Happy New Year from Ha Ling! Jan 1 2017

New Years was definitely different for me this year. Initially, I was going to have Nolan and we were going to bundle up and walk around downtown to see what was going on. Get my little New Years smooch from him! I had no plans and no desires to go out partying or what not that night so keeping it simple sounded nice.

but that changed . .

It was New Years Eve and I was in Starbucks on 4th street writing a blog post, waiting for one of my brothers to show up. Before he showed up, I saw someone in the coffee line who – I had to double take. I was sure it was him, is it? So I quietly . . shouted out his name, no one looked. Still certain it was him – I ditched the quiet shout and full on shouted. He finally looked, along with ten other people, haha but it WAS HIM! He came over and I bear hugged him! Then his girlfriend came over and I bear hugged her too! It had been quite a while since I had seen them both and it turns out we pretty much just live right down the street from each other!

We chatted for a while and had a coffee, just enjoyed catching up. My brother comes in and him and my friend (the guy) just look at each other and say “I know you!” – then my friend goes – “you’re the rum guy!” and his girlfriend says “oh my goodness – I knew I knew you! THE RUM GUY!”

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My little big brother!

We all laughed, probably for different reasons at that point, me wondering how on earth my brother knows my friends because I am sure I’ve never introduced them. Makes sense though, “rum guy”, my brother works in a liquor store and apparently took them to a back room to try some amazing rum and chat. He is so personable and has quite the sense of humor so its no wonder people are drawn to him. We sat there and chatted for a good while, and shared some laughs! I love these people, we all seem to have the same sense of humor – dark, perverted, and just so easy going!

 

When it came time for everyone to part ways, they told me they were doing a sunrise hike for New Years and I should join them! They had a good group of people coming and said I should definitely consider it. So! I did! I knew Nolan’s father had said his Abuela really wanted him and I felt bad for changing my mind last moment, but I haven’t really hiked with a GROUP in a long time, I rarely do. I hadn’t hiked in a while either. I went to see Nolan that afternoon for a few hours to get my snuggles and smooch’s in. It was so nice to see him and play for a bit.

I knew I needed a bit more gear for winter conditions so I went to Atmosphere as my dad had given me a few gift cards for Christmas. He knows how much I love the outdoors and said he has no idea what to get me, and feels bad for gift cards. He shouldn’t though, he knows WHAT I like and the thought is always there. Gift giving is HAAAARD!
I probably spent too much money BUT – I got the things I have wanted since last winter. A good pair of wool socks, gators and micro spikes. I seemed to have lost my scarf snowboarding this past week so I got a new neck warmer and I also got a new mid layer that – was expensive but SO worth it.  After the hike, I have no regrets on everything I got. Everything was well used!

New Years Eve night, I head over to my friends place and they had some left over dinner and fixed me up a plate and a glass of wine. img_5849We chatted for a bit and then called it an early night so we could get a decent amount of sleep before our early wake up. I head home and am super anxious and excited for the nest day, so I don’t go to bed till 11:30 ish. First time sleeping through new years since… I got to drunk after high school and passed out before! ha-ha! Anyways, that 4:00AM alarm sure came fast!

They swung by my place at around 445AM and we were off! It had snowed quite a bit over night and the day before so there was a lot of snow on the ground, and a lot of people walking home from their parties, I can only assume! The drive out was nuts! The roads were just covered in snow and you could barely see even one lane. Blowing snow the whole time, it was until we got up to the base of haling where it actually kind of seemed we had gotten out of the blowing storm. It was still snowing and SO dark, I was excited!

img_5843Boots, gators, layers, and layers, gloves, poles, head lamps – good to go! I wasn’t sure what to think or what to expect as we made our way up the mountain. It was nice to be in a group! Half of us had a quicker pace and half of us had a bit of a slower pace but it was nice that it was pretty even. We would often all meet up and take a break and then keep on trucking. We definitely missed the sunrise but it was still a beautiful morning.

Someone had the same idea and he slightly broke trail for us! We saw him coming down when we were about a 3rd of the way up I am guessing.img_5841 I think its amazing – the people who go up in the dark, by them selves! Pretty cool. It didn’t take long for me to start losing layers as this is a steep one, but the cold sure caught up with you when you stopped. My body was quite warm, I was very happy with my layers but it was my fingers and toes! I just had to continuously keep moving to keep my toes warm. Thank goodness I had finger warmers in my gloves to keep my hands warms! Those were a life saver.

I think around half way, I put on my micro spikes after NUMEROUS slips. My boots are not the best for snow and water. I immediately felt the difference and shook my head at myself, wondering why on earth didn’t I put these on sooner?! These things are AMAZING! Another guy had full on crampons and those things looked intense! He definitely was happy after he put those on.

new-years-ha-lling-jan-1-17When we got to the point where Nolan and I turned around in the summer, I got pretty excited. The summit really was NOT that much farther! We TOTALLY could have done it in the summer, but again – I Just didn’t trust to people who were slipping and sliding down. It really was too bad, we were soooooo close! It was beautiful. The views, the snow, the fog! Once we got to the summit, I just crouched down as I was afraid of the wind, and I was a little thrown of with the fog and couldn’t see well. img_5857One of the guys in our group told me to come up and he would hold my arm and I could hold onto him. Such a cool positive guy, he says to me “you have to come see this, this is what you worked for, get up here – I got you!” and he was right, it was stunning! Absolutely beautiful, and crazy to look back at what we’d accomplished! That snow covered mountain was no joke.

We took some photos, but those were limited as everyone’s phones and camera died from the cold. Everyone had some warm fireball and water that another person had brought up – genius! and we all had some beef jerky! It was so windy and cold, I think that is the shortest amount of time I have ever spent at the destination of a mountain. On our way down, the wind was so crazy. I was trying to follow another girl and her footsteps were being blown away before I could catch up to her. img_5846When we got back into the tree line, it was great! We were all running down the mountain for a while, slipping and sliding, letting out laughs and shouting as we would slip on our butts!

It was so nice hiking with a group. I definitely hope I can do things like that more often. I didn’t realize how many of my adventures are with one person or just Nolan and I. There is NOTHING wrong with that at all, and I’ll still continue to do it, BUT – I sure did have a blast connecting with a group. It just felt nice. It was different and I think that’s what I am trying to say. It was something different for me and I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next time! After our hike we headed to Camore for some well deserved pub food and BEER!img_5855

 

 

It was a PERFECT way to bring in the New Year and with a wicked cool group of people!

New year, New adventures!

  • K

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