Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sunday 4:30 am. Somehow Johnny and I rouse ourselves and stagger with our gear to the truck. After a longish drive we arrive in Willard, UT at 6am and scout for Holmes canyon. We set off in what we were hoping was the correct direction. Soon enough we got into the canyon proper and proceeded to rock, stream, and downed limb hop our way up to where the quartz meets the gneiss. It took a solid 2 1/2 hours and it was damn steep. Now we were ready to start climbing. To justify my lack of photos I should explain that I was test driving a camera my brother had for sale and the batteries crapped out an hour into the route. I had only taken 3-4 pics to that point so I'll get 'em here soon enough. The route we were on is called the Southwest Ridge of the London Spire in the Willard Spires formation of the Northern Wasatch. Lot's of capitals. The route is a grade III 5.7 10 pitch chossy, flaky pile of butt puckering goodness. It follows the most prominent ridge up the spire. It is a lot of fifth class scrambling, but the rope comes out for the insane-o exposure.
We parked our car at roughly 4500 feet elevation and topped out at 9000 feet at the top of the spire. We began leading in blocks with me taking the first three. Everything went smoothly and Johnny was soon leading the next three. The climbing itself was not too difficult as evidenced by the 5.7 rating. It was quite techie to place good gear in some places as TV sized blocks were movable and flakes all had to be checked. I ended up knocking on most of my holds that day to see how hollow they were. Sketchy! Johnny's second pitch took him directly below the Lunch Ledge. We were unsure what the exact route was and it seemed to go to one side of the ledge and then up. I was belaying and Johnny chose left to the North Face. I followed up to him to one of the most exciting belays I've done yet. I was sitting on a pointy flake with my knees pressed against the cliff face and the rope around my feet. As I belayed Johnny up the steepest pitch yet I could look over my shoulder 3000 feet to the bottom. That'll screw with your head game. Johnny dominated the pitch though and we regained the ridge and headed up to the summit. The last couple pitches were crazy with a wandering route, kitty litter holds and loose rock all over. Soon enough we were looking at the summit marker, a stick with dirty undies hanging from it. Neato. We packed the rope and scrambled the rest of the ridge, down climbed some scary fifth class talus and saw a huge mountain goat. After that it was a matter of hiking down that canyon with a little less spring in our step. We were both beat and it took a while but 12 1/2 hours after starting out we were back in the car making plans to never come back.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
this weekend turned out fantastic. It's Tuesday night and I can barely move without wincing. What shall we imagine put me in such a state? Some motivated folks and folly. It's been raining frequently the last few weeks and such was the forecast for the Saturday previous. Knowing the rain probably wouldn't begin until late morning myself and my partners met up in the Gate Buttress parking lot at 5:45 am. This required waking myself up at 4:30 for the 50 minute drive. We quickly assessed our gear and scurried puffing up the hill to the Schoolroom Rappel area. We set our eyes on Bushwhack Crack, a solid 5.8 hand crack with a small tree growing directly out of the fissure midway. I had led this shakily a couple of years ago, however shoulder injuries had kept me down for a while and I was apprehensive. I tenderly stepped into the crack and began jamming. I rapidly started a rhythm and made my way to the top. Wow, it felt so good to clip the chains and know it all came together. I quickly rappelled down and partner 2 got on the rope. He was unfamiliar with crack climbing and after a few good attempts opted out. partner 3 tied in and was off. Despite his claims to the contrary he climbed quite gracefully and quickly reached the top and cleaned the gear for our leaving. Since it hadn't begun raining we looked to our left and saw a fine looking climb that was just right for partner 3 to lead. He dispatched the route thoroughly and was back on the ground in no time. As partner 2 tied in I started to take up the slack rope, as his belayer. It was obvious that the rope was stuck. After various shenanigans we ended up with partners 2&3 about halfway up the climb in the freshly started rain. Despite the opportunity for a mini epic they got everything sorted out efficiently and we retreated in the rain back to our cars. All in time to get a 9 am breakfast. To be continued in the next episode.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
planted some belated vegetables in the family garden today. Chances of survival? not so much. Zach and i took the leftovers and stuck them in dirt all over our yard. We are calling it 'chaos gardening'. Got some climbing in Sunday in the Big Cottonwood Canyon. Went up Stuarts Ridge (5.6, 3 pitches). The best part was watching Dave after he took off his shoes cuz his feet hurt. He didn't know anything about the thorny rasberry bushes he would climb through. bummer. If you're gonna be dumb, you might as well be tough.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
All right, I've been busier than you know who in a you know what. Got up to Wyoming a few weeks ago for a ski tour attempt to climb Gannett Peak. We didn't summit but we gave it a good effort and were thwarted by the weather. There's always next year. Here's a couple shots:
Never mind, my computer doesn't want to. I'll try a link to a trip report, instead.
I also got out last sunday for a little trad climbing with my friend Brett. We cruised up Little Cottonwood Canyon and tackled The Coffin. It was a great 5.9 crack with a sketchy, unprotectable start. Yee haw!
Spent some time with the fam on Monday flying kite's and playing with mini people at the park in Park City. The incident was well documented by others, check the other family blogs. One more day and the weekend begins! I'll crack a beer to that.
Monday, January 26, 2009
well, well. I was disappointed again by Stevil in the Bummer Life Avoidance category, however the Bike Snob shone through for me. The snow was great, but not as great as home rolled sushi with my friend Ali. Great company and glow in the dark hula hoop. I'd say the day was a success.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
sunday, and the livin's easy. The snow has yet to cease and it's about time. I finished my homework and am enjoying some charles mingus and coffee and popcorn. I like to eat my popcorn by lifting the entire bowl to my mouth and sticking my tongue in to cover it with exploded kernels. I don't share my popcorn. I went for a walk earlier and my polarized sunglasses made all the colors really 'pop' in contrast to the snow. Awesome and surreal. The naked trees were a mottled maroon and seem to shiver the snow out of their branches every now and again. The view outside my window would be a lot better if i rented a bulldozer and took out the neighbors house. that's worth fantasizing about for a minute. I have some sort of spider bite on my stomach. It's red and angry. It seems to have gotten smaller since a couple of days ago, and if i owned a digital camera I'd probably snap a shot and post it here. I'm mostly hoping that I won't give birth to an alien clown thing that crawls out of my abdomen and then eats me while releasing mini spider clowns to take over the earth. although the earth may be better off with alien clown spiders in charge. who really knows? maybe stephen king.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
While driving home from school yesterday evening I involved my self in a personal discussion with my self and was amazed at the outcome. I was thinking about the idea of living contextually, in that we all are born within a certain context and grow up in a context and on and on until we die in our contextual way. And I think that's pretty amazing. It seems being yourself and individual would be rather narrowly circumscribed by a number of factors. Most peoples decisions seem to be made within those parameters. Don't think I'm excepting myself here. All the history of the world has transpired perfectly to deliver you. Speaking of delivery, I've been plotting some kicka$$ bicycle trips. c'mon weather, warm up 3 months premature for me!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I don't know why I keep cutting wood the way I do. Everytime I do my back gets sore all over again. Damn. I'm not referring to a style of woodcutting it's the fact of woodcutting at all. While at Fran's this morning, cutting wood, OSB, for the stairs I built, I took a moment to breathe. You know, Really Breathe. It could only have been 30 degrees or so, the sun was shining, the forest was still, and the world was perfect, just like it always is. I am boggled at how easy it is to get all wound up in the crazy games of the world and some Breathing nearly always brings things back into perspective. I like to forget that this is my life. right now. not the whatever i'm planning for tomorrow, this summer, or ten years from now. This air and these sounds. This lumber in my gloved hand. The whistling leaves and crunchy snow. The way poetry rides through the trees and weaves around rocks. Awesome.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Whew! I finished reading 'The Blood Meridian, or the evening redness in the west' by Cormac McCarthy and to echo literary folks everywhere the man is a fricking genius. Good Lord. It's butt cold outside (that looks like -2) and my runny nose is slowing in drip frequency. I think I'll take the old ski's up snake creek and enjoy the beautiful day.
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