FYI, this is a guest blog post by hubby, so please excuse all typos, poor spelling and incorrect grammar.
In my wife’s last blog she called me a “Mountain Man.” I am not quite sure I have earned that title yet, but I am striving at it and I totally rocked out this past 6-day, 5-night expedition.
It was not without trial and tribulation.
Literally hours before I was to set off on this adventure, I got word about our good friend Chad Denning's sudden passing. This was a complete shock as he was the definition of fit, an endurance athlete who was known as the “Champion of the Trail." I think my wife’s blog post about him is spot on and is one of her best pieces of writing ever.
Already a bit nervous about the climb, this put my emotions on edge. But I knew that Chad would be PISSED if I backed out of this adventure. And that he was looking down on me, maybe even ensuring that I would kick that mountain's ass!
So the week in the North Cascades and ascent of the ferocious Mt. Shuksan was a success. There were 3 guides and 8 clients.
I learned a lot and freshened up my skills. This trip was a training trip so I can climb bigger and higher. And I got the go ahead to pursue another dream, climbing Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska. Now I am just waiting for my climbing partner to buck up and commit (yea, that is you Bolt!)
So the training in the North Cascades involved traveling in rope teams, self rescue, team rescue, crevasse rescue (you better believe I was the first to volunteer to go IN the crevasse) and living on snow for close to a week. When I climb Denali, it will take 2-3 weeks to make it to the summit, so living in a tent in the cold on the snow is part of the mental training.
The trip ended with a 12-hour glacier/snow trek and technical rock climbing to reach the summit of Mt. Shuksan. And as I said, I rocked it. We were the lead rope team and the first to the top. The views were just amazing, I believe better than atop of Mt. Rainier. We could see as far as to Canadian Rockies, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainier, the entire North Cascades with Mt. Baker in our face. Pictures don’t do this trip justice, but here are some more to try.
For those who are interested to hear about my, eh, bowel movements, this was the view from the pooper! I was happy to not have to blue bag it this time around. In case you are wondering, "blue bag" would be the method you use to pick up your dog's poop.
And much to my wife's dismay, I am ready for more mountains. Which brings me to my next question … anyone want to fund a trip to Alaska for me to climb? I am now accepting donations!