Just over a week to go before I start my climb to the top of Mt. Rainier! I’m feeling pretty excited, also a bit nervous as the big moment approaches, and there has been some drama just to keep things exciting! In the last couple of weeks I’ve put in as much training time as I can, mostly hiking up Mt Sentinel with my 30 lb backpack and doing strength training at the Peak. My brother-in-law and I hiked Trapper Peak last week and then camped out on the ridgeline below the summit to help me acclimatize for the Rainier climb. Sleeping at altitude is supposed to help your body adapt ahead of time to the effects of being up high on the mountain. We had pretty good weather for the climb itself, but gale force winds blew all night making it hard to sleep.
Over the weekend my wife, Sarah, and I headed into the Pintlers for an overnight backpacking trip. It was a good opportunity for me to get in some more hiking and camping time up high, and we just wanted to get out of the heat for a while. We had a great time hiking up and over Warren Pass and our campsite at Upper Carpp Lake was just beautiful. The next morning I hiked up onto the ridge below Warren Peak, and then we headed back to the car.
This is where the drama starts! On the way down I took a nasty fall when I slipped on a wet log. My right thigh hit a rock with my full weight and the weight of my pack. The pain was pretty intense and I had a really hard time hiking out the last 4 miles, even after Sarah took some of the gear from my pack.
Back in Missoula I was still having a hard time walking, and with just 10 days or so before the Rainier climb I was really worried. I contacted Sam at Alpine Physical Therapy and she told me to come in for some treatment. She used ultrasound to loosen up the fluid in my thigh muscle and followed that with some pretty intense massage (ouch) to get the fluid moving away from the injury site. Finally some electrical muscle stimulation therapy and some hot and cold muscle packs and I felt a lot better.
Today I just got back from another round of treatment on my leg with Leah, and I can tell that my leg is on the mend. So a big thanks to Sam, Leah and all at Alpine Physical Therapy for fixing my leg so I can continue with preparing for the climb!
Thanks also to Michael Moore at the Missoulian for a really nice article on the climb and on Fit to Fight. The donations are coming in and I really think we can meet that fund raising goal! In this final week I’ll be cutting back on my workouts and focusing on getting lots of rest, staying hydrated and eating well. Then we just have to hope for good weather for the climb!