Glitter nail polish – is there an age cap?

I’m sitting in my bathrobe surrounded by piles of things that need to go into my pack and duffel, and I’m painting my nails with rather fetching tiny globes of blue & silver from a bottle of NYC “Disco Inferno” polish.

I needed a break from the frantic pack-a-thon. And because I’ve never been a girly girl and tend to associate getting your nails done with important events, such as weddings or tea at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, I thought this special going-to-the-mountains day warranted a celebration. I can be backcountry princess for a day with my Disco Inferno toes and fingers.

Might not save me from the cougars, mind you. Might make me a cougar. I’m sure I’m a little old for Disco Inferno, but what the hell. If there’s an age limit on glitter nail polish then I don’t want to know. My inner 13-year-old is loving it.

Have taken “rest days” (a bit more like lazy days) over this week from training, so am all ready for Skoki 2014! Can’t wait to share my snowshoe trip/challenge adventure (if I come back)!

Now, just to pack…

20/20 vs. beer goggles

It’s come down to budget: contact lenses or adult beverages?

The adult beverages won out.  I know – terrible, right?  Rather than ensure clear visibility whilst snowshoeing through the delightful Canadian Rockies, and avoiding the maddening fogging of the glasses/goggles, I’ve opted for bringing a mini bar into the backcountry.  I never claimed to have good judgement.

Skoki Lodge, the destination of my ultimate January snowshoe challenge journey, is a rustic mountain cabin built in the 1930s, and was recently given a celeb-boost by the stay of HRH William & Kate in 2011.  In the winter, it’s an 11 km ski or snowshoe into the backcountry of Banff National Park up and over two mountain passes.  All of the meals are included – and are reputed to be nothing short of spectacular – along with all bedding, so no sleeping bags required.  Technically, only clothing and snacks are necessary for me to carry in, but my pack list is as long as my arm. It’s WINTER. You never know what might go down, man.

I’ve got everything from duct tape to the lodge-worthy flannel shirt going.  Knife. Emergency blanket.  Hut booties. Head lamp. Down jacket. Toothbrush and face cream. Rebel, Flip, iPod. Camo buff for cool photos. Insulated Skhoop skirt for awesomeness. A bunch of the aforementioned adult beverages.  Jill had read somewhere that the wine – ordinary wine – was $40 a bottle out there. They do, after all, have to pack it with their supplies.  So, I figured I’d save a dollar or two and bring my own. Captain? Aye-aye!

Two more days until we hit the road for the Rockies!

The mountains are calling, and I must go. ~John Muir

Altitude training, Hannibal Lecter style

Tell me, would I look like Sub Zero or Hannibal Lecter if I showed up in the gym with an altitude training mask?

I saw this and was like, YES!  Hiking in the mountains last year was an eye opener.  And a lung popper.  I was so out of shape that I was sucking air and had to stop every 5 steps and admire the scenery.  I’m doing all this training for my snowshoe trip to the mountains… and haven’t even thought about prepping for the altitude.

The trail Jill and I will be snowshoeing is about 11 km long, and it crosses two mountain passes.  The first, Boulder Pass, is 7,694 feet and the second, Deception Pass, is 8,117 feet. Er, altitude is inevitable.

I could rock it on the treadmill with this little beauty of a training mask. Hashtag whaaa?  We’ll see.  If I go ahead, I will be sure to let you know. Maybe it will have to be for a summer challenge.

Less than two weeks until we arrive in the Rockies!

Outdoor gear for the morbidly obese

In order to travel the 11 km into the backcountry for my January challenge, I had a choice: cross country ski or snowshoe.

I’m an amateur cross country skier, never properly trained, with a tendency to fall over randomly whether I’m in motion or not. Not so promising.

I’ve heard that “if you can walk, you can snowshoe” so I figured snowshoeing would be the best bet for the mountain adventure. And it can burn up to 600 calories an hour! Woot!

Off I went shoe shopping online. Reading, reading and more reading, I went from the idea of picking up a cute set of snowshoes, poles and matching travel bag for about $100 to realizing that I was screwed.

I weigh 235 lbs. Snowshoes have weight limits, I learned. Every women’s snowshoe I saw was listed as maxing out at 160, 170 or at the very most 200 lbs. What the fuck? Is this another case of fat people don’t leave the house (jus’ layin’ on the couch eatin’ my bon bons and watchin’ my stories)? Am soooo sick of that.

This issue has already plagued me in finding outdoor clothing. I love Eddie Bauer, for example, and they offer loads of plus size stuff in their casual outdoor wear; however, in their higher end technical clothing line of First Ascent, the cut is slim, and the women’s options end at a skinny XL.  I want the Backdraft jacket, the lined Travex pants, etc, but I simply can’t squeeze into any of it.  (Oh – I can fit the gloves)  For long underwear, I gave up and bought a men’s XXL from MEC. And even then, I had to mail order because my local store didn’t carry the bigger sizes.

I know – lose weight and I can fit the clothing. I get that. But I need to wear something  while losing all this weight outside!! No one wants to see a nudist weight loss project in Canada when it’s below zero.

Back to snowshoes… I settled on a unisex pair from the good folks at the Atlas Snow Shoe Company of Seattle, WA.  The Atlas 1235 are uber light mountain hiking snowshoes that can handle up to 300 lbs.  (That ought to cover both me and my backpack full of donuts).  The price jumped from average joe to the best of the best at $280 CAD.  Wowsers.  But they are beee-ooo-tiful.  They are like budd-ah. They keep me from sinking up to my waist in the 83 cm of fluffy stuff we’ve had so far this winter here in the Great White North.

So, with clothing and snowshoes, let the games begin!