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Monday, July 06, 2009

My Personal EcoChallenge

Lately, at our house the Kodiak Eco-Challenge has been a big topic of discussion. Zoya had considered participating in the event that takes place in two weeks. Yesterday Bruce and I did our own personal eco-challenge. While our event lacked other competitors, food stations, and a few disciplines like swimming, running and rafting it was still pretty darn grueling. Our challenge started at the base of Barometer by the airport and ended near the golf course via Erskine Mountain. The goal of the trip was to ski off the top of Erskine and we did 2 nice ski runs. Still a lot of snow up there. What made our eco-challnge so tough was the added challenges of bushwhacking through brush WHILE WEARING SKI BOOTS AND CARRYING SKIS OVER MY SHOULDER.

I forgot my extra tuft boots to hike in. Uh-Oh.

Oh well, how bad can it be hiking in ski boots - I do it every day when I climb Pyramid? The answer is really bad. By the end of the trip my arches were killing me and the extra effort required to pull the ski boots, buckles opening and catching on grass and salmonberry, through the brush fried my leg muscles. At the finish Bruce and I were cramping up so badly that we had a hard time taking off our boots and even getting into the car. At home I had a few full body cramps that had me on the floor arching in pain while the dogs licked my face and the kids stared. Zoya was only semi-empathetic. "You did this to yourself, honey" she stated.

-Top - where's the snow? This is the start of our trip climbing up through the brush to the alpine.
-Second photo is of me when we've reached the alpine on the crest of the Barometer-Erskine ridge with Anton Larsen Bay and Pyramid in the background.
-Third photo is of Bruce at the top of Erskine mountain with fog shrouding Viekoda Bay in the distance. The white dots on the green mountain behind Bruce are mountain goats.
-Fourth photo is of Bruce in the Erskine bowl at the start of skin up prior to our second run.
-Finally the botom picture is the view back towards Buskin Lake and town near the top of our final climb and ski run. From here it was all downhill back to the golf course in more ways than one. That green stuff down there near the lake is Hell.


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