One of my law partners suggested that I title this post – only one week out – “the morbid post,” focusing on all that might happen should I not return from Elbrus. It was a tempting subject. Who can forget Tom Sawyer standing in the back of the church as he watches his own funeral unfold, and becomes overwhelmed by his own hitherto unknown virtues. For years I have treasured a Shouts and Murmurs column from the New Yorker that consists solely of the author’s self-satisfying rant as he imagines the accolades he will undoubtedly receive when his time comes from his ex girlfriends and others who never appreciated him enough during his short, but now clearly worthy, life. Something like, “It was not until now that we realized [insert your name]’s true talents, skills, generosity, and overall wonderfulness.”
But, alluring as morbidity may be, as an eternal optimist, instead I will simply observe the last minute activities of the week.
1. Tickets – Since flights have already changed departure times on numerous occasions I have no doubt they will do so again. Cross fingers two hours really will suffice for a layover in NYC.
2. Cram gear in duffel bag. Having already unsuccessfully tried to convince Delta we should get two free bags each instead of one due to the way the baggage fees were described, we are stuck with one bag each plus carry-ons. Somehow I don’t think the ice axe can go in the carry-on.
3. Practice with gear. Although we had the best of intentions to really learn our equipment, my motivation was gravely affected by the zipper debacle. See post – Gear Check #2. Although said zipper was fixed, the much anticipated practice session still hasn’t taken place. The pointy things on the crampons go down, right?
4. Get psyched to leave work behind and shift gears to preparing to climb!