Brittany's Blog

A Skiers' Life According to Brittany

Month – May 2010

TR: I got a white rock on White Rock (26 May 2010) – a tale of Engagement

After our attempt on Spider face on Sunday, I was itching to get something done. Our big ski lines had brought me too many failures of late- El Diente, Pyramid, and Spider Face. I was frustrated with failures and wanted to ski something relatively easy and fun- something I would enjoy and something that would end this streak of frustration and turn it around into success. I was debating which line to ski….

White Widow?

Or White Rock?
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White Widow was obviously a more aesthetic line. But the skiing would likely be longer and better on White Rock. Both were accessed from the area that we call mini-Queen Basin.

I tried all week to find a partner, but had no luck. It seems that most people are “done skiing” for the season. Sensing my restlessness, Frank agreed to join me for a mid-week adventure, leaning toward White Rock as he had recently skied White Widow while I was off skiing Capitol.

White Rock it was.
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TR: El Nacho (21 May 2010)

Last week, I tried to keep my schedule open for some more fourteener skiing. But, the weather forecasts kept calling for really high winds. Though some lines are okay to attempt in high winds, my remaining fourteeners are a bit technical- and not peaks I wish to climb during high winds.

So, I convinced Jarrett to join me on an exploration up Copper Creek.
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We originally were hoping to do some lines off of Avery. But, as we approached, we realized the snow line was high on the east-facing aspect we were considering. We’d be hiking a lot for just a few turns if we went up the west side, whereas the snowline reached the valley on the east. So, up the east side we went- to Queen Basin.
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Reinhold Messner on mental strength

It’s May, and May is time for Everest. If you keep up with the Everest gossip, you know about the achievement of a 13-yr old reaching the summit just last week. It seems like every year there’s some new record on that peak. Though today’s records are certainly great achievements, I also like to recognize achievements of old, remembering amazing revolutionary climbers and alpinists like Reinhold Messner. Messner, with is continuous successes at high altitude climbing solo, and without oxygen, pushed the sport to new levels. His solo no-oxygen climb on Everest proved to the world that humans can accomplish the near-impossible. The video below highlights his achievements and also gives a deeper insight into Messner’s mind. Messner’s attitude is different than many mountaineers- he views that in climbing mountains he is not battling the mountain, he is battling himself and his own mental capabilities. His successes are due more to finding the mental strength within himself than just brute physical strength. Great video to watch- inspiring for all athletes as we each battle our own mental demons.

El Diente Attempt (16 May 2010)

After finishing Capitol the previous Sunday, the momentum was rolling. I wanted to try to finish skiing my four remaining fourteeners. The weather was looking perfect for a Sunday attempt on El Diente. Frank and I were joined by our friends Ann Driggers, Pete Sowar, John Jasper, and Pam Rice.

We began our hike from Silver Pick and 3:30 in the morning, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we could use skins just a few hundred feet from the car. Tree-fall, however, will be an issue for cars after the snow melts.
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Photo courtesy of Ann Driggers

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Fourteener Frustration: Pyramid Attempt (18 May2010)

After an attempt to ski El Diente on Sunday (blog entry coming soon), Frank and I spent a day resting and making our way toward Aspen for an attempt on Pyramid. The weather forecast was not looking highly favorable- a 50% chance of snow after noon, but we were hoping to hit the line early, beating the oncoming weather.

A look at the Landry on Pyramid, our preferred route, line on Monday.
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Inspired by a 16-yr old: Jessica Watson

Growing up on the coast of Lake Erie, sailing on a regular basis, skippering my own boat beginning at age 6, I still find myself immersed in sailing stories like this one. This 16-yr old girl set out seven months ago to sail around the world. Thousands welcomed Jessica home last week into Sydney Harbor. Though this Aussie is too young to drive, she managed to navigate herself around the world, achieving her dream.

What strikes me most is not just her amazing accomplishment, it’s her perspective- something we can all learn from. Jessica’s record for being the youngest person to sail around the world is under hot debate. But, she shrugs it off, saying, “It’s not something that worries me because there always have been and there always will be some people who choose to not acknowledge the record, and for me it wasn’t ever actually about the record, so I’m not worried at all.”

Jessica tops it off with this: “I’m not a hero. I’m an ordinary girl who believed in her dream. You don’t have to be someone special to achieve something amazing. You’ve just gotta have a dream, believe in it, and work hard.”

Today, I was inspired by a 16 year old. Thanks, Jessica!

Read more on CNN.

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