Oklahoma mom goes to Nepal & Rock/Creek Helps Get Her to the Top

Do you ever get that inner stirring from reading such a great story, that you feel goosebump-like excitement for your own new adventure?

Well, our Rock/Creek Customer Service was so amped up by one of our customer’s stories, they just had to share it with us Rock/Creek Media people. Together we all shared that excitable adventure feeling; at least 20 minutes worth of searching for cheap flights and rough drafting our intended vacation requests!

So, we wanted to get all our readers, fans and adventure enthusiasts side tracked from work and start dreaming too; that way we don’t feel so guilty about our slacking methods. Enjoy this inspiring story.
~ Rock/Creek Media

Nepal 2009 938More importantly, we want to introduce Kathryn. A mom from Oklahoma who decided to go, and do, and see what her limits were. With no previous trekking or climbing experience, she decided to go to Nepal in the October-November 2009. Her intended trip was to trek to Everest Base Camp, however, she was so struck by awe and inspiration, she altered some trip plans to try summiting Island Peak.

“I didn’t decide that I wanted to climb Island Peak until getting to Nepal. So my gear list is for the trekking side of the trip.

When I received the gear list I was overwhelmed! With having no previous trekking or climbing experience I didn’t know where to start. As I began looking for items I stumbled onto Rock/Creek’s website [rockcreek.com] where one of the jackets I needed was on sale – 50% off!! I contacted their customer service and began working with Ryan Coulter. I told him what I had planned and that I really wasn’t informed as to what I needed. He asked me to fax the gear list and together we tackled the list.
I purchased most of my gear from Rock/Creek. Here is a quick review of some of the gear I used.”

Patagonia R2 Jacket – I wore this jacket a lot. (It also makes a nice pillow!) The pockets are deep and the inside pocket can fit an iPod classic without any problem. It’s relatively thin but provides a nice layer or can be used by itself. It doesn’t bunch at the shoulders when putting on my pack and is plenty long in the front and sides providing good arm movement without slipping up.

Patagonia Wool 2 Crew Top and Bottoms – these are must haves! They are soft, warm and very comfortable. The top and bottoms provide a great base layer and work great as pajamas at the higher elevations. I wore the pants under the oracle pants for summit day. I didn’t think I’d be warm enough, but these Wool 2 Crew bottoms added just the right layer that day. Only thing I thought the pants ran a bit large so I would probably order the next size down if I were to order them again.

R1 Pullover and R1 pants – these are nice weight fleece items and provide warmth without the bulk. The pullover can be used as a layer or by itself. It’s comfortable in the arm length and shoulders. It doesn’t bunch or come up in the front when stretching my arms. It was great to wear around the lodges in the evening. The R1 pants are a great layering piece as well. At lower elevations these are great for underneath my trekking pants on windy days or to get the chill off in the mornings. The pants also work well for pjs at night very comfortable but not too hot.

Nepal 2009 896Marmot Exum (Gore-Tex jacket) – This item is lightweight and windproof! I had never owned anything with Gore-Tex so I didn’t understand why the item commanded such a high price. I do now!! The Exum jacket can be properly smashed in a small ball, chucked in the top of the backpack and then worn without damage. It can withstand quite the abuse. Initially I was concerned because the “bill of the hood” is stiff and I thought cramming it in my backpack was going to ruin the bill. Nope, not a problem.

Explorer Sunglasses – these glasses were essential. Yes, their price to me is quite high, but worth it. The ear pieces can be molded to fit your ears, which I didn’t know until later in the trip. That makes a huge difference! The eye areas are shielded to protect against the sun and wind. They provide great sun protection and with the strap, if you don’t need them you can always just let them hang around your neck. The glasses case is sturdy. I put them in my pack and wasn’t concerned that they would be smashed.

Balaclava – well, this one was new to me. I wasn’t sure how I’d like to have something cover my head, my nose and mouth. It did take me a bit to get used to how it feels. However, once I got used to breathing through the layers it was nice to breathe “warm air.” I only wore this on summit day, but it made a big difference. Also provides nice wind protection.

Capilene T-shirt – the moisture wicking aspect of the shirt was nice. It didn’t hold up as well as I had hoped, but for the price it worked. It is a lightweight shirt that served its purpose well on those warm sunny days.

Royal Robbins Emmy pant – these are great trekking pants – they are sturdy and stain resistant. However, they run big and I wish they had belt loops. They also sit a bit low on the waist. I had to roll down the waist band to keep them up! They really hold up well and are comfortable. It’s almost like a thin fleece layer on the inside so they are better in colder temperatures. They are plenty long in the legs so they look good and stay over your trekking boots.

Wicked Tee- I used this for my training runs. It provides great moisture wicking. I wear this to run and work out. Very nice item. Wish I would’ve had it in Nepal.

Exo Dri-Pointelle – this is a great long sleeve shirt with sun protection. It’s a flattering fit and stylish. I wore this on days that I didn’t really need a jacket but needed long sleeves. Also I used it as a base layer. The sun protection does work!!

Oracle Pants – these are wonderful pants! I found they ran true to size and provided great movement. The material stretches giving me plenty of room to scramble rocks and take some pretty big steps. They are surprisingly warm and do a great job protecting against the wind. I didn’t like the suspenders so I just took them off and I don’t even know where they are! They do have full zippers down the sides so you could take them on and off easily.

The Marmot Venus jacket – this jacket is stylish and warm. This jacket isn’t enough at higher elevations, but definitely worked well for me at the mid elevations. The jacket is cut well and the sleeves are plenty long with elastic cuffs keeping them in place while still providing plenty of room to move. This jacket can be stuffed in small places without losing its shape. This jacket doesn’t weigh hardly anything making it ideal to cram in my pack.

The Marmot Renya jacket – I really love this jacket. It’s really a cute jacket and provides protection against the cold, wind and water. The water just beads on the outside making it easy to just shake off the water. It’s very comfortable and plenty of room. It doesn’t bunch at the shoulders when I wear my pack. I wear it in and out of the hills. It has a nice hood that provides protection as well. The inside is a fleece layer that is nice. The only thing I don’t care for is that it does ride up when I move my arms.