Day 5 - 14,393 feet of vertical gain
Backcountry Vert 10,164 feet
InBounds Vert 4,219 feet
Total Vert Climbed in five days: 73,658 feet
there is magic in these mountains. i'm sure of it. i'm inspired by it. today i was empowered by it.
i started at 7:30am in the solitude parking lot. we chose to ski silver fork, and that meant skinning in and out that damn flat road. when you are on a vert mission, any flat sections feel like a waste of time. but i figured it was worth it to ski and see something new.
i got a lap in before chad arrived and then we went to work. this was his first time skiing 10,000 + feet in one day... and the skiing was really good. with that wind chill behind us and a high pressure system arriving today the temps were on the rise. on the 1st lap i was already skinning in a t-shirt and nuun visor, sans hat and gloves. the sun is a nice departure from the negative temps that have left me with cracked and frequently bleeding fingers.
it's very cool to have someone join you for a mass vert day. but it also adds a bit of stress. i probably seem impatient. this is because no matter what you have going on, i can't afford to wait for you. i just don't have the time. i know from experience that i can't bother to stop to eat a sandwich. if your skin breaks, i can't offer a hand because i'm already skinning uphill. i make sure everyone understands how our day is going to happen. "i won't be skinning any faster than normal (and my normal isn't that fast). i simply won't be stopping for anything". i skin up, transition as fast as possible and ski down. at the bottom i put my skins on and start climbing the mountain again. i eat and drink while i'm moving, no wasted time. it unfortunately has to be this way to get 100,000 feet of vert in one week.
my general condition after 5 days is pretty good. i finished today feeling great energy wise. i've developed an upper respiratory wheeze and cough. it felt very constrictive this morning but got better as the day went on. on day three i woke up with pretty sore leg muscles. this hasn't subsided in the last couple of days either. the foam roller is waaay too painful, so i don't even bother. the modifications to my ski boots and the ibuprofen has decreased my ankle pain enough to finish this up, but today the blisters have arrived. i figured this would happen. just one more thing to manage. but i'm just two more days from 100,000 feet! i've got 26,332 vertical feet to climb in two days. this. is. happening.