A Hiking We Will Go: Keeping Up with Dad While Awaiting Winter
For the first time ever I am enjoying warm weather during the heart of winter. Most years I have found it to be an awkward in-between season- too cool for consistent outdoor climbing (disclaimer-sometimes I manage to sneak in some of my best climbs of the year during this time, but they are limited) and no snow for skiing. This year is different. I have finally let go and found a new sport- keeping up with my dad on the trails and without a rope. During the summer I manage just fine keeping up with my old man climbing strictly on the rock. No high alpine (yet), he carries the rack (thank goodness), leads all the pitches (thank goodnessx2), and I get to sit back, relax, clean his run out gear, and climb.
This last weekend my dad and I sat down and opened Gary Roach's Flatiron's Classics. The novelty consists of easy classic climbs and hikes in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado. I was instantly inspired. My dad and I headed out the next day to do Fumble Di Dum. The sky was clear, but the air was testy. I instantly grabbed my Speedlite 10L planning on going fast and light. I quickly realized I wanted more layers and more water so I transitioned to the ACT Trail 20 SL. I gained a lot more room for hats, gloves, vests, food, and water. The route is hustle and scramble. The ACT Lite worked like a charm. The exterior pouch allowed me to keep my hat and long sleeve readily accessible should my dad slow down, which only happened upon request. I was able to carry all the water I would ever want and didn't sacrifice leaving gear behind. The Fumble Di Dumb was epic and I had a lot of fun. Needless to say, my dad felt refreshed and I felt exhausted. I went home and took a nap, but Monday morning rolled around and I got the itch again. Perhaps we can do the top ten by the end of the year. Who knows, maybe the descent will leave my quads ready for ski season? Praying the snow will come before spring.
–Alana Russell (Outdoor Ambassador).