February 12, 2012

Alpine Salvage Work: 2011 Neacolas First Ascents & The Pragmatism of Creativity in the Mountains

On February 21st at UAF's Schaible Auditorium I will be presenting an alpine climbing show including a couple of first ascents I completed in the Neacola mountains this summer with climbing partners Aaron Thrasher and Ben Chriswell as well as a trip up the classic Northeast Buttress of Mount Temple in the Canadian Rockies. Along the way we'll probably manage to make fun of alpine climbing a little bit as well as draw out some serious issues about strategy and creativity in the interest of staying alive in the mountains. There will be some great imagery as well as video from the above mentioned trips as well as snippets of a few others. I look forward to seeing people again and sharing a few more mountain adventures, especially this year's high quality consolation route 'Last Bastion' (V 5.10 A1, 14 pitches) on the previously unclimbed Dogtooth Spire in the heart of the remote Neacola Mountains. 

February 10, 2012

Alaska Ice Climbing Festival - Clinics

Hello All -  Just a heads up here about some clinics I will be teaching at the 3rd Annual Alaska Ice Climbing Festival in Anchorage which takes place in Anchorage and surrounding areas from February 16th - February 18th. 

On the 17th I will be teaching the Drytool Clinic  from 2-5 pm, while all day on the 18th I will be teaching a unique skillbuilding clinic on alpine climbing entitled Alpine Climbing: Skill Integration and Strategies for Aspiring Alpinists. The latter clinic is limited to four participants, will take place in a wilderness setting, and participants should be able to follow 5.10/WI4 with a baseline of physical fitness that will allow for moderate all day movement. 

I encourage alpine clinic participants to also register for the drytool clinic on Friday to refresh their drytool skills and facilitate their having an enjoyable clinic day on the 18th. There are other awesome clinics taking place as well - visit the website (above) for more information. Contact Ascending Path at 001.907.783.0505 to register for clinics as well as the competition (6-9pm on Friday the 17th).

February 6, 2012

Puerto Rico and AK Adventures Dec 2011 - Jan 2012

A few photos from Puerto Rico, DC, and Alaska this December - January. Many adventures were had, no dragons slain but solid peaceful adventures in wild places with great company were the theme.

The Tusk as seen flying from Bethel to Anchorage.

Aaron Thrasher getting rowdy on a Thanksgiving ski day.

The Museum of the American Indian. I went to visit my grandmother for about 5 days in early December and had the chance to check out this museum among others. 

Outside Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, the Oracle Tree sheds light on future possibilities.

My friend Altaira and I gave presentations to local schoolkids about Alaska! This is one of the classes at a Montessori school in Aibonito.

Altaira Wilhelm and friend Ricky Lopez mid adventure in El Junke, a most beautiful rainforest.

Navigating a boulder bridge over a deep gorge climbing up the Rio Blanco's waterfalls. I spent about 5 days exploring Puerto Rico's incredible canyons with Altaira, Ricky, and on my own.

Continuing up the Rio Blanco.

A view down the slippery adventures behind us with hopes for a path through the next section..

Viejo San Juan at night, outside the walls.

At the top of the highest communications tower on the highest point in Puerto Rico in high winds. We also went surfing and trail running throughout Puerto Rico.

Back in Alaska, skiing and climbing adventures replaced water and land sports. On New Year's eve, Altaira and I skied up Summit Creek to the old mine. When I was young, this building was mostly intact. It is now returning to the earth. 

Out in the Chugach, one of several days skiing on 
Harp Peak.


Yukla and friends from Harp.


Spurr from Harp on a different day.

Rachel Steer and Alex Wilson's dog Amber on baby O'Malley. 


Altaira on another day in Hiland skiing powder.

Ben Chriswell on yet another day in Hiland before I drove back to Fairbanks to get started on research and dissertation work.