How do you conquer climbing a mountain or completing a huge project? What’s the best way to go about it? People, including me, like to rush at the last second, taking the heroic approach. But is that the best way to go? In my experience—definitel…
How do you conquer climbing a mountain or completing a huge project? What’s the best way to go about it? People, including me, like to rush at the last second, taking the heroic approach. But is that the best way to go? In my experience—definitely not.
When you try to rush, work through the night, and crank it out, it may seem like you succeeded. That’s not possible to keep up all the time, though. I used to work at places where we did the hero thing, multiple times a quarter. After a while, people started quitting and developing health problems. It was a consistency failure.
The same thing happens when you work out and train for something. It’s much more effective to apply consistent, slow but manageable work. It’s not as glamorous but it’ll get you to the top of the mountain. In this video, I climbed Mt. Glory to 10,130′ and didn’t break a sweat because I went slowly. It wasn’t glorious but I got the job done.
While training for mountain climbing, sometime I’ve wanted something to snack on. Since none of the Mexican stores around Jackson sell their good salsa, the only option is the mass-production stuff at Albertsons and Smiths. It’s okay but not nearly as good as from Northgate or Otay Farms in San Diego. To get around this problem, I found and modified a recipe to make it taste like home. Prices are in Jackson, WY costs…
When you go to Antarctica, you need massive calories.
A shopping cart full of butter is one of the ways to get those calories. This mountain of butter was only part of the food I took to survive in continent 7. The checkout couldn’t even ring this many items up on one receipt. She had to run three credit card transactions for me to buy this.
Abu Gosch in Chile was a great place to purchase these supplies, cheaper than in Punta Arenas. It just required a taxi ride out and a very understanding taxi driver coming back in.
When humans are in polar environments trekking across ice, they have to burn massive
calories to stay warm and fueled for the activity. There are lots of options for calories but only a few efficient ones. Butter is one of those calorie sources. It is suggested, based on experience, to consume 6,000 calories per day to maintain weight. Much less than that and the body begins shedding massive amounts of weight.
Prior to my butter going bad, I had only lost 5 pounds. Once the butter died (went off, in British vernacular), I dropped 20 pounds in a mere two weeks. I lost 10-15% of my calories per day when the butter failed. It was amazing how rapidly the weight came off. However, Antarctica is a place where losing weight is really bad.
When the weight burns down, staying warm becomes difficult. Fat reserves really do work well for insulation. And, once the stuffing comes off, the harness begins to dig into
bones rather than riding on a nice layer of fat. My clothing ended up being two sizes too big, too. It looked absurd, really. As though as I was a little kid wearing my dad’s clothing.
Every day up until the butter failed, I was eating an 8 ounce block of butter every day. That is, the equivalent of two American sticks of butter. One block for breakfast and then one during the day. For the snack time butter stick, I ate the butter directly, not spread on toast or anything. Just like a block of cheese. A la the Zits comic above.
The big question everyone wants to know us how much weight I lost. When I arrived in Chile, I weighed 170 pounds (77kg). After an 80 day expedition where 1/3 of my calories went bad in the last 2 weeks, I returned to the States weighing 145 pounds (66kg).
Amazingly, the loss did not occur until the last few weeks of the expedition. The problem became apparent when the towing harness began cutting into my waist, causing incessant trouble with my right hip. An adjustment of an inch was the difference between pain and relative comfort with the towing harness.
For so long, I had no problems with any of my traces or harness. However, once the irritation began, the chafing and pressure became increasingly distracting and problematic to the point where, by the end of the day, I was constantly fiddling to make things comfortable. Many times it got to the point of suffering with low grade discomfort rather than making an adjustment and having things become even worse.
A loss of 25 pounds (11kg) is not all that bad compared to the 2011-2012 season where some expeditioners lost upwards of 44 pounds (20kg). If I had dropped that much weight, making the pole would have been exceedingly troublesome.
As an interesting note, a pound of fat on humans is worth approximately 3500 calories. That means over the time I was losing weight, I was short roughly 87,500 calories. That wasn’t good but once the butter went rancid, there wasn’t much to do but thin out.
Living in America will make it easier to gain the weight back, though. All I have to do us over-eat by 1 apple sauce cup a day to gain a pound in a month. As I’m over-eating by way more than that, I’ll be chunked back up in no time.
I had to purchase a few spare duffle bags to transport my perishables onto the aircraft.
One of those perishables is butter. Two duffle bags full of butter.
As butter will be a full 1/3 of my diet, 2000 calories per day (3 sticks), it’s important to ensure that part if my ration is well taken care of. If the butter were in with the general population, it would be mashed to being unusable and rotten. That’d be a disaster for me prior to even hopping on the plane.
All 5 of my gear bags plus the 2 duffles if butter weighed in at 152kg / 334lbs. Not nearly as bad as I expected, though that weight makes me feel like I’m missing something.
I’ll receive my 6 cans of fuel and 6 liters of water in Antarctica. Another 55 lbs.
For the first 10 days, I’ll be struggling mightily, as not everything will likely fit in my sled bags. The trick will be to avoid looking like a Turkish bazaar.
A mountain of gear. In there I have 5 bags with pink duct tape.
Breakfast is complete. 12 boxes/pounds of cereal, 3 pounds of sugar, eight containers/6 pounds of powdered milk, and a roll and a half of Glad Press n Seal.
That is just the dry portion of breakfast. For each breakfast, I will eat 2 sticks of butter. Between the dry material, 400 cal, and the butter, 800 cal, I will be plowing down some serious breakfast.
I’ll eat one of these, 2 sticks of butter, for breakfast, a half block for lunch, and another whole block for dinner. 1.1 pounds of butter a day.
And the cereal usually leaves me hungry after two and half hours. The point of this breakfast is that I can eat it cold and eat it fast. I do not have to heat up water or anything for the morning.
Also, I found that the Cascadian Farms organic cereal has many more calories per ounce than oatmeal or anything else. It is a much better deal. Plus, the Sugar in the Raw, cane sugar, really powers me up in the morning.
I am working on my final food preparations prior to shipment via air down to Chile. I am trying to figure out how to pack 90 days of food into the sled so I still have some room for something.
90 bags is sure going to be a lot of space. Having everything pulverized & mashed into smaller space would definitely be better. Also, I am trying to figure out why my bag of simulated food weighs way more than my food weight estimate. Either the packaging lies on some items or I miscalculated. I will figure this out quite immediately.