Sunday, June 22, 2008

Climbing at Ozone

I had the hall pass for the weekend but needed to get some work done on Sunday (even though I'm really just posting to this blog). So Saturday we went to a local crag - the Ozone.

After a couple of warm ups, I got shut down and spanked on a 5.11-ish problem on the right wall but I blame Nate and not my own weakness because I got some crappy beta! I decided to hand over the sharp end over take some photos of Nate sending. Enjoy.

At the end of the day, Nate took a picture of me to prove just how much hair I've lost! Thanks man.

Diversion complete - return to work.

Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Tabor

Ack! I'm falling behind in documenting my life. Uh oh - I'll try to keep up.

Last weekend, Mom was in town. On Saturday, after an 11 hour drive from Brigham City, Utah back to Portland, we fled the car and hit the streets of Portland for an urban walk up to the mighty Mt. Tabor.

Lots of pretty flowers were out.

Who knew they still tied up horses in Portland?

The next day we took Mom out to the Gorge for the hike to Triple Falls. Fun!

And the obligatory Triple Falls shot. Or maybe this one should be named the Quadruple Falls - what's the guy doing at the top?!

And finally the ladies of my life.

Thanks Mom! Come back soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oregon Bliss - Trout Creek to Mt. Hood

Aw yeah. Spring time!

Skiing – climbing. Corn snow – crack climbing. Legs – arms. Endorphins - adrenaline. Choosing is hard to do. Manic energy solves the problem.

Saturday. Nate picks me up at 8, and we pull into Trout Creek around 11. A swift hike up to the crag, and we’re climbing splitter cracks for the next 6 hours surrounded by the Eastern Oregon landscape. On one side – the cracks.

On the other – the mountains.

Today we climb cracks - finger cracks, cuticle cutters, calf crushers. Tired and worn out we collapse under a juniper tree with the Deschutes whirling and whooshing in the background.

Sunday. We wake up in the duff at 5 am with the songbirds chit chatting in the branches overhead. The Deschutes continues its endless journey, and a couple of dedicated fishermen head off to the river. The sun rises up out of the sky as we drive north towards Mt. Hood, painted white with a fresh coating of spring fluff. Anticipation builds.

At 7:00, we hook up with Pat at Hood River Meadows. We step out of the car to blue skies, warm temps, calm winds and fresh snow. We’re skinning from the main base by 7:30, and we haven’t seen another soul. I let the music tune out the sounds of the mountain and synch up my breathing with my stride. I start to sweat and don’t care as the runs of the ski area fade away below us. My skins bite hard in the smooth softening snow, and I point ‘em up hill. My thoughts drift … they may even fade away for a few brief moments. Peace.

A few hours later we peel off the skins at 9700’ with the snow quickly deteriorating.

It’s now or never, and we drop into Super Bowl carving turns in the corn. My brain focuses in on the terrain ahead, searching the snow for signs of the dry heaves. Legs burn.

The barren snow slopes give way to white bark pine and then a forest as Heather Creek gurgles out from under the snow. 5000’ later we stumble back to Hood River Meadows.

We collapse on the blacktop, peel off the clothes and start drinking cold beer. My fingers still hurt from the day before. Scabs come off with the fleece gloves. My back hurts. My stomach cramps as the beer starts to soften the lump of shot blocks. Slowly my thoughts creep back into my consciousness, and I realize I haven’t missed them.

Satisfaction – Oregon style.

Friday, June 6, 2008

KBOO Environmental Justice Program

Hey all, here's the link to the KBOO program that ran this morning. Thanks for Liz Rogers for organizing, the APA Compass and KBOO Radio. We had a great conversation.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rockclimbing at Tieton

Kristin and I hadn't climbed together in close to a month because of my travels in Alaska, so last weekend we went to Tieton for some spring cragging.

Dig those cool colors. I love this time of year of the Naches area, long days of climbing cracks and inhaling fist fulls of Rainier cherries. Free camping - good weather - few crowds. Fun fun fun.

We showed up a bit early for the fruit, but we enjoyed the rest of our weekend anyway. We spent most of our time at the Bend, warming up on Ed's Jam. As I rapped down Sugar Kicks, I started salivating over the sweet looking finger locks and friendly little edges and decided I wanted to climb that route. Fun!

Sugar Kicks, 5.10c

A couple of face holds for the right hand unlock the short crux sequence, protected by pretty good gear.

After that we stepped to the left for Pure Joy. I cruised through the first two thirds of the route, but the top felt more like Pure Anxiety as opposed to Pure Joy. The pro pretty much runs out for the top 1o-15', and with a decent pump on it felt kind of scary. Your options are kind of limited other than firing for the top once you leave your last manky piece, but the climbing eases off if you can keep your head together. All in all a great route!

Pure Joy, 5.10c

It rained a bit in the afternoon cutting us short by an hour or two, but we had a great day before retiring to the Walkabout for beers and Stanley Cup hockey. The next day we went back to the Bend and then went over to the Royal Columns so Kristin could do a little leading. Unfortunately, we didn't get any pics but had another great day! Good times in Tieton.

Chris to Appear on KBOO Radio Tomorrow Discussing Environmental Justice

Tomorrow morning, I'll be appearing on the APA Compass on KBOO radio. The program will focus on environmental justice issues and will feature Julie Sze and a roundtable with other local folks working on these issues. The program runs from 9-10am. Tune in! I'll post a follow up link to the podcast after the show.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wrapping Up the Trip to Alaska

After returning to Anchorage from the Neacolas, I had about a week left on the spring fling and spent it exploring the Chugach and surrounding areas. The weather was off and on, and the snow was detiorating, but I had a great time nonetheless. We got in a ski day in Whitier, Alaska overlooking Prince William Sound.

Portage Lake was looking nice! Looks like there are some great climbing and ski mountaineering objectives around here.

I also got in a couple of cool hikes in the Chugach - McHugh Peak, Twin Peaks, Flattop/Peak 2. Fun fun fun.

And managed a day trip to Talkeetna with some sightseeing on the way back.

There are few other photos here.

Monday, June 2, 2008


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- Chris and Kristin