Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Tanks Take Flattop

Workout: kickass hike at Flattop - 2 hours

Well, I didn't actually make it all the way up. We were soclose. It was the first time I've ever cut a hike short when the end was in sight. However, it was the right thing to do. Let me start from the beginning.

Beauty shot. Dressed to the nines. Yes, those sunglasses were necessary-it was bright out!

After class I headed to Flattop knowing I could be turned back by a steep, slippery, dangerous road. I was actually more concerned about coming back down, though, and I really wanted to go up there so I kind of forced myself not to think about it. I don't have a cell phone right now (long story), so I wrote my mom a note saying "Come get me if I'm not back by 7:00." #planningahead Fortunately, the road was fine. Every square inch seemed to be saturated with gravel so I didn't slip at all. I wish the same could be said about my street.

Normally, I would have worn tennis shoes, but since I just bought stupid shoes, I wanted to test them out.

These look like something the Michelin Man would wear.

My thoughts? Ugh. These things are bulky. And heavy. More like bricks than shoes. Each step felt twice as hard as usual. And I would argue that my traction was actually worse in these than in tennis shoes, mostly because they were too damn big to fit in the niches I would normally use. However. My feet were warm. And dry. It's been a while since I completed a run/hike with warm, dry feet, and that was pretty awesome. I guess I'll keep them. Next time I wear kahtoolas.

Anyway, the views were great, and it was a beautiful day.

I went up those a couple weeks ago!

She loves kicking up snow with her nose.

Things were going great, until they weren't. Bailey's never been to the top of Flattop, but I decided to see if she could handle it. I was thinking it might actually be easier for her with the snow and this seemed true, for the most part. I was slipping a bit, but generally there were enough handholds and the drop was always small enough that I wasn't concerned.

We were literally feet from the top when shit got serious. Suddenly the steep path turned into a steep slide-a steep ice slide, to be exact. Someone had obviously slid down, taking all the powder with them and leaving a death chute in their wake. I could see just how close were were and started to go up when I saw Bailey slipping and realized that with my massive shoes, I was about to run out of places to put my feet. This was a problem.

Now, Bailey was on a leash, so there was never any risk of her falling to her death, and in fact, we wouldn't have fallen far. In all honesty, we probably would have been fine, and had I been alone, I would have sucked it up. But I wasn't alone, and Bailey didn't have enough experience for me to make such a risky choice. Even though it killed me, I turned around. I think this was the right thing to do. And hey, I've been up there literally dozens of times and we got most of the view anyway. What a grownup.

We had gone up the steeper, shorter way, but I wanted to extend our jaunt so we went down the other way.


That is downtown Anchorage. And the Sleeping Lady (you see her?).

Great little hemlock forest

The hike took around two hours, which is a full forty minutes slower than my typical ascent/descent. Snow/brick shoes make everything harder! It felt great to push myself, though, and the weather really was perfect. I've decided I like the mid-20s. A bit nipp(l)y, but very comfortable once you warm up.

As far as running goes, I ran down part of Flattop. Not sure that counts. I'm planning to run between classes tomorrow, though, so there's that. But how can I be expected to run when there are mountains to explore?!


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