed into the warm minivan awaiting me. Today however, I am walking around like an 80-year-old in need of a hip replacement.

Next time I am going to train with a pack filled with 40 pounds of Ibuprofen.

Onward and upward...


I wasn't kidding about the underwear!

My first real pack, designed to hold everything I will need. Food, 18,000 varieties of long underwear, crampons, ice axes and the most important item, my IBUPROFEN (or vitamin I as my brother in law George calls it)!

What the hell is a balaclava anyway!

there are a few things I am learning. One, you need more than one balaclave (isn't that a desert?).

I never knew there were so many types of long underwear.

Gators are crucial.

Not everyone at EMS knows what they are talking about.

What the hell is a winter glove system?

On Our Way

So, the first MASSIVE undertaking is a two day trek to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, home of the worlds worst weather.

After months of agonizing, we finally got off our asses and committed to our first "climb". Its a two day affair. Day one is a climbing school for ice climbing and moutaineering, with the second day a summit of Mt Washington, the tallest mountain in the North East. The best part? The gift shop on the summit. Did you know you can drive to the top, or take a train? But no, idiots that the middle aged mountain climbers are, we will climb it, most likely in sub zero temperatures with wind chills of up to 30 below (farenheit). And by the way, I have no idea who these people are! Thank god for the Creative Commons license!!!!!

Who'd've thunk it

So, two middle age men walk onto a mountain...

Who'd have thought that the crazy ramblings of two interactive guys, who both started with NBC years ago (almost 20 to be exact), would start to materialize just in time for middle age and mid-life crises.

What started with the plan to fly across Canada in a single engine airplane, has morphed into a short term plan to climb Mt Washington (home of the worlds worst weather) in the dead of winter, with plans to do Mt Rainier this summer and then who knows?

This is the blog that will capture the hopefully non-pathetic aspirations of one Burt Rosen, and one Mark Dillon, our two intrepid heroes.

Mt Washington is two weeks from now. Keep your fingers crossed!

Climbing Mt. Baker

Slideshow of Mt Washington Climb

Recording about the Mt. Washington and New Hampshire Trip - 2/11/07

6 Minutes of Video of the Mt Washington Climb 2-11-07

This is long but will give you a feeling for the climb on Sunday.