Monday, November 12, 2012

The road to The Hulk and other stuff...

Okay, I've decided to become a bulging angry green super hero.  You got a problem with that? Huh?  No, not quite, but a real hulk is in my future, and it's not a comic book character or a virtual creation for the big screen.  It's this (pic from Peter Valchev's climbing blog):

This is 1,000 ft. of High Sierra granite goodness, some of the best alpine rock climbing in North America.  I've wanted to climb this for years and figured I'd better get on it before I'm getting around with a Rascal and oxygen tank.  My best buddy, Pete, and I have a serious bro-date with this thing, and it''s about time we got down to business.  The route we'll do--the Red Dihedral--is not hard by world class standards, but I suspect I'll find it quite challenging.  The route takes a line pretty much directly up the center of the face in the sun to the right of the deep, shadowed corners.  For those who understand ratings, its VI 5.10b, mostly 5.8/9 crack climbing.  I need to get back into shape as three months of cycling have left me and Jodi with killer legs and aerobic capacity, we're sporting virtual T-Rex arms.  What this means is a lot of climbing and working out over the next few months.  We head out for our first touch of stone on Thursday.  Expect a quick post and much fear and shaking on my part until I get my head back in the game.

I've also been thinking about what form I want my Vision Quest expeditions to take.  Of course they've been bike tours for these last five years, but I'm growing tired of dealing with traffic--and it's attendant risks.  Two years ago, when I had to drive sag, the crew got some introduction to rock climbing on rest days or when we finished early.  This got me thinking--always a dangerous thing.  Why not make the Vision Quest about hiking/peak bagging/rock climbing?  We could do a long trek, climb a peak, hit some rocks.  I'm thinking now that a combo peak bagging/rock climbing trip would be fantastic.  I could sell off a couple of the trailers I own to finance a couple of packs and/or some climbing harnesses, maybe a couple of pairs of shoes.  The appeal of the wilder wild is strong in me now.  I can feel a deep, internal shift in that direction, a return to some down home roots of my experience.  We are fortunate to live in an area that offers much in the way of hiking and climbing challenges, so finding places to take out the posse would be easy, and Jodi and Django could come along now that the problem of blending bikes and trikes is out of the picture.  I'm excited about this new direction.  Let's see where it goes....

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