Sunday, February 10, 2008

Two Weeks...

Two weeks from today and I'll be in Knik at the start of the Ultrasport. For the past 3+ months I have spent almost all of my free time training for this event and now that I'm into full taper/rest mode I spend almost all of my free time trying to improve anything I can with my gear.

I finally finished sewing up the snow cover to my sled last week and it was nice to find out today that it fits over all of my gear with plenty of room to spare for any last minute additions. Today was the first time that I packed up every single last thing into my sled... or almost everything, only had about 3,000 calories of food in there but I'll likely start the race with about 6,000 in my sled (as well as ~3,000 in my camelbak). It weighed in at about 34 pounds and will probably be closer to 40 once my water bottles are completely full and all my food is on board.

Yesterday I spent about 2 hours packing up my food that I need to ship away to Anchorage which will then be flown into 2 checkpoints along the way (miles 130 and 210). Each of my drops weighs in right at (or a touch above) the 10 pound limit. They contain about 16,500 calories each as well as a few batteries, chemical warmers, and stove fuel. 16,500 calories is a ton of food (probably more than I'll need for each stretch), but I've decided to go with as much as possible and if I need to leave some behind I'd rather make that decision once I'm a few days into the race rather than trying to make it now.

My camera can supposedly take 56 minutes of video on the 2 gb card that I have. My hope is to have the energy and memory and motor skills while out there to try to use most of this space for short video clips throughout the race. If this works out I'll hopefully be able to post a little video that will give a small glimpse into what progresses out there on the trail.

Anyhow, this is all still two weeks away so I guess I may as well stop getting so worked up about it now. On one hand I wish the race were just starting tomorrow. But on the other hand I can think of dozens of things I'd like to test/improve before the race. Problem is that many things just aren't going to be figured out until I'm out there on the trail for a few days. I suppose that's just the way it goes when you attempt something that so far ecxeeds any previous endeaver. I think you can read about this stuff and learn a lot in training but I'll probably learn more about what the hell I'm doing out there in the first day on the trail then I could in a lifetime of reading stories and advice on the internet. What I hope for is that as I learn these things I've got the knowledge, the strength, and the equipment to do something about what I've learned. And if not? That's the scary stuff that I just try not to think too much about. I do after all still have 2 weeks.


FixieDave said...

I look forward to whatever video,pics,story you come back with!

You and jill number change?

Pete B said...

That sounds like a lot of gear. How heavy is the sled alone?

Geoff said...

the sled, skis, poles, and harness (all of which were included in the total weight of 34 pounds) are a total of almost 8 pounds. That puts my gear at 26, which will probably be more like 30-32 once all food and water is included. does that seem reasonable to you pete? there are a few areas that i could save some weight but nothing that I would be too excited about leaving behind.

Pete B said...

Hmmm. 26 still seems like too much. I'll weigh my kit and get back to you for comparison.
Do you have a really heavy bag?

Geoff said...

thanks, i'd love to know the weight of your kit for comparison. i don't have a heavy bag. 4.2 pounds according to north face specs. (with stuff sack it weighs in at almost 6 pounds on my scale for some reason - obviously the sack isn't 1.5 pounds so maybe my bag is a fair amount heavier than advertised). also, i just weighed the food and water that i did have included in the 34 pounds and that was about 4 pounds so that would put the weight of my kit with no food, water, or sled down to about 22. and this contains all of my clothing, including what i'll be wearing even in the warmest weather.

at any rate, i'd love to hear a weight comparison of your kit not including any food and water.