Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Whew! I'm Back

I am back, after an incredible time in Ecuador. I am being lazy so give me a bit of time to update the blog. Suffice it to say, Ecuador was AWESOME!!!!!

Be back soon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

In Portland for Interviews, Perfect Place to Supplement Gear

I have been in Portland OR this week interviewing for a potential job that I am excited about. Of course, as my life is never easy, my Portland trip is one week away from my Ecuador trip. Until yesterday, I was prepping for the interviews. But those are over now and went well (I think) so today I turn my entire focus towards some big F'ing volcanoes in Ecuador.

Worked out, and am now going to start doing a gear check. The good news, is Portland is an outdoor paradise with plenty of places to go to fill in the missing pieces of gear. Today looks like I will buy a camera, gloves, more socks and liners, and some super feet insoles for my boots. I have been having some achilles issues lately (self diagnosed Achilles Tendonitis) so I am looking for all the support possible and SuperFeet insoles are supposed to be great. Might also look at a new, lighter headlamp.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

All Geared Up and Pretty Ready to Go

Building on the last post, finally getting close to fully geared up. I think I might still need some socks and sock liners, but pretty covered otherwise. Mark is dealing with the Meds which is great. I ended up getting the pair of boots in the photo with one bad D Ring for $40! They retail new for $320!!! Love doing this on the cheap. If you ever want to save money buy buying used equipment, the best time to do it is before you guy on life threatening expeditions. Just kidding Mom!

The one thing I still need to figure out is photography. My goal is to streamline devices this time and only take one camera that does both video and stills.

My training has been good but I will never believe that I am ready until I am done climbing. A lot of gym time, using stair steppers and ellipticals on the highest resistance, and hiking up hills with a 50 pound pack. I have a sore achilles tendon, which I have self diagnosed as Achilles Tendonitis, and bought support for that and my right knee to hopefully minimize pain. I leave in a week and a half and am very excited.

First, though, off to Portland for a job interview. My potential boss's office has a direct view of Mt. Hood. Is that a sign or what?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Not Posting That Much Doesn't Mean That I Don't Care

I haven't posted in about a month but a lot has been going on. I am still interviewing but feeling good about my prospects and hopefully getting close to something. I have been traveling semi-often to meet with the companies that I am speaking to.

But, the most exciting news is that Ecuador is 16 days away from today!!!! I am so excited. Today was gear day. I set up to rent some stuff (crampons, helmet, harness) and bought a bunch of used gear on which I got great pricing. For $270 I got mountaineering boots (Scarpa Invernos), Ice Axe, GoreTex shell (Mountain Hardwear Typhoon) and a self inflating sleeping pad (Mammut Light). All great stuff in great condition. And the beauty is, most of the prices were within $10 of the rental fee, so I got some great buys! I will continue to update as I get closer.

Ecuador here we come!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two Weeks and Counting

With two weeks to go until the commitment date I am doing what I can to get into shape. Although not a lot of huge mountains in NY, there are a number of huge SIMULATED mountains at New York Sports Clubs! I am routinely working on Ellipticals, Stair Steppers (the treadmill of stairs) and found another interesting machine yesterday that will soon be added to the repertoire. In addition, Sam the trainer, who never shows and always cancels, is helping me work on my core, my stamina, and overall strength.

In addition to NYSC, I am hiking when I can with my pack on. I found a hiking trail thats bisected by a telephone pole "road" which basically goes straight up and straight down the side of a decent sized hill. Its a butt killer. But working towards Ecuador!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I'm Back Baby

I have been off the climbing grid for a while, but it certainly hasn't been off of my mind. When I was laid off in December, one of my first thoughts was, "cool, now I can climb". The problem is that one can't decide to go climb and be climbing the next day. One must be in climbing shape first.

So, fast forward 4 months. I have made some significant headway on the job front and have some solid prospects. In addition to looking for work, I have been getting in to shape. Because I feel that if I don't, this time off was really a waste. I have been going to the gym a lot, working with a trainer, and found some killer vertical hiking in the area and wear my 40 pound pack when I do it. I am definitely now in better shape.

So, the trip to Ecuador that we have been eyeing ( is quickly approaching with a departure date of 6/20. The helpful people there have told me I would have to commit by 5/20. So, the combination of me being in shape, and 5/20 being 3 weeks away, and a job probably a month or two away, lead me to the exciting conclusion that I might go climb some volcanoes in Ecuador. And with training, come blog posts. So, look for my blogging activities to be stepped up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

What to do, What to do

I am very indecisive lately. We are still thinking about Ecuador and looking at a trip with Alpine Ascents in June. I am a little worried that if we plan it, it might be at risk due to the slight possibility of finding a job. I am in the interview process with one company that I am hoping works out. If it does it might crimp June. If It doesn't, I think I can commit.

Also, if it doesn't work out, I warned my wife that it might be time for another day climb of Mt Washington!

Sorry for the dull post.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Local or Big? The Guide Discussion

As I previously wrote, I am thinking about going to climb some volcanoes in Ecuador while in the midst of my job hunt. The first thought is to make Cotopaxi the big climb, but who knows. Depends on who goes, partners, timing, etc.

So here is the question: Do people use local guides or american guide services? Should I go with Alpine Ascents, who is first class, and pay for it, or go with a guide local to Ecuador who was referred to me by a friend of a friend that has climbed Cotopaxi twice? They both have plusses and minuses. Alpine Ascents is top notch, but you pay for it. Also, do I need to pay them for a tour of Quito and all the other non climbing stuff? And the local guide is much cheaper, but he is local. Could he provide much of the same service as AA?

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.