Monday, May 31, 2010

Super Angie...Russia part 7

Sunday morning, we had a hearty breakfast and then set off for our acclimatization hike. On this hike, we went up to P Rocks. Its actually called Pastuckhova Rocks, but none of us could say the name correctly because the Russians said it so fast. So we just called it P Rocks or, Pissed off rocks. lol

Vladimir wanted us to go "slowly slowly slowly" which is good because it was steap and long. It was a bit windy, which really tested my asthma and I learned a lot about my breathing while on the mountain. I also figured out what works for me buff wise, which is always good.

It was so gorgeous. I really enjoyed this hike.

I had a hard time wanting to continue again after we took rest breaks. One time I actually turned around and wanted to run down the mountain. Thats when Rick told me that I had already passed my high point on Mt. Torreys in Colorado. I was taller then 14, 100 ft! This gave me a boost of confidence and I continued up the mountain. We stopped to put on crampons and I had a bit of problems. Anton and Vladimir helped me get mine on. I was very thankful. I won't make that mistake again. I have learned exactly how to do it--even though I have done it a million times before on other mountains or while ice climbing. But now its ingrained in my head. Phew!

Walking up the steap glacier ice was nice. I prefer walking on snow and ice then walking on dirt trails. Its just easier for me. I started doubting myself and getting really tired and worn out just as we reached P. ROCKS and thats when Rick told me we had reached 15, 250 ft!!! Thats higher then any other mountain in the lower 48! I couldn't believe it. I started crying.

I felt great at that altitude. Some of the others really felt the effect of 15,000 ft. I was lucky. I felt fine. Even my asthma settled down. I think taking the Diamox and all my asthma really helped. Plus the fact that I had already been to 14,000 ft. But I was so proud of my team. Everyone did awesome and worked hard. The views from P Rocks were amazing. It was a beautiful day. I had some Rittersport that I shared with others. It was a great time at the rocks.

I love listening to my iPod while I hike, and this time was no different. So on the way down, Anton and I busted some dance moves. It was funny. I flew down. My legs felt strong--maybe from speed skating. Going down is usually harder then going up, but this time, I pushed the shakey leg thoughts out of my head and just flew down that mountain.

Yes, I was very tired when we got back to the barrels, but the adventure up to 15,250 was awesome. I really pushed myself and learned a lot.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Super Angie...Russia part 6


One thing for sure, Pilgrim Tours feeds you three solid meals a day!!! I still recommend bringing your own comfort foods and of course, trail snacks, but be prepared for 2 -3 courses at each meal.

We ate lots of soups--Borscht of course and then other types. We had fish and rice one night, eggs, sausage, cream of wheat, corn flakes, stew, salads, and so many other meals I can't remember.

We had a selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolates. There was also some juice and milk. Lots of fresh cut fruit as well--I loved the Kiwi! And then COOKIES and CANDY! There was always a huge selection of Russia candy and cookies. Lots of bread, meat and cheese as well.

We had a lot of fun sitting around the table eating, laughing and sharing stories. We all loved our cook, Lucia (or Luda). Sometimes other climbers would come in for a snack, so we got to meet other people too. We enjoyed talking to a skiier from Germany and a climber from Italy.

It was cold in the kitchen though, so it wasn't unusual for everyone to be wearing big puffies and hats. We usually had breakfast at 7 or 8, lunch at 2 or 3, and dinner at 7.

I wish I hadn't been so sick, I would have enjoyed the meals more. They really did take good care of us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Super Angie...Russia part 5

This was our first glance at the barrels. I was so excited. I had read about them on the net and had seen a few pictures from last month when they were completely barried in snow. It was surreal to turn the corner on the snow cat and see them. Red, blue and white...the Russian flag.
There are nine barrels, plus a cook/kitchen building, plus a few extra barrels/huts for guides etc. Each of the 9 barrels have 6 beds in them.
This was my bed. Lots of stuff to read on the wall...some in Russia, some in English, some in Korean.
Barrel number 9...home sweet home!
Rick and I sitting on his bed. Thanks James for taking this pic of us! Notice the heater!
Rick looking cute
I think Joe stole a mug a day from the kitchen. He had quite the collection by the end of our stay. Lucia was happy he brought them all back to the kitchen.
I used every single available nail and rope to hang up my stuff. It was actually quite organized.
me on my bed. Despite the smile, I did not feel well most of the time up there. Once I started taking antibiotics, my stomach problems improved. Now, 4 days after arriving back in the USA, my stomach problems are all cleared up. If I ever go back again, I will be more cautious about what I eat, and I will take more stomach friendly snacks. I was good and only drank treated water or bottled water. But I did end up loosing 3% body fat. I simply had to force myself to eat. I remember sitting at meals and having my team mates yell at me (in a loving manner of course) to "FINISH IT!". I would always finish my food last and my soup would always be cold. I tried my best.
(side note: the food poisioning started on the plane. I had packed some snacks in my purse--apple slices etc, and when I opened them up on the flight, I immediatly smelled something funny. I thought it was someone's beer on the flight, so I ate them anyway. They tasted really strange, but I was hungry and ate them. I started feeling sick but I thought it was caused from eating a bagel--I don't usually eat much carbs. I was still sick when we got to the mountain...again, I thought it was nerves. I was extremely nervous and was doubled over in cramps. Part of it was fear. I was SOOO freaked out. But now I realize that I was actually physically sick. I handled the altitude just fine--no headaches or dizziness. But I did use the bathroom a lot more then usual...I was sick)
Heres Joe. Rick and I had our own section of the barrel where there were only two beds. Joe and James had the bigger section with 4 total beds. There is a doorway with a old blanket hanging up inbetween.
Rick is all smiles on his bed.
Joe and James hanging out. Notice the carpet on the floor.
This was very very true. We all wished though that the barrels still had their original set up--a mini kitchen and bathroom inside each one. That said, the pit toilets weren't that bad.
Lots of random Russian signs inside.
Stickers, business cards and hand written signs...gave me something to stare out

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Super Angie...Russia part 4

On day 3, we had breakfast at the hotel and then walked to the lifts. Heres our whole group. Vladimir (our guide), Joe from London, Warner from Austria, James from Ireland, Rick, Me, Klaus from Germany and Anton from Austria.
Here's our friends from Norway. They were going up to the barrels for just some light hiking and acclimatizing.
Riding the first gondola up. Rick and Anton.
Heres Klaus
Me...I look pretty cheesy, don't I?
It was such a pretty ride up. We had to take two gondolas.
I LOVED the peaks of the surrounding mountains
Our other guides and cook were with us as well. Lots of boxes of food and supplies had to be loaded into each gondola.
I loved seeing all the crevasses

James, Werner and Anton, ready to get on the snow cat and head up the final leg to the Barrels.
Ready to go!
Riding up. Everyone was nervous and excited.
But with views like this...ah...gorgeous! Makes me want to go back!

On Belay

On Belay
Brennan Top Roping

Climb On!

Climb On!
Dallin top roping