Final Soldiers to the Summit training before Nepal!

What an awesome weekend. With the Soldiers to the Summit trip rapidly approaching (10 days from today) there was a desire to get some additional training done in Colorado. The added bonus of this training is that we were joined by GX magazine as the National Guard is one of many great sponsors of this trip. Brad Bull (one of the guides for the trip), Aaron Isaacson (Ike), and myself participated in training in the mountains. Charley Mace (another guide) assisted us with final gear preparation and Chris Morris (Guide) smoked us in the gym. It was really great to reconnect as we look forward to our trip.

The training started with the arrival of Ike from Kansas. We met at the Mace residence and worked through final preparations on gear. We had to ensure that we would be taking everything we would need and really nothing we didn’t. I would personally like to thank the kind folks at Bent Gate Mountaineering for their support once again. The deals that they are giving us on gear is exceptional and I can not imagine how we could have pulled this off without them.

One of the things the guys from GX magazine wanted is photos of us in all aspects of our training. I am sorry I don’t have photos of this but Chris smoked us in the gym. It was a great workout. He is an exceptional personal trainer. We did a lot of work on the gym rings and I learned some new exercises that I will be incorporating in my workout regiment. We promptly undid everything we did at the gym at the Wynkoop brewery that night. What can I say that is why we work out so hard.

Due to the late night Friday night Saturday was a much slower day. We hiked up to St. Mary’s glacier for some more glacier training. The unfortunate thing is that most of the glacier is melted. We did manage to hang a rope on what appeared to be the longest section of the glacier and jug a line for a bit. The best part of the day was getting off of the glacier and scrambling up the hill. It was really a great time to hang out with some exceptional people and continue to build the bonds that will help get us up Lobuche.

We needed to get a full day of training in on Sunday. After a little deliberation we decided that Kelso Ridge located on Torreys Peak. Torreys peak is 14,267 feet and the close neighbor to Grays peak. We had to get an early start on this one so we decided that we would meet at 5:00 am and try to be on the trail by 6:30 am. We met both of those goals and actually got started 10 minutes early. On of the exceptional things on this trip is that Adam (GX magazine) and Ike had never been to that elevation before. They also did not have much time to acclimate to the altitude. Along with the altitude Kelso ridge not your standard “walk up” 14er route. It is a climb. Here is a view of the route.

The climb up was great. We had an awesome day and built some camaraderie. I can not wait to get to Nepal to climb with these guys. Photos can tell the story better than I can so here are a few photos Brad took on the way up.

Next stop Nepal! See all of you on the trip in 10 days!