I haven't posted anything in a while, largely because I've been busy both at work and getting ready for my first winter backpack in over 2 years. Yep, February 2006 was my last overnight winter trip.
In 1999/2000 I spent all but 1 winter weekend in a tent in the mountains. That was a peak year but generally I've been lucky enough to get out on 5 winter overnights per year. The reason I backpacked less was ice climbing and occasionally skiing took up more time. For instance in 2002/2003 I climbed 100 days between Nov and June 1st, 40 on ice (that was a good year!
I was hoping this to be a winter like 1999/2000 but the truth is I miscalculated my rehab time. I feel like I was and am on pace, but it occurred to me this winter just how long it really takes to hit 100%.
I was under the impression that with hard work I'd be good as new in 6 months, even talking presidential traverse in June or July, and while I was amazed how far I came, there was always that fear that I wasn't ready. And the truth is, the stronger my knee gets the more I realize I wasn't.
Now that uncertainty will last perhaps months or years more but there is a point where the knee will be 110% and only my mind will separate me from going full bore and trusting it.
Do you ever wonder why professional athletes generally stink the first year back from ACL surgery? It's because the real rehab time is about 18-24 months, and those guys are essentially paid to rehab 24/7/365. It's also why my original doctor was anti surgery because most people who aren't athletes simply don't have the desire to rehab an ACL injury. Unfortunately, if he'd ever listened to any of my concerns he'd have realized I am one of the freaks in the world that enjoys physical therapy and the rehab process (note to doctors: occasionally listen to your patients, they MIGHT know themselves better than you do).
In any case, I'm really excited about getting out for 2 nights and 3 days on whats probably a pretty easy 3 day trip that could easily be done in 2 days, and by really fit hikers 1 long day. I never sleep better than when 1mm of nylon separates me from the outside world, or better when I'm directly under the stars so I'd rather plod along at 6 mile days than do the whole 15 miles in 1 day.
This hike has some steep sections, most of the trip (3/4s) is near or above 3000ft. It summits 2 4000 footers and nearly 3.5 miles of the 7 miles to Rocky Peak Ridge is exposed ridge line. The best part, it's not in the High Peaks Wilderness, which happens to be the only place in the Adirondacks you pay to park, and also has rules that are actually enforced.
The weather looks good and I know this trip is stellar since I've hiked all of it in separate day hikes multiple times, but never as a single continuous trip.
Some photos from the past on the route we'll be following or across the value towards the route (some of these are poor quality scans from poor quality photos, eventually I'll catch up of the film scans directly from the negatives)...
technorati tags:ADK, Adirondacks, backcountry, backpacking, winter, Rocky Peak Ridge, Bald Mountain, Bald, summit, High Peaks, Giant Mountain, Hopkins Mountain, Chapel Pond Slab, Chapel Pond, Regular Route, climbing
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