Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts

Friday, November 13, 2015

See You Later, Sweden and Montana; Hello Nevada and California!

This past July, we left our home in Bozeman, Montana to move to Reno, Nevada. Christine will start medical school in August and we chose this location because it has ~10,000 boulder problems within a ~two hour radius, great sport and traditional climbing, and potential for year-round outdoor climbing! Not to mention it's less than four hours to Bishop and five hours to Yosemite. Oh yeah, and it has a medical school. That, too.

Before we moved, we took a quick trip to Sweden to visit David's family. 

Below are some pictures from the summer.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Bouldering and Climbing in Southwest Montana

Beautiful clouds... hoping they don't produce too much rain
2014 went out in style and we had a really busy year.  The following are a collection of images from the areas we spent the most time at last year:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Beau knows cold

photo by Kt Miller
It's been cold here in MT this winter!  20 below for a couple days in a row.  

Thus, it's been fun to experiment with different Mammut clothing systems.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Searching for Boulders

 Over the last year or so, David and I have spent a lot of time exploring the mountain ranges of Montana, looking for new boulders. With the help of Google Earth and friends, we have honed in on several large boulder fields. However, the perfect area is yet to be found. Often, the drive to a particular location is two or more hours, with as many as 30 miles on rough dirt road. Or the hike (without pads) is in excess of one or two hours. Or the boulders are plentiful, but too slabby, too chossy, or too small. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Studying the Snowpack

Analyzing the snowpack south of Cooke City on Nov. 30th
The mountains around Cooke City and Yellowstone Park have had a pretty big start to the winter, with about a meter of settled new snow from the last two weeks of November.

Unfortunately we also have some buried weak layers near the ground, which have been responsible for two major avalanche incidents this week (and one fatality).  

As per usual this time of year, it's great to dig often, and keep routes conservative.
The mountains aren't going anywhere, and the season is yet young.

Safe travels to everyone out there.

Beau Fredlund sampling some fresh snow on Nov. 30.  Photo by Kt Miller.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mile 18

David and I have been spending a lot of time with our friend, Sander, south of Big Timber, Montana in the Beartooth Mountains. Though a handful of people had "brushed" a few problems here and there, most of these rocks were untouched until this summer.

Sander made an awesome movie about the weeks we've had here so far this season.

Christine making easy work of High Noon.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Searching for Boulders

Looks more like ski season...

Last Saturday my friend, Sander, and I decided to head into the southern Tobacco Route Mountains to look for new boulders. I had used Google Earth to look at the mountains there, and found a couple of really big boulder fields with really big-looking boulders.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bouldering Near Nye, Montana: A Short Video

A couple weekends ago, I went with some friends to Nye to boulder for my first time ever. My friend, Ryan has been bouldering there quite a lot, but the place has seen very little traffic aside from that. On the day we were out, we all got to do some first ascents, and climb a lot of cool problems. Here's a video about the day!


PS If you guys aren't metal fans, you can just mute the video!

First day in Stillwater from varmlandsmaskinen on Vimeo.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Decapitated while Stuck in the Snow

After seeing Jon Scott hauling *ss through deep, heavy snow, plowing the road into the parking lot for Whiskey Gulch with his Subaru (not a truck), I felt like I had to follow his tracks. Literally.

Now I realize that's not always a good idea. This ended up leading to a 1.5-hour, 6-person evacuation job. While I was going into hardcore survival mode, I was a little confused to see the rest of the party laughing and having a good time. I guess I just have to spend a little more time in Montana and its driving conditions and get toughened up a little bit.

It was a good start to the day. Everyone climbed a lot, despite snow being everywhere, and I was able to do  the first ascent of a classic, open project on the Caught in the Act Boulder. I called it "Decapitated," V11, named after the Polish metal band that we all love.

/David Sjöquist

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pipestone Pass Bouldering: 8 Hours of Climbing and Likely as Many First Ascents

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:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pipestone, Montana Bouldering

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.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sprint Mission for Fun

This year, I've decided to return to school--9 years after graduating from college. I've embarked on a 1-year pre-med, post-baccalaureate program. During this program, we'll take all the math and science a person needs to apply to medical school. It's been great, but intense! It kicked off with a 12-week summer session; this included a full year's worth of chemistry and of physics: 48 labs (with pre-lab reading and lengthy write-ups), 18 exams and over 1,000 pages of science text reading.  

Needless to say, I've had difficulty finding time to sleep and eat--let alone climb. 

Lava Lake Bouldering

We're continuing to explore Bozeman's local climbing. One place we happened to visit this weekend was Lava Lake--a bouldering area in Gallatin Canyon.

A bit more than two miles' hike and some minor tallus scrambling keeps this place pretty quiet--as evidenced by the lack of polished holds; even on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we were the only climbers there.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I have probably been whining about a lack of climbing during the last months in some of my recent blog posts. There is already enough wining and excuses to last a life time in the climbing community–which gets tedious after a while–and I do NOT want to be that guy. So, anyway.
Recently I’ve been going up to Wolverine to bolt and climb. This is an old crag that grabbed the attention of local developers in the last few years. New lines are being established all over the place.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bozeman Climbing Team Article

Image Courtesy John Lageson

I started climbing in the fall of 1999 with the help of some of my closest friends. Though we were all teenagers at the time, these guys had already been climbing for years by the time I started. Members of the then young Bozeman Climbing Team, these guys already "knew the ropes" so to speak... forward 14 years. The Bozeman Climbing Team is still going strong, and many of the original team members--though long graduated from the team--still climb quite a lot.

I wrote an article commemorating the quirky Bozeman Climbing Team for a local newspaper, The Bozeman Magpie.

If you're looking for a light-hearted, quick read, please check it out!

Bozeman Climbing Team -- dirtbag hooligans and and lifelong friendships

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bishop Fail/ Whiskey Not Fail

Howdy ho! Ah yes. The cozy winter continues to roll on here in Montana. Our pants are getting tighter, and our skin is getting whiter.

Since my last post, David returned from Sweden. Our original plan had been to drive to Salt Lake City, say hello to the good folks at the Outdoor Retailer Show, and continue on to Bishop, California for a 10-day bouldering trip.

However, when David came back to the U.S., he brought with him a good, ol'-fashioned case of influenza! Whoops! And, you'll never believe it--but I came down with it, too! Crazy!

So anyway, the 12 days we would have spent travelling were instead used for sweating, shivering, aching, coughing and nose blowing. So it goes!

Yeah--it was definitely a bummer to miss out on a mid-winter sun week. Both of us would have enjoyed the vitamin D and climbing inspiration. Yet, in lieu of this trip, many other good things have happened:
  • David got a job! And one he really likes!
  • We've continued to deepen our interest in jiu jitsu... and
  • We cornered a local hero into taking us out to Whiskey Gulch--a bouldering area about 90 miles west(ish) from Bozeman.

Though I grew up in the fair "City" of Bozeman, and was actually a fringe partaker of the early Whiskey Gulch days, nowadays we definitely need an interpretive guide to get to Whiskey and find our way around the place. In the 14 years since I spent time there, a lot of development has taken place... and a lot of brain cells have died floated away. (Not to mention that, according to David, my skin is now saggy.)

If you ask me, a partly cloudy day in Montana in February is a little too cold for effective climbing. But if you ask David, the conditions were perfect! So we put on our long underwear and super large down jackets, and took some photos.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cozy Winter

It’s funny—whenever I stop travelling, and settle down somewhere for a bit, I also stop writing blog posts. I guess that’s because, in a superficial way, life feels a lot less interesting when you’re bedded down in one location. Whether I’m living in Utah or Montana, I’m less inclined to take photos, and also less inclined to share anything on the blog.

But I realize that’s a strange and inaccurate way to look at it. Because in the last 3-4 years—even though I’ve been to a bunch of places, and climbed on a lot of random rocks—the lifestyle I’ve been living is pretty monotonous—even if it was pretty sweet for a while!

Climb, rest & work, repeat. Always chase dry weather, and never spend too much money. Work in a café all day, milking the purchase of a single drip coffee. Add in a bit of “getting rained out,” “camping and cooking in really cold weather,” and “sleeping uncomfortably,” and the picture gets a little less idyllic.

So here I sit in Bozeman, having not touched a real rock in nearly two months (gasp!). And, though it would be a total lie to say I don’t pangs of nostalgia looking at friends’ climbing photos, it would also be a gross untruth to say that I’m bored or even well-rested.

Since coming to Montana in November, David and I have had a great time opening our lives up to the Wonderful World of Non-climbing Adventures! We’ve been getting outside to sled, run and x-c ski. I’ve been working a lot, and doing it in a comfortable spot right by the wood stove. And this winter, we’re actually really psyched every time it snows.

We’ve been building problems at the climbing gym, and even getting to know some of the folks there. We’re eating better than ever, with easy access to a grocery store and a fridge. We've been spending lots of time with family! And we’ve recently both committed to the mandatory half-year contract at the local MMA gym, where we’ve been mostly taking Brazilian jiu jitsu. Sweet!

From a climbing perspective, both David and I are really excited about the chance to have an entire season to focus primarily on training. Yes, yes, we train during climbing season—but the honest truth is that, even if we train regularly during climbing season, the training always takes somewhat of a back seat. Naturally, I’m having somewhat of a hard time avoiding a mental dip not knowing what I’m training for… but I also think it’s totally natural to fall into a slump during this cold, dark and cozy time of year.

So, in a nutshell, that’s why I haven’t been posting anything. But whatever! I’m sure I’ll get outside and climb a rock at some point in the future. And I'll take a picture of it, and post it here for you to see. Meanwhile, it’s wood stoves and indoor climbing for me!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Family Visit: Climbing and Such in Montana and Wyoming

David's brother, Rickard, flew in from Sweden to visit us for a few weeks. Though his time isn't up yet, we've already covered a lot of ground.

Rickard spent his first two days in Bozeman. There we did some jetlag-friendly, mellow hikes - like up to Sacajawea Peak from Fairy Lake and the classic "M." 

Since then we've been in Ten Sleep. We've done a mix of hard and easy climbing days. And though we haven't always been good about taking pictures, we still took several during some easy days at Circus and Slavery Walls.

En route to the ridge of the Bridger Mountains beneath Sacajawea Peak

David and I on the ridge

Rickard looking good as a silhouette 

Rickard taking it easy at Circus Wall

Me doing the same

Rickard at Circus Wall

Steve (the dog), David and Rickard hiking out of Circus Wall

Me warming up at Slavery Wall

David doing the same with storms approaching

David at Slavery Wall



Ten Sleep Canyon in Fall

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Three Weeks in Montana, Some Swedes, and Lots of Hiking

We spent the most of May in and around Bozeman, Montana. 
David's parents came from Sweden for an amazing visit. We hiked nearly every day, saw a huge portion of Montana, ate a lot of awesome food... and got married! Here are some photos of our weeks together:

The parents (some of which are jetlagged and used to sea level), approaching the summit of Baldy, a mountain in the Bridger Range.

The Swedes hiking about 5,000 vertical feet (to 8914') in five miles to reach the summit of Baldy. Jet lag? No problem!

 Baldy's summit

 My mother arriving at the top in style

 Smoked salmon, creme fraiche, chives and lemon on toast: a Swedish classic

 A herd of bison on the Turner Ranch in Gallatin Canyon 

 Hiking up to Storm Castle in Gallatin Canyon

 View down into Gallatin Canyon from Storm Castle

Off-roading parents

Though we're really sad to say goodbye to the families, we're looking forward to some great months of rock climbing this summer....

Monday, March 12, 2012

Whiskey Gulch, Montana Bouldering

We got lucky today and enjoyed a guided tour of Whiskey Gulch. I'm originally from Bozeman, and been to Whiskey a handful of times back in 1999... and before I really even had properly started climbing. What a difference in the place: it now has a decently maintained road leading to it (flanked on either side by spur roads and dozens of homes) and clearly worn paths connecting the boulders - which now have chalk on them, and occasional shoe polish (if you look really hard).

In any case, I didn't remember anything about the place, climbing-wise. This day served as a great introduction to the layout of this maze-like area, filled with trees, knobs, and similar-looking boulders and rock fins.

We climbed for several hours, only stopping when we'd run out of skin. David's skin even managed to NOT bleed the entire time.

In case you were wondering, we returned to a house after climbing. Cooked dinner in a kitchen, and took a shower.
We're hoping to head back to Whiskey as soon as the weather is good. David cleaned a semi-highball near The Wave Boulder that he wants to climb when we return. I have a short list of problems I'd like to try (with fresh skin), and we both would like to spend some hours wandering the area, looking for new problems.

View from the parking

A really fun V4 on The Wave Boulder, a classic warmup area

A non-hold sloper on a V5

David on Super Loose Tuna, V10

A storm rolling in

The look of surprise satisfaction and "Oh my, we have to come back soon."