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Thread: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I really enjoy the video Bill, but I tell you, when you got to that haunted lake,
    and Mara got that sense of something unseen, I really tightened up every muscle in
    my body, I felt something there just watching the video.

    Glad you made the chose not to go back.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Ron Mauer Sr (here)
    Pepper spray for physical threats.
    Yep, that too.

    Peanut butter, mustard, and pepper, and anything large and hungry would simply run away.

    Add in some marmite, as well, and that would clinch the entire thing.

    As a good North American, to accompany a hot dog and a peanut butter toast, plus a marmite, we should add ketchup for some fries (a whip covered with ketchup to whip the demons).

    Well, now, if you ever encounter the Wawa face to face, instead of doing in your pants out of fear, you will start laughing and laughing imagining the whole situation as a weird breakfast table, therefore confusing the Wawa grande for not creating fear. He will simply walk away.

    I remember my daughter having nightmares when she was a kid, it really looked like Wawa grande were imposing in her dreams. I told her she could chase them away, order them to go away, whatever she wished, during her dreams, since she is stronger than they are. She told me she did, and the nightmares went away. Maybe we should react the same way with the energy-being(s) you have seen, without having to physically see them or go to them. Those have no place whatsoever in our world.

    I did the same thing with some humans who sent us bad dreams willingly, they were not very agile in this. Both daughter and I knew what was happening right away. And we both pushed them away from our lives. No place in our world.
    Last edited by Flash; 6th December 2018 at 16:37.

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  5. Link to Post #283
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    Are there any other stories of doggy-visits to vast oxygen depleting heights? Mara may be the best canine-climber in the world.
    It's a great question! I'd wondered that myself. Even at that moment on the summit (let's average it out at 15,000 ft) I'd briefly wondered if Mara was right then the highest dog in the world.

    But there are some slightly higher human settlements... though not many. One presumes there are a few dogs there. This is an interesting page:
    My pure guess: of all the dogs in the world (estimated population 50 million, see this interesting page), there were maybe a few dozen higher than Mara right then. Maybe less.

    The highest peak climbed by a dog seems to be Hanuman Tibba (5932m / 19,462 ft) in the Indian Himalayas.


    I have absolutely no doubt Mara could beat that. She's in fantastic shape. A wild thought strikes me that maybe we could go climb Chimborazo (in Ecuador, not too far away), which is 6,310m / 20,703 ft. I'd need good snow boots, though, and an insulated jacket and hat, and so might she.



    Chimborazo is an interesting mountain. Although it's lower than Everest in terms of height above sea level, because of the Earth's equatorial bulge the summit is actually the one point on that's the farthest from the Earth's center.

    So, for a dog (or a human!), that's kind of impossible to beat. The only dog that would EVER have been higher would be Laika, the dog the Russians put into orbit in 1957, 61 years ago. (Actually, rather a tragic tale. Do read here.)


    ***

    Hello, Everyone, and this is NOT about the Wawa Grande (in any way!). But some might find this entertaining.

    Today I found myself thinking that maybe climbing Chimborazo isn't quite such an insane idea. After doing some research (a lot of info here), I do think it may be do-able. I'm certain I could do it myself — I've been to that height before, and never had any problems — but the really interesting question is whether Mara could make it.

    I had some fun looking on Amazon for insulated doggie snow boots and jackets, and of course they're all right there. She could physically do it, I'd be reasonably confident: she's immensely strong, and unlike most other dogs on the planet, goes up over 14,500 ft regularly and runs around like a mountain goat all day. There's a lot of difference between 14,500 ft and 20,500 ft, but I do think it's not impossible.

    Ecuador regulations say you have to hire a local mountain guide, but that's not a problem. The biggest challenge might be convincing him that I want to take my dog, and that may be a first. But the protocol (as with any beginner, canine or human!) would always be to watch with an eagle eye for potential problems and then TURN BACK if things start to look not okay. That applies on any mountain, from Everest downwards.

    If I can reassure a guide that I do have the experience to do that, he may find it an interesting experiment. We'd simply give it a go, and we'd soon find out if it was working out or not.

    One has to start before midnight from a mountain hut at about 16,000+ ft. Then one can get to the summit — some 4,000+ ft higher — and back again before 10 am, important to avoid rockfall once the sun kicks in on the mountain and starts to melt ice holding the loose rocks in place. So it's a long, arduous 10-11 hour day/night push.

    I'll see if the idea wears off! But I'll contact the guiding company in a moment to start to float the idea, and just see how they respond.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 25th December 2018 at 17:04.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Although I'm not too keen on this idea myself, I trust your judgement in whether to do this or not.
    Last edited by Orph; 25th December 2018 at 19:07.
    I am enlightened, ............ Oh wait. That's just the police shining their spotlights on me.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    As usual, would not risk my doggie just for a challenge.....
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    As usual, would not risk my doggie just for a challenge.....
    Ha! My doggie might be risking me.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Hey, everyone: thanks for all your comments. (And concern!)

    My thought yesterday about returning to the Haunted Lakes this time to camp overnight was really quite an idle one. But the idea did somehow seem attractive, and I kind of crept up on it by taking a close look at Google Earth to see how I might get there a little more easily, and so on.

    I was getting used to the idea again, and it all seemed very reasonable. That's despite my determining last time that I'd definitely NOT go back — I remember the decision clearly! — and later joking to a friend that I might possibly take people there as a guide one day, but only for a minimum fee of $1000 each.

    Well, last night I went to bed, very relaxed, and as usual before I fell asleep I was reviewing the events of the day, large and small. And so I looked again at the Haunted Lakes return trip idea, because the comments (and warnings from avid and Flash) had been so very interesting.

    Suddenly, I 'saw' something very dark, and quite big. Malevolent, and definitely not very nice. Very clearly, in my relaxed state. It was like I'd suddenly spotted it and caught it unawares, and this time it hadn't been cloaked.

    It was indeed a siren call for me to return. That was totally clear. There and then, I made the firm decision NOT to go back. So — I'm announcing it now, and that decision will definitely stay.

    Hi Bill I've just been catching up on this Haunted Lakes return post of yours.
    Glad to see you made the 'Not going back' decision

    There is truth in the saying 'Sleep on it'
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)

    I'll see if the idea [of climbing Chimborazo with Mara] wears off! But I'll contact the guiding company in a moment to start to float the idea, and just see how they respond.
    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    As usual, would not risk my doggie just for a challenge.....
    Yes, it is. And the idea is indeed wearing off.

    I heard back from the guiding company, and the problem is that the ascent needs to happen at night to avoid rockfall when the sun hits the snow and ice. So one goes up starting before midnight, and reaches the summit maybe just before dawn.

    The temperature is the factor: the guide who answered by questions 'reassured' me that it's usually no colder than -14ºC/ 7ºF at the summit at night. All told, that's way too cold and stressful even for a strong dog climbing a mountain that's not a hardcore Alaskan husky.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I radiate with relief Bill, I realise you love a challenge, and really wish I’d never queried the ‘highest dog in the world’ scenario. Your bravery and fortitude are never in question, but to put a giant “quest’ion’ mark over an innocent loving and stoic doggie/bestest friend - is a challenge not worth taking, so well done Bill, we salute you - yet await something else that is fascinating, where you lead, along with the sensible Mara. Perhaps treating adventurers in safer climes.... (not climbs )...
    An architectural/geological history perhaps, or just advice for ex-pats/visitors in Ecuador on travel to beautiful places safely...
    My ‘envelope of care and protection’ keeps bulging to bursting-point with your energy, what a character, so my “phew” is probably short-lived then... 🙄😜
    Last edited by avid; 27th December 2018 at 17:09.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    When planning a new adventure, it is always a good idea to compare and weigh the potential gain and the potential risk.


    Click image for larger version

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    The temperature is the factor: the guide who answered by questions 'reassured' me that it's usually no colder than -14ºC/ 7ºF at the summit at night. All told, that's way too cold and stressful even for a strong dog climbing a mountain that's not a hardcore Alaskan husky.
    Another anecdote that may raise a smile. (Prompted by discussions of temperature!)

    A short while ago I met two local Ecuadorian mountain guides, Fabian and Jorge Prado, who speak excellent English. They're brothers, and their father was a guide, so they've been in the mountains all the time since childhood.

    We exchanged stories about hiking here. The Wawa Grande they believe is a 'fable', because they've never seen it, but they did tell me where to go to see CONDORS. (An expedition for the near future, for sure. ) I told them about my many trips now to Cerro Arquitectos, the highest peak in the National Park, where to my astonishment they told me they've never actually been. (They live quite some distance away, and their specialist area is Quitahuayco, outside of the park.)

    So, here's what this little tale is all about. They asked me if I'd take them there, and they were as excited as kids when we agreed a date. That was two days ago.

    It felt like a bit of a challenge, because they're half my age, both in supreme shape. So I felt I was kind of representing Avalon, the gringo expats, British mountaineers, and my entire generation. Could I keep up with them?

    Well, we had a great day, and Mara and I both held our own just fine. It was super-bright and sunny, with a high-altitude equatorial UV rating of about 20 (twenty), literally off the chart — and there was the strongest wind I've ever experienced here, like riding a motorcycle at 80 mph.

    Mara had trouble walking in a straight line, and I got blown off my feet twice high on the ridge. An 80 mph wind is officially hurricane force 12, and it felt like it. And re temperature, the wind chill must have been fairly close to the -14ºC/ 7ºF to be expected on Chimborazo. (Interestingly, Mara seemed to be just fine.)



    BUT — I had no sunglasses with me (OMG), and no sunscreen. That was a dangerous blunder. By the time I got back home my whole face was like a fried tomato, and I'd slightly burned my retinas: I woke up yesterday morning with my eyelids stuck together. (A curious experience!) I spent most of the day in my bedroom with blackout blinds drawn, allowing my eyes to heal.

    Even now, they're very sore (I'm wearing my glacier glasses at my desk here), and although it's not yet 9 am I can tell I'm going to have to go retire to sit in the dark again today. I'll be 100% fine ... but it was an interesting lesson, well learned.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 5th January 2019 at 13:50.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Well, I surely wish that I had given you my sunscreen last week to take up there! That also would have helped me feel that I was up there with you three in spirit. Nice picture! Mara is posed well. Those two boys look really happy. I am curious how long the ascent took.
    - Warren Light

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Did you have a camera on a timer? Who took the photo?
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone when we are uncool." From the movie "Almost Famous""l "Let yourself stand cool and composed before a million universes." Walt Whitman

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Well Done Bill! It is always good when you can keep up with the young snots.
    Did you show them where the haunted lake was?

    The devil is in the details on what to bring on those hikes. Resting up in the dark sounds good.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    I just knew you were ‘up to mischief’ as all had been quiet for a while. You daft lad, no sunscreen or shades, are Mara’s eyes alright? Poor wee doggie, almost blown away!! Ah well, have a good rest, and thank goodness you are both back.
    These ‘vicarious’ adventures are not vicarious for me, my nerves are shot again...
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by wnlight (here)
    Those two boys look really happy. I am curious how long the ascent took.
    Yes, they had a great time. They had dark glasses (and dark skin!), but one of them didn't even bring his gloves with him, so I lent him my spare pair. We got to the top in two and a half hours, fighting against the wind. My fastest time up there, a few months back, was two hours flat.

    Quote Posted by Valerie Villars (here)
    Did you have a camera on a timer? Who took the photo?
    A freeze frame from a very shaky short video... after a few seconds I had to run to rescue the camera quickly, because it was about to get blown away. (Really)

    Quote Posted by James Newell (here)
    Well Done Bill! It is always good when you can keep up with the young snots.
    Did you show them where the haunted lake was?

    The devil is in the details on what to bring on those hikes. Resting up in the dark sounds good.
    Made me laugh. Yes, we all did fine. They know the Haunted Lakes well, said it was a 'very interesting place', and asked me if I'd ever been there. The lakes where the condors are are to the north of there (very remote, a two day trip), but now I know the location (quite a well-kept secret, apparently) that's definitely on my list for soon.

    Devil in the details, yes. All good hikers understand that... which is why I was kicking myself. I'm going to order a pair of spherical ski goggles with 100% UV protection but high 65% VLT (visible light transmission). That means they have a wide angle of visibility, let a lot of light through (unlike dark glasses), but also protect the eyes totally.

    This is what's on my [late!] Santa list. My eyes are too important to take risks with if this happens again.

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 5th January 2019 at 21:36.

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    When's your birthday again?
    Forget about it

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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    I just knew you were ‘up to mischief’ as all had been quiet for a while. You daft lad, no sunscreen or shades, are Mara’s eyes alright? Poor wee doggie, almost blown away!! Ah well, have a good rest, and thank goodness you are both back.
    These ‘vicarious’ adventures are not vicarious for me, my nerves are shot again...

    I hear you Avid. There are those who would like to spend their recreational time smoking a pipe and sitting on the porch while taking in the moment, and I'm one of those types. And then there are folks who don't really feel alive unless they are challenging themselves, spirit-mind-physicality exerted in accomplishing something they really enjoy. I think Bill is one of those folks and I think it is important for him to continue this practice until he can't. And you have to shed a smile and feel happy for someone who is able to do such. Even if it is a little rough on your nerves.

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    avid (5th January 2019), Bill Ryan (5th January 2019), Dennis Leahy (6th January 2019), Ken (13th January 2019), RunningDeer (6th January 2019), Sstarss (7th January 2019), Valerie Villars (6th January 2019), YoYoYo (6th January 2019)

  37. Link to Post #299
    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Quote Posted by avid (here)
    I just knew you were ‘up to mischief’ as all had been quiet for a while. You daft lad, no sunscreen or shades, are Mara’s eyes alright? Poor wee doggie, almost blown away!! Ah well, have a good rest, and thank goodness you are both back.
    These ‘vicarious’ adventures are not vicarious for me, my nerves are shot again...

  38. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Bill Ryan For This Post:

    avid (5th January 2019), Dennis Leahy (6th January 2019), Ernie Nemeth (9th January 2019), James Newell (12th January 2019), Ken (13th January 2019), RunningDeer (6th January 2019), Sstarss (7th January 2019), wnlight (6th January 2019), Yoda (5th January 2019)

  39. Link to Post #300
    Avalon Member avid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another vicarious adventure, and another Avalon Cairn (for the Wawa Grande, this time)

    Thank you DNA, I have such admiration for Bill and his faithful colleague Mara, but after all these years, I am turning into a nail-biting ‘parent’ totally unintentionally. Yes, it’s brilliant they dash off and do wonderful things, but I am so happy when they are home. Purely selfish, after this being my main ‘family forum’ since first inception in September 2008, I naturally feel nervous if our founder may be captured by something interdimensionally nasty in the nether regions of Ecuador, or something should hurt his doggie... Taking calming tea as I speak, please forgive my weakness, happy to help to buy him safety gear as required, I want them to feel ‘protected’.
    Last edited by avid; 5th January 2019 at 23:54.
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

  40. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to avid For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (5th January 2019), Dennis Leahy (6th January 2019), James Newell (12th January 2019), Ken (13th January 2019), RunningDeer (6th January 2019), Sstarss (7th January 2019)

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