Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And just like that, the season slips away...

and the leaves change and the frost forms
and soon it's back to the days of waiting.

So much to catch up on.. gear to clean and sort.... Fall is on us.
And even though the postings are weeks (months?) out of date.. they remind us of
the good things ahead.


Weekends were made for...

.....36 hours of pre-race training.
In mid September, Team Bechtel / US Challenge assembled in the predawn chill and fog to run through a multi-phase adventure and team challenge. The legendary mountainous, rocky, single track terrain of Gambrill was the principle setting for the dry land phase of training. (The water phase would follow a day later on the nearby Potomac)

Orienteering challenges, technical mountain biking, overcoming team obstacles, and solving complex communication and leadershi
p tasks were all key training objectives

The ultimate goal was to be prepared for any and all challenges that may be encountered on the 3-day course in October, (and to identify and address any possible training deficiencies). So away we went...

down the trails, over the ridges..

...and of course up and over..

... all against the backdrop of mid-September color.
Team Bechtel

Monday, October 16, 2006

Leading into the backcountry...

As we've done for the past 5 years, we were pleased to, again, have The George Washington University Outing Club (TRAiLS) guides spend a week with us in the backcountry of Shenandoah National Park.
Backcountry Trip Leadership is the theme for the week, and we live and practice everything from Leave No Trace travel and camping to meal planning and preparation, to backcountry medicine, land use regulations, emergency medical evacuation planning... and how to swim in a backcountry swimming hole... (with gusto!).

At the end of the week, the (already great) guides are ready for anything and everything! Plus the bonds formed during a week in the mountains will carryover into a year of top level adventure activities for GW students.

This trip, now an annual event, always signals the end of summer... and with that comes the frenzy of butterflies to the last of the wildflower nectar... within a week, the flowers will be gone, and the hollows shrouded in the morning mists of autumn.

(photos courtesy of Chad Heddleston)