Tuesday, July 26, 2016

You're amazing, just the way you are

Not much has changed since my last post.  We spent the past 3 weeks in the White Mountains rock climbing, backpacking and recovering from both.  I have zero photos from our rock climbing expeditions.  I didn't think about it at all and as I've said previously it's generally not safe anyhow.  I've started to do some lead climbing which is fun and scary.  I have learned how to do about 4 types of anchors which will come in handy when we do multi-pitch climbs and switch who's the lead climber for each pitch (i.e. I'll climb the first pitch, set anchor, he'll climb up to me, then keep going along the next pitch, set anchor and I'll climb up to him.)  I do have photos of us, mountains and views...

First is a Panoramic shot near the summit of North Twin Mountain

Next is a set of photos from doing Zealand Mt...

 My cutie pie

 Playing with a compass, figuring out which mountains we were looking at

 Butterfly friend!

This is the view at the summit.  No joke.

We stayed at one campsite for 2 weeks and I think the animals got used to us.  We saw a porcupine which was neat, sorry no photos.  We also got a visit from a moose.  It came up really close to our site, maybe 10 feet away from us.  I got a shot but it was about 6am and by the time I got my phone out it was already walking away.  So here's a photo of a moose butt...

One of the days Matthew decided to do the Presidential Traverse.  It's about a 24 mile hike.  Unfortunately my foot was hurting that day and I didn't think it would be a good idea to join him (nor did I feel I could keep up that whole time!).  Instead I took it easy and did a 9 mile day to summit Mt. Washington.  Here are my photos from that day...
 Lakes of the clouds

 Friendly warning, Mt Washington can have very quick shifts in weather
 That's the summit as I was walking back down.  Once I made it up there I didn't take a photo because I was put off by all the tourism.  There's a parking area, a restaurant, a line to take a photo next the the sign that says Mt Washington and just a ton of people.  I ate my lunch quickly and got moving again.
 This is looking the other direction, heading back down to the lakes of the clouds
Took this to show how steep some of this hike was, it was tough but super fun and beautiful 

A happy, exhausted and very burnt boyfriend

After his long day hike we took a day off... well he did.  I climbed and he belayed me.  The day after that we started on a 4 day backpacking trip in the Pemigewasset wilderness.  With my foot still not at 100% we decided to do at 10 mile hike the first day then stick to about 7 or 8 mile days after that.  We did the first day as planned, here are a few shots from that day..
 Not our most fabulous photo
View from South Twin Mt
 view from West Bond 
 Our sleeping quarters for the evening
 My bed(mat)
Our entertainment for the evening was watching the sunset, later after I was falling asleep Matthew woke me up to look at the thunderstorm several ridges away. Thankfully the storm went right around us, so we didn't have to move.

The next day we ended up doing more mileage.  We ended up doing about 14 miles and my feet were really tired, swollen and I insisted the next day we actually do 7 or 8 miles.  shots from that day..
 Walking to Bondcliff
 Shot of Matthew where we sat to take a break on Bondcliff and enjoy the beauty

sweet little Boreal chickadee

The following day we decided to stop at about 8 miles, Once we got to the top of Mt. Flume we heard about possible thunderstorms for the next day.  This was concerning because the next day we planned to do several peaks that were in the alpine zone.  That means no trees or anywhere to take cover.  We started to discuss how we would get out and having to hitch back to our car.  We decided to keep going to the next peak about a mile away to see what they could tell us about the weather and to get water.  Once there we made dinner and I was feeling really good.  I didn't want to have to bail on our adventure and suggested we keep going.  Thankfully my feet were doing very well that day, I'm sure in huge part to using my trekking poles.  I didn't use them the day before because my shoulders were sore (I have learned I was setting them too high).  Matthew was up for it so we kept going and did about 17 miles that day.  A bonus to this is that we got to eat two dinners.
Here's a view from Mt Liberty (didn't get a shot of Mt. Flume)
 working our way along the ridge-line in the alpine zone
Not too many shots because we were busy booking it to get across.  Any spare time I had I used to just take in the moment and views, it was really amazing.  On this day we hiked across Mt. Flume, Mt Liberty, Little Haystack, Mt Lincoln, Mt Lafayette and we camped soon after that near Mt Garfield which we climbed the next day.  No shots of the last day.  It was a fairly uneventful 8 miles... it was also the hardest day.  I vowed to rest for two full days after that... I only rested for one.  We climbed two days later and did about 4 climbs each.  I rocked it that day too!  It felt really good, I did some lead climbing on a 5.8 which so far has been the hardest climb I can do.  We are now in Mass at Matthew's parents house for a short time.  We are planning to rock climb tomorrow and I'd like to push myself and see if I can climb a 5.9.  The place we are going has top rope climbing so I won't have to worry about placing and can just focus on climbing.  After this the next stop is the Adirondacks.  I'm off to research that.  Sending love out to the world! 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I don't know when, but we'll get together then

We have spent that past 2 weeks in the White Mountains area.  The day after my last blog we went rock climbing at Artists Bluff.  It was all Trad climbing and no easy way to take photos.  I did take a few from the top.  We spent some time working on setting Nuts and Cams - these are what you use to set anchors to clip into as you climb when not using a top rope. We had a blast at this climbing site.  The only trouble was trying to hear each other.  We did this climb in one shot, it could be a 2 or 3 pitch climb.  By doing it in 1 pitch I could hardly hear him from the bottom when he finished.  So we were yelling trying to communicate and well... not too safe.  In the end we did just fine but for long climbs we will likely try doing multiple pitches.  The other issue was this climb was the face curved away over the top so I couldn't see him and it added to the difficulty in hearing each other.  Here are the photos I got...
 A look at the route from the bottom
Panoramic shot from the top 
 Practicing placements

Matthew playing with anchoring

Amazingly no new injuries to report!  Except getting impaled at the Wilderness First responder course.  So we spent 8 days at this course and it was super fun!  Being a nurse made the class way easier for me.  It was cool to learn what to do in trauma situations in the wilderness.  I feel more comfortable with the idea of being an ER nurse, should that opportunity every come up.  So each day we got to do scenarios to practice and the kept getting more complicated.  I got to play a patient in the most complex scenario and I played the part very well.  I was told I should be an actress in my next profession.  I was an impaled rock climber and I cried... I don't know how but I managed to cry and make it seem real, the girls working on me were freaking out!!  It was great because they also did a great job.  And the part you've all been waiting for... this may not be for the faint of heart...
Don't worry, it didn't hurt at all!  I was in shock lol
I loved the instructor, she was a very funny woman from this area but had lived in Australia for 10 years as a paramedic and now back in the US with her aussie husband and adorable little girls.  She made me laugh at least once an hour.  If I were staying in this area I would totally stalk her.  We graduated from that course on the 28th.
Unfortunately Matthew got sick towards the end of the class after a bad asthma attack. So we found a camp site and took it easy for a day.  He felt better yesterday so we did a 8.6 mile hike up North Twin mountain.  I got one photo from that.

Next few days we'll do some more climbing and hiking, then headed to his parents house a couple days and heading west after that.