I met a pretty amazing group of people today. Five guys that I will be guiding up Denali over the coming weeks. There are only 4 legs among them! It has brought upon me a whole new perspective on life and mobility and our bodies and I've spent less than 8 hours with them. After 25 more days with this group my life will be profoundly changed.
It didn't quite hit me until after over 7 hours with them today about what it might be like to have no legs. I had only imagined this. Last night I looked down at my legs and tried to imagine that they were not there. I truly couldn't. After some time with this group today I only began to try to understand what that may be like. Right now my legs are the only thing that drive my life. From running to climbing to getting out of bed in the morning. And how easily things could change to having to put on a leg to do such things. We spent some time going over ideas on how to charge their battery-operated legs and what might happen in the cold and high altitude. We came up with few answers on how to deal with stuff. We'll just have to get out in the mountains and see what we can do to try to climb this thing. But it all really hit me at the end of the day as I was standing behind the group watching them listen to another guide lay out the plan for tomorrow--looking at all the people and only a few legs. Looking at people standing on artificial limbs. Looking at truly having no legs.
However, it does make it a lot easier to fit crampons on a boot. The climber that I happened to be doing a gear check with sat down and said, "I bet you haven't seen this before," and simply rotated his leg 180* upwards so that the sole of his boot was staring me in the face. Crazy.
There won't be another post from me until early July, but in the meantime there are plenty of other sources of info on our climb. These guys have been able to gather lots of publicity for this climb. Below links for they interviews with CBS and CNN and their personal blog. Mountain Trip will also host a blog for them and AP will have a story coming out soon.
Mountain Trip: http://mountaintrip.com/category/alaska/
Spot Location: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0aeN0XzbCJl1fAmDx3NfRm7YlU7Rd0qb9