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Mountain Descending {in November (aka surviving your accidental suicide attempt)}


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This is the followup to my last post about climbing Giant Mountain. You may have notice that I only talked about the energy I expended climbing the mountain. If you're thinking "Couldn't he have just doubled the energy going up to get total energy", you're wrong and need to: 1) read this 2) stop acting like you know me. The main problem was that, as I mentioned in the last post, the trail became increasingly snowy and icy as we neared the summit. Actually it was like starting in New York in October, climbing through NY in December and then ending up in Alaska at the summit. That wasn't so bad on the way up but the way down it turned into a deathtrap. Every bare rock surface was covered in black ice and everything else was blanketed in slush. The key to surviving the descent (not an exaggeration) was to first of all lower your center of gravity. By crouching down or even sitting and sliding there is a much lesser chance of falling because having more mass closer to the ground means better traction and control in the event of a fall. We got down most of the top half of the mountain by sliding on our butts, so the key to that was to align yourself with where you wanted to go. In a low friction environment its difficult to change the direction of ones momentum because the low coefficient of friction means that inertia altering forces are hard to apply since hands and feet just slip. So If one starts an intentional slide in the direction of a cliff and there's nothing to grab onto, guess where that someone is going to end up? The rick (to not dying) is to slide towards trees or roots or large rocks and not get going to fast so you have time to stop yourself. In the end we all made it down relativity injury free (although I did take a few hard falls), but I just wish someone had given me the forecast of "snow, ice, wind and high chance of death."

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