the mountain beckons

coming soon to a mountain near you:

i placed my order with REI for the osprey atmos 65 cindercone red last night, and it should reach philippine shores on the 23rd of this month. i've drooled over osprey's packs since a long time ago, and i had my chance when i visited singapore last september, although i didn't quite have enough money at the time. i would've wanted to get the crescent 70 but its capacity is just too much, especially since i've decided that it isn't fair that i carry more than what i should and what i actually can. and besides, it's actually a little heavy, at more than 3kg. the atmos 65, on the other hand, is just a shade over a kilo and a half. i can't wait for this baby to get here. i would have wanted another tent, like the marmot twilight 2 tent, which sells for only US$170 on campmor, but after walking out of sembrano's howling winds without even the smallest complaint, i'm convinced my 20 month-old storm-proof shelter, the TNF talus 23, is still one of the best tents there is.

* * *

in other news, the venue for AMCI's IC2 has been changed. instead of mts. lumot-sumagaya, the mountain has been changed to pulag, via the ambaguio-akiki trail, which is the same as last year's IC2. i'm torn. i'd really like to go, in the same way that i wanted to go to mindanao but couldn't because of financial reasons. i wasn't even supposed to be there to begin with, but they penciled in my name nevertheless, i guess because of my track record. but trouble is: i can't be gone for 3 days again. worse, i'm not even entitled to vacation leave yet, so being absent for 3 days means a HUGE deduction from my paycheck. i am just so torn. this batch knows that i've been their number 1 supporter from the start. i participated in all their climbs, have acted more like a friend than a senior member, and have cared for their welfare more than anyone i know. but it's so hard to make decisions right now. a lot of things are on the line. everyone knows i'll drop many things for a chance to climb a mountain, to find serenity above the clouds or beneath the lush leaves of a rainforest. but right now, the scales aren't exactly tipping in favor of one or the other. and i'm surprised it's not egging me to choose the hike over all else.

* * *

it's official. i have now just reached 160lbs. it's still quite a lot if you think about it, because before i entered law school, i wasn't even 130lbs, only to balloon to 170lbs at the end of my sophomore year, then trimmed down to 140lbs again while i was training with pilipinas sierra (i'll post photographs to prove this point). this morning, i woke up with a fever and a headache. amazingly, i looked in the mirror and felt really light. i really have to photograph myself and see if i can achieve any of my goals by the middle of february. i know i proclaimed early this year that i was going on a 6-week regimen to lose weight, lose my gut, and achieve definition. i haven't been able to keep to the schedule and my kilometrage hasn't exactly been consistent (now on my 2nd week, i ought to be logging in at least 15kms a week). anyway, if i just keep this up (refuse beers -- last wednesday, i downed only 2 bottles!; eat less carbs; and run 5kms at least twice a week), i may just reach 155lbs by my deadline. good luck to me!

* * *

vicky's article on their induction climb in kalinga came out in business world today. it features my photographs. check it out.
20kg max load according to specs! But don't you routinely carry 25kg? My 70.5liter pack is the optimum size for that load.

Atmos 65
Carrying Capacity
The green to yellow zones represent the recommended carry range for this pack

that's just the recommended carry range for comfort. i've actually considered that in choosing the pack. these specifications are made to US experiences and standards where the stuff is usually bulky but light, like goose down sleeping bags, thick jackets, etc. hereabouts, we carry small things that weigh a lot. nevertheless, this should teach me a lesson in pairing down my weight. i really shouldn't be carrying more than 20kg anyway. hehe. :D
On IC2
Not that you ever listen to me-- but I'll say it anyway. I'm glad you're hesitant in attending the IC2. This means you're acknowledging the fact that you have responsibilities in your office that may(should) take precedence over your passion for climbing mountains. I do wish you'd focus more on your career. -ALT