Monday, June 27, 2011

My trip to 11,245' and back

What were you doing at 1:15 a.m. Monday? I was in the Timberline Lodge parking lot, starting my Mount Hood climb!
We went to bed about 6 p.m. Sunday and got up about 10:45 p.m. It was very strange - the porch and living room lights, which are on timers, were still on. And we watched the 11 p.m. news while eating our Cheerios - as if it was the morning news!

We left the house at 11:30 p.m. and were parked, dressed, permitted and ready to go about 1:15 a.m.
It was incredibly warm, way above freezing, as we made our way from 6,000 feet to 11,245. Our goal was to climb about 1,000 feet per hour - a reasonable, steady pace.

The sky started to lighten shortly before 5 a.m. Looking west at Illumination Rock, the lights of Portland in the background:
Crater Rock with the summit behind:
A short time later, Mount Jefferson and the three sisters to the south:
Once it started, the light came quickly. I-Rock behind us:
Looking back down at Timberline. Those lights on the left side are the snow cats that serenaded us the entire morning:
Summit looks clear:
Not anymore. That's the Old Chute, which we climb right below the summit:
Almost to the chute:
My turn in the chute. It was very steep:
A very, very brief view from the otherwise-completely-socked-in summit:
Cool sun cups on the traverse to the true summit:
If I'm honest, I have to admit that it was incredibly disappointing to have no view. With the whiteout, I didn't even know which way I was looking.

The way up was great. I felt strong and confident. I made it up without any major problems. But then I got really freaked out thinking of down climbing the icy chute. Thankfully, Brad was eager to belay me down with a rope to ease my anxiety. And thanks to a great Chemeketans group right in front of us who let us use their pickets (anchors) already in place to save time!

Looking back down at Crater Rock:
Grabbing a quick snack at the bottom of the Hogs Back... happy to be back on "solid ground":
Traversing around Crater Rock... the nice Chemeketans:
We took our time heading down, finding some fun glissade tracks in which to slide.

But the temperature rose quickly, and we started to bake. The soft snow on the climbers' trail was like walking on mashed potatoes, and that got old very quickly.
We arrived back at the car safe and sound. After showers, snacks and a nap, Mom and Dad treated us to a Roundtable pizza - talk about hitting the spot!

The experience was really good, and I'm so glad I was finally able to summit the mountain that I look at every day. It was very hard, physically, mentally and emotionally. That was good for me, too. I honestly panicked and didn't think I could come off the top. Luckily, I had no choice, so I dug deep and got it done. WOOHOO!

Now I'm going to sleep ;)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A hike and a race

Our first order of business Saturday was a hike up Dog Mountain in the Columbia River Gorge.

Time restraints and the fact that we tried to kill Dad by accidentally giving him a 45-pound backpack to carry (oops!) meant that we didn't make it up to the top. But we did complete the lower loop and had lunch at the amazing lower viewpoint:
Then we hurried home and changed for the Twilight Run, a benefit for the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools.
LinkOur half-marathon training plan called for 5 miles, so we ran the mile to the race, did the 5K and then ran the mile home. Perfect!

The race was part of the Tigard Festival of Balloons and started at one end of Cook Park.
We wound through the park, across the river, into Tualatin and Durham parks and ended up right at the balloon fest.
It was a really fun race! The course was good, although the narrow path was very crowded at the beginning. And, it was exactly 3.1 miles! Most races that I've done are fairly approximate, and that's kinda disappointing.

Tired legs from hiking and plans to climb Mount Hood Sunday night (!!) kept our speed slower. We finished the race in 29:51 - a 9:38-minute mile. Just fine by me... I PR'd Friday :)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer break!

Summer break is finally here!!!

Brad and I got up at 5 a.m. Friday to be at the Tigard Festival of Balloons for the morning launch.

After taking about a million pictures and watching all the balloons lift off (I'll post lots more pics later!), I walked up to THS and put in a couple hours. I worked long hours all week and accumulated a ton of comp time... so now I'm done for the summer!

My cozy bed was calling me for a kick-off-the-summer nap. But I'd packed my workout clothes, so I kept my promise to myself and went for a kick-off-the-summer run before heading home. And boy am I glad I did.
I ran 3.33 miles in 30 minutes - 9:01-minute miles. My 5K PR is 9:10, so I totally blew that out of the water. WOOHOO!!!!

But this is where I am now:

I think I'll shower first and then eat some lunch. After that??????


Weekly Wednesday: farmers market

Eryn and I are still working, but Mom's already on summer vacation - so we decided to jump right in with our first Weekly Wednesday!

I know it's Thursday, but whatever.

First stop: the tiny evening Northwest Portland Farmers Market at 19th and Everett:
We wandered around and then bought a bunch of nut butter (I got cashew, sunflower and almond) - YUM! And some very sweet sugar snap peas: A peanut butter cream cookie for later: And some cherries! Then we walked to NW 23rd in search of dinner. We got sidetracked: It took a few minutes to pick out which $2.25 pieces of chocolate we'd buy. Very yummy, but that's crazy expensive!! We settled on Santa Fe Taqueria: Fish tacos for me: Super veggie burrito for Eryn: Veggie tostada for Mom: Then we broke out the red velvet cupcake from Moonstruck (I couldn't resist!): First try... I look gigantic: Let's open the jacket and see if that helps: Quick, take it off before the timer goes off: Shoot. So close :)