Pushing Back Against Winter

There are two themes to the December Grid so far.  First is the question whether I can get all 35 done, with the latest challenge being a sore knee and a tight groin, which together led me to abort an attempt on Big Indian and Doubletop earlier this week.  The second, and more interesting theme, is the effort to “push back” against the grim cold conditions of winter, especially on the part of someone who’s pretty comfortable in the heat (even back in the day running in summertime Death Valley) and for whom the cold can be a little intimidating.  As it happened, the other day an email showed up from the Wim Hof organization promoting a new book by investigative journalist Scott Carney, titled “What Doesn’t Kill us,” which profiles the author’s experiences with some of the cold-training methods that have made Wim Hof famous, culminating in a shirtless climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Over the last few years I’ve played around with some of the Wim Hof techniques, and this new book sparked my interest again, and helped me stoke a little bid of attitude with which to confront the cold.  (Also, I signed up for ten 10-week Wim Hof instructional video series, so it will be interesting to see what I learn going forward.)

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Pushing Back Against Winter

Random Notes – Fall Hikes

With 232 Catskill climbs under my belt, I’m 55% of the way through the Grid.  I wasn’t able to put much of a dent in September, only 43% complete — there were too many conflicts, like the SRT Race and and a trip to the Adirondacks — but October is coming together nicely with 74% done and plenty of time left in the month.

Here are a few notes from recent hikes, the purpose being to document the experiences before they’re forgotten….  Continue reading “Random Notes – Fall Hikes”

Random Notes – Fall Hikes

The Eight

The goal was The Nine, a 20-mile loop in New York’s Catskill Mountains that connects nine of the highest peaks, with the special challenge that four of the mountains have no trail, meaning you must bushwhack through the woods using map, compass, and/or GPS.  I had completed The Nine before during the summer, so you might assume I’d feel pretty confident.  But now it was winter.  And the prospects of navigating over rugged terrain, contending with treacherous footing, braving the cold — this was a little daunting.

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The Eight