September 23, 2009

October 12th- AMH Season Opener Slide Show Alchemy Ridge, The Arrigetch, and Mount Yukla

Melting some water in high winds below the crux of Alchemy Ridge, Mount Balchen, Hayes Range. Photo: Matt Klick

On October 12th, 7:30 pm, at Grant Hall Theatre on the Alaska Pacific University Campus, I will be giving a slideshow for Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking's winter season opening event titled "Test Tasting an Alpine Medley." All attendees will receive a 20% discount on Black Diamond Ice Climbing Equipment on October 13th and 14th. The show will include the first ascent of Alchemy Ridge on Mount Balchen, Arrigetch climbs such as the Pillar Arete on Caliban and a repeat of the North Buttress of West Maiden in the Arrigetch, and a solo ascent Mount Yukla's 6700 foot Complete West Ridge. Black Diamond Equipment was the catalyst for this event, and have graciously assisted me, over the last year and half, to get out into the mountains during the windows I have available during hiatuses from the UAF-UAA Psychology Ph.D program. Seth Holden will also be presenting about he and Clint Helander's first ascent of the Southwest Ridge of the Ice Pyramid in the Revelation Mountains.

I plan to focus on climbs that I have not yet presented upon in the Anchorage area to include climbs in the Arrigetch, the Hayes Range, and the Chugach. These are all climbs I have completed since Black Diamond Equipment has been assisting me through their Grassroots Team. I also intend to share about the pursuit of alpine climbing and the utility and pleasure of using an alpine approach in the mountains, vision and execution, and the two-edged sword of the single push. Tag-teamed with Seth's presentation of he and Clint's climb in the Revelations, it should be a unique show, so come on out!

September 14, 2009

Anchorage Drum and Healing Circle

This past summer the Anchorage homeless community lost 12 people, huge among such a tight knit group. As a result, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority decided to fund a special healing event organized by the Alaska Mental Health Consumer Web in the community of Fairview in central Anchorage. I was one of the people (a lucky newbie) who assisted in the facilitation, led by Bob Parr and Larry Roberts (Alaska Rural Behavioral Health Training Academy) of Fairbanks and native elders Liz Sunnyboy and Frank Haldane. Bob and Larry brought somewhere around 40 drums (and a variety of other percussion instruments for use in the circle) down from Fairbanks the night before. The next two days were a really cool process of community strengthening, all out drumming fun, and healing. KTUU Channel 2 Anchorage did a feature of the event on the evening news. It can be viewed by following this link:

September 7, 2009

Anchorage Cultural Event, Nome Institute and Visit

I was in Nome recently for work with my assistantship this year (ARBHTA) at a clinical supervision institute, following a UAF-UAA Psychology Ph.D Program cultural event in Anchorage. Visiting Nome was an awesome experience. It seemingly offers a variety of outdoor activities. I visited with Ian McRae while there, who shared about what climbing dreams look like when one is already removed from the conventions of climbing society's norms and like minded individuals: Not surprisingly, it can be hard to find climbing partners when the weather is often bad and you live near the point of Alaska's Seward Peninsula at the junction of the Bering and Chukchi seas, far away from almost all other climbers. Ian had some inspirations about living in Nome, and some good stories about exploratory climbing adventures throughout Alaska, a few of which have made it to his brand new blog, Kigluaik Tales.

Here is a video of surf crashing into the seawall that defines the edge of town there.