Two days on top

I can’t speak for you, but my workload has not slowed down one iota during August’s dog days.

As a result, I needed to condense a planned 10-day vacation into a far shorter, 48-hour one.

But, knowing where I had to go, and what I wanted to do, I phoned Art Mooney (www.mooneymountainguides.com).

Art had the ideal solution:

– One day of slab climbing on New Hampshire’s nine-pitch, 3,500-ft-tall White Horse Mountain.

Whitehorse– A second day spent scaling Franconia Notch’s rugged ‘Eaglet’.

Eaglet

Art couldn’t have chosen two, more diverse experiences for the climbing team of A.O. Barr, Chris and Repman Cody.

Art describes slab climbing as a desperate, and delicate, scramble up a series of 60 degree angles that provides few, if any, hand or toe holds. The key to slab climbing is engaging one’s core and using balance and forward momentum to move skyward. As Art reminded us on more than occasion, the more we veered off the route he selected, the more desperate and delicate our steps would be.

But, five hours, and a few desperate, delicate steps later, we stood astride White Horse, and soaked in vistas of 50 miles or more in every direction. Work-related stress? What work-related stress. Btw, here’s Art’s blog describing our slab-climbing escapades that day.

Day Two was completely different. Art led us onto a brutally challenging, 25 degree angled, boulder-strewn trail hike that took us to the base of the Eaglet (a climb Art had earlier promised would be ‘wild’).

After 45 minutes of intense, cardio climbing, we dropped our gear at the base of Eaglet, and stared straight up at the spire. A needle might be a better descriptor of the peak. Art warned us the summit wouldn’t hold more than three or four of us a time. Now, that’s what I call narrow.

Art led me while his trusty partner, Eric Thatcher, guided Chris.

Despite three or four particularly technical challenges, we each summitted the Eaglet. It was an amazing feeling, and a euphoric sense of accomplishment swept over us (I’d challenge heroin or crystal meth makers to top mountaineering’s natural highs)

I cannot tell you how completely refreshing a few days of climbing can be. It took only two days on top to recharge my work batteries, and ensure this PR guy stayed on top of his workload.

What other legal pastime will produce that type of short-term result?”

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