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Archive for February 17th, 2008

1000 meters in 2 hours made the passes of the PCT look easy. Granted I am somewhat out of shape but as we hike to Mueller hut (opened by Sir Edmund Hillary in 2003) I thought I was going to lose my cookies. If you have ever spent two hours on a stair master you can appreciate the “burn” as we ascended to the glaciers in the Mt. Cook National Park. We are only at 1600m but we are in serious sub-alpine country with rock falls booming in the distance as the mountain continues to fall apart. Our view of Mt. Cook (one of the world’s most difficult climbs due to the crappy rock) is looming towards our east or is that west…I keep feeling turned around in the southern hemisphere. These are not the tallest but certainly the biggest mountains I have ever been in; and yes, I have been to parts of Alaska. The contrast from 24 hours earlier is most remarkable as we went from a temperate rain forest to a glaciated mountain.

This hut is an engineering feat and looks to be constructed to withstand winds much greater than hurricane force. Thick plates of steel reinforce everything and John explained that the hut above us was literally blown off the mountain several years ago with 4 people aboard for the flight to the valley far below.

There is an American college class (Adventure tourism) here along with several Israelis who have just finished their national service and must figure that being on the side of Mt. Cook beats patrolling the Gaza strip. Everyone is really great and the mountains break down all human barriers as well.

Been thinking a lot about my future plans and it is a tough call. I am not thrilled about being back in consulting but I like the company and the people, and I certainly appreciate have been given an opportunity to recover economically from my divorce. Building a home in Mt. Shasta is still intriguing but there are serious considerations as it is all about the trade-offs. I will likely stick with the plan to work for several years and then figure it out as this plan will buy me the most economic options.

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