You must Whippet

Date: 6/18/2016
Day: 43
Distance: 19 miles
start: 7:00 am
stop: 7:30 pm
Elevation: 12361 ft
Others Here: Linus Cloudbuster
Camp: ; tenting

Remember that song by Devo? “… You must whip it…”  Well it came into my mind today.

My socks and shoes were frozen this morning and it took me 10 minutes to get the shoes on.

Only about 7 miles into the day we reached The Window and my legs were already feeling like jello; these San Juans are eating me up.   In spite of my condition, I gave into peer pressure and agreed to hike up to The Window.  My logic was that I’d only be here once (well twice) so I might as well do it.

On the way up, there was an icy snow chute that wasn’t very far across but about 50 ft down to another 5 or 10 ft drop.  Cloudbuster went across and then warned me to be careful so I put on my microspikes.  With my tired legs I just wasn’t kicking strong enough steps and about 2/3 of the way across I lost concentration for a split second.  The next I know I’m sliding down the slope.  You hear about someone’s life flashing before their eyes?  The only thing flashing before my eyes in that second or 2 was the stainless steel of the axe head as I worked to plant the Whippet (self arrest pole) into the snow.  It stopped me and I inched over on my knees using the Whippet to anchor myself in the snow.  I think I would have slid off the side of the snow onto rocky gravelly stuff, but it is possible I could have been seriously injured.  I am so thankful to God for helping me to stop.

If I should say, “my foot has slipped” your loving kindness, O Lord, will hold me up. Psalm 94:18

On my newly acquired adrenaline I continued up to window and crossed one more snowy slope. It was soft.

The rest of the day was surprisingly difficult.  I just don’t have many fat reserves and may have already burned through all of them by now. I just didn’t think I could make it over a ridge in the middle of the day which included more snowy slopes.  We took a break, had lunch and just moved toward it.  It is surprising how the energy is there when you need it and as you get close to the difficulty a way will usually present itself.  Sounds like life, doesn’t it?  When you think you can’t make it, sometimes you just have to move forward.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;  From where shall my help come?    My help comes from the Lord,  Who made heaven and earth.     He will not allow your foot to slip;  He who keeps you will not slumber.     Behold, He who keeps Israel  Will neither slumber nor sleep.       The Lord is your keeper;” Psalm 121:1-5

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