Back to the basics

Oh well, that’s life, and it’s moving along at its usual clip. It turns grey, gets dark and snows. It turns blue, gets warm, and the snow melts in a flash. Jackets to t-shirts in the blink of an eye. At the same time life stands still with the monotony and boredom of routine. To combat the despair of such a synthetic academic existence I meditate often, attempting to shed illusion and to feel present… More often than not though I end up dwelling hopefully on future events that have yet to occur. I plan, I imagine, and I waste my time in the present. I imagine that ocean of colorful rock and that ski across the frozen lake during a blizzard. Like many, I long for an escape back to wilderness. A yurt with a little woodstove, a dog for companionship, a pair of skis for transport, a rifle to hunt with, a stockpile of tequila, limes, coffee, and a shelf full of good books. Simple enough. [Read More]

If The Buddha Skied…

Julia, embodying post-fall joy. Note the trucker's hat and aviators. Just 'cause we're in the mountains doesn't mean we can't look good, right?

…He’d ski Red Coon Glades after a long sunny stretch. Because, as wise ski bums say, “Anyone can be happy on a powder day…it takes a real skier to smile in the crud.” And I’ll tell you what; Red Coon after a long sunny stretch is the real crud.

A couple weeks ago Julia and I got a less than early start toward the south-facing Red Coon Glades on Mt. Emmons (aka The Red Lady), which was sub-optimal, seeing as how she had to work at noon and all. But, we figured the Red Lady would be our best bang for the buck: climb straight out of the parking lot, and ski right back, sans approach slog. Plus, I figured the skiing would be mighty fine: last time I was there the snow was so deep I was poling hard to make it down 27-degree slopes, so I hoped that the sunny spell after the storm would firm up the powder and give us some play. Plus, the glades, like the January sun, are so [Read More]

RMNP Excursion and Philosophical Ramblings

I met up with a new climbing partner on Saturday to climb Martha, a moderate snow/mixed gully that splits the S. face of Mt. Lady Washington. I have been wanting to climb this route for quite a while and though it was in thin shape, it didn’t disappoint. We simul-soloed the lower portion of the route, which started off with some fun thin mixed moves to gain access to a lower-angled snow ramp that leads up to a thin couloir, interspersed with a few interesting rock/ice steps, which we belayed in three long pitches. Good styrofoam mixed in with snice, ice, rotten rock, and deep unconsolidated snow made for a fun all-around outing… we even got to place a couple of stubby screws! [Read More]