Mar. 18th, 2007

ladibug21: (Default)
I met my carpool at 5:50 am at the park n' ride. From there we drove to the mountain and met with the class at 6:45 am. I thought I would be more awake seeing as I'm used to being up by 5:30 am and I didn't think the extra half hour would make much difference. It definitely did. I was tired and I could already tell it was going to be a long, long day. I wasn't so worried about understanding the naviagation aspect of the class, I was more worried about how I would handle the hiking, climbing, and scrambling through the woods for 11 and a half miles. Especially with the elevation gain. For starters I was WAY overdressed. I was expecting it to be really cold up there but it wasn't. It was unseasonably warm yesterday, probably in the upper 40's in the mountains. I had on boots, gaiters, lightweight longjohns, winterweight longjohns, rain pants, a capilene tanktop, a longjohn shirt, a fleece coat and a rain coat. I had no idea that ALL of the elevation is gained in the first mile and a half. I almost died. There was no warmup period. Just straight up. In all those layers. Some parts were so steep I had to use my hands to hoist myself up to the next step. When we stopped to do the first equipment check I was drenched in sweat. I mean dripping off my nose and chin sweaty. Not because I'm not fit enough, but because I was so insulated. I stripped down to much less clothing. We pretty much didn't stop all day, moving through different navigation exercises. You had to complete each one with a successful understanding to get a good "grade" on your report card. I'm proud to say I did very well. The final part I was a little nervous about because it was a real opportunity to get lost in the woods. I know I would be fine if I got lost, but it's not something I aspire to do. The course was a mile long over a ridge and down to a logging road. There was no trail of course and it was our job to navigate using only a bearing we were given to the other side. This meant climbing over uncleared wilderness. Downed trees, stumps, streams, boulders, rocks, giant holes. I did fine until I slipped while climbing over a large slick log and landed on a broken branch pointing up like a knife. I have a nice scrap on the back of my leg.
I vowed that since I'm not doing triathlon this year that I would get back up into the mountains. I really did yesterday and despite the fact that it hurt a bit, I'm glad I did. I'm ready to start hiking again.


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