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Sunday, January 01, 2006


Time for New Year's resolutions. It's sort of a silly process, but I do find it useful to check now and then and see how I'm doing on both short-term and lifetime goals. I ticked a couple of items on my life list last year, from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous. Sublime: the classic 18-day raft and kayak journey down the Grand Canyon. Ridiculous: rode a horse for the first time. I also spent much of the year training for the Leadville Trail 100 and managed to finish three ultramarathons after never having run anything longer than a half-marathon. However, I DNF'd on the big one after 26 hours and 86.5 miles with a calf injury. (That's me in the photo at mile 39.5. Ummm... burrito....) I was focused on running last year, so nothing big got done on the climbing front—hope to change that in 2006. The short list of outdoor goals for this year:

• Ski touring in Yellowstone (already booked for February)
• Classic Colorado ice: Still some big climbs I've never done, including Bridalveil, Ames, Hidden Falls and anything in Silverton and Eureka
• Elk Mountain Grand Traverse: the classic Crested Butte to Aspen ski race (this one is highly suspect, since I don't do nearly enough ski touring and training, nor do I have a partner lined up, but you've gotta have goals)
• Lake City 50: No Leadville for me this year—I've got too many other plans to do the necessary training—but I think I can be ready for this classic race in June, said to be the toughest 50-miler in the country
• Rock climbing: Get back to 5.11 trad fitness and the ability to flash the odd 5.12- sport route
• Nose in a Day: I tried once but had a week of terrible weather and never really got a good shot at it
• Canada: We've got to replace the deck at home, so no expensive overseas trip for us this summer. We're thinking about a road trip that, I hope, will take me to the Canadian Rockies and/or Squamish for the first time
• A certain traverse and a certain new route in the Indian Peaks, near my Colorado home
• A certain new route on a classic desert tower
• Pretty sure I'll be in Ecuador in the fall and hope to bag a volcano or two before global warming melts all the ice
• Pretty sure we're headed to Spain next Christmas for sunny limestone

Dave Goldstein has a great term for this sort of thing: "paper motivation." It's easy to list all sorts of goals and make ambitious plans as you scan guidebooks and websites. So, the real question for 2006 is this: Do I actually have the resolve for all these resolutions?

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