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Friday, July 5

Part 3 - The Journey Makes the Destination Possible

It's the eleventh hour.  We will board our plane in less than a day.  The excitement ensues...

As I reflect on the past year and a half it amazes me how quickly it has passed and yet how much ground we have covered from the inchoate skills of prior memories.

In order to incisively execute a honeymoon of this stature, we began by having a team meeting.

First official team meeting (April 21st, 2012):

-begin learning, or in most of our cases relearning, Spanish
-begin physical conditioning no less than 6 months prior
-schedule a team training once a month or every other month in an effort to learn each other's styles and practice rope skills as a team
-determine and acquire the appropriate vaccinations
-create a mountaineering gear list
-as far as the trek(s) goes, we will be taking two tents (Jenna was very grateful for this decision for many reasons).

Now it was time to make it happen...The year and 2 months that followed proved to be very valuable...

Roping up for the climb (July 1st, 2012):

"Climbing is as close as we can come to flying." - Margaret Young, aviator and alpinist

Rock climbing is one of the preferred activities among the group.  As serious as climbing a sheer cliff can be it is more often a session of making fun of the other in a playful way.

Shanty Cliff, Southern Adirondacks
Practicing the proper technique for relaxing
Out for a hike (November 23rd, 2013)

"It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe." - Robert W. Service

Some of the best training ground (minus the altitude) resides in NY's back yard, the Adirondacks.  We chose to take a Thanksgiving retreat to Big Slide Mountain and surround each other with laughter and talk of what the next 6 months will bring.
Be prepared for anything
Practicing our trail singing Ms. American Pie style
The Trap Dyke, minus 18F (January 25th, 2013)

"When your feet are cold, cover your head." - Inuit saying

Part of what we tried to focus on was enduring the cold while climbing as a team and coordinating our efforts to safely overcome the quandaries of the challenge (in this case Mt. Colden)

We also learned that a harness is a valuable item to include on the ever expanding gear list :)

The approach
Come on fingers!
Our fearless leader
Traveling safely
3500' view
I'll let this picture speak for itself
Frozen smiles
Training that's worth a thousand pictures (March 23rd, 2013)

"Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." - Ed Viesturs

We wouldn't be where we are today, or at least as well trained, if it weren't for a weekend excursion to the white mountains of NH to spend time with a good friend Jim Gagne.  

In mountaineering it is often the case that the little things will perturb the success of many climbing teams; understanding the effects of altitude on the body; properly communicating to your team when you can't see or hear them; the quickest way to melt snow for drinking and cooking thus saving fuel; avoiding sickness and knowing when to take a break.

Understanding the complete picture is what we set out to do...

Mt. Gear
...and here we have...a properly rigged glacial travel system
Look Ma! No hands! :)
Snow anchors stronger than us all!
The sum is greater than its parts...
The love bird test
Crevasse self rescue training
Smile if you learned something!
Fred Becky (left) and our coach (right, Jim Gagne)
Team meeting at headquarters (June 28th-30th, 2013)

"There are big ships and small ships. But the best ship of all is friendship." - Author Unknown

This is it.  Our last time together before we board the bus out of Troy.  Our objective for the weekend is to thoroughly waste as much time as we can while preparing for the honeymoon of a lifetime.
Thanks for the hats Mark!
We love them...no seriously :)
On belay!

A little route guidance from below
Leading away
Thirsty pup
What next?
Grassy yard travel, revisited one last time...
Route marking wands...check.
Marking gear and drinking beer
Through periods of rather intense indecision we have managed to accomplish all but one of the items on our list: Spanish...Nuestro Espanol es pobre...

To Peru we go!


  1. I will vicariously enjoy it with you all! Safe and most enjoyable travels to you all and bring back great stories!

  2. You guys must be landing in Lima just about now... looking forward to the next update. :-)