Monthly Archives: December 2010
There is a mountain behind my development at Mt. Edge. To get to it you have to go up a box canyon the locals refer to as BLOOD FIST CANYON Well, at least this local does. I really don’t know the name of the canyon at all. But now I don’t need to because as far as I am concerned, I own it. You see, my brother and I went to conquer this mountain early in May. (It is chronicled as Hike No. 2 at WhelanTrek.) But we got part way up the canyon and I bonked. I was spent. No further could I go and still get myself out. Seven months later and another dozen hikes and climbs in between and I cut my time to the place I bonked the first time in half! Not bad! But what I did not know, was the more difficult portions of the hike were yet to come.
I noticed that my lungs were pumping pretty good for the entire trip. I attributed this to my legs being much stronger and able to work hard enough to tax my respiration. I logged this in my mind as progress. As I passed my former point of termination and the incline steepened, my lungs worked even harder. The ground under my feet was loose shale. At times there were rock outcroppings that could be used as hand holds to assist in progress. However, those rocks were like shards of glass and gripping them came at a price. All of a sudden, the shale beneath my feet gave way and I fell, propelling myself in a direction I thought would limit any slid down the hill. As I landed on my hands I felt the blood pour out and was happy the injuries were minor, though a bit painful.
I rested a bit after hoisting myself up the next small section. Then we departed and began a more flat crossing to the next steep section. Again, the shale made progrses difficult and the steepness threatened to pull me over with every step. My lungs were chugging along pretty good and I just kept going. I could see the summit, but the work to get there was daunting. I felt like Everest climbers must when they are so close, yet so far from victory. I finally made it to the top where I enjoyed a spectacular view of Las Vegas and my own neighborhood.
Getting down was tricky but fun and as we neared the car, I assessed the overall experience. It was hard, it was work, it was gratifying and it was proof that playing outside as much as I can is paying off! I will get to Everest. I just know it.
After my disappointing wall climb night (forgot my harness and shoes) I was talking to my good pals Kate and Kim. They are both teachers. I had also spoken to Maggie about this. Another teacher, only she is not in Nevada, she is in South Carolina. It had occurred to me that my trek may be an outlet for some education for the kids in their classes. Perhaps they can follow my blog and tweets and perhaps I can provide some specific information along the way. This is just a budding idea but it seems like one that will bloom and I am excited!