Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yes it has been far too long....

Did your mother ever tell you to stop frowning because if you held that face for too long it would get stuck like that? Well mine did.  I often wonder if life is like that.  If you stay too long in an unhappy situation, that becomes the norm.  Then you wake up one day and that seems normal.   Really the underlying question I have been asking myself lately is this, “what fuels the vagabond?” or rather, “why are some people comfortable with constant motion and others terrified of it?”

I have come to believe the thrill of adventure can overcome the fear of living a boring life.  There is nothing wrong with wanting security, and comfort, and consistency.  However, I have found that security, and comfort, and consistency fall into place much easier after someone has tested themselves against the elements of the world.  After I return home from a long trip, the running water tastes better; the morning paper reads more clearly, the laugh of my little sisters holds more magic. 

During the last three months I have had the opportunity to climb the Mexico Volcanoes, attempt big walls in Southern Patagonia, and ski champagne powder in Colorado.  While all these adventures are quite inspiring, the most influential part of all my travels are the people I meet and build relationships with along the way.  If you spend enough time around people that love adventure you will find they share a common love of one another.  For instance, I can arrive in Puerto Natales, Chile located on the southern tip of South America.  My Spanish is poor at best, and I walk into a local climbers pub and instantly have a connection with the local climbers simply because of our common love of the mountains and our general respect for one another.  Or I can arrive in Ouray, Colorado in the middle of the night after driving for twenty hours, knock on a friend’s door and have a warm place to stay.  The point I am attempting to make is this, “the people you breath, sweat, bleed, and share life with are the ones that make the adventures great.” Do not live in fear of becoming normal.  Live with the inspiration of having a great adventure with the ones around you.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

That's What I'm Talking About!

With the change of season come many transitions in the life of the seasonal athlete.  I recently wrapped up another spectacular summer guide season and headed for Rocktober.  Each fall the summer season comes to a screeching halt.  During the summer month’s guides across the country work themselves into the ground to make their dreams come true.  What is it that compels us to carry on? What is the gleaming desire to achieve something greater? 
I have the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with some of the greatest guides in the industry.  And we have bosses and mentors that are living examples that your dreams really can come true.  I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the generosity of those that believed in me.  So when you get bogged down in the daily grind, take another shot of espresso and realize that anything is possible.  Just kidding with the shot of espresso.  But please take a moment and look at all the people that have made it happen, and realize that you can to. 
Ok, so maybe it’s the fact that winter is just around the corner, or that my new skis and boots have been waiting for a month, or that I’m sitting in a So Cal coffee shop but I feel inspired.  So shoot me, or realize that there is something within each and every one of us, something that is waiting to break out and seek adventure.  And don’t forget to PRAY FOR SNOW!!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Do you ever wake up in the morning thinking the dreams you just had were real? You spend the first few minutes of your day recounting the dragons you slayed or the mountains you climbed, or the people you connected with.  Every part of you is telling you that was real, then there is your highly educated rationale that tells you there is no way that could be real or else you wouldn’t have awoke where you did.  Tell me something, if you could make some of those dreams come true, would you?
Welcome to my life.  There is some reality in all of our dreams.  Fact: I live in the back of my camper, I don’t make very much money, I have to be intentional about the relationships in my life.  But because of these facts I am able to live my dream, and change the world around me on a daily basis.  I have begun to make my dreams a reality, and it all started the same way your dreams did, while you were sleeping and imagining life the way it could be. 

We can all agree that life is sometimes a crazy adventure, more often than not we want to throw in the towel.  But what is it that keeps us going, that keeps us waking up in the morning for a new day.  Some do it out of necessity, some do it out of boredom, and even others do it simply because they are hoping this day will be better than the last.  No matter your motivation to wake up in the morning it is possible to make your dreams come true.  And while the adventure is important, pay attention to the connections you make along that adventure. 

It is the connections we make along the way that change the world.  Yes I get to climb mountains for a living, it is amazing, but the most rewarding part is helping people experience life to the fullest.  The people I take climbing are able to do things they never thought possible.  They are able to see the world around them through a new lens.  They are able to live their dreams, and wake up in their life with a new sense of purpose.
Maybe it is the change of season that has inspired me to write again, or maybe it’s the fact that I just got a ton of sleep and am now over caffeinated.  Regardless, the snow is coming which signals the end of one season and the beginning of another. 

No matter where you are waking up today, remember your dreams and love those around you!  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Alaska and Beyond

What’s the first thought that comes to your head when you hear the name Alaska? 

I think about snow, ice, glaciers, big peaks, and wild untamed landscape.  On my most recent trip to Mt. Bona in the Wrangle St. Elias range I discovered Alaska is all of those things and more.  I had the opportunity to work as an assistant to Sheldon Kerr on a twelve day climbing expedition of Mt. Bona with four clients.  On May 21st, 2011 we all met in Anchorage to discuss our adventure.  This is a special trip for many reasons; One being the remote nature of Mt. Bona.  In order to even get to the base of the mountain we drive six hours south east of anchorage, hop on a bush plane and fly an hour into the mountains, land on glacier and then we have at least a week of climbing a headed of us.  Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to go through such an endeavor? .

For the opportunity to experience something outside the norm, something life changing--for the unique opportunity to examine life through a completely different lens. 

After landing on the Klutlan Glacier at over 10,000ft elevation we set basecamp and began our expedition.  We watched as the plane flew away, our only communication with the outside world for the next two weeks was a satellite phone.  Everyone pitched in and in no time base camp was set.  Getting dropped off at 10,000 ft is an interesting feeling.  Normally when you climb to that elevation your body has a chance to acclimate and make up for the reduced air pressure, thus making you feel much better than we did.  Due to the fact that we simply were dropped off we needed a good night sleep to adjust to our new environment. 
The next few days we had beautiful weather that allowed us to make large advances on our objective.  In two days time we were at camp one—11,950 ft—and looking beautiful.  The upper mountain had some cracks but nothing we couldn’t handle.  The group was all feeling strong, and couldn’t wait for more climbing. 

It took us four days to get everything to high camp at 14,300 ft.  We were in perfect position to make an attempt on the summit.  Its much more difficult working at high camp than the previous camps, so everyone had to be diligent about taking care of their bodies.
Day 5 we woke up to beautiful blue skies, no wind, and perfect climbing conditions for our summit attempt.  We left high camp at 8:15 am and reached the summit of Mt. Bona at 2:45 pm.  Being the tallest peak in the Wrangles we looked down on everything around us.  Mt. Logan was standing proudly in the distance, we could nearly see to the ocean.  Everyone was exhausted but well worth the work.  Thank you gentlemen, for a once in a lifetime experience.  I feel honored to have shared my first Alaskan summit with you all. 
            Back at base camp safe and sound two days later we all enjoyed some cold beverages that were strategically buried for safe keeping and optimal enjoyment upon our arrival.  Kyle and myself each had birthdays the two nights we were in base camp waiting for our pick up.  Sheldon, being the wonderful host she is made us each a birthday cake and gave us a very special celebration.  Thanks Sheldon, I had a wonderful time working with you. 
At 8am on day 8 Paul Clause of Ultima Thule came and picked us up.  Oh what a sight to see that big beautiful plane flying down the glacier to take us back to civilization.  We all loved the climb but were ready for a hot shower and some cold beers.  Before we knew it we were back in Anchorage celebrating our success and planning the next trip

Until next time……

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let The Games Begin!

Well guide training is over, camp Muir has been set up, and clients are soon to arrive.  The 2011 summer season is off and running—and I cannot wait.  Last week I had the opportunity to train with the National Park Service in a technical rescue seminar held by Rigging for Rescue.  During the course we discussed topics such as performing rescues in high angle rock and ice terrain, various materials used in rescue systems, and all sorts of techniques in which to rescue injured climbers.  We went through more physics and load calculations than I have done since high school physics class.  We finished up the weed with a field day in the Tatoosh mountain range on the southwest side of Mt. Rainier. 
Currently I am taking a few days to visit my mom and get some rest and relaxation next to the ocean.  I am truly blessed to have such a peaceful place to come and hit the reset button so to speak.  Lately I have realized how fast life goes if your not careful.  One of the things I hold to be the most important thing in my life is having loved ones around me to share life with. 
Gear is being sorted, the truck is fueled up and tomorrow morning I will leave for the next chapter of adventures.  Next week I get to open the gate to the Mt. Rainier summer season by guiding the first IMG trip of the summer.  Then Saturday I fly to Alaska to guide my first ever Alaskan expedition up Mt. Bona.  Stay tuned for more updates to come…..

Thank you for all the support, it means more than you know.