Sun is out and it’s Sunday. The family is out and about. One car took off Friday for a climbing comp in Oregon. The rest of the bunch have other things to do. Going in different directions. I’ve been enjoying lots and lots of pictures from graduations and last day of school parties from Sweden but we are not quite there yet. We have another week of school and finals. I know my former colleagues are now taking a deep breath and have cleaned out their classrooms after a long school year. Happy summer to you.
We have less than two weeks left before takeoff for Alaska. We met up yesterday morning at a park and ride in Lynnwood and drove up to Baker, a nice two hour drive. I couldn’t sleep the night before and got more and more stressed until I just accepted that this would be another sleep training weekend with a good chunk of training without sleep. I got up at 4.45 after about 2 hours of sleep, packed up and left. It was a gorgeous day, not too warm, sunshine and lots of snow. Heavy backpacks on with all race gear, crampons, ice axe, tent, 50yrd rope, harnesses, food etc. After walking uphill for 2 hours the mountain opens up and leaves you breathless. It is beautiful! And I instantly understand why people go mountain crazy and don’t want to leave. We started walking up on the snow. Avoiding crevasses, big and small, and finding the best route. We met other climbers, saw a few tents and chatted a bit with a bunch of guys. We came to practice roping up and climbing together, so that’s what we did. Around 2 in the afternoon we sat on a tarp at 7600ft, ate a little, drank a little and talked. The summit would only take us a few more hours but today is not the day for that. We definitely have to come back. We packed up and started walking, gliding down. I even tried gliding on my butt. An absolutely fantastic day. I wish I had good pictures but somehow I messed up with sunglasses on and sun in my face all the time.
And we are back on the trail, walking and walking. We walk for miles on a ridge and there are marmots everywhere. They are whistling and heat up their furry bodies in the sun. I am trying to figure out the Swedish word for marmot but I can’t think of it. I don’t know why it always takes forever to walk back. The pack feels heavy, I am sweating, my face hurts from not using enough sunblock on the glacier and the car feels far away. And after about 14 hours I am back home and the oldest and the youngest have dinner ready for us and I fall asleep in front of a movie. One day closer.