Going places

I am 29, to turn 30 soon. I’ve been out of school (grad) for six years now. Many of my friends have been out of college longer, the ones who went on to complete their Ph.Ds shorter. We have had many shared experiences over the years. More than ever before, though, change is all around me now.

My friends are in the early stages of moving up the corporate ladder, getting promoted to important positions, some are going to prestigious MBA programs, many are getting married, some are having their first kid, some buying their first house.

Me? I am trying not to get caught in the corporate rat race, avoiding rushing into an MBA program to change tracks, far from having a kid, not nearly close to getting married (if any cute girls are reading this, I’m just going to put this out there – I’m such a freaking good catch it’s not even funny!), and even further from the trappings of a mortgage.

So what am I doing? I’m putting most of my eggs into one basket. If you know me, you know what it is.
If it doesn’t work and one day I’m broke and unemployed, I might come knocking on your door to crash your futon. I promise to clean up after myself.

Back from Shasta

Phew! What an experience. Pain and pleasure at their best and worst. Mountaineering is surely no walk in the park – while that shouldn’t come as a surprise, you don’t realize how intensely grueling it can be until you’ve gone on a difficult climb.

I didn’t summit. I topped out at 13,200 ft, about 900 ft from the summit. I’m proud though of where I reached. The climb was intense, as pointed out by our guide who said it was one of his toughest Shasta climbs (and he has summitted dozens of times). Deep snow, bad weather, dehydration, my bad stomach, and over 5000 ft to be ascended on summit day – considering all this, I am content that I reached that altitude. 
Pics from my climb: http://picasaweb.google.com/vinthanedar/MtShastaClimb
This has certainly given me immense confidence prior to my Rainier climb coming up in July.
(that’s not a mustache btw, it’s my helmet strap)

Prelude to Shasta

My first major mountaineering experience is coming up this weekend. I will be climbing Mt. Shasta, a 14er (14, 179 ft or 4322m) peak in Northern California. It will be a 3 day climb, complete with full mountain gear, crampons, ice axe, and a 2 am alpine start on summit day! Summit day is expected to be 14-16 hours of sustained effort. En route on day 2, there will be some training on the use of crampons, ice axe, self-arrest and such.
I’m psyched. I’ve been dreaming of such an experience for a while now. 
I hope I have a fun trip, summit, and return down safe and sound.