Not much posting lately, I've been up in Valier for the summer farming and ranching. Good experience, but time to move on at least for a season. I'm too socially isolated to continue as is, but it's been a good couple of months for me to consider what lifestyle I want and how it all fits into a holistic goal.
I was able to get up Granite Peak with some friends. Echo, Matt, Gary, and Ted. Brutalized feet would describe my only backpacking trip of the summer.
More friends have disappeared this summer. As mentioned in the previous post... it's a pisser, even more so when you know the people. The hardest thing for me to cope with is the feeling of selfishness. I think it's like a John Denver song with the lyrics "but most of all I feel sorry for myself that your not here with me". Having awesome people ripped out of this life leaves a hole. One rad mountain biking chica was lost to a drunk driver. Kevin was an amped MSU acquaintance who recently graduated and moved to Salt Lake. He perished in a climbing accident down on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone. While he was in Bozeman I shared a rope with him on some absolute classic climbs in the Gallatin Canyon. Both these people had an infectious enthusiasm that I hope to carry on into the world. You would do yourself a great service to glance at their obits.
I came back for the funeral and it was very worthwhile. My folks got established here because Hugh sold them land. So it was that I was able to grow up in such a great place with mostly good neighbors. Many of these people gathered to celebrate his life; I think there must have been about 400 people packed in to the small church and overflow building. He had a full life and left a mark on the lives of many living out a "love your neighbor as yourself" kind of Christianity.
A man and a place gone. I'm sad that a neighbor is gone. It really hit me that time marches on when I was walking along the river at the Hastings ranch later after the funeral. I was trying to meet up with a friend to go fishing and I saw that things have changed. The river must have been active this spring! A certain bend in the river is now gone and the river channel goes straight on through. Now the bend is just a mud hole and a backwater. The numerous memories that I had there hit me like a flood. It's hard to believe its gone.
The "cliff" is gone! No more swimming there anyway. The place where I caught some of the biggest of the Smith River fish, The mud banks where I got my feet stuck , The place where I dared Nathan Helfrich to swim across when the river was bursting at its seams, it's gone! No more canoe sledding into the river... Oh the dumb things we did. Yeah, also the place where Matt Hastings told me to swim across and get the electric fence wire back on to the insulator - yes, that same place where I got knocked on my ass trying; that whole place is now just an Oxbow backwater. The place where Kenny Sawyer charged down the hill with the infamous Army-Navy Parachute... lots of memories along that river.
I'm so out of it... and when cool people die it's a pisser. I just realized it - like a year late. RIP Rando Steve, I was inspired by the blog posts you put up on www.tetonat.com
I only noticed because I'm in the hunt again... I guess I've been too much of a flat lander lately.
I got a day in right after one of B.B.'s epic dumps. I seemed to be popping out as I was trying to charge down the mountain. Maybe I need some binding adjustment, maybe crank up the DIN? Maybe I just need more practice and better form?! But it feels like the skis are a little too short...
All I know is that I'm excited to go ski "project X" in the Beartooths as soon as I get back. I wish I had a winter picture of when I was back there this time of year a couple seasons back; it's a beautiful pipe that shoots straight down from a plateau at 10800' down to the valley floor at 7400'.
From the looks of it it holds snow plenty late in the season!!
My Christmas to new years plans took a slight twist - Partly because my partner for the time frame had to stay in D.C. for fiscal cliff issues - and because the ice in the netherworld wasn't formed up... just a 600 foot face with a 75' dagger at the top. I did a scouting overnighter back on December 16 or so. Six miles of hiking and six of snowshoeing... sprained calf muscle/achilles, yeah for snowshoes. :-p
I did see some big bighorn rams and a wolf - the wolf right up close and personal (20ft?) right at the wilderness boundary, when I went in to recon... that was interesting. Glad it was a lone wolf, but I'd like to pack heat anyway... because pepper spray says not to store it below freezing - and what good is pepper spray with a whole pack of wolves? Think happy thoughts - Dances with wolves, they mostly eat mice... right?
I woke up back there and poked my head out of my tent and wondered "which way did I come from". Umm, time to find my compass and get that back in my kit!
Woodbine falls - nice but a little thin... well perfect actually. Much less scary than Hidden Falls was at Turkey Day.
Christmas eve oyster stew with my friends family was good, but having BK for second dinner was truly memorable... when have you ever been to BK and they were OUT of hamburgers?!! So we had Angry Chicken Bacon Burgers - Yum!
Angies falls... said to be great, but all I did was build some bridges... take advantage before they melt out! Wisdom of the ages says take waders for creek crossings.
The second crossing looked sketchy so we went for a nice Christmas day hike to Mystic Lake. A nice wintery hike, Brr! Probably good we didn't climb.
Antiduct is FAT! No pic, but the pillar is touching down.
Pine Creek Falls, Check! Communication?? Oops! That was a good reminder that climbing with new partners sometimes takes some words... and mutual understanding.
Chico. Hot springs... Dancing... does it get better than that?
Bad Intentions & Dancing at the Wilsal Dance Hall... good times, good people. Turn that $tuff down - not sure I really like amplified live music.... Montucky Cold Snacks - a marketing gimick??? imported from Milwaukee, WI.
Champagne sherbert - Check! One rope instead of two (oops), Check! V-thread in the dark, Check! Hallejlujiah moment that my two holes matched up. It seemed like a good challenge. Next time I should throw the headlight into my pocket.
Cottonmouth in the Bridgers... Fat with only a little muddy section at the top.
Took advantage of the last day of the open road up East Hyalite and went to Palisade - BRR! It is very featured right now, I almost had a huge ice mushroom for lunch, zoips! We met a cool Portland crew there. Good on ya for not giving up and getting some climbing in! Hope that faceshot lip is healing up quick!
Back in Pine creek, Green Gully - awesome as always, calf burner with a little thought provoking section at the top and a little run out... good for the head to deal with that though eh?
What a good vacation... I'm very thankful I got to see so many good friends but now it's back to prarie living and work.
It's getting close to go time. I've been working out, not as regularly as I'd like... I think I can do a pullup now.
Ruck huck today, with goats for company. I can't really call it a run.
med .6 socks w/ Spantik's, Big Blue and 54 lbs of load; did about two miles, running at times - plenty for the calves, yowza. I think I should do two-a-days... ufta. I'll call it the P-22. 90 is too many. Baby steps. Think of all the starving wrestlers out there. I've gained almost 30 pounds since highschool. Crazy.
I gotta beat myself so that the real deal doesn't hurt so bad. On last winters big trip my motivation was minimal and I couldn't walk well for about a month. Tomorrow I'll try the old Koflachs. Glad I don't have the Scarpa Vega's anymore; it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about suffering with those things on.
3 people with winter camping and climbing gear. I hope the pack can be 60lb or less... working on a gear list.
Sure has been warm, I hope it gets a bit chillier before Christmas!
Christmas present to self... Booties for camp and a down sleeping bag that should take up less room than my gargantuan Wiggy's bag; which occupied about 40L of space even when compressed.
"Pain Free", makes sense... by Pete Egoscue; read it!
I tried to add other pictures but I blame it on HughesNet - they suck; really 250MB per day?? - not really realistic data usage for the current era of technology. Maybe if they'd spend less on their retarded TV commercials and more money on satellites...
So anyway - This is basically a copy of an email I sent. Sorry to cheapen it...
I'm stoked for ice(ish) dreams coming one
step closer to reality...
Checked out this alternative trailhead yesterday and hiked about
6mi up to the top of the major pass that we would have to deal with - it's
orders of magnitude better than a different alternative! At least in
my imagination it is; for winter travel who knows? I hiked the 10~12 mi what ever it was round trip in 4.5 hours. I got a late start, but it all worked out ok - except burning my mouth with microwave borritos.
The last mile of road to the trailhead could be prone to
drifting in – but the other road is too, for more than a mile. At least near
the end of this road there is a residence, so I think they plow it at least occasionally…
and in the case of a really epic storm maybe we could hole up there until they
Anyway it’s more gradual elevation gain and better scenery. Other things logistical - there is a couple of
stream crossings - no prob for double boots, just a bit of a challenge with a
sled maybe... not sure I want to drag one, but some other guy probably
does.If I was more serious about it I’d
think of tinkering with wheels on a cam mechanism/hinge…. Flip em under for ‘on’
mode & strap the stuff in place... totally removable for when we enter wilderness. Just going lighter might be righter.I don’t have time to fart with a sled project
really.My hunch is that the area is
pretty windy till we get over the pass. As little snow as we get it will probably be
hit and miss most of the way to the pass. I'll keep recon-ing... there is a
possible little refrigerator notch that I saw on the map that might hold some
small gems. Google Earth is conspiring to deprive me of sleep. Arghh! And food... double argh!!