Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can I make a suggestion?

Today's view.

I went running with the father/son combo of John & Greg yesterday. It wasn't light enough to run in the pines until 5:45 or so, so we started with some power walking out of the Upper Big Water Trailhead. Our plan was to head to Brighton where I would turn around & head home (17 miles) and Greg & John would continue on without me(43 miles).

As we picked our way up to the ridge in upper millcreek, Father offered, "Can I make a suggestion?" Son knew immediately that his Dad's suggestion was an alternative to the nice, clear trail that were were on. Without hesitation or even hearing what the suggestion was, son responded, "NO! We are not taking that goat trail!" Until that point I didn't realize that there must be a lot of history between those two and the nearby mountains they frequent. I could feel that Father loved being out there with Son. I need to have similar experiences with T as he gets older. The goat trail is exactly what father was suggesting by the way.

The Wasatch Front has been sweltering hot, with triple digits in the forecast for the first time of the year. However, at 9,800 feet it was a beautiful morning with temps in the 60-70 range. Ahhh. I'm afraid mid-day 70 won't be seen in the Valley until October.

6:00a sunrise at near the Canyons resort.

It is wildflower season in the high country.

Me with Father on my heels.

Stats: 17.5 miles
Elevation: 6,500 gain, 6,500 loss
Blisters: 2-One on each big toe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Coolest area?

High E. Pretty memorable exposure.

When I was younger, I climbed way more than I do/can today, but I don't have a very good record of anything that I've done because I never toted a camera and never wrote anything down. Enter this blog. I've tried to record a few things here and there that I'd like to remember or be able to look back on someday.

Anyways, the author of a blog I read recently posted his top 10 climbs. Many were impressive. It got me thinking if I have a top 10. I'm not sure. I've done a lot of rad climbs, and hope to do many more rad ones. I don't know if I could rank them, so I've just compiled a few of my favorites by grade. As the grades get harder, they have more bolts. :) Some are long, some are short. Some are recent ascents, some are from long ago. Also, easy trad routes are still quite memorable for me for several reasons, while easy sport fade quickly. Routes that were hard for me, or that had multiple attempts I remember well and have included some of them on my list. Anyways, here are a few:


Cat in the Hat (Red Rocks)
High Exposure (Gunks)


Snake Dike (Yosemite)
Jubilant Song (Red Rocks)
Celebration Wall (Red Rocks)
Bear's Reach (Lover's Leap)


Lowe Route (Lone Peak)
Pentapitch (LCC)


The Line (Lover's Leap)
The Coffin (LCC)
Gold Wall (Lone Peak)


East Buttress, El Cap (Yosemite)
Sons of Yesterday (Yosemite)
Serenity Cracks (Yosemite)
Mexican Crack (LCC)


Ananda (Ceuse)
Right Pile (BCC) (I know, super broken/chossy, but my first hard 5.11 made me feel proud)
License to Thrill (AF)


Don't tread on me (causey)
The abyss (AF)
Margarita (AF)
Oxygen? (AF)
Hierarchy (Causey)
Football (Maple Canyon)

Social Values (Causey) This took me many attempts.

There are many other cool routes that I haven't sent, so I didn't include those, but I hope to someday. The end.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


There are two types of people in life: 1) People who are gear junkies and 2) people who aren't. I am a #1. But I don't have enough money to have the nice stuff, so I make do with used stuff to fill out my quiver of stuff. Which brings me to skiing.

When we moved back to Utah from San Jose, I knew I wanted to start backcountry skiing. I was a latecomer to skiing. I didn't start until I was 23. And I only went 2x during the almost 3 years we lived in CA. In short, I didn't really know what I was doing or what type of touring gear to get. I settled on a cheap pair of 1st generation Bluehouse Districts and used Naxo bindings. Throw in some skins and some avy gear and I was off.

The snowbasin winter xterra had a ski mountaineering race for $30, so I decided to enter and see what it was about what with me being a skier who now travels uphill under his own power. I showed up and it was very apparent that I was toast before the race started. My gear: 187cm 105mm waisted skis, heavy bindings, nordica beast boots and wall to wall nylon skins. Each foot must have had 10+ pounds of ski gear attached. Needless to say, I wasn't fast. I started out at the back of the pack and stayed there the whole race. Skinny greyhounds in spandex race suits, these telemark looking tiny green boots, and skis that were as thick and as heavy as a pringle or so it seemed. "One of these things...."

I was quickly hypoxic after the gun went off and tried to just keep a pace that I could sustain for a while. At the top of the first lung-bursting hill, and I remember not knowing how to fold them very fast (I'd been out maybe 10 times when I never felt rushed.) and laid them out in the snow stick side up while I tightened my boots. The volunteers must have been wondering what the heck I was doing.

On the second descent, I guess I was so tired that I forgot to buckle my boots. By then, the fastest guys were on my tail after finishing their 3rd climb on the longer course. I didn't make them crash, but I was definitely in their way as I chattered down the hill in unbuckled boots. Man was I slow!

Anyways, long story short it was a horrorfest for me. But I loved it. I knew that I had found something unique and awesome in the sport of ski mountaineering. I think I was crosseyed for 4 hours after that race. I did some serious research and learned that I wished I had a mentor when I got into BC skiing--my stuff was just too heavy for what I really wanted to do. But I couldn't just scrap all of this stuff so what to do?

Fast forward 18 months and I am now the proud owner of some racing gear.

The gear for 2010-2011:

Ski Trab Duo Sint Aero skis (used) 965g per ski (borrowed pic)

Ski Trab race bindings (discounted) 140g per binding

Puntale - Front TR-Race

Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain (still need to buy) 1120g per boot (borrowed pic)

100% mohair trab skins (discounted & no pic)

Not the lightest stuff out there, but this is what I could get in my price range. Now I have to see what I can really do now that I've cut my gear weight by about 60%.

Wish me luck!