mountains, nothing but mountains

Unless you are one of my sisters, you likely do not know the movie reference:

Mountains, nothing but mountains. We’ve had it. We’ve, we’ve completely had it.

No we haven’t. Between these mountains somewhere there’s a green valley. See these mountains over here? There’s no snow on them.

Those mountains must be fifty miles away. You think you can walk fifty miles?

If we have to, we will.

I can’t.

Yes, you can.

I can’t. I’m not as strong as you.

Do you know what it is that we’ve lived this long the way we have? Seventy days? That we climbed this mountain. You know what it is? It’s impossible. It’s impossible and we did it. I’m proud to be a man on a day like this. Alive. That I lived to see it, and see it in such a place. Take it in. I love you, man. Look, it’s magnificent. It’s God. And it’ll carry us over every stone, I swear. I swear to you.

***

Best movie ever. My sisters and I were oddly obsessed with ALIVE. Our love for Ethan Hawke probably started it all but, we went through a phase of watching the VHS weekly then read all of the books and absorbed every bit of information regarding this amazing true story about a rugby team whose plane crashed and they had to save themselves. Yes, they ate the bodies of the deceased but they SURVIVED and walked out of the freaking Andes! Unreal.

But I digress… I am actually here to talk about how mountains bookend the week for me. Last weekend was STORM THE MOUNTAIN and this coming weekend we are heading to Whistler for an Ackerman family ski trip (it’s our late Christmas).

My top priority for both adventures is warmth. I’m always cold and do my best to dress for the elements.

Case in point: This is how I feel (Another ALIVE reference):alive-1993-movie-free-download-720p-bluray-4-1And this is how I go outside every day: img_0091

Last month I wrote here and here about these new mittens I discovered and ordered for me and my mom. They’re microwavable and I’ve worn them a few times now. Here is my unbiased (not sponsored) review of the HXT Marathon Mittens.

Cons:

  • Not cheap. $80 US (which is like a bajillion dollars Canadian) + shipping (but we had ours shipped to my sister’s house in the States so it was a none issue).
  • They don’t show sizing information on their site – I emailed the company, it took a week to hear back, and was told the small-mediums would be best… They are big. I think the x-small would be better. Like my head, my hands are small. On the flip side, I can easily wear a pair of gloves under them for extra protection.
  • They are not HOT like the disposable hand-warmers. I was expecting my hands to feel like they’re in an oven but they feel more like a warmish late spring day and although they claim to last up to 4 hours, I’d say 2-3 hours is more realistic. (see the pro side to this).
  • They’re heavier and bulkier than a basic pair of mitts. If you don’t want to wear them, it’s hard to subtlety stuff them in the back of your running tights.
  • You need a microwave. Most ski hills have one in they lobby so I am not too concerned. As for running, even long-long runs don’t go much beyond 4 hours so I should be okay.
  • They’re not the most attractive pair of mitts on the market.

Pros:

  • They have nose wipes. No joke, this is smart. Gross but handy.
  • They have reflectors. I run at 5:30 am so this is good.
  • The cuffs are long and fit nicely under my jacket sleeves. Easy on and off, tuck-ins.
  • Because they’re not HOT like the disposable hand-warmers, the severity of taking them on and off outside is less shocking. During the eco challenge, I had to take them off a lot in order to use the compass and my hands stayed warm the whole time. Mike was shocked. My hands were so happy that I actually walked without the mitts on at times.
  • They have extra pockets for more warmers so if it’s really bad out there, you can add more disposable hand-warmers to them.
  • Less wasteful and although the upfront cost is pricy, disposable hand-warmers are not cheap. Plus, once you open the package of hand-warmers, you have them for 8 hours.

Are they the cure to cold? No. Am I keeping them? Yes. I love that I can heat them up whenever I want. I pop the whole mitt right into the microwave for 35 seconds and I’m ready to go! This means I can have warm hands for my morning run + then again for my morning walk to school + then again for my after school walk + then again if I go out in the evening. That would be at least two sets warmers a day!

I hope this helps. Stay warm friends. I’ll be sure to let you know how they make out on the mountains out west!

By the way, Storm the Mountain is a winter eco-endurance challenge put on by the Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue. A really fun 4 or 8 orienteering adventure in Wentworth.img_0087img_0081img_0085

psst. Random “fact” about my sister… her son’s actual name is Nando although everyone calls him Sam. He’s named after the rugby player which Erin swore she’d do when she was 15. 
psst. The full movie can be found on YouTube. You’re welcome. Movie image from here.

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with a pom on top

My office in Montreal has a secret Santa gift exchange – and not the cheap $10-here-is-a-bunch-of-crap kind. We are big spenders.

I got my favourite tank from Lilas, and Caroline gave Nancy a toque (made by her mom) as a gift. My instant reaction was to snap a picture and send it to my mom (hint hint):IMG_4085Although Nancy’s was not faux, I am all about the faux fur pom pom toque. They’re everywhere this season. How can you not want one?

So, I returned to Halifax and began crafting up a request to my mom but was feeling…

  1. Guilty because she just made me an awesome sweater.
  2. Concerned because I knew my request would not be at the top of her crafting list. Winter is here.

My revised plan was to skip mom and buy a toque, but then I discovered I had a reject hat that’d be perfect for a pom pom! Etsy is a great resource for faux fur poms and within a week my mink brown faux fur poms arrived (I got two poms for $10 total). It only took me two minutes to attached and voila! I am happy, my pom bounces, and winter just got a bit better.DSC_0721DSC_0698IMG_4388

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