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Acute Mountain Sickness strikes

AMS Victim
AMS victim hiking toward Fish Creek Saddle

On a backpack this weekend up the Fish Creek Trail to San Gorgonio (11,503′), my backpacking partner was struck with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) on Aug 20.  As with all of the cases I have run into including the times I have had trouble, the vectors for the problem are consistent:

  • Hydration
  • Sleep
  • Training
  • Fitness
  • Psychology

Continue reading “Acute Mountain Sickness strikes”

Tyre training modification

After half-wasting another chain into metal dust, I carved a hole in the old tire with a 1/2″ drill bit. After a couple of cuts, I was able to punch through a link to the outside of the tire. Now I can either use the tire in difficult or less difficult mode.

To make the change between modes, I flip the chain around from being mounted high on the tread or low. If low, life is easier because I’m lifting up on the tire when dragging. For difficult, the tire is pulled straight if not slightly down, dramatically increasing the pulling force required to move the tire.

30 minute tire drag.  I’ve also begun logging my training in an Excel worksheet, as I have yet to find a good WordPress widget to track workouts with.

Tyre dragging vs the chain

After tearing through 3/16 chain in a half hour, I decided I needed to step it up with a

Ground through heavy chain

much heavier chain.  For this 40 minute session, I dropped by Home Depot this morning and purchased some beefy chain.

As I’ve seen others use chains to drag their tires (tyres for you Brits), I went with that.  This time I got some good, heavy chain in hopes that physics would somehow make the chain last much longer.

I was wrong. Continue reading “Tyre dragging vs the chain”

Breaking the chain

When purchasing a chain to drag a tire along the road, the first concern is to make sure the chain is long enough to wrap around the tire.  Virtually any classic chain will do.  At least I thought.

Chain ground down after one session

I wanted to make sure I didn’t have one of those weird twisted chains used on kids swing sets.  Those things aren’t really good for anything.  And the chain that can hold a 1,000 pounds is way overkill.  So there’s no reason to purchase a heavy-duty chain because there’s no way I’m going to pull 280 pounds of load.

That may be true, but.

Maybe I need thicker chain.  I’ll try that and see if the physics of the universe changes and the chain survives.  At least I know that if I’m chained to something, I can drag it for a half hour to cut it.  The chain does get blasting hot, too.

Rossignol BC 90 Positrack Backcountry Skis Review

The Rossignol BC-90 Positrack Backcounty skis ended up being a great ski for me on my

On the road in Yellowstone at -10 degrees

second expedition across Yellowstone in January 2011. In Jan 2010, I had the 189 skis with no skins and could not tow my sled at all with those skis. Originally, the thought was that I needed maximum floatation when traveling through the back country with those skis. They did have great float, virtually as good at my ultra-light snow shoes. Continue reading “Rossignol BC 90 Positrack Backcountry Skis Review”

Tire chains

Training for the south pole trekking can be a daunting task.  On top of all the coordination with different companies, you have to be extremely fit to even consider attempting this.  If you look at the baseline fitness training schedule from Adventure Network International, you will see that  you have to show up in Antarctica already fit and running at maximum ability. Continue reading “Tire chains”

Getting to the pole via a swimming pool

The first humans arrived at the South Pole 100 years ago.  It was essentially a race between several of the world’s best explorers of their age: Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton.  One made it and returned, another died on the way back and the last ended up in one of the greatest survival epics in history.

How did they get there?  They filled their pool. Continue reading “Getting to the pole via a swimming pool”