On belay!

Guess who’s certified to belay, has two thumbs and no upper body strength?

THIS GIRL

I took a Belay Certification course with the Alaska Rock Gym to get up to speed on climbing basics and become eligible for future climbs at the facility.

We focused on top rope climbing, with one person climbing and the other on belay. Thank goodness for girlfriends – having a friendly face at the end of my rope significantly increased my confidence and the fun factor. Note: it definitely did not increase my skills.

The course covered gear, knots, anchors, falling and safely descending. Now that I’m certified, I can climb freely at ARG as I wish (assuming I have gear, a partner, and am practicing what I learned).

See you on the pitches!

Glissading Gone… ?

If sliding down a mountain slope on your butt is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

What goes up, gets to come down.

IMG_8155
Little O’Malley Summit, Anchorage

Glissading is by far the simplest, and most fun way to get off a mountain summit* until I learn how to paraglide. By it’s definition, glissading is simple: the climber sits on her butt, leans back, lifts feet, and slides down the angle quickly and efficiently. Of course, there’s technique and considerations if you’re on a steep angle and/or carrying an ice ax (checking Climbing.com for that information). And if you know me at all, that ain’t my game.

For your viewing pleasure:

Glissading done well:

Glissading done… not well (sound on):

As if I ever do anything with style and grace… A nylon skirt, well packed trail and aย just right angle were ingredients for one seriously fast and funny trip to the bottom.ย You’re welcome!

*I am not a mountaineer, ice climber, or other high-octane adventure seeker. I stick to low angles and elevations.ย Glissade at your own risk!

Perfect Days

This morning I was riding my bike with the sun on my neck and golden leaves in my face. It was a perfect temperature and the rays of sunlight coupled with fog patches in the trees were ethereal.

I thought about taking a picture and acknowledged that no iPhone snap could actually capture the magic or essence of the morning, so I rode on.

This afternoon, the skies were still blue and the sun was warm again as I made my way home. It was just too perfect, so I opted to take the long way home, weaving through downtown Anchorage’s “rush hour” traffic to catch the west end of the green belt trail.

This time the picture lined up. All I can think is, hang in there fall, let me soak it up just a little bit longer.