J left this morning for another harrowing adventure … he is taking a 6-day expedition skills seminar with RMI guides and other crazy adrenaline junkies on Mt. Shuksan in North Cascades National Park of Washington (less than 25 miles from Canada!).
The program is meant to practice those fun mountaineering skills–like crevasse rescue (think being stuck in a small space between 2 ice walls), ice climbing and fixed line travel (roped to each other while “hiking”)–all while making a summit bid for Shuksan. At 9,131 feet, it is not a particularly high mountain, but tricky because it is glaciated.
Some of you–who am I kidding, all of you–might question why? Well, this boy was unfortunately bit by the mountaineering bug last year when we climbed Rainier and has his sights set on bigger mountains, like Denali. The program will help him gain proficiency in climbing techniques, so that he could climb those mountains safely.
I don’t pretend to like it. I am not-so-secretly hoping he comes home from the trip saying, “I’m done with this mountaineering thing. Let’s stick to backpacking.” But, I do hope for his safety and wellbeing while he plays up there and would appreciate good vibes sent his way this week from y’all!