Norman our Alpinist Dog

As part of our ongoing training for the Forbidden Peak trip we were spending a lot of time in the local mountains. Norman had done so well in Bishop that we took the boy with us on one of our training hikes. He made it all the way to the ski hut on the trail up to Baldy, 2500' of gain in 2.5 miles. We were very proud parents and enjoyed passing a number of very surprised hikers.  

Because he is a Bulldog we are limited in what adventures he can partake in due to the risk of him overheating due to his smooshy face. This weekend we enjoyed a Norman paced weekend making sure our couch was still nap worthy and catching up with friends.

With a Little Help From Your Friends...

This last month has been non-stop... work, life, family, travel, fun, frustration, relaxation. The AdventurUs took a bit of a back seat in the craziness... working on fixing this.  Posts will be coming... may be a little out of order, but hey so is life sometimes! I started this post over a month ago... and back then it started with "It takes a village".  I am thankful for my village... I pride myself on being strong, independent, and ready to take on any challenge. The reality is I am only as strong as the people that I surround myself with, I am dependent on the kindness of my loved ones who encourage my independence, while letting me be dependent on them and I am ready for any challenge in my life with the support of my village. Below is the post that I have been trying to finish... it is about someone who is a part of my village.

It Take A Village! 

Strength... Maybe it was the big 4-0 or maybe it was the physical challenges of Whitney's Mountaineer Route looming, but no matter the reason I decided I needed some help working on my fitness. There was no question who I would ask for this help... I needed a person who would be fun, patient, and willing to kick my a&&!

Enter Samir. I met Samir 7 years ago when we joined the 24 Hour Fitness in Altadena. When Paul & I joined the gym we each got 3 session with a trainer, I was lucky enough to get Samir as my personal trainer. At the time I did not sign up for additional sessions. To be honest, I have been a spotty gym goer at best, I did not go to the gym at all for months at a time, and yet without fail when I did show up Samir would greet me with a huge smile and "Hi Saveria!" He would ask how I was, ask about Paul, let me know he was happy to see me at the gym again and then go on with his business. It is such a little thing, but his happy genuine kindness speaks volumes about who he is. When I decided to sign up for PT sessions there was no other option for me but him. You can imagine my disappointment when the front desk told me he was booked for months... I needed him now. The next time I saw him I asked if he could recommend another trainer because he was booked. Luckily he had some clients going on vacation, so I started filling in these spots until I could snag a regular time.

Samir keeps every session fun and makes sure they are never the same so I don't get bored. He has me laughing and having a good time even when I am struggling. I watch him greet people as they come into the gym, some are obviously people he knows well and others he has never met, but it doesn't matter. What matters to him is that people feel welcome and you can tell by their smiles they do.

He has been very patient about my work schedule and needing to be flexible. Late night cancellations, needing to find an earlier time slot to accommodate work, whatever I throw at him he catches and makes it work. Not once has he made me feel bad.

Samir has me focused on strength exercises specific to climbing, hiking, mountaineering. - balance, core, stability, and endurance.  Since working with Samir, I have become a huge fan of TRX, the Bosu ball and the Dynamax balls which we use for all sorts of core, strength and stability work. The sessions fly by as he kicks my a&& and makes sure I am pushing myself.  My Whitney trip was a huge success and I have never felt stronger on a mountaineering trip. I am hoping that I will feel the same for Forbidden Peak!

The one thing he can't help with, that I need to do on my own... is work on my diet and get my butt in gear on the days I don't see him!

Thanks Samir for being you.


Mt Lowe Training Hike

The Numbers Game:Elevation - Approx 4000' Mileage - Approx 13 Time - Approx 7 hours

With our Mt Whitney climb only a month away, we decided that we needed to get a good hike in this week. We hiked from the trailhead at the top Lake Ave, up to Echo Mountain, where we took the Sam Merril trail to the East Trail to Mt Lowe. We then came back down the East Trail and took the Castle Canyon trail to Echo Mountain and then headed to the bottom.

As you will see by the pictures... we had a chill day on the trail stopping to take pictures of itty bitty spring flowers that were in bloom.

2 other great things happened... 1) we met Paul from the beach. Super interesting gent that we chatted with for quite a while, 2) We learned what the infamous Poodle Dog-bush looks like. This plant is supposed to be highly irritating, much worse that poison oak.