Friday, June 22, 2012

Switching Gears

Bugaboo, Snowpatch and Pigeon Spire from atop the South Howser Tower.
It's time to switch gears.  Rifle is getting hot, and a two week trip to the Bugaboos in August is quickly approaching .  Instead of sport climbing, I need to start focusing on traditional climbing, and getting fit for long days. 

I climb trad, but have never claimed to be an alpinist.  This will be my first alpine climbing trip and I have to admit I am a little nervous.  Not about the climbing, but everything else- the glaciers, ridge traverses, descents, grueling approaches, and cold overnight bivys.  I want to be ready- for myself, and my partner.

Besides my reservations about alpine climbing, the trip also marks an important anniversary for me.  On August 1st, 2010 I had a climbing accident and spiral fractured both of my ankles.  Within 24 hours, I underwent surgery and had 13 screws placed in my ankles.  I spent nine hazy days in the hospital and then I sat in a wheelchair with plastic boots on my legs for over three months while they healed.  During that time, I wondered if I would ever climb again.  More importantly, I wondered if I would want to climb again.

Two yeas later, my ankles are about 95% recovered and I am embarking on the most adventurous, and committing trip of my life.  I am more excited about climbing than ever!  In some ways, the accident was a blessing, that showed me how much I loved climbing and how much it has given me.  By almost losing climbing, I became more passionate about it.

Anyways, I can't wait to see the Canadian wilderness, and get committed to some huge, classic rock climbs.  Hopefully my ankles hold up.  Even if they don't, I will be in a beautiful place, doing what I love, and feeling grateful that I can still partake in such an amazing sport.

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