Monday, November 15, 2010

My SQL PASS Summit Adventures part 1

I started my PASS Summit a little early this year.  I arrived in Seattle on Friday night, November 5th,  around 10:30 PM.  I met Brian Knight and Tim Moolic (Pragmatic Works COO) and we drove about 1.5 hours to Ashford, WA.  We settled in to our cabin on the Creek for a few hours of sleep before we began our BIG adventure.  About a month before PASS Brian gave me a call and asked if I would like to join he and Tim on a hike up Mt. Rainier.  I hesitated at first, but then quickly decided to do it.  So here I was, about to start a hike up the mountain in what we were told was some very unfavorable weather conditions.

IMG_1064 As you can see from the background, the weather was not very kind.  It was snowing, raining, and sleeting all at once.  If that is possible, but we were brave and had already rented all the gear so we did not really have a choice.  If you take a close look at my face in the picture you realize that I was the only one not smiling.  If you don't know I currently live in Louisiana and I was born in Houston, Tx.  Snow is not a common occurrence in either of these places.  To be honest I almost backed out, but my EGO wouldn't let me, besides these two guys would have never let me live it down.  So on to the hike.

I thought we were going to have a slow start to the hike, boy was I wrong.  Tim took off like he was running a 40 yard dash.  By the way, Tim lives in Boston so he is very familiar with snow and how to get around in it.  After about the first 200 feet I was done.  I wanted to turn back and find a nice warm place with a hot cup of coffee.  Again, my EGO took over and forced me to continue.

We hiked up for about 3 hours or 4000 feet, stopping a few times along the way for a little water, snacks and sight seeting.  At one point I found myself nearly waste deep in snow. Since I am not very familiar with snow, I did not realize that I should have been wearing the Snow Shoes that we rented.  Tim quickly brought that to my attention after I trudged through the snow for about 100 or so feet.
The visibility worsened as we hiked higher and we decided to call it quits after we reached about 8000 feet.  We did not want to take the chance of hiking down in the dark and getting lost.


This was the first time that I had ever experienced so much snow in my life.  Would I do it again?  Yep, without a doubt.  Since the PASS Summit is in October next year, the weather should be better and we should be able to hike a little higher.  At the end of the day we were exhausted, exhilarated, and ready for a drink.  We ended our night at a the only restaurant in Ashford.  We enjoyed a nice dinner with a few drinks some food and a little fun (Karaoke). 

IMG_1136 IMG_1148

All SMILES!!!!!  This was just day one of my PASS adventures.  Stay tuned for more adventures.

Talk to you soon,

Patrick LeBlanc, SQL Server MVP, MCTS, Mountain Man

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