Monthly Archives: February 2015

When you tell folks you’re flying to Little Rock, Arkansas, everyone thinks of the Clintons – no worries, I wouldn’t disappoint this trip.

Arrived in Bill & Hillary Clinton National Airport, greeted by family – mom, brother, sister-in-law & niece – who travelled to Little Rock to support me at marathon #21 of my 50 State Quest.  Best family ever!

Another unexpected cold snap in the deep South (Mississippi, South Carolina, now Arkansas) – perfect!  Grey overcast skies (snow yesterday) – luckily had indoor activities planned in Arkansas’ capital city.

Bib pick-up, check.  Next stop, lunch – Maddie’s Place, a Creole restaurant 2 doors down from the Cross-Eyed Pig 🙂  Food did not disappoint.  Where else can one fill their pre-race belly with fried green tomatoes?  YUM!

Googled top 10 things to do in Little Rock.  All paths led to the Clinton Presidential Library.  Library, seriously?  These days I skim-read news headlines; haven’t actively read books since earning a MBA 10 years ago.

Luckily no Dewey Decimal system or card catalogue on today’s tour.  Witnessed everything Clinton in these halls – thru film, photos & White House memorabilia.  Clinton was a likeable President, super charismatic.

Completed our afternoon at the Old State House.  This historical corridor-riddled building told Arkansas’ past, of its governors, its first ladies & of course Bill Clinton, first elected Governor at age 32.

President-Elect Clinton greeted the American public from this spot when elected in 1992.  Lotta history here.

Ended the day with flaming queso at MarketPlace Grill.  FANTASTIC day, surrounded by family.  Super pumped, ready to run.  Just wait ‘til tomorrow – a little freezing rain won’t slow me down 🙂

 

When it snows East Coast, folks cancel marathons & barricade indoors.  In Colorado, we go outside & play — LOVE our fluffy precip.

Woke early Saturday – destination Brainard Lake.  Roads looked relatively clear after yesterday’s snow – small 2” preview of a storm forecasted to dump 20” later tonite.

DECISION TIME: (1) take the longer route to Brainard – thru Boulder Canyon to Nederland, then north on Peak-to-Peak.  Major roads are plowed more often; however, also risk battling ski traffic to nearby Eldora.  OR (2) choose the more direct route thru Ward – more direct, more scenic but whole lotta curves & lotta vertical incline.

Entering Boulder, roads still looked clear, so headed up Lee Hill Road to Ward.  20 minutes later, winter wonderland.  Downside, I drive a Prius.  Upside, had the road to myself – not many crazy enough to take this path in winter 🙂

Steady speed, wide on the curves.  No slowing down, or would never make the elevation incline in my front-wheel-drive hybrid.

The road thru Ward is straight up – one stop sign mid-way thru town.  UP, UP, UP, 30mph steady.

Past the stop sign & around the curve – sprayed wide but kept enough traction to continue forward.  Popped up on Peak-to-Peak, then gunned the left turn into Indian Peaks.  Only 5 more miles – on snow-packed state forest roads.  Car, don’t fail me now.

Sped into trailhead parking – unplowed, pushed into the first open space…and that’s where I’d berth.

Most of the day’s trek would be on paths forged above summer roadways precip-buried in winter.  Tall lodgepole pines, crisp thin air, fresh powder, no noise.  Impossible not to smile.  This is why we live in Colorado – need this as much as I do food.

2 ½ miles in, walked across Brainard & ate a sandwich near the dam water spill.  Beautiful day.

SNOW came early – big flakes – so started back.  Return was mostly downhill, so picked up pace & enjoyed some high elevation snow jogging 🙂  Snow jogging above 10,000ft – highly recommended.

BBQ in Nederland; ended the day with snow ice cream, my favourite childhood dessert (thanks Cliff).

Day in the mountains – smiling on the outside, beaming from the inside.   LOVE LOVE my Colorado life!

 

 

With so much marathoning in 2015, no worry folks – eye’s still on the prize: Everest.

Been actively hill training since December – improving mental & physical strength, increasing lung capacity.  Additionally, HUGE thanks to my Colorado tribe who’ve been feeding advice, news articles & contacts on everything Everest since early January.

Good to live at 5,300ft – in 5 months, I’ll be sleeping at 20,000ft 🙂

 

Nepali 101

Hello                               namaste

Good luck (& toast)        subhakamana

Thank you                       dhanyabad

Help!                               sahayao garnus

Where’s the toilet?         sauchalaya kata chha

Welcome                          swagatam

 

Carole’s teaching this semester so she will be easy to reach.  I talked to her about you, so she’s aware you will be reaching out. I think I told you – but she is one of the premier Tibetan scholars, and has spent a lot of time in Nepal…including very recently.  She’s an anthropologist, so she can talk to you about pretty much any questions you have: food, culture, etiquette, political situations you may want to be aware of, Sherpas (I’m pretty sure she knows a few personally), knowledge of the mountain (to a small degree).  Definitely utilize her as a resource, I cannot speak too highly of her!!

 

Everest: Reroute Through Khumbu Icefall for the 2015 Climbing Season

 

In wake of the tragic 2014 season, which killed 16 Sherpa guides in the most deadly single accident in Everest history, the Nepali government has decided to change the established route through the Khumbu Icefall for the spring climbing season of 2015.

 

The Khumbu Icefall is considered the most difficult section of the South Col route up Everest. The icefall is located at the bottom of the Khumbu glacier, where the glacier passes over a series of cliffs, causing it to break into massive ice blocks, riddled with crevasses. To make matters worse, the terrain is constantly changing—seracs collapsing and new crevasses forming—as the glacier flows downhill.
Since the 1990s, the path through the Khumbu Icefall connecting Base Camp (17,500 feet) to Camp 1 (19,500 feet)—which consists of fixed ropes and ladders—has weaved its way through the maze of ice along the “western shoulder” of the icefall, taking an easier variation than the more direct, original route. But due to environmental changes causing increased avalanche danger, and the Sherpa strike after last year’s fatal avalanche, ropes and ladders will now return to the original route in hopes of improved safety.
The original route is relatively more technical and time consuming than the western shoulder, but is more stable and further away from the probable path of falling debris from overhanging glaciers above the western edge of the icefall.

 

Throughout a typical climbing season, a porter might pass through the icefall 30-40 times, increasing his time under the seracs and therefore risk of being caught in an avalanche. According to BBC, nearly 40 climbers, most from the Sherpa community, have been killed in the Khumbu Icefall alone, and both Nepali and foreign expedition operators welcome the change.

trekking Everest

trekking Everest

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