Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Black Tusk, The Chief, The Lions - Prologue

Sorry for the delay... It's been a busy week and I've been hurtin...

I've broken the report up so that each post remains brief-ish... Each post will profile one of the climbs as well as show some video and pictures. I hope you enjoy this mini-series. It was an awesome experience and a real test that I won't soon forget. I'll set the stage with today's post and deliver the goods next week. Cheers!

I am still coming down from the highs of Sunday...

It's true that my body is still in rough shape five days later - one leg sports nasty blisters that until today prevented me from wearing my prosthesis, the other a quadricep that has yet to let go of its grudge. It's ok, they'll come around and it was so very worth it.

The last time I was remotely this sore and damaged I had just finished my first marathon in Honolulu. On that occasion I cried when I crossed the line - tears of accomplishment - which are by far the best kind. I'm not a big crier, and I don't spend an inordinate amount of time reflecting on the loss of my leg, but finishing a marathon was a pretty symbolic moment for me, one I couldn't get through without a tear or two.

That feeling - when you know you have challenged yourself, truly risked failure, and have been forced to fight through difficult mental and physical obstacles to set a new mark for yourself - is why I wanted to do this.

Once I came up with the idea there were other motivators though... ego, for one.

To be the first.

Lord knows there are many who could do it faster, but maybe I could be the first! I realize some may find this a little unsavoury, but ultimately I'm human.... ok?

I needed a partner. Attributes I was looking for:

- more fit than me
- experience with all three peaks
- good planner
- not irritating

Keith Sharman fit the bill admirably and fortunately seemed as motivated by the challenge as I was. After several beers one night we set the date and "committed".

Throughout our planning I was never 100% sure I could complete the challenge. That was one of the most compelling parts. Considering the speed required, the technical aspects of the terrain with my leg, the distance, the elevation gain/loss... I truly wasn't sure I could do this and it made the plan VERY exciting. It is so rewarding to reach for the limits and find out they aren't as close as you might think... or maybe I'd find it and be humbled. Either way I would learn something about myself.

October is late in the year for an itinerary like this one. We were only blessed with 11.5 hours of daylight and Keith had predicted (quite accurately) that we would need to move fast AND start / finish in the dark.

We convened at my house at 5am on Sunday, loaded the van and headed north. The Rubble Creek parking lot and the trailhead for Black Tusk were a little over an hour away.

In the van:

- Meyrick
- Keith
- Cooler/Ice
- Sandwiches - 8
- Fruit
- Granola bars
- Lots more food - we didn't eat nearly all of it.
- Water (Tons)
- CarboPro 1200 (4 bottles)
- Gu gels (24)
- Coke (two half cans)
- Pedialyte (in case of severe dehydration)
- Headlamps
- Hiking Poles
- Clothes - enough to change for each mountain (we didn't)
- Shoes - extras (neither of us changed)
- Socks - we both changed each time...
- Duct Tape, Vaseline and other necessities to keep my leg in one piece
- and a partridge in a pear tree...

Black Tusk, The Chief, The Lions ALL the video, ALL the pictures next week.

To be continued...

Tweet this!

1 comment:

Vincent said...

thats a pretty intense day, I remember when I did brunswick mountain this summer, it nearly killed me.