Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chimney Rock Expedition


We burned nap time in favor of a little adventure: climbing a mountain is what the boys were calling it - some solid anticipation and build-up started by me but carried by them. Five minutes into the trek, I figured we'd not make it because the path was fairly tough - some ice and some crusty snow. Pretty steep. Danny went to the backpack in short order. James though - he became expedition leader in impressive fashion. In fact, as pics suggest, I couldn't keep up with him. He ran up that hill. After a break and some bagel at the top, he led us down the other side. Stopping to investigate limestone mini-caves, ask array of questions, slide down trail segments, etc. Being top heavy with Danny on back, I had to do a little squatting four-point sliding myself - worked pretty well though. Going down was tougher than coming up.

Stopped at the park headquarters to warm up and poke around a bit. Overall we were on the trail for 2.5 hours. Pretty good given ages of these guys right now.

Need adventures like this to break up these winter doldrums. This one was solid. I was really impressed by the endurance of the kids. Toward the end they broke down and that happened in exponential fashion. Expected, and not a big deal. We trudged back to the car and eased on home.

“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again….so why bother in the first place? Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
Rene Daumel, 1959
(from the forward to “55 Ways to the Wilderness of South Central Alaska, 3rd Ed., 1985. H. Nienhueser and N. Simmermon, The Moutaineers and Mountaineering Club of AK).