“When do we start? ;)”
…the text that started it all. The one that meant that there would be mere hours between me and :: pauses :: A Whole Lot of pain!
See, my friend Ed has been climbing the beast that is Mount Katahdin for about ten years or so. I’ve always wanted to go, but I was either never free when training time was going on, or I just didn’t have the guts to “pull the trigger”. Over the last few years I’ve been slowly building the cahones to make this happen though. But like any “extreme challenge” in life that first step is a doosie and this sure as hell was no exception.
I don’t know what it is. I mean I have jumped out of a plane at over 10,000 feet so this should have been an easy choice right? Well as I look back upon skydiving that first step was actually pretty easy…Sure, once you’re up in the air, there is no turning back; but the actual first step was only a step onto a plane, something that I’ve done many many times. Even the actual jump out of the plane was easy :: pauses :: although that was more about the instructor telling me that we were going on three, counting to three, but subtly only rocking forward twice before hurling us both through the sky Johnny Utah style,,, but I digress!
There were really two things that made the choice to climb Katahdin easier. The first was knowing that my friend Wade did it. I didn’t really consider him to be much more or less fit than I, and I figured that if he can do it so can I. And then when I recently saw some pictures of another friend of mine dominating some massive peak…. the text had to be sent.
So there I was in the middle of the first of three training sessions to prepare me to climb what has been hailed as the most difficult climb east of the Mississippi. Barely able to move my legs at times, and just feeling what can only be described as almost a frustration that it was taking all that effort to move over a rock that some 3 year old could climb over with ease…when my dreams were almost dashed… See I got a little more insight into that trip with Wade. Turns out that it did not go smoothly at all! A third of the way up the mountain Wade had drunk all the water, and Wade’s feet were so blistered that as the were coming down every thousand feet or so Wade had to take his socks off and ring out the blood. :: gulps to himself ::
Well, after 4 hours of climbing I had finished the training, gone about 35% of the distance that we would have liked to go, and had been given clear instructions to do some training during my “off time”….the off time that starts tomorrow! My end goal is to climb about 8 miles in about 4 hours (about 30% faster then the other day). but we shall see what happens. When I do my final “guided” training with Ed, I’ll give him a pretty big say as to how well my level of fitness fits with the task at hand.
So will I be dominating the Knife Edge in a few weeks? Time will tell!