Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mile 170ish: mountains, mommy!

Jeepers, I smell absolutely terrible. In Idyllwild, I ditched my deodorant in an effort to save some weight and thinking that it obviously wasn't working anyway. Nope, it was doing me marginal good, and it isn't anymore.

Today we climbed. Up and up and up and we'd get a fantastic view, then we'd descend a little bit along the ridgeline, enough to make us feel upset at all our hard work going to waste, and up we'd go some more. It was absolutely gorgeous.

((Carmen's talking in her sleep, this happens every night and it always confuses then amuses me. Tonight: Carmen's mom has flow-busters for us))

The thing is, as the day wore on, the terrain got steeper and steeper and steeper. This is an equestrian trail, mind you, but apparently horses can go along narrow, slanted switchbacks with sheer walls on either side. Why is the risk-averse, clumsy, wary-of-heights girl with bad balance attempting to hike from Mexico to Canada through mountains the entire way? Will I still be only able to look at the trail while hiking and the view while stopping, all while taking deep, calming breaths in the Goat Rocks Wilderness?

At Apache Peak, we got water from the sulfur-y spring, and took a nice, long lunch/siesta. I attempted to run to the top of the peak while Carmen took a nap, although I think the other side of the little saddle was the actual peak. I knew from reports that the back of Apache was supposed to be sketchy, and that the saddle over bypassed the snow, but Carmen thought the snow may have all melted in the last couple of days. What can I say, we went over, but not until after getting a staged photo of Carmen tackling the snow.

Later, we had no choice but to cross the snowy chutes. Carmen went ahead with her boots and poles while I busted out my ice axe and took more of those calming breaths. Although the axewasn't necessary, I washappy to get some practice using it to self-belay, and it definitely feltbetter to have one anchor in the snow and one pole propping me up. We wantto practice self-arresting on a clear open, flattish area FIRST, rather than dying from making a mistake the first time.

Okay, can't hardly type straight anymore.

Ps: my rain gear weighs at least a pound and a half, if not more. I'm going to ditch the pants until Kennedy Meadows if I don't use them tomorrow, but the jacket rather is a necessity. Can somebody please keep an eye out on Steep and Cheap or wherever else for a no frills, LIGHT WEIGHT rain jacket? Liner mesh, drawstrings, pockets, pit zips etc are all unnecessary. I don't know what size I am anymore, according to the scale at Nomad Adventures I've lost about seven pounds, according to the skirt falling to around my knees, it's all been from my ass. So an M or L, L to be safe.

- Typoed on my iPhone

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