Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Some days the mountain leans back

Some days the mountain leans back, lies down gently and grants those who venture onto its slopes ease of travel. The trail appears a nearly horizontal traverse, whose view magically sweetens with each step;
On certain days the mountain lies in repose, as if to say, "today, I will rest and bear the burden of your sojourn". Continuing, the mountain adds, "consider this your rest and enjoy the journey".
On several occasions this year - and countless throughout my life - I have had moments in the mountains where the mountain has the appearance and the feeling of 'leaning back' and lessening its slope's angle. This may be an illusion: whose to say that the lower slope angle is not the norm and on most days the slope has the appearance and feeling of being steeper.

It is probably all an illusion! What is measurable and constant is the slope's actual angle. My favorite trail on Mount Sentinel rises about 2000 vertical feet in 1.2 miles, a fairly steep trail. As a rule, this particular trail's required effort seems commensurate with its steepness. But on certain days - and today was one of these - the mountain truly has the appearance of lying back and lessening its slope angle, allowing for a less intense effort that yields the same results.

The reason(s) for this phenomenon (and that's a stretch) may seem obvious: variables in daily diet/hydration, sequence in a work out cycle, mood, time constraints, etc. All of these things certainly play a role in overall fitness and point-in-time health and performance, but do not explain the visual appearance of the slope.

Today, the trail presented itself modestly, looking half itself while providing fully rewarding pleasant and easy passage. And I will examine no further.

Thank you, mountain.

Onward and upward,


Monday, September 16, 2013

300,000 feet and Mount Sentinel

A  quiet moment for a fellow hiker on top of Mount Sentinel.
Today's 96th ascent of Mount Sentinel on the year, marked the 300,000 vertical foot milestone for 2013.

Ascent: 27 minutes
Descent: 28 minutes
Temp: ~82 degrees
Music: Vampire Weekend 'Modern Vampires of the City' and Sigur Ros 'Untitled'
Highlight: Finding my lost bike lock key hanging on the fence at the base of mountain Sentinel upon coming down the mountain.

That is all. Onward and upward!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

24 Hours of Sinopah Mountain (in pictures)

Linds and I made our way up to Glacier National Park for an extended Labor Day Weekend. Over the course of 3.5 days we hiked over 40 miles of the park, logging over 9,000 vertical feet. Glacier did not disappoint! What beauty! Our last night in the park was spent at Two Medicine Lake in the southeast corner of the park. The inclement weather of the previous two days beginning moving out, providing some super cool changes in light.

The following pictures were taken during a 24 hour period at Two Medicine Lake (shown in the order that they were taken). The model? Sinopah Mountain!

Onward and upward!