Well, my final week of sabbatical was pretty lazy and oh so enjoyable. My house and car got cleaned, but other than picking things up and giving somebody money, I didn't have anything to do with those. I learned more about belaying and rock climbing at the gym. Other than a few ordinary workouts, my big athletic feats were the Splash & Dash on Tuesday, and a roughly 100-kilometer ride Sunday organized in honor of the last day of the Tour de France.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
On Monday, July 11, I set out from Pinedale, Wyoming on a 4-day trek to Gannett Peak, the highest mountain in the state, which peaks at 13,809 feet above sea level, and is part of the Wind River range. Due mainly to the slog of a 16-mile approach just to get into place for summit day, I think it was physically the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm quite pleased to be able to say that I was successful, even more so that I did it solo, with no support other than following other parties the whole way. I don't think that summit day was that much harder than Rainier was, but including having to cross Bonney Pass both ways, and sections at are steeper than Rainier, it was at least a little harder. However, thanks to better physical conditioning and better altitude acclimatization (I don't think I was below 5,000 feet elevation in the week before this climb), I felt better than I did when I climbed Rainier two years ago. [Note: day 1 and 2 reports were written those evenings, days 3 and 4 were written after returning home]
Monday, July 11, 2011
After a couple days of rest with my aunt and uncle in Bozeman, I drove to Idaho by way of Helena in order to attempt to climb Borah Peak (curiously also referred to at Mt. Borah), Idaho's highest point on July 9. After the most technically difficult I've done solo so far, I was proud to have bagged another state highpoint. But, as the saying goes, the top is only halfway, and I still had a challenging climb back down to my car.
Friday, July 8, 2011
On Sunday, July 3, I set out with guide Kenny and fellow client Pete in an attempt to climb Granite Peak, Montana's highest point. We were the guide service's first trip of the year, and if we had been successful, we would have likely been among the first people to summit this season. Unfortunately we didn't even make it onto Granite Peak proper due largely to Pete's difficulty carrying the heavy load of gear necessary for the climb this time of year. We did, however, reach the summit of 11,755 foot summit of Froze to Death Mountain.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
After approximately 36 hours in Austin following my New York trip, I set off Thursday, June 30, for the next phase of my sabbatical. The main time constraint was that I had to be in Cody, WY on July 2 for some climbing training prior to the start of the actual Granite Peak climb on the 3rd. Since the direct route would have gotten me into Cody slightly earlier than necessary, I decided to make the route a bit more circuitous and tour a few State Capitols that I had previously only breezed by, stopping long enough for a picture with my bike.