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Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24th, 2014: Climbing begins soon, training over

Greetings,

So happy to report that I am fit and ready to climb.  I leave tomorrow for two climbs in the Cascades - Rainier and Hood.  Hopefully, I get up both in single-day pushes.  It should be a good test of my fitness and acclimatization.  If nothing else, I will get in some good mountain time.  
In the kitchen this morning enjoying my pot o' tea.  Note the bags under my eyes?  Early mornings are killers.
I still owe you two more posts on my gear.  One is almost done and ready to post before too long - expect it in a day or so.  The other will come right before I push off for Mendoza, Argentina.  I have pictures and explanations of all my gear so it should be reasonably informative and, perhaps, enlightening for some.  

I am done training for now until I return from Argentina in mid-January.  My fitness is excellent and I have plenty of energy left in the tank to climb fast and strong.  The past few weeks were really challenging for both training and work; hence, my silence on the blog.  Too many long days and really early (4am) mornings reduced my time to write my blog.  On the positive side, I did manage to get out 3 papers with my students and colleagues in the past month.  Hopefully they get published while I am away climbing.

Speaking of training, I managed to keep my weight up.  I awoke this morning at a robust 172 lbs. (78 kg) but a few pounds shy of my goal weight of 175.  Oh well.  I ate and ate but seem to shed weight quickly during the high altitude days of training.  

Finally, my family is getting geared up for the climb.  I did a gear sort for my wife and son.  They are all set with their climbing gear for Argentina.  I have some time to add/subtract gear before I take off in early December but I wanted to make sure they had all the essentials packed in time for me to get any last-second items.  They are all set!  We are ready.  

Patrick (son) is now acclimatized to 10,000 feet (3,050 m) and should be up to 19,000 feet (5,800 m) before he and my wife take off in mid-December.  That dude is a beast!  He quickly adapted to each hypoxic level in one day - advancing from 5K feet to 10K feet in less than a week with spO2 levels all above 90%.  Not bad.  I suspect he will fare well on the hill.  Kathy, meanwhile, is up to 16,500 feet (5,030 m) already and will progress to at least 22,000 feet (6,700m) before departing.  

The reason we have a disparity between the two stems from my son's swim season.  We all wanted him to qualify for some top meets and acclimatizing in the middle of his season might have adversely affected his performance.  Don't know if this is true but we moved forward with caution.  Now, we throw caution to the wind!