Mountaineering Festival

Every year my friend Cassie and her husband and a big group of friends head up the the Adirondack mountains to attend the Mountaineering Festival. This year I tagged along. The festival is a weekend filled with presentations, professional ice climbers, and gear rentals. We live about 6 hours away from the Adirondacks and we left Friday evening. It was a randomly warm week so it was torrential down pouring then the temperature dropped so it started snowing- hard. Our drive was not fun. The high temperatures also affected our weekend. Usually they set out first thing Saturday morning to get gear and head to the ice but since a lot melted or was melting, we decided it would be safer to wait a day and climb on Sunday. I'm glad we chose to do that because if we didn't, i wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to climb Big Slide mountain, one of the 46ers, 46 mountains above 4,000 feet in elevation in the Adirondack mountain range.

So I consider myself a very active person... I workout eat right and am always doing something physical. Climbing that mountain was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. For some reason I didn't think it would be 100% an incline? Not sure why I thought that I mean it is a MOUNTAIN. 

It was a 4 mile trek up and then another 4 miles down. This is me excited and ready to start hiking at the bottom:

About halfway through the hike I saw the whole reason we were even hiking in the first place. The view was UNREAL. 

I needed a few pep talks along the way, but eventually we made it to the top. It was one of the most rewarding humbling feelings I will ever experience. Here is me literally crawling to the top

We were in a cloud once we reached the summit but it was still beyond incredible. I'm so thankful I stuck through it and pushed myself harder than I ever had before. We started hiking at 10am and got back down at 5:20pm. It was an intense day. 

DAY 2

Sunday was a beautiful day and we knew it would be a good day for ice climbing. No complaints here, it was a short walk from the car and not a cloud in the sky. We climbed all day and sipped on hot chocolate and baileys. The ice structure we were climbing was i'd say a good 200 feet? Thats just a guess. 

That's me in the red. It's a challenge on specifically your forearms but it was such a pretty view once you got to the top, it makes getting the screamy-barfies (when your hands lose circulation then you bring them along your sides and it hurts so bad you are screaming and want to barf simultaneously) so so worth it. 

Me again at the top but this time sporting my Life is Beautiful Flannel.  

Heres some more random pictures of the weekend:

All in all it was the most adventurous incredible weekend of my year yet, and I can't wait to get back to the Adirondacks. I seriously encourage you to do something that pushes you, you'll feel so strong and rewarded in the end.