The Mount Mitchell Threesome

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It’s that time of year again when we all take stock of our lives and start planning for the new and improved selves that will take shape in the year to come. I’m talking about new year’s resolutions, that tradition of hope and inevitable disappointment that most of us put ourselves through each year. As 2011 rapidly approaches, I find myself making some familiar promises that I probably won’t be able to keep. Am I really going to get up at 6am to run every morning? I doubt I’ll be able to keep that resolution through January 1st. But in the midst of all the trite resolutions to be more fit, patient, thrifty, and kind, I’ve come up with a doozy of an adventure that I’m determined to accomplish. My house is roughly 30 miles and 4,000 vertical feet from Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. In 2011, I will summit Mount Mitchell from my house three different ways. I will run to the peak, I will bike to the peak, and I will ski to the peak. I call it the Mount Mitchell Threesome.

Biking to the top should be a piece of cake. People do it every weekend via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Running to the top will be a bit more formidable. It will be a beastly 50K along the Mountains to Sea Trail with considerable cumulative elevation gain. But the ski leg of the Threesome will be the crux. I’ll be able to take the parkway, but I’ll have to wait for a killer storm that blankets the area with a foot of powder. And 30 miles uphill is a long way to ski in a day, so I’ll have to make it an overnighter at least. Which means snow camping off the parkway at elevation. Brrr.

But all good new year’s resolutions should be formidable. And I’m looking forward to tackling this one. If anyone out there has already completed the Mount Mitchell Threesome, please let me know. Give me some pointers. Tell me I can do it.

And if you’ve got a doozy of a new year’s resolution, tell us about it.

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