|the beginning of bottom crux|
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Location: Butte, MT, USA
We went out to Pipestone Pass (near Butte, Montana) again last weekend and spent a full day in an area called The Druthers, as well as in other boulder fields surrounding that area. In just a day, many new problems were cleaned and climbed--mostly easy/ moderate problems, but some harder ones as well! Plus, a handful of new projects were born. Following are some photos of the day:
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
“You can't win if you don't play” is dubious advice often doled out by lottery agencies and the like, but it is solid counsel in the world of alpine climbing: Even in the face of slim weather odds, you've got to at least put yourself into position for success and be ready to maximize it should the slim odds work in your favor. And besides—what's the use in having high-quality alpine gear if you don't occasionally put it to the test? With those two bits of logic in place, I sat in the Newark Airport and stared grimly at the weather forecast for my destination, Washington State, where I was headed for the American Mountain Guide Association Alpine Guide Exam and steeled myself for the fates that awaited me. Fortunately, time and time again that alpine logic held true during my recent American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Alpine Guide Exam (AGE).
|Enjoying the last of the Cascades summertime "blue bubble", prepping for the Exam on the East Ridge of Forbidden.|
Fall in east is one of the most beautiful sights on earth. The leaves are on fire and the cool air reminds me that it is almost time to break out my ski boots again and see if I can remember what I am doing on snow. It is also the time of year when I start driving down to Highlands Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire to give my downhill bike a little bit of a workout. Downhilling on the east coast is a blast, but it can be extremely uncomfortable in the summer when the humidity is through the roof and the temperature is around 95 degrees. Wearing a full-face helmet in that kind of weather is less than enjoyable. In late fall, however, body armor provides extra warmth and Downhilling becomes a far more pleasurable activity. I also came prepared with my Mammut Jungfrau T-shirt as an anti-chaffing underlayer to keep me the perfect temperature and my Pike Jacket which is quite possibly my favorite layer for warmth in the entire world.
|Posing with my trusty steed in front of Highlands|
Monday, November 11, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, Christine and I had the chance to boulder at Pipestone Pass (near Butte, Montana) for our first time.
Every time I had driven over Pipestone Pass along I-90, I had always noticed the thousands of boulders covering the hillsides. However, whenever I talked to people about it, they seemed to think that all of the boulders were blank and of pretty bad quality.
This weekend, however, we were lucky to get a tour from some guys who have been climbing in the area for a while--real local experts.
Because it was cold and snowy in the mountains, they took us to one of the lower elevation areas. We got to climb on a lot of established problems, and I was able to do a few really excellent first ascents, as well!
I think that this is one of the best areas I've climbed in Montana, and just walking around a little, we found so many future problems on great rock!
I'm really excited that bouldering season is starting in Montana, and I hope to post a lot of updates on this area in the future. Meanwhile, here are some photos from our first day at Pipestone.
|Even with all the pads, the project remains undone.|
Monday, November 4, 2013
With the Squamish summer slipping away and our fall climbing trips just around the corner, we were anxious to squeeze in a couple more hikes before the snow started to fall in the alpine. One area we hadn't explored was Callaghan Lake Provincial Park, an alpine playground about 45 minutes north of Squamish. This park and its surrounding peaks is a winter hot spot for Nordic and backcountry skiers, but it also features amazing terrain for summer explorations. Although established hiking trails are rare, Cirque Lake and Ring Lake both have good approaches and make excellent day trips from Squamish or Whistler. Visiting these two basins was a great way to end our summer and our Mammut backpacks (Creon Element and Contact) really proved themselves after dozens of trips into the alpine.