Thursday, 2 May 2013

Swopping my foils for crampons

Mount Shasta training day two involved getting used to my crampons and poles. I had planned to drive to one of the tourist car parks and do a short walk from there. As the road wound higher the automatic transmission struggled to drop gears quickly enough while I concentrated on steering around the boulders that had rolled off the slopes and were turning the road into a slalom course. As the snow on the verges got progressively thicker, I got progressively more excited about the prospect of trying out my new toys in the white stuff. Round the corner and…

Guess I’ll walk from here then. I managed not to stick any of the crampon spikes through my gaiters, so I will count that as a success. I felt quite pleased with myself to have accomplished a reasonable length training walk. Then I realised that where I turned around will be tomorrow’s mid morning break; and I will be  carrying all of the base camp kit in a bag that I think with a few more yoga sessions I could fit myself into. Ah, well, one foot infront of the other it is. I have my secret supply of tea to keep my going.

With all expeditions, be they offshore sailing, ocean rowing or even trips the the space station, there is always one important question that needs answering; what do you do about the toilet? Well, I can inform you that on Mount Shasta one uses the 'poop target', complete with handy snow anchor placement points. Unlike with IKEA furniture assembly, I have read the instructions so rest assured that I will not be 'urinating into the bag'.

The summit expedition starts tomorrow, wish me luck. For now it is good night mountain.

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