Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring before the Snow

In advance of the predicted snowfall tomorrow myself and a few of the girls got out for a lovely run this evening. I know it is far from springtime (though I keep hoping) but it was so lovely to run with 1 layer of pants and no hat/gloves!

Had to leave work early to deal with yet more layers of bureaucracy in my efforts to become a US resident (don't ask) so when I got done I met Shelley downtown and then we met Tanya and Val at my place. Ran to Harriet, Calhoun, and Harriet again, and home for around 11 miles. Apart from a few large puddles of melted snow here and there it was beautiful out and so nice to run in daylight for the most part. A lot of people out as you can imagine with the weather - even a guy in shorts!

Running has been going well since getting back from vacation. 4 months until Grandma's so I am trying to get into a proper routine. Had hoped to get that post-altitude running high but I have a cold since the day I got back so that's taken care of that! Nevertheless we ran a decent pace tonight and it felt pretty good. Outside of my left knee hurt a little - I think it's a residual issue from running at Afton Saturday - it was really difficult to keep good form on the semi-packed snow and I was pretty sore that evening and Sunday morning when we ran I got this pain after a few miles. Didn't start to bother me until about mile 9 this evening so will just have to keep an eye on it. Of course all good intentions to stretch went out the window as soon as we got done...

Lent started today. So I had cake for lunch and M&Ms for desert. Not only am I a bad Catholic having abandoned any attempts to get to Church but I am also a complete disaster at sticking to good eating habits. I'm good until around 11am and then it all goes out the window. If anyone has a cure for sugar addiction I'll gladly listen.

Anyways, it's nice to be back and settled into what is hopefully the end of Winter... at least the days are getting longer even if today is just a false hope of Spring. I will get around to a full report on my trip one of these days but am not motivated to transcribe pages of journal scribblings just yet. It was a great adventure but needless to say not making it to the summit doesn't sit well with me. I was okay about it at the time but thinking over it so much makes me question if I couldn't have just tried a bit harder. A classic case of when you're sick you think you'll never feel better and once you're better you think oh I wasn't that bad...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I learned on Aconcagua

- There are places on earth colder than Minnesota.
- Food tastes better at alttitude.
- Double plastic mountaineering boots are surprisingly comfortable.
- How to play Euchre. Yup, a true mid-westerner at last!
- There are no shortcuts to the summit. Just to basecamp :)
- The southern skies at night are unbelievably beautiful.
- How to use a pee bottle. And a poop bag. Though not at the same time.
- Life above 18,000ft is borrowed time.
- '3-person tent' is false advertising.

Working on the full report and pictures...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back in Mendoza!

I will post all the details soon (a journal full of writings to transcribe - and reduce!) but just to say that Aconcagua was a wonderful adventure. I didn't make it to the summit unfortunately... 20,000ft was my limit... got pretty sick for 2 days but recovered to enjoy the last few days hiking out. Back here in Mendoza since Monday night and flying home today. Not looking forward to the Mpls weather after basking in warm sunshine almost every day of the trip - we really got lucky with the weather even on the higher parts of the mountain.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Hola! Arrived in Mendoza safe and sound - and surprisingly refreshed! After very little sleep Friday night, followed by a really enjoyable 2hr run with Kami Saturday morning around the lakes in the fabulous sunshine and 30+ deg weather, I was ready for a good sleep by the time we got on the long flight from JFK to Buenos Aires last night. I can usually sleep well enough on long haul flights so after reading a bit I dozed off for most of the 11hrs.

We had to change to the domestic airport in Buenos A. so we had allowed plenty of time for that which was cool as the smaller airport is a pretty nice spot so we had some food... and yes, a glass of Malbec... well, I lasted a whole month! Then a 2hr flight over here to Menoza where the temperature is a fabulous 30 deg C and the evening is still perfectly bright at 8pm!

Almost all of the group were already at the hotel where we arrived so we met for about 20 mins to run through some logistics and will have dinner later. Turns out the group is 12 people (thought it was 6 but Mountain Professionals combine with another company called Summit Climb) so both guides will join us for the trek. A good mix of nationalities and ages - two females - though there is one person not here yet.

Tomorrow morning we have a gear check and then pack up for the jeep journey to Penetenties, from where we depart by foot Tuesday morning.

Planning to get out for a run in the early morning to explore the town. I like it already just from the taxi ride. Beautiful buildings, some falling apart a little but in an attractive way. And lots of parks and tree lined aviendos.

Not sure if there is internet access for next few days but will be online again at basecamp. Also, the guides have a blog at and