Ice Climbing Science

It's almost that time again... As the mercury drops, ice climbers dream of water trickling over rock walls, gradually growing from smears to bulges to big fat walls of ice. Paul forwarded me this excellent scientific report testing the strengths of various types of ice protection. It will always be a judgment call whether an anchor is solid, but empirical evidence is surely a painless way to gather knowledge. So if you're planning on swinging tools this winter, I'd give it a thorough perusal.

On that note, Paul, Clay and I will be braving the parks highway on Wednesday so that we can join our family in sacrificing a turkey. Friday will see Father and Sons racing together as the "Schauer Power" relay team at the annual Turkey Day Relays. Upon finishing, we will make our exodus to Ohana Cobana, our cabin near the Deltas. Early season ice climbing or late-season ice caving shall ensue. Expect updates next week.


Gotta love it...

I just handed in my genetics lab report, a real-world style primary source document detailing the semester in which we isolated, cloned, anaylzed and sequenced DNA from spinach. This morning I hammered all four heats of a classic sprint time trial with the ski team, and actually stacked myself in with the big guys. Yesterday I turned in my term paper for physiology, a well-researched and thoroughly fascinating treatise about thermoregulation and hypothermia. Tomorrow morning I'll be completing an essay exam for that same class, covering material about the nuts and bolts of respiration, circulation, ion balance, nitrogen management digestion and nutrition. Friday I'll be heading to Hatchers Pass with the team for a weekend training camp up on the good snow, though I do have to swing back into town Friday afternoon for a lab session. Between two-a-day workouts this weekend at Hatchers, I'll be studying for my organic chemistry exam on Monday. Then it'll be thanksgiving, thank goodness.

I'm finding out that the only possible way for me to cope with this schedule is to fully embrace it as the insanity that it sometimes is. I watched a TED talk by a brit named Ben about skiing solo to the geographic North Pole. Dude has some willpower. Because the sea-ice that covers the Arctic Ocean is always drifting, he often floated backwards while he slept, only to ski for many hours the next day to creep a couple miles north of his previous position. On his worst day he skied due north, pulling two gigantic sleds with all of his necessary gear, into a headwind for 7 or so hours, only to end up two and a half miles further south of where he started due to the drifting ice. And he was laughing about it. What a guy...

I'm pretty sure that's probably what it takes to surmount an insurmountable obstacle. Realize just how outrageously impossible it really is, laugh about it, then do it...with a smile.

...gotta love it    :-D