Blog posts in Training

East Coast Visit - Retracing Steps

Last week I flew to the East Coast for a sensational meeting with Paychex in Rochester, NY.  My friend and America’s Got Talent finalist, Mandy Harvey, joined me and wowed the crowd with her pitch-perfect voice. It was a No Barriers day for sure! Photo credit: Timothy J. Toal

Reflections From a Rainy Fall

With a busted finger and bruised ribs from my excursion to the Alps in August, I haven’t been doing much climbing. In fact, my post-summer training has been a whole lot of my favorite supplements, like almond croissants and hazelnut lattes. While I recover and do my physical therapy, I can’t help but reflect on some of the awesome adventures I had this summer leading up to the Piz Badile. 

Adventure and Tragedy in the Alps

I'm now home safely in Colorado after a big summer climb that turned out to be full of adventure and fun, but also some challenge, uncertainty, and tragedy. Having visited the Italian Dolomites and the Alps several times, I've always been blown away by the pioneers of the 1930's and 40's like Cassin, Comici, and Bonatti, who set these bold and preposterous lines up massive rock and ice faces the size of El Capitan and often bigger.

Mayflower Gulch Training Day

As I plan for my Mt. Huntington ascent, I’m training for the long hard days that are typical for big Alaska climbs. It’s important to mix up cardio, strength and just being outside on your feet all day. Backcountry skiing last week at Mayflower Gulch between Copper Mountain and Leadville provided the perfect setting. Timmy O’Neill described it as a “cathedral of gendarmes plastered with late season snow.” Deep in the cirque, I could hear the echo of the ridgeline standing out against the immensity of the sky.

Echo Location Part 1: Batman in Training

I love creating systems which break new ground. Lucky for me, an amazing sensory system for navigating as a blind person already exists. It's essentially what bats do, a kind of echo location, mastered by the guru, Daniel Kish. Flash Sonar is the name Daniel coined, in which you make sharp clicks with your tongue and listen to how the sound echoes off objects to figure out their size, shape, and distance. Most blind people have learned to do this to some degree, but it’s passive and not developed with a conscious process.

Diamond Down

Three weeks ago, I was in Phoenix giving a presentation and planned a kayak adventure on the side. Diamond Down is a 53-mile section of the Colorado River about 4 hours from Phoenix. It travels through the last stretch of the Grand Canyon and makes for a perfect day trip. It’s also perfect training for the longer 277-mile run of the GC that I have my sites set on for next fall. We actually had to cancel our first trip scheduled for mid-September.

No Barriers South Pole Allied Challenge Meets the Queen

It is utterly amazing to witness individuals who push themselves to show the world what determination, teamwork, and a common vision can accomplish. Imagine cross-country skiing nine miles a day with a total of 208 miles over the course of 16 days in temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit and winds blasting against you at 50mph. To add icing on the cake, put yourself in the shoes of someone pulling 154 pounds on an arctic sledge with your eyes and hearts set on the vision of reaching the South Pole.

Trail Running with Uri

Here is a short video of me running with my guide dog. We both love getting out for a romp!

Spring Skiing

When you ask folks in Colorado about the skiing this season, there is a collective groan of disappointment. The year before, we were spoiled by one of the biggest and best snow years on record and now we are feeling a bit let down. Nonetheless, spring is the time to get out and enjoy ski mountaineering on the higher peaks! Warm, sunny days followed by cool nights help consolidate the snowpack, making it relatively safe from avalanches. This stability enables backcountry skiers to enjoy the steep bowls and chutes that are too dangerous earlier in the season.

Recovery

Recovery is a vital part of training. And the older I get, the more I have to recover! All those accumulated little injuries begin to take a toll. While rest and massage great ways to heal your body, lately I've been receiving treatments of cold laser therapy. This is a clinically-proven method for stimulating your body's own healing mechanisms. Check out this video to learn more:  

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