Shifting Gears – A New Year and A Gear Check: Orizaba Here We Come


So we leave in two days and I’ve managed to do an unbelievably good job of procrastination with the gear check. It started off as – oh, we did this six months ago, how much more can there be to do – to, well, maybe I need to go to Trak Shack and by more gu’s tomorrow because I’m down to five.

But procrastination – i.e., let’s do anything besides the gear check – enabled me to do just a tiny bit of work this morning to welcome in the new year in appropriate lawyer like fashion. It also helped me take down all the Christmas decorations, mop the kitchen floor, communicate with daughters A and S, and go for one last leisurely walk with pack on. Oh, and there was time for the martini on the porch while watching the sunset.

But while on the porch, I did find myself black thread and needle in hand as I mended my Thermasilk glove liners, which clearly could not be replaced within the next 24 hours of globally warmed Florida. Just before sundowner hour we did venture into our guest room, which is where we do gear assembly, to start the preliminary review. What I hadn’t realized about a gear check after having climbed a number of mountains is that you wear out your equipment. As I pulled out the glove liners and saw each index finger was completely ripped, I suddenly recalled that I’d climbed Illiniza Norte in Ecuador with only my liners – they kept my fingers warm but I could feel the rock, unlike my heavily lined gloves or my even heavier mittens. (But I was very happy to have those mittens on Cotopaxi when I realized my fingers were going numb.)

There’s still an overwhelming amount of stuff to go through in what used to be called the guest room. And only 72 (or is it 48) hours to sort it out.  Are the lithium batteries still good? Is there a leak in my Thermorest pad and does it really make a difference anyway? And will gorilla tape actually work to repair our very ripped up duffel bags?
Any answers to these questions or other tips for climbing Orizaba are more than welcome!

I’m excited. Next post – from Mexico, at altitude.

5 thoughts on “Shifting Gears – A New Year and A Gear Check: Orizaba Here We Come

  1. Carson, Kenneth L. January 1, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    Mary Ruth and John – Happy New Year and have a great climb! Thanks for having N w all this going on. Duct tape will prevail.

    We thought of our climb up Puzzle w you, seeing it from cross country ski trails today.

    Cheers, Ken and Sally

    ps I particularly liked your post about the silent purposefulness when arising at 3:00 a.m. for peak ascent. Thanks for sharing an experience I ain’t gonna have.

    Sent from my iPad


    • mhoustonfl January 1, 2016 / 8:30 pm

      Thanks! It was great having N and A with us. We are excited to see what the next week holds. The long term forecast suggests it may be very windy. Fingers crossed – and we’ll look forward to our next Maine or Massachusetts adventure with you!


  2. Roz January 2, 2016 / 4:55 pm

    Wishing you both calm winds and safe climbing.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Moore January 3, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    Have an amazing time and as always you will be prepared!!!


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