Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Yosemite and The Coolest Gas Station Ever

My time so far on the east side of the Sierra has been great.  I got to do some good rock climbing and climb one of the most fun routes of my life on the West Ridge of Mt. Conness in Yosemite.  I may actually stay here until I go to Antarctica in mid-September.  There is a part-time job and a room here for me in June Lake, CA.  I was really looking forward to weeks of downtime in Missoula, but like I have said before Missoula will always be there.  There are a lot of places in this part of CA that I have always wanted to spend more time in. 
Climbing on Daff Dome

View of Half Dome





Plus the coolest gas station ever is here.  What would make a gas station so great?  You take a simple gas station add good food, live music and neat people then you get the coolest gas station ever. 
The coolest gas station ever

I’m leaving this afternoon to guide a 6-day backpack through northern Yosemite.  It starts on the east side of the Sierra and ends on the western side at Hetch Hetchy dam.  This hike is part of a fundraiser to remove the dam, which like most dams, is pretty useless. 


More info on the restoration of Hetch Hetchy:
More information on the trip I am guiding:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Views From Zee Plane

After leaving Seattle I was finally awake enough to really look out the window and take some photos.  
Mount St. Helens, WA--Looks like there may have been an eruption there

The Three Sisters and Broken Top Volcanos--Near Bend, OR

The photos are from my ipod so the quality isn't as good as usual. 

Crater Lake, OR

Mt. Shasta!

It was great to pass over many places that I have explored and hope to someday get back too.

Then I got to LA....

OK, so some beach time wouldn't be bad right now.

Something is very wrong with the green to concrete ratio here

LA goes on for fucking ever...until the smog blocks it out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to the Roots

After years apart I finally got the chance to climb another peak in the Tobacco Root Mountains in southwest Montana.  I have had views of these peaks for most of my life.  I have been to the summit of more peaks in this mountain range than anywhere else in the world.  From these summits I can see the areas that I grew up in and am able to see 14 other mountain ranges in Montana.  

Looking toward the Tobacco Roots from the Highland Mountains

Lake Louise and Middle Mountain

Lake Louise

Lake Louise and Middle Mountain

Looking south from Middle Mountain

Looking south to the first 10,000' peak I ever climbed-Black Butte.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photos from MT

Just a few photos from my time back in MT.  

Stormy sunset behind the Highland Mountains


Fireworks and airplanes above Missoula

4th of July in Missoula
Arrowleaf Balsamroot looking at the Pintlers 

Pintler Mountains near Philipsburg 

Testing out the new camera lens on Mercedes

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Life of snow

What happens when all you live in is snow. Not the good kind-not the kind that clings to trees or deep powder for skiing or snowman snow. It is the kind that infiltrates your every pore, waking moment and falls on your face in its frosty form from the tent every time the wind blows. The kind that you must slog through in snowshoes, dig many feet into to create a kitchen and melt untold cubic yards of to make gallons of water for everyone.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Denali With No Legs

Sitting in the Anchorage airport now waiting to board flights back to Missoula I am more exhausted than I have ever been after a trip.  21 days is a long time to spend on any mountain.  But this Denali trip was a little different.  As I mention there were only 4 good legs amongst the 5 clients.  This meant traveling a little slower and making twice as many camps and carrying twice as much weight.  Despite only making it up to 15,500 feet it was still one of the coolest trips that I have ever guided. 

Shadow of Denali from 11,200'
The drive that these guys have is unbelievable. I have had many clients with both legs that haven’t made it as high on the mountain and certainly no one has every pushed themselves as hard. 
Kirk and his famous one-legged mule kick
Campsite at 13,000'

After some hard days when I was exhausted I remembered that I had both my legs so really I was really doing all right.
Just a little rest break

Another challenge on this trip was dealing with the very different political views of these five veterans.  They are all about as conservative as you can get.  Except for a few Santorum jokes here and there we all agreed to disagree and didn’t let politics come in the way of being a team on the mountain. 


View from Windy Corner

Getting ready to carry loads up the fixed lines

Took us 6 hours to build these two tent platforms (that we never actually used) in the ice at 16,400'
 Now it is time to enjoy a few weeks of summertime in the great state of Montana before I head back to winter in Patagonia.
Cool clouds over Mt. Foraker