Up We Go


I noticed the earlier sunrises a few weeks ago. Like a groundhog, who didn’t want to see his own shadow, I failed to appreciate how a dark blue tint gently replaced the pitch black color of my early morning walks. The seasons have slowly started to change in Berlin despite an extended forecast for more snow.

Like the unseasonably warm temperatures in the low 40 degrees Fahrenheit, my mood changed last week too. My legs are still sore from last weekend’s weighted climb, but I have a new focus. Mountain Männer are coming to Berlin!

In January, I suggested to El Jefe and Valentine that they join me in Poland for a long weekend of training. I wanted to practice snowshoeing and make a long approach with a heavy pack. As I discovered last year, the Giant Mountans are my cheapest and closest option. It costs more time and money to travel to the Alps. Poland is a bargain.

To be honest, I didn’t think the other two would join me. However, they quickly bought plane tickets and let me make our other travel arrangements.

We will stay in a mountain hut near Karpacz and the Snow Cap mountain. The location is perfect for snowshoeing, practicing self arrest, and leading a rope team. There are no glacier crevasses in the area and few avalanche incidents.

I can already image how three flatlanders from Texas will look to the weekend skiers in Poland. Like my last trip in May 2015, we will carry more gear than we require. We hope to use our crampons, snowshoes, and ice picks in a winter environment. We can’t practice their use in Austin or Berlin. Although we may not test the limits of our equipment or our physical fitness, we will test our ability to work together as a team, which is more important for our upcoming trip to Seattle.

The Männer have boarded their flights. They are off into the wild blue yonder, and I’m off to the airport to pick them up soon.



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