Archive for March, 2010

Home Again

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Good day guiding yesterday. I had a party of 4, which is usually a crowd, but fortunately two in the group were experienced climbers with solid belay skills. After thorough testing in that regard, I could put up another TR and everyone got to climb a lot more than typical for that group size.

One gentleman in the group, let’s call him JC, proved adept at climbing single-tool, often without gloves. I played around with the notion of suckering him into a sort of “strip-poker” style ice climbing, eliminating another tool and maybe a crampon or two before we finished the day, but resisted the temptation.

It was a gorgeous day in Cascade Pass. The ice looks horrible, but is so thick that after scraping away the 1 1/2″ of sunrot, there’s usually great stuff underneath. Of course, you have to excavate through all the low-angle sections, where snowfall and slough have piled a lot of dense fluff, but once some poor sucker brave pioneer has led the way, snowmelt creates a great route to follow.

Lake Placid was abuzz last night; not sure what event was going on or if the late snowfall just brought out a lot of skiers, but it was crowded. The recent rumors of trying to get Olympics 2018 back here are clearly refuted by the difficulties of getting a “normal” winter crowd through town now.

Back home, the septic repairs seem to be working. Thank God and Hometown Septic! The last thing I want is a rerun of last Thursday’s antics. No one home when I arrived; Ra took the youngest to the airport for her return to college. Robin is back now and things will be back to normal (whatever that is) some time today.

Another Joy of Home Ownership

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I’ve traded the upward world for a decidedly downward one today. Our septic line clogged up somewhere, so I spent the entire evening up to my shoulders in a toilet pipe. I have no idea whether I fixed anything or not, but I got plenty of exercise forcing 45′ of snake down the line in an effort to clear whatever out of it. All the hot water we have can’t make me feel clean right now. Six or seven showers more and I might feel OK.

Looks like I only have one day of guiding this weekend, which is OK, considering that I have subbed every day this week and will tomorrow as well. I am really looking forward to a rest day – whenever it comes.

Even more, I’m looking forward to climbing some ROCK. If the temps do indeed get up in the 40s and it is warm on Sunday, perhaps a snowshoe out to the Measles Wall in the afternoon for some ice AND rock climbing…

Involuntary Vertical Layoff

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Much against my will, I’ve not climbed since Monday night. Not that I’m complaining: I am absolutely blessed to be able to climb as much as I do. But I’ve got this goal (more on this some other day), and three days off doesn’t advance it at all.

I have subbed every day this week, and since that work comes right off a three-day stint guiding up in Placid, I’m beginning to feel worn out. Ugh, old age!

There are tentative plans to run up north Friday evening and climb until well after dark, then head home. Of course, I’ll then be heading back up there the very next day. Sounds like I’m gearing up for a rerun.

Pieces Parts

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Settling back into home life after the long weekend has been anything but settled. There was of course, snow to shovel, broken things to repair, phone calls to make, emails to read and reply to, and all the assorted things that go along with getting home after being away, plus a few more. But it’s still good to be here.

I worked today, substitute teaching. Good classes for the most part. I showed videos – typical sub duty – but got a chance to introduce the topic and discuss it before and after viewing.

I look at a lot of the kids and see so many with little or no interest in school and academics. Don’t know if I blame them. We’ve created a culture of drudgery. I firmly believe scholastics would improve if we pushed a higher degree and frequency of physical activity. If they could get beyond the bounds of discomfort and comparison shopping between exercise and entertainment, they might learn to enjoy physical and mental challenges. Learning to love challenge, to take on difficult things, is probably the single best lesson a person can learn.

I also went to Rocksport in the afternoon. Simon showed up with Amanda and together, we bouldered awhile (Simon found out his V2 line is actually more like V5, but he has already done half of it), took turns leading the ceiling (nice whipper there, I won’t say who), and in general had a good time together. I left a bit earlier than usual, as I’m still tired from the weekend.

Despite the weather, ice season is drawing to a close, at least here on Crane. The night temps are dropping below freezing, but not far below and not for long. That will knock the stuffing out of all but the most sheltered ice. Once we get some sunshine, I’ll be heading up to the summit cliffs for some rock climbing action.

Back from Placid

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Wow, what a weekend. Three days in Placid. Olympic fever running high up there right now.

Great time with my folks this weekend, despite the huge snowfall making the backcountry downright unsafe.