- 16 July 2014: The Salmon River with the Family - SCARPA Team Newswire copy
To kick off the summer, my family and I descended a six-day stretch of the Salmon River through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area in Idaho. The family, [...]
- 1 July 2014: Tim Conners, Continuing to Climb - SCARPA Team Newswire copy
My friend Tim Conners and his mom Betsy have just taken a huge step in their lives. Tim was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 15 years old. After going [...]
- 10 June 2014: Antarctica 2014 – The Time is Now - SCARPA Team Newswire copy
I know… it just seems like the snow has just melted and now next season is already sneaking up. Or in the case of Antarctica, the 2014 ski season is finally catching up to the northern hemisphere. November in Antarctica is like April in Utah – the days are getting longer, the temperatures are warming […]
- 5 June 2014: No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition 2014 - SCARPA Team Newswire copy
Two blind guys are going to take on kayaking the Grand Canyon in September 2014. As Lonnie Bedwell and I paddle 277 miles through the Grand Canyon, we hope to encourage [...]
- 19 May 2014: On being home - SCARPA Team Newswire copy
I've been home for a week now and the snow and ice of the Arctic Ocean is starting to feel like a life time away. It's weird to have such an intense experience seem like a distant dream. For 53 days, I felt like I was in a pitched battle for my survival with every single ounce of my physical and mental energy focused on one goal: getting to the North Pole.
And now everything is so easy. Grocery store. Clothes. My toothpaste isn't frozen and nearly pours out onto my tooth brush. The only floating ice I've seen was in my glass. When did cars get so fast?
It was 85 degrees in Boulder today. That's right, 85 degrees! 120 degrees warmer than when we were dropped off at Cape Discovery and easily 100 degrees warmer than when I was at the North Pole just a little over a week ago.
Maria and I went to a movie then went over to Pearl Street. I ordered Chile fries and a Pacifico and watched people walk by in shorts. Shorts!
One of the questions I'm often asked after a big expedition is, 'What's it like to be back home?'
Honestly, being home is easy. Despite spending an inordinate amount of my life in cold and icy places, I'm still home more than I'm away. That being said, there are a few things that take a bit of adjusting to.
Showers. Going 55 days without a shower and wearing the same pair of underwear, for better or worse, isn't as bad as it sounds. Still, I've had enough 'bad' showers in my life to appreciate a nice long soak after a big expedition. On the way back from the pole, I took a quick shower in Eureka and Resolute but they were rushed and I had to put on dirty clothes afterwards so it barely seemed worth the effort. Honestly, today was the first day that I really enjoyed a good long shower. I just stood there, letting the water run over me and leaning my head against the wall, feeling thankful.
Food. Even at my hungriest on the Arctic Ocean, I wasn't having any sort of crazy food fantasies. Sure, near the end I was constantly hungry, but to me in that moment, an extra Clif Bar felt like a Thanksgiving smorgasbord. I lost about 10 pounds on the expedition and I wouldn't be surprised if I'm close to gaining all that back. You see, near the end of our journey I was eating around 7,000 calories a day and still feeling hungry. Now, I still feel the same hunger (eating anything and everything in the house) but my activity level has been nearly zero. After a week of stuffing myself, I'm switching to salads tomorrow... or maybe the day after. But for sure by the end of the week.
The family. I was worried that Merritt would be a completely different person when I returned. For about five minutes he was a bit apprehensive, and then, it was like I had never left. Being separated for so long was one of the most difficult aspects of the expedition for me which makes being home and spending lots of time with Merritt and Maria all that more meaningful.
My focus. I uploaded and copied all my video files, met with Corrina from the production company about our Animal Planet documentary and sent out a few other emails, but after that I haven't done much of anything. For over a year, everything I did was focused on one singular goal: getting to the North Pole. The expedition was intense but so was all planning, training and preparation. With no deadlines to meet or time tables to follow, I'm having a hard time focusing on any one project. Like this blog post for example. Getting to this sentence has not been easy (and I'll probably cut all this short before I get all my ideas written).
Sleep. I'm tired. Really tired, but I also can't seem to sleep either. I have one of the most comfortable beds in the world, but for some reason, it's almost too comfortable right now. I'm still having weird way-too-real Arctic Ocean dreams as well. I wake up not really knowing where I am. I lie there awake thinking that I should get some work done, but I don't get up.
Pictures. I have edited a few pictures and am pleased with the images I managed to capture. I took A LOT of pictures and A LOT didn't turn out, but I have a pretty simple photography philosophy: If you go to a cool place and take enough pictures, you'll end up with a few 'keepers'. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you all in the near future.
My gear. Generally, one of my favorite things to do after an expedition is clean and store all my gear. The sorting and organizing gives me time to reflect on my experience as well as lay the foundation for gearing up for the next adventure. Maria has been more than patient with my duffels and skis sprawled out on our back porch, but I needed a week to decompress and distance myself from the ice.
What's next? For nearly three years, it's been the bike trip (in Antarctica last year) then North Pole. Now? Well, I'll just save that for another blog post.
Image: The beginning of my week-long quest to eat nearly everything in sight. (View Post...)
TagsAndy Dorais, bouldering, climbing, climbing shoes, Freedom SL, Gord McArthur, Heinz Mariacher, ice climbing, Jason Dorais, mixed climbing, mountaineering, outdoors, Phantom Guide, Rob Pizem, rock climbing, Sam Elias, SCARPA, SCARPA climbing shoes, SCARPA Ski Boots, skiing, ski mountaineering, spark, trail running, Ueli Steck, Will Gadd
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