I blame shopping for my mountaineering habit.
Usually a new hobby comes first and buying gear comes second, but for me, mountaineering was born two years ago in the fitting room of the Eastern Mountain Sports in North Conway, NH.
It started innocently enough: I told my boyfriend that I was going into the dressing room to try on a few sports bras in advance of what was to be “some snowshoeing and maybe some car camping if we feel up for it” (his words). Ten minutes later, I reappeared and was handed a pair of double-boots, crampons, an ice axe and a topo map…of Mount Madison in New Hampshire.
So much for car camping.
An experienced winter backpacker, DJ coached me through the basics, aided by George at the North Conway school. A lifelong skier, I’d never known that mountaineers used plastic boots too — never mind that crampons came in different sizes and varieties of intensity. I also invested in a thick pair of socks (likely a trip- and relationship-saver).