Wednesday, November 26, 2014

50 Miles of Wilderness for 50 Years of Wilderness

There are things that humans can't improve.

Wilderness has always been a contested term. The word offers an expanse of subjectivity in which to insert interpretation and to project meaning. In 1964, wilderness was given an official political definition with the passage of the Wilderness Act. Congressional acts aren't often noted for their eloquence, so The Wilderness Act of 1964 is all the more exceptional in its lyrical designation of wilderness as:

"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

With that act, Congress settled itself upon a term for what wilderness was and set about designating certain areas of federal lands—national parks, forests, and otherwise—as “Wilderness Areas.”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

There Goes the Summer!

After missing last summer entirely due to intense classes and obligatory studying, I had big plans for this summer: climb, hike, fish, develop routes and boulders, relax, etc... However, this summer brought with it an unexpected surprise: a stubborn concussion that I got whilst water skiing--oops!

Because of this, I ended up missing a lot of work and spending week after week indoors, eyes closed and curtains drawn. 

However, just as my concussion started to fade, David's entire family arrived from Sweden for a visit. While they were here, we did all of the things I'd been planning to do:
Fishing on the Madison

Friday, November 21, 2014

Drinking the Cool Aid

Moby Grape rises just right of center and takes a wandering line for nine pitches to the top of Cannon Cliff. The Grape was first ascended by Joe Cote and Roger Martin in 1972. A mystery lives with the name - was it named after the British Rock group or was this the special drink Joe brought along for the day - Moby Grape Cool Aid? 

In the end Joe and Roger ended up climbing a fantastic 5.8 alpine rock line to the top. Today Moby Grape is one of the most climbed moderates on Cannon. The rock on this route is mostly solid, the climbing is varied, and the route finding is intricate. A day on Moby Grape is a a true Cannon experience!!! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Monashee Powder: The Cure to Fall Depression

Holly Walker shreds down the fluffy cold smoke.
Photo by Hans Christian Gulsvik 
It was deep, too deep. The fluffiness was up to my waist and after five minutes I didn't have the energy to go on. Mike Ship laughed at me while he pushed ahead, moving at a slow pace but breaking the trail. We skinned across the deep open flats with over 60cm of fresh snow and continued up 'Merlot' hill through the trees. The avalanche risk was high due to the ongoing storms and as we continued to ascend in the dense old growth spruce trees, we witnessed a size 2 slab avalanche on the open slope of the mountain across named 'Shiraz'.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Leaving Tahoe

I travel a lot. I get antsy at the slightest hint of a change of scenery. Movement is the one standard I’ve had all my life, epitomizing. Foot races, movement over stone. Not much for garden parties. Even movies are too slow for me, I need my eyes to scan the page to involve myself in the story. Camera movement does nothing to center my restless mind.


No matter what draw I feel to a place, there is a point where I need to extricate myself, cut ties, and start over somewhere new. This isn’t a healthy response, no, it’s a flight mechanism that I justify in terms of climbing.
“It’s too hot here”, I say.
“It’ll rain soon.”
I plan my travel around every excuse possible. Comps here, setting gig there.
“I haven’t seen my family in a while.”
“Projects, man. You understand.”


When I leave, it isn’t a slow process. There aren’t farewell parties or “See you laters”. I’m just off. Gone. Moving on. It’s like ripping off a band-aid, except the scratch hasn’t quite healed underneath. I decamp aggressively, with no regard for scabbing.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Climb Like A Girl Red Rock, NV

Last week October 23rd to 26th I had the pleasure of running one of my Climb Like A Girl Clinics in Red Rock, NV. I can't say enough about this event and the women who learn, grow, become stronger and more capable climbers every season. This is the 12th season I have run this program in CO, NM, UT and now NV. Some of the gals are in their 1st season, some in their 12th, absolutely fantastic. The next clinic will be this winter in Ouray, multi day Ice Climbing Clinic the first weekend of February. Look for event details here and on my website Ripple Effect Training.
And I can't thank Mammut enough for providing the ropes, quick draws, harness, technical clothing to support my work. More soon from Carolyn in the Roaring Fork Valley!