Monday, December 31, 2007

Stevil at the top of Nordhoff Peak

Stevil posing by the USGS marker on the top of Nordhoff Peak. The hike took 5:15 and was straight up hill. We have talked about it for years but never done it until this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Next Climb

The next climb has been decided. Mark and I spoke after the Baker climb and agreed on climbing Rainier next. We went back and forth on Guide companies. RMI is the classic guiding company on Rainier, but they come across factory like. They also do the skills on the mountain, but only spend one night.

We looked at Alpine Ascents also. They offer a 2:1 guide ratio, and you spend all 3 days and 2 nights on Rainier for a more expedition like experience. We decided to go forward with them.

Of course, I haven't started training yet. We are trying to find something to climb in feb or march, maybe a presidential traverse in NH, but the 20 mile trek above the tree line in NH is a little daunting. Not a definite no, but we are working on it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

My room at the us grant in san diego

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What's Next?

Great question. I had such a great time that I will definitely keep going. We are currently discussing another Mt. Washington trip this winter, and either Baker or Rainier in July.

I will keep posting because it amuses me. This is absolutely a hobby I will keep up with. As i told my wife, I am 42, so its either a trophy wife, a sports car, or climbing. And climbing gets me in shape and keeps me healthy!

So, in all seriousness, what else did I learn?

We made the right decision to turn around. The mountain went into total whiteout with huge winds. the climb would have been extremely dangerous had we continued.

We also met a climber who started from the trail head the same day he planned to summit by a ridiculously hard route by himself and underdressed. Stupid decision bud!

So, I learned what to do, and what not to do.

Day 2, the end

so we were going to camp for one more night while all the wusses on the mountain left. By 3:15 pm, when the wind was about to rip my tent off the moutain side with me in it, we decided to make our second smart decision and hike out.

Angela had to close the toilet for the season for the ranger (and his friend Ant). GROSS!!!!! At least she had plastic gloves.

It rained and snowed on us the entire time we packed out. We ran into a unibomber and a boy and a girl hiking. It made no sense to hike, so we decided the unibomber guy was out to kill people and the boy was going to propose to the girl. Big Huge WHATEVER!

New Phrases I am Hoping to Introduce into the Climbing Lexicon

  1. Grandma's Overlook
    1. an easy to get to overlook
  2. Road Crevasses
    1. Potholes on roads
  3. Holing Out
    1. Stepping into a crevasse on a glacier.

How to put them all together?

"Dude, I totally holed out on a road crevasse by grandma's overlook"

One rule when combining them, you MUST use at least one "DUDE"

Things I learned on my trip

  • When winter camping, you spend a lot of alone time in your tent
  • You want the rope to make a smiley face between you and your rope partner
  • Water does NOT boil quickly
  • There are mice on the mountains in the Northern Cascades
  • Prussiks are for rescue -- use friction hitch to attach to rope
  • I love high altitude outdoor toilets
  • Do NOT pee in running water sources
  • I don't love wind that blows snow in your face
  • Climbing is all about you, not about anyone else.

Mt. Baker Climb - Day 2

So, day 2, summit attempt day. The alarm went off at 3:15 am with the goal of being out by 4. It was pretty easy to get up, as it was FREEZING!!!!! I made some pitas with cheese (which I found in my pack 2 days later), ate some watery oatmeal for the first time in my life, drank some black coffee, used the AMAZING toilet with a view. I borrowed the stove for some coffee, and melted plastic from my new pot all over the fire holes. Can you say moron? By the time Angela sawed off the hard plastic shell now sitting on the stove, we headed out.

We hiked up to where we would crampon up. The only light was our headlamps. It was amazingly cool and beautiful to be walking on a huge glacier in the dark. We kept going forever, but I was having a blast. The foot of fresh powder was a killer, but I loved it anyway. We crossed snow bridges over crevasses, and walked around quite a few huge holes in the ground. I did pretty well keeping up with Angela's pace and only taking a few mini stops. (I had to keep up, I was roped in).

We got to about 9500 feet, and the team in front of us said they were going back down. We turned around and saw why. White clouds covered the mountain side and the trails we just made. We went a little further and decided attempting to summit wouldn't be smart so we turned around. Getting down was tough. The winds were very strong and covered the trail we had just followed. The snow was filling in the crevasses, and I actually "holed out" 3 times on the way down.

I was slightly dissappointed not to have summited,but I had an incredible time and learned a ton. My favorite quote about climbing is from Ed Viesturs, "Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." Looking up as we descended, the upper mountain was covered in clouds and we could see the high winds swirling.

All in all, I loved it. I learned a ton about climbing and glaciers, and experienced making good decisions. Angela was awesome. I will definitely be back to get to the top at some time.

Mt. Baker - A Toilet with a View

So, as an aside. The campsite had toilets which were basically a box with a toilet seat out in the open. The views were fantastic! I would have to say to experience a toilet at 6000 feet with a view of the lights of Vancouver is as close to God as I might ever imagine being!

Mt. Baker Climbing Trip Day 1

So, today was Friday, 9/28, the first day of my adventure. I had to be at AAI at 7, so I woke up at 5:10 to make sure I was packed and to eat. In honor of Mike Bauer, I went to Denny's and had a huge omelette, taters and toast to bulk up for the climb. It was gross but great! While eating, I enjoyed reading how the Mets were completely choking.

I got to AAI and met Angela my guide. She was great, extremely nice and knowledgeable. There was another group of two guys and a guide too, and both of them had good climbing experience. Angela and I stopped for burritos and headed off on the drive to Baker. It poured the entire drive until we hit the trail head, where there was a blizzard! Who knew, snow in September!!!!

The hike in was beautiful. Tall old trees, creeks and waterfalls everywhere. We made great time and got to camp around lunchtime. We couldn't see the summit the entire day because of the weather. We camped at 6000 feet at Hogsback and worked on some skills, specifically roping, crampons, ice axes. We decided to try and summit on saturday as the weather for sunday was forecast to be horrible.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast pre climb

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Day One and All is Wet

So, I finally got to Seattle today. Easy flight on JetBlue. I had a great close up view of Rainier on the way in, and could actually see it from the ground too which I took as a good omen.

Got my car and started driving north. A few calls and a trader joe's stop later, I hit Bellingham. Stopped at TJ's for all the snacks, lunch type food, instant coffee and oatmeal. The hotel is fine as you can see from the photos. Not a Starwood property, but ok nonetheless!

Ran out to REI to buy some freeze dried foods for dinners including veggie curry, pad thai and chili, all vegetarian of course. Who wants freeze dried meat? YUCK.

Got back to my room and repacked my stuff and all of the food. It went pretty well, perfectly in time for me to unpack and repack everything tomorrow when I meet the guide.

I have to be at AAI at 7, and have to have eaten before I get there. Can't wait to eat gross food at 6 am! Oh well, this might be my last post until Sunday night or monday. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2 Days Until Departure

I am down to the wire and not blogging nearly as often as I should be. So, I leave Thursday morning from JFK to Seattle. Work has been very stressful lately, so I am happy to be jetting off to the remote wilderness where email and cell phones don't exist!

A lot has happened. My partner got sick, got a fever, felt he wasn't in shape, and backed out yesterday morning. So of course, I get panicked. Can I still go? Will the guide co cancel on me? I sent them a scared email last night, and got a reply today.

I can go with my guide, like a private mountain climbing lesson for 3 days, or I can join a group of 2 others. What are they like I asked? They have both climbed Rainier, one is going to climb in Bolivia, they have both taken 6 day courses and have prepped for Denali. Guess which one I opted for? Right, the one on one with the guide. I am realizing that this one is as much about my confiidence level as it is about the climb. Next time, I will go with the more experienced guys.

Any who, I will try and blog from out west with my cell, not sure if it will happen. I am very excited about this and very nervous at the same time. Will I summit? Will I sleep at all? Will I be able to eat? Will I crack my teeth on frozen Cliff bars?

I am trying to be Zen, enjoy the adventure for the adventures sake. It will be one of the most adventurous things I have ever done.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

3 Weeks and 1 Day

I am now 3 weeks away from my trip. My plan is to travel to seattle and buy tons of food when I get there.

My training has been interesting. 2 hour hikes on the weekend with my 40 lb. Gregory Baltoro pack. 20 of the pounds coming from dumbbells. NOT FUN!!! but good training nonetheless. During the week I am using machines, treadmills and stairmasters while wearing the 45 lbs. Its interesting to wonder what the weight limits are. I am probably around 190, but with pack I am around 235. Is that legal? will that kill the machine?

Almost all of the equipment is now rented or purchased aside from a compressable down jacket. Any thoughts on a make and model?

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The summer has been an interesting one. The family went away for three weeks to visit the inlaws in Ojai CA and I joined for the last week. You know what? I worked more! Not anything else that exciting. I saw Harry Potter (good) and Transformers (awesome). By the second week though, I missed the fam. I found myself working, and when not working, looking around the silent empty house and thinking, "what now?"

So, I went hiking. I bought a new 4300 cubic inch pack, a Gregory Baltoro from EMS (I had a gift certificate). I packed it with all of my climbing stuff, added a 10 pound weight and the occassional full CamelBack, and started hiking all of the hills I could find. Routinely, I am now hiking 1-2 hours with at least a 30 pound pack. I wish I could find more elevation, but I live in CT. Not horrible, but no 4,000 mountains either.

My new promise to myself is that any indoor exercize, including stairmaster and treadmill, I now do wearing 30 pounds on my back.

Other thoughts? Very excited about the football season, go CHARGERS!!!! Very excited about what the Yankees are doing, GO YANKEES!!!!!! and having a lot of fun with the family.

Ta Ta

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I am about 2.5 months away from my big Mt. Baker climb and my training is going well. I live in a hilly area and try to do trail runs/hikes 2-3 times during the work week and at least both weekend days. I live in Ridgefield CT and there is a 360 acre reserve that connects to other reserves a mile from my house. There are lots of ups and downs, and plenty of rocks and tree routes to climb over.

Two other things. I bought a camelback hydration reservoir and I love it! I can keep going and keep hydrated on the go.

My training is also including weighted packs, as now on my weekend hikes I am carrying a back pack with a 10 pound weight and a full camel back coming in at around 20 pounds. So far so good, my back is fine. My knees are aching a little so I am trying not to run with the pack.

The family is out of town now so I can train when I want to for as long as I want too.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Getting There

So, I think I have mentioned before that I work in Interactive and Call Center Marketing for Starwood Hotels. This week, I was at the Phoenician (Beautiful, and not saying that as a company man) and the shower was incredible! Thats not really on topic, but you have to like huge drenching showers in the middle of a 120 degree desert.

So, it was the usual bevy of blah blah, but the night time activities and the social pieces were great. But, you ask, being that this is a blog about my middle age crisis and dream of becoming the next Edmund Hilary, what does Phoenix have to do with anything????

Luckily, the Phoenician (with the great showers) abuts (now there's a word that should be used more often) CamelBack Mountain, a 2500 foot mountain in scottsdale az. So, being that I am in training for the September Baker adventure, I thought to myself "self, there is a mountain in walking distance just daring me to climb it". So I did. The first time was the warm up, the "get a feel for it" hike. But day 2, with a climbing interactive marketing partner, we summitted. Its an awesome hike. Trail for a while, but a lot of scrambling to get to the top. Very good feeling when you hit the top, until you hear the story about the 70 year old who does it 3 times every day!!!!

The best part, we didn't see one rattlesnake!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

So, now what do I do?

Since I finally have a climb set, I now have to start getting ready for it. What do I do? First things first, I need to obsess about looking at gear and ways that I can spend even more money. I found a gear exchange which is great,

I bought a book on Amazon to tell me how to get into shape, and I have started hiking, running and trail running. I figure I have 3.5 solid months to get into shape, so I'd better make the best of it.

A Big Mis-Blogging!

First of all, for the 3 people that have ever read this blog, I apologize. We wanted to climb Rainier, but alas, International Mountain Guides would only let me climb with them if my wife signed the waiver. Here's how that conversation went:

" Honey, I really want to climb Rainier with them. Will you sign the waiver form too so I can go?"

"let me get this straight, if you go and die, and I sign, I can't sue? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA"

That was almost verbatim! So, I was SOL. I found a new company, American Alpine Institute, through which I signed up for a private 3 day climb of Mt Baker at the end of September with my partner Mark. FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trying to find a climb in September has been as exhausting as the climb will be!

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Tallies are In

The die is cast. After months of waffling, the decision has been made to scale Mt. Rainier at the beginning of the low season on September 27th. We are going with International Mountain Guides which is owned by famous climbers Eric Simonson (who emailed back and forth with me - how cool is that?) the Erschlers and others.

I am so excited about it. My shoulder is recovering, and I am starting to eat better and beginning to think seriously about exercising (thats the first step). I am thinking that exercising is a good thing to do before climbing a 14,410 foot mountain.

Of course, I have ordered a DVD of climbs on Rainier and a book by Eric Simonson.

One obstacle remains: MY WIFE!!!! She is supportive of my doing the climb, but she is required by IMG to cosign my waiver. Her reaction? "why do I want to sign something that says if YOU die I can't sue?" Tough to argue, but I will nonetheless.

Stay Tuned!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

And the winner is

So, thanks to the 4 people (you too mom!) who voted on the next mountain for me to climb. The winner, is Mt. Rainier. Alpine Ascents, who one of the commenters on this blog recommended, has a trip in September which is perfect. I am having my shoulder surgery this thursday, which will give me 3 and 1/2 months to recover and get into shape. I am in decent shape, but not Mt. Rainier shape.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring Break

So, last week was spring break, hence my no blogging. But, I AM BACK!!!! Good news on the injury front. The Right knee is sore, but getting better.

My Shoulder, however, not so good. My right shoulder has some tears in the laborum, some minor arthritis, and some other injury. My Dr is putting me on a limited course of PT, and then we might have to head towards Arthroscopic and 2-4 months before back to full strength.

So what does that mean for my climbing career? It means I will have to climb later in the season. Still working on Mt. Baker, but I now found out that Alpine Ascents has a September climb of Rainier. I really wanted to go with RMI since they are legendary, but, the September date might be calling me home.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I feel so sad

I feel so sad about what has happened to Imus. Talk about injustice. Fire a guy who raises $ for kids with cancer, army vets, autism and SIDS because he said something stupid, that he owns up to and apologized for.

What is this world coming too?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Sissy-fication of America

While I usually post on non controversial topics, I just HAVE to weigh in on the Imus thing. When did the US of A become soo sensitive that any comment is cause for a major press story?

Imus is a great person. He brought Autism to the forefront of public and congressional consciousness, helps kids with Cancer and does a lot for SIDS. This is a guy that should get fired for a mistake? He apologized personally to the people he offended. Does Dave Chappelle or others do that?

I DONT THINK SO!!!! As the phrase goes, COWBOY THE FUCK UP PEOPLE!!!!!

I just can't deal.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Last Post for the Night

ok, so, my big Greek blogging dilemma. I am an aspiring mountain climber as is obvious from my blog. I also play ice hockey, have a pilots license, have an incredible family, and a job on the leading edge of brand interactivity.

How do I discuss all of these things without losing my loyal audience? I know, I don't have a loyal audience. but, I have had 127 people come here since I started the blog. I am working on it. Not sure yet how to integrate all of my life's passions!

Getting into shape

So far, my getting into shape regimen includes 40 minutes, 4-5 times a week, of working out on a stairmaster or walking the maximum incline on a treadmill. The other day or two, I am playing D level ice hockey for the Brewster Ice Arena Yellow Jackets. GO JACKETS!!!!

My wife is scared that I am overdoing the exersize, but I am enjoying it and realizing that I have to be in MUCH better shape than I was for Mt. Washington, or I will be risking a lot more than my pride!

So away I go on a work out effort. The road is long, but, he ain't heavy, he's my brother. I am DRIVEN!!!

Where to, Where to?

So, the longer I research next potential climbs, the more potential locations I find. Today, I was looking at REI's site, (, for expedition packs, and came across their adventure travel section. They offer climbing trips in the US to Mt. Washington (done it) and Mt. Shasta.

Now Mt. Shasta is interesting. Its over 14,000 feet, but the closest airport is REDDING, CA, 60 miles away. I am sure there are many direct flights from the NY area to REDDING, CA. NOT!!!!!! (yes, I still enjoy the NOT jokes).

So, judging from the poll results on the blog (I think the only voters are me and my mom, because I told her too) and proximity to a major airport, Mt. Baker is still in the lead. My big question now, is "am I flying solo, or going with my Mt. Washington partner? Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Looks Like it Might Be Mt. Baker

So, media conferences aside, where do I/we go next. After much research, and the unfortunate news of the RMI Rainier sellout, I found Alpine Ascents. They have a cool site and guide all over the world. They have slide shows, cybercasts, and a whole lot of information.

I was looking for a moderate climb, since Rainier wasn't available, and I think I have settled on Mt. Baker. At 10,781 ft., its smaller than Rainier but offers the real climbing experience. 65lb packs, camping on the mountain for two nights, early morning ascents, skills training etc.

The big open question is who's going. I am definitely in. My partner just started a new work gig and is far from committed to the climb. Brothers-in-law? Friends? Husbands of friends? All are welcome, who will climb?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

MAMC - iMedia Edition

I am at iMedia Breakthrough 07 this week. I guess its time that I explain what I do. I work with a team that manages the Starwood brands across interactive marketing, web site development and call center strategy.

iMedia is a conference that brings together clients, agencies and sellers. The sessions leave something to be desired, but the real value is in the networking. Today, for an hour and a half, we had a "speed dating" session where the brands sat at a table, and the sellers had 60 seconds to explain what they do before rotating on to the next brand. I met a ton of people. Tonight, Bob Garfield, of Ad Age spoke. Talk about arrogant! We were not nearly as impressed with him as he was!

Friday, March 23, 2007

So, Whats next?

Not really sure. I called RMI Guides ( and they told me, much to my dismay, that all Rainier trips are booked for this year. So, what to do, what to do. Do we climb with someone else? NO! You can't climb Rainier without RMI, the best known guiding company in the USA, and perhaps the world.

So we research. Mt. Baker, Grand Teton, Mt Whitney, who knows. We are working through it right now. By early next week, we should have a plan.

Then, getting into shape really has to kick in to high gear. Maybe Core Performance program.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My Hardest Climb to Date

So, where have I been? Coming off of Mt Washington, I developed a slight chest cold. We went to Ojai for a week, where I overdid it on a hike. The night we got home, I came down with the Flu. The sickest that I have ever been in my life. Alternating uncontrollable chills and high fevers, a cough that made me pull muscles and felt like I cracked a rib, nausea, well, you get the picture. Completely miserable.

So miserable, that I couldn't read a climbing magazine, or look at pictures of myself from Mt Washington. I even considered ending my climbing career.

BUT, no longer. I am almost back and we are in discussions for Rainier. One thing I know is that I won't be going if I am not in shape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In N Out - The perfect Training Meal

Does it get any better than In N Out? There is nothing like a double double animal style to get the juices flowing with expectations of great climbs!

After that, it was off to Real Cheap Sports in Ventura CA to buy some trail running (training) shoes and a day pack.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

When your heart says yes but your body says no

So, today was to be the summit attempt on Nordhoff peak, towering 5,400 feet over Ojai CA. George, my brother in law and I were all geared up for the summit attempt. However, no one asked for my right knees buy in to the plan. So alas, my knee, who needs a nickname, put a KIBOSH on the plan, so here I sit scaling the heights of the blogosphere as opposed to scaling the heights of Ojai.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ojai and Training

So this week I am in Ojai Ca on vacation at the in laws. Its a beautiful spot with great hiking and elevation changes. Being that we are getting ready to commit to Rainier, I am hiking as much as I can. We tried to get up to Nordhoff peak yesterday, the peak in the photo. We had to turn around after a few hours for fear of risk of spousal unhappiness, but we will be shooting for our second summit attempt later this week.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The summit!!! Woo Woo!

The summit!!! Woo Woo!
Originally uploaded by jburtrosen.

OK, just to prove that we actually did it, here is a photo of us at the summit!

Have a great week next week, I won't be near a computer!!!! WOO WOO

Day 5 and Feeling Alive!

5 days post climb. I am feeling much better, aside from the collection of fluid in my lungs (just kidding honey).

My knee is healing and I don't feel like a 90 year old anymore. In fact, I am now all about Rainier this summer.

I am about to leave for a week at the in-laws in Ojai Ca where I intend to begin my training in earnest for Rainier by hiking straight uphill as often as possible.

In the mean time, happy presidents day!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day 4 and Still Sore!!!!

Thursday afternoon, 4 days after the climb, and I am basically back to myself except for my left upper arm, and my right knee, my two chronic areas.

Let me tell you, although tough, freezing and gear extensive, the climb was great! Talk about a feeling of accomplishment!

I have almost forgotten enough of the unpleasant parts so that I can discuss Rainier. Of course, to do Rainier, I will have to lose weight and get into shape. What can you do!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Sincere Apologies to the Gods of Mt Washington

tim at break on washington
Originally uploaded by jburtrosen.

So, Sunday, get to EMS at 7 am for the big summit attempt. SEE THE VIDEO BELOW. This was hands down the hardest thing that I have ever done physically. 4.2 miles straight up to an elevation of 6,288.

Hiking through the bottom half, I was so sweaty (gross) that I ended up wearing only 3 layers of long underwear. Gear up near the tree line with Crampons and axe, climb nearly vertical snow (with ledges wide enough for one foot) until we are out of tree line. FREEZING AND WINDY!!! I couple of breaks behind rocks, but very exposed. Finally, after 4 hours, we make it to the summit. Woo Woo you say? Not even close. Try 3 hours back down. Thank god my knees can't think, or I would still be up there!

5 hour drive back home with chips, mcdonalds, chocolate covered peanuts, gatorade, diet coke and a S--T load of water.

Whats next? RAINIER BABY!!! Bring it on!!!!!

The Adventure Begins - Day 1

Mark and Tim at the Flume
Originally uploaded by jburtrosen.

So, friday night comes. I hop over to Enterprise where I rent my 4 wheel drive jeep liberty (unlimited miles -- of course!) and drive over 5 hours to North Conway New Hampshire. The White Mountain Hotel is fine, nothing too fancy.

We head on over to EMS on Saturday, get outfitted for boots, crampons, ice axes and climbing harnesses, then head to an area called the flume to learn how to climb sheer ice cliffs. Work is stressful lately. We rope up and climb ice falls for most of the day, 1/2 mile of climbing in total.

This is not easy, let me tell you. "trust your crampons" and "ass over your ankles" is all I hear as I spend the day trying to run up sheer ice.

Dinner at Moats. Great Porter, amazing BBQ Brisket Nachos and a good peppercorn burger.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Wife

So, before I even start blogging about this past weekend, I have to thank my wife. She is so incredibly supportive of this idiotic obsession of mine, to the point of encouraging me to go! She didn't only humor me, she actually pushed me! WHAT A WIFE!!!! I am so happy I told her about the 139 fatalities AFTER the climb. But seriously, my wife is the best. A great supporter, wife and mom. I summitted for you honey!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Let's Go A Climbin

So, two days to the adventure of the year. 5.5 hour drive from CT to North Conway NH on Friday night. Can you say car snacks and junk food?

Saturday is all about an introduction to mountaineering course including all facets of basic winter mountaineering. Ice Axes, Crampons and tons of other gear for me to buy one day!

Sunday, is a winter ascent of Mt. Washington, the highest mountain in New England at over 6,000 feet high. After we summit, and come down, its a 5.5 hour drive home. Woo Hoo! Can I get a whoop whoop?

If you are interested in reading about the climbing, check out the page at and look at the Two Day Mountaineering description that includes the wintertime ascent of Mt. Washington.

Wish us luck, and watch for the video of us planting the american flag at the summit!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

GameStop is No Longer My Favorite Store

So, GameStop in Danbury used to be my favorite. Being 41, I loved to go in and talk video games with the 12 year olds that worked there. But...

Now, The Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton is my new favorite. They knew everything about climbing and what I needed. John, who helped me, was about to go Ice Climbing this weekend.

So, instead of video games with a 12 year old, it was mountains with a 20 something. Dave Barry said it best "You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever".

6 Days til the mountain!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The First Summit Via the Family Room Route

So, today marks the first successful summit attempt of the family room treadmill. Set on #12 incline (the highest possible)at # 3 speed for an hour, with a 20 pound pack on my back, I was able to summit quickly (until I knocked the power off by accident, DOH!!!!)

I also completed the supply acquisition for next weeks trek and quest for the Mt Washington gift shop route. Goggles, gloves, mittens... are all now ready for the yak caravan.

Oh, and I kicked Eddie's butt in Madden 07 (he is 8). We played Colts Vs Bears in Miami in a SB XLI preview. Bears won, 27 - 10. Bet it all!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Does anyone know David Breashears?

We need someone to chronicle the adventure of Mt Washington. I am aiming for the first ever ascent of the gift shop route. I would love Breashears to film in IMAX, but that might not be possible. I still have to work on getting a network to pick up the event.

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.