Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Concrete Mountain

Lead Dog and I plan to tackle Mount Washington soon—maybe this weekend, maybe the next. Either way, I have some getting-in-shape to do. Mount W. is big and bad, and I am relatively small and only partly bad. [Aside: just yesterday the summit of Mt. W recorded its windiest day in five years— 24 hours averaging over 100mph.]

The Smallish City lacks mountains to use for training, so I’ve been casting around for suitable stand-ins that could be pressed into service in the evenings after work. Tonight I settled on the P. Street Parking Garage, which I believe to have the longest publicly-accessible unheated stairwell in town. I drove over and nonchalantly took the push-button entrance ticket (while surreptitiously checking the attendant’s booth to ensure that he didn’t have any video monitors). Then I parked at the roof level, changed into my hefty Koflachs, and did seven sets of 136 stairs before Grey House Neighbor called me for a burrito. The last 12 steps of each set were particularly rewarding, as they are fully outdoors and actually covered with snow and ice like a "real mountain".

At roughly 6” per step, this totals 472 feet of vertical—roughly one Great Pyramid of Giza, or one-half an Eiffel Tower. But it’s just a stepladder’s worth of the 3,588 foot climb to the top of Washington. And it wasn’t windy in the garage. Reckon I’d better get back there tomorrow night. Maybe I can find a climbing buddy...


Anonymous girltuesday said...

just curious: how do you like your koflach boots? i am contemplating a change. currently, i climb in lowas (double-boots). they fit pretty well, but my scarpas (ski-boots) are so much better, it makes me wonder.

1/18/06, 1:47 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

Ah! Thank you for providing an opening for me to gush about my Koflachs. I love them. There are probably the most comfortable pieces of footwear I own. I look forward to wearing them at any opportunity. Usually I limit that to mountains in winter. Last night, though, I wore them out to dinner, and may make a habit of that.

1/18/06, 2:11 PM  
Anonymous girltuesday said...

the joy of comfortable, functional footwear.

food for thought, thanks!

1/19/06, 10:48 AM  

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