Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcome 2015

I don't quite have time to put mental energy into writing all about my turn of the year ice climbing trip with Jimmy. He did a pretty good write-up of it found here:  The trip down to Cody and the "Big Boy Ice" was great.  I hadn't trained nearly enough and I found myself just trying to survive keeping up with Jimmy's enthusiasm.  It was the grace of God that my body didn't fail going climbing 8 days in a row. I definitely didn't do my share of the leading or trail breaking, but I tried to make up for it by cooking good food. Whining was kept to a minimum with the knowledge that there was a cooler of brew waiting in the car.  I knew my guts couldn't stomach multiple nights of dehydrated meals so this was definitely not a lightweight trip... Definitely could have gone lighter.  We didn't even drink all the beer... maybe we could have, but we splurged on pizza and Mexican a few nights.  I'm hopeful that I can crank a little harder on the next "big" trip but it seems like my life is consumed with other things now - trying to balance career, relationship, etc. Growing older... but staying young and pure of heart and hopeful - that is my endeavor.

This was climbing day 7, on "The Matrix" up in Hyalite.  We got 6 pitches in that day... and climbing this pitch I was so tired I could barely hold on to my tools at the crux... had I known how hard the climbing was I may have been less attentive to the camera, but the scenery was just too good...


Monday, December 22, 2014

Hi all,

I guess this could be as close as I'll come to a Christmas card.  I'm training to be a sanitarian, living and working in Polson, MT now.  I found a job where I can be nerdy about food and use at least one of my college classes to contribute to the greater good.  May no food-borne illnesses come your way this season - wash your hands and put those left overs away promptly ok?! If you aren't aware I am also now in a new career field in my "part time" job - there I'm doing Industrial hygiene... Had to have a cautionary statement read for me recently after I squirted some Dr. Bronners Magic Mint soap in my eye.... ouch!

I'm looking forward to getting out and exploring the Mission Mountains - especially now that the days are getting longer.  Moving here in the dead of winter has been a big culture shock, thankfully I've been spending quite a bit of time with my girlfriend.  She's interested in ice climbing, but Glacier isn't a very easy place to learn.  Very imminently I'll be going back down to Bozeman and Cody and thereabouts to do some climbing for a week.  I would offer to make social calls but my buddy is training to go to the Eiger and I think the schedule is going to be mostly climbing.

Humor me as I make one last plea; I need some photo contest help... find it at Photo Hold'em Tournament- ROUND ONE - COLDFEAR
you can vote on each bracket... There are some dang good photos to look at and you don't even have to burn a calorie to enjoy it.  Note: mine is wayyyy down toward the bottom (and just close the sharing popup if you aren't into that - don't let it scare you away from more voting).

Regardless of if you vote or not, if you are reading this i would love to hear from you and hear how you are doing. Especially make a point to Send a note if you vote So i can follow up with those of you who are interested in helping me along. Hopefully I'll have some fresh material soon!



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Keep dreaming.

I might just be having flashbacks from Whitetail peak from a few weeks ago... or maybe its a warning? Or maybe I've been reading too much David Roberts... anyway in this dream I had last night I had just climbed up something, I guess my partner and I had both soloed up something. I was feeling exposed and challenged. I wanted to take a rest on a snowy ledge and I was toying with the idea for a while, but it seemed too icy... it didn't seem like we were wearing crampons?  I found myself hugging a rock out cropping when my unknown partner got up to the ledge and decided to have a seat ... but he shot off b/c it was too slippery, then he flew across a bit of a chasm, it was glaciated, and smacked into the other side and sort of stuck there. I wanted to go throw him a rope, but the glacier calved off and as they say - that was that. I wanted to go back to sleep and finish the dream to see if I could find him, but I didn't...

I must get past Deborah - a wilderness narrative and on to The Mountain of my Fear. And I will get past fear - especially the fear of suffering.  Yesterday God graced me to get through my fit test with a head-ache, now onward - tomorrow I ice climb!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Diatribe on a dream.

Lunges and all manner of working out has me itching to climb.... So I called a partner trying to gin up something for the week but we digressed as I started picking his brain about possible unclimbed ice. It didn't take long and we were talking about the various dynamics of ice climbing roulette and I was getting another well needed lesson in how and where to get your life snuffed out by an avalanche and especially the particulars of how a person could do it on the East side of Glacier National Park. That talk pretty well popped the bubble of most plans I'd been trying to come up with.

As legend has it, one of Montana's ice climbing pioneers from here in Great Falls revered the East side of the park as "futuristic" because the conditions are so fickle (HAZARDOUS). He spent the better part of a decade trying to do some of the stuff, but I'm not sure what all he did. Because of the wind that generates on and to the East side of the divide, the littlest amount of precip can become a deadly problem. Two inches of snow can blow around and then wind-load on the lee side of a mountain, things may never really bond well to a glacier or a lower angle ice climb - I forget about long climbs being a source of snowpack to slide.  Back to the park - avalanches tend to run and pretty soon because of how big and bare the terrain is in the park, the situation is usually pretty high gravity. I guess for the big aesthetic waterfalls a good season for things on the East side of Glacier to be SAFE would be when we have super drought and then it gets cold... But, it's not supposed to be a dry winter, We've already gotten plenty of snow for things to be forming weak layers up high.

Sometimes good advice stinks, but I know wisdom comes with the price of experience. Thanks Ron and Gerald, Dexter, Don... and all you other lunatics - keep sharing your stories.

Edit add on: it seems like it's that time of year! It's a somber time for some as three notable mountain people just perished in slides down in Chile... This helpful bit from Outside showed up on Facebook courtesy of Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. The reason for this add on is that I just visited the GNFAC and they have updated things a lot since my last visit. There is an interactive map that will link you to all the US Forest Service Avy centers  for forecast info... a great help. AND I'm stoked I can finally get a visual on where "Lionhead" is and not feel like a dolt listening to the forecast over the phone.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I should post pictures of my time the last 3 months in Ohio.  I took two - one of my growing belly and one of an albino squirrel... well maybe there is three; we got 4 inches of rain in like 2 hours - that was interesting.

I would post em now, but I read this post just a moment ago and I realized I better get out and start making it happen. There is going to be a Before AND After picture... Someday - by the end of July!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Life post 03082014

I was recently asked for 15 random facts about myself so I sat down with my journal and forced myself to think of 15 things. The memories that came to mind were mostly older ones.  Too much fun not to share. I don't like to live in the past, but it doesn't hurt to remember it a bit. 

I'm just back from Chile... I leave for Ohio in the morning. Maybe more about the Chile trip soon... I climbed a volcano! It wasn't that challenging or amazing... I felt like complete tourist.  Reality is that life in Montana is pretty awesome.  I wanted to do more volcanos - I took my own "equipo", lugged it around the country - and never did use it.  Not knowing the language it was hard to figure out how to do what I wanted and what the restrictions were.  Pretty much anyone that spoke English was selling something...  Maybe the coolest thing I brought back was free: I now am in possession of what I believe to be some of the worlds more well traveled grolsch-top beer bottles.  They were imported to Chile from Germany.  Now they reside in Montana and they are currently filled with a fine Belgian Tripel (bottled yesterday). I guess I should probably dedicate a post just to my beer, mead, and wine brewing adventures.  For once in my life I can say I have enough beer... I look forward to finding the friends and occasions to drink it this summer.

So anyway:

1. When I was a kid I left my bmx bike in the pasture and our horses ate my seat.

2. Shortly after that I got a 18 speed "mountain bike". I went off a jump at the end of the driveway and convinced the neighbor kids to let me jump over them. This was before helmets - I'm glad the grass was soft-ish.

3. My first real mountain bike cost more than my first car. It was the first thing I took out a loan for to establish credit. More jumps... more falls... thank God for helmets.

4. I've ridden a camel in Israel and drank Turkish grind coffee.

5. I've had a nose job. ENT: "no that spot on your ear isn't melanoma... but I could straighten your nose for you..."

6. No tattoos - only scars.

7. My friend and I have chopped a hole in the river and jumped in... using a baling twine bracelet lanyard - the idea was in case of shock, the other guy could pull us out.

8. I've gone sledding on car hoods a couple times... maybe not a good idea. The first time I tried to jump off but got tangled in the rope and drug under the sled. The second time I was wearing a helmet and saw white momentarily when we hit the berm at the bottom and I was slammed backwards... Thank God for helmets (again).

9. Boomerangs don't seem to come back when I throw them. No helmet required.
10. When I was a wee lad I would shoot arrows into the air and see how close I could get them to land to myself. Once I misjudged and the shot came down in the top of the barn, resulting in a temporarily unhappy father.

11. When I was older I did the same thing with a 12 gauge... no barn involved.

12. I like cheese.

13. I was born on Friday the 13th.

14. Strep throat is my nemesis. A large needle to the backside once caused me to go into shock, pass out, collapse in a heap, and turn blue. My mom commented she didn't know joints could bend that way.

15. I like running and the adventure of life. Recently coming back from Chile, instead of sleeping, I watched a couple movies that were some of the better more enjoyable films I've seen in a while "The secret life of Walter Mitty" and "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag"

Bonus: Forth of July memories:

1. My sister lighting her foot on fire with a now banned type sparkler.

2. Best fireworks show: Portland Oregon where they shoot them off barges.

3. Worst Firework memory: Getting the belt after convincing my cousin that it would be ok if we made little rafts for them and set them off in the pond... It was the year 1988 - The year of the infamous Yellowstone National Park Fires.... (Fireworks were banned that year)

4. I once was on a mountain and got caught in a lightning storm. We were committed to going up before we could get to the quickest/safest way down. All the metal climbing equipment on me was buzzing from the static electricity in the air and the rope was discharging sparks as I brought my partner up the ridge. I also seem to remember being with this same partner a few years previous around the 4th of July and getting caught in a similar situation where we got pelted by hail and scared senseless by lightning while having to retreat off a climb.