My training is going well, what I would consider on track. However, a wrench was thrown into the works in that I needed surgery on my leg and this will sideline me for some weeks to come. Because the area is right behind the knee, I won't be able to climb, bike or run for at least two weeks, maybe longer. This of course is the setback, but what's the opportunity? Well, I can at least go to the gym and weight lift, so I'll really be working the upper body over the next weeks and utilizing the only aerobic machine appropriate for my status: a sit down "bicycle" that only uses the arms to crank. I am also concentrating on my diet so as not to gain weight from slacking and munching.
About 15 years ago, at the end of the season in September, I cranked up to Camp Muir in 2 hours 4 minutes and ran back down in 58 minutes. I was in excellent shape and running quite a bit (more than 40 miles per week). This past Sunday (April 19) I did a steady push and made it in 2 hours 55 minutes. There was snow from the get go, compared to later season where one is on trail all the way to Pebble Creek (above Panorama Point). Also, the snow was much more consolidated then, which provided better footing. Although my time is 50 minutes longer this year, when I take into consideration being 15 years older and with slower conditions, I am pretty pleased with where I am at the beginning of this season. I'd almost be tempted to see what I could do it in in September of this year under similar conditions to back then. My temporary sidelining shouldn't make a big difference over the course of months (the morning of surgery I biked 30 miles and ran 4). Now if I could just drop this useless old man tire flab of about 10 pounds.
My "celebration 60" new equipment is slowly coming in. Here's what I tested on my Camp Muir hike:
GoPro Mounts: I ordered a few items from theaccessorypro.com. My Hero3 Black is still a good camera but I needed to fix some mounting challenges. For instance, if you watch my Inter Glacier Ski video I had to deal with some shaking due to the rigged mount I attached to my pack strap. I also am constantly dealing with numerous loose itty bitty parts when I take along these small cameras. Another minor problem is the audio quality when the Hero3 is in its waterproof case....not that I use it much but it would be nice to have better audio "just in case" and to help synch with other cameras in post production. I addressed these problems with an aluminum housing, carry bag and clip mount. The other bonus for the aluminum housing is that I am able to mount a UV filter and still have a lens cap. Obviously this arrangement is not for inclement weather.
Panasonic LX100: Over the past few years I've been researching an alternative to my older Panasonic GH2 camera. I've managed some nice shots with that camera but the prime lens is heavy and large and the telephoto is large. Only once have I changed out lenses in the field. I've been borrowing a pancake lens for the GH2 to make the package compact but this doesn't take advantage of the camera's capabilities. The LX100 is a compromise like anything else, but gives me a small form factor, good sensor, limited but satisfactory zoom capability along with a macro setting (within 3 CM of subject). Another consideration for me, the ability to take 4K video. The flexibility of this camera with good glass (fixed) is proving to be a winner.
Geigerrig 3 Liter Bladder: My daughter and I have been using 2L bladders for a few years, but cleaning them is a pain and so is filling them. Geigerrig has improved on this basic design by pressurizing the bladder, making it dishwasher safe, and incorporating quick release connections so you can remove the bladder from your pack and leaving the hoses in place. It is also easy to add or subtract a filter in the mix, depending on your needs. I also ordered the insulated hose, which worked well in not baking the liquid on those first few sips. On Sunday's hike I filled the bladder without using the filter and mixed in tailwind, one of the reasons I could do this hike in one push. Because of the heat on the snowfield I dispatched my 3 liters of liquid before I finished the hike.