Friday, February 27, 2009

Not Quite the Last Sled-Drag

This last time, in Alaska, I thought;

'That's it, I've done hundreds of miles on foot in the Arctic, in Winter. Time for something new. I don't want to get used to this, I don't want to get tired of it or see it as anything other than very, very the best thing to do is stop. Preserve it as a memory. Don't wear it out.'

All good logic; the same logic I applied to mountaineering, which I've completely cut out; now, it's something I did once, something very special to look back on. I loved climbing, and every wild adventure, from Alaska to the vertical acres of El Capitan in Yosemite. But in climbing I met more than a few 'burnouts', people who'd done it too long and were vaguely bored of it. They saw climbs as fun; I wanted to every ascent to be a life-or-death drama. So I quit, and I'm happy I did.

So the logic works...but there will be one more ice trek. I've found a place up in the Arctic, by google searches and tips from Inupiat folks in Barrow, that will be perfect for paraglider aviation next Winter...and I'll need to trek to it. So, one more. But then I hang up my snowshoes. I have a lot of flying to do. Did you know that if you heat sixteen cubic feet of air to abhout 100F you can lift one pound of weight? It's the principle of hot-air balloon aviation, and thrilling to consider!

Photo above of me and Chiu, back in Barrow after our little trek in December 2008.

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