Climbing Magazine called it “Must watch”, Reel Rock Film Tour said “It’s pretty epic!”, and Youtube user rocaybeta exclaimed “excellent!!! I literally cried”.
A few weeks ago I put together a short, humorous video I titled Reel Rock Deleted Scene – La Dura Comida. If you haven’t seen it, it’s essentially a mash up of Chris Sharma climbing sounds with a raccoon scaling a “raccoon-proof” outdoor cat feeder. Read More
I spent a few days exploring Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah back in May. The highlight for me was backpacking Coyote Gulch off of Hole-in-the-Rock Road… though it is technically in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, most begin the hike within Grand-Staircase Escalanate. This was a hike that came highly recommended by multiple people–I asked for recommendations on Twitter and Facebook–and I must say it was absolutely amazing. Three arches, a natural bridge, multiple little waterfalls, towering canyon walls, and a lush, serene oasis compared to the surrounding desolation. Thanks to Julia and Dave for recommending it!
Classic–one of the select routes chosen for inclusion in the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America, one of just six in the Pacific Northwest. The Upper North Ride of Mount Stuart (9,415′, Grade IV, 5.9) is widely considered to be one of the premiere alpine rock routes in Washington State.
Full Value–longer approach, glacier crossing, open air bivvies, 18 or so pitches climbing with lots of simul-cimbing, two 5.9 pitches at the Great Gendarme with a thousand feet of exposure, the second highest non-volcanic summit in Washington, and a huge 5,000 foot descent–the bulk of which is down a terrible scree couloir.
This is one of the biggest routes I’ve done, for sure. An amazing, memorable climb, not only for the quality of the route, but also for the terribly wet and rainy bivvy on night two. It was no fun being stuck in the rain with not much more than a garbage bag each. But we survived, we got some sleep, and we climbed on. Read More
The Mountain. It’s a peak that looms large–both figuratively and literally–over the identity and psyche of the Northwest. I was born and raised in the Puget Sound area; I spent the first 23 years of my life there. I have no explicit memory of first seeing or learning about the Mountain, it was just always there. Like the water, salmon, ferries, and rain. Well, it was there when the clouds and drizzle cleared. “The Mountain is out.”
The Lure of the Mountain
Whether you have an interest in mountaineering or the great outdoors, it’s hard not to be struck by the presence of this giant hunk of rock and ice. It’s a rare thing in this world to be able to stand at sea level and see what 14,000+ feet looks like rising up in the distance. In the Continental US, Mount Rainier is in a league of its own and is truly a land of superlatives–the most prominent and most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48. The easiest route to the top requires 9,000 feet of elevation gain. Read More
I spent the July 4th weekend in the hipster capital of the world, Portland, Oregon, to attend the so-called World Domination Summit (WDS). The what? Yeah, it’s a sightly audacious name that brings up thoughts of Pinky and the Brain or Dr. Evil.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with WDS, it’s an unconventional conference of bloggers, entrepreneurs, globe trotters, artists, agents of social change, and desk jockey’s looking to break away. Or, as I see it, it’s basically a bunch of people who are doing something a little different in life (or want to). Something awesome, something memorable.
WDS is now in it’s third year, and was started by Chris Guillebeau of the Art of Non Conformity, someone whose work I’ve been following for a number of years. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I signed up for it many months ago… And I wasn’t coming into it with any specific set of expectations. Mostly I just thought it might be a cool way to connect with more like minded individuals.
The central question of WDS is “How can we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” A variety of speakers from different backgrounds and perspectives tackled this question. Each offered up some great nuggets of wisdom, certainly too much to share in a single blog post, and some things really resonated with me and will continue to provide food for thought in the coming months. Read More
I’ve been living in my awesome truck setup for a number of months now, and I’m definitely starting to get a clearer picture of which items I brought along that I truly like, use frequently, and have really proved their worth over time on the road. Despite my imploring you to Stop Buying Things, and Start Doing Things, I just wanted to call out a few pieces of truck camping or road trip type of gear (not backcountry or climbing gear) that I think are pretty awesome… Some things can undoubtedly make your trip easier, more enjoyable, and comfortable. And unlike similar posts I’ve seen, this is not just some shout out back to the company for throwing some free gear my way. I purchased all of the below with my own money, and genuinely believe they have been awesome to have on the road. Read More
The Dirtbag-Mobile. Every climbing bum who decides to spend a length of time on the road inevitably ends up living in and out of their vehicle. It’s kind of a right of passage. The types of vehicles that people end up dirtbagging in are about as varied as climbing itself. You’ve got your standard little car, the cliche outdoorsy rig the Subaru Outback, Jeeps, SUVs, pickup trucks both large and small, you’ve got vans–from the super classic VW bus, to minivans, to the bigger and more upscale vans like the Sprinter–and you’ve even got the occasional trailers and RVs.
The two most common dirtbag rigs from what I’ve seen are pickup trucks with a canopy or some type of van. Here we’re going to be discussing building out the pickup and canopy combo, since that’s what I’ve got. More often than not, we don’t have the liberty to decide what sort of vehicle we’re going to dirtbag in. It’s usually whatever it is we happened to buy a few years back.
I’ve got a 1991 Toyota 4×4 Pickup (Hilux), which is a series of truck that predates the Tacoma model. This truck has been my one and only vehicle since high school and I knew when I decided to bum around the country that it was going to be me and my old truck… But now as my new home on wheels. Read More
While I was hanging out in Lone Pine, California, I met up with an old DC climbing buddy, Ryder, who was just making the move to San Francisco. Like, just arrived the week before and then set out to meet up with me for a weekend adventure in the High Sierras. Pretty awesome to get right out there after it! Ryder had his eyes set on Whitney’s classic East Buttress. He put in a winter attempt a few years back, but had to turn back. I hadn’t had any long burning desiring for Whitney, but it’s hard to dismiss the appeal of climbing the highest peak in the Lower 48… Now we just needed to get a permit… Read More