November 13, 2008 posted by

The Old Alpine Challenge

I wasn’t going to do a traditional birthday challenge this year but I’ve come up with something semi inspiring. I’m going to stick with my former idea of training for 12 challenges in the upcoming year but, also, I’ve got a fun little day out planned. The theme this year will be mountaineering. Not so far off from last year, I guess, but this time it’s due to the weather we’re having, which has had me delaying and re-routing my my concoction. Sure, bad weather is normal for this time of year, but it’s been snowy and wet ever since I hatched this hairbrained scheme and I’ve felt like a mountaineer; hunkered down in my tent and waiting for a break in the weather for my shot at the summit.

Last week my itinerary was snowed in. Over the last two days a warm rain has melted the snow but now the rock is sopping wet. Tomorrow I’m off for three days to ride with the lads down in the desert. When I get back, I’ll lie in wait for a break in the weather. If it comes, I’ll give this a shot provided I don’t need to be working. Mountaineering is expensive. Thus, most alpinists have jobs or are somehow bankrolled. As one of my friends put it after running out of money waiting for the weather to break in Patagonia, “I could support a full-on heroin addiction for a lot less money than this damned addiction.”

Climb 4 routes in each of 8 different canyons.
Haul all of my gear with my bike.
Ride my bike to all of the climbs.
Run over 4,000′ of elevation gain (and that much of descent) in 8 miles–this will be over at least one summit and provide an ample snow quotient.

Yeah, yeah, I know this is very similar to Trent’s Challenge but it’s a super cool thing to do.

I’ll espouse on the mountaineering theme more in upcoming posts, as well as come up with a few more challenges to make the day creative as well as hard. For now, I just wanted to get it down so that I was commited to giving it a go.

“You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.”
– Sir Edmund Hillary


  • Does your training include daily readings from FOTH*? *FOTH = Freedom of the Hills (duh)

  • That’s a fantastic idea. In fact, as I was returning from my run today up in the canyons, the gate attendent was reading FOTH, 7th edition. When I began climbing I read the 3rd or 4th. My comment was, “stimulating reading, eh?” He laughed. Unfortunately, I finally donated my old edition this year. I’m sure it would be much more fun than the new one.

  • We need a good french challenge for April, non?

  • Indeed. Something to do with pastis and cobbles, no doubt.

Leave a Reply to Steve Edwards Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *