November 9, 2012

Simul Soloing with Ryan (My New Brother In-Law!)


Ryan on top of Mount Hayes after the first ascent of the Direct West Face in 2010.

This morning Ryan Hokanson and I were both interested in getting a workout in before we started our respective work tasks for the day. So, we spent some time in southcentral AK simul soloing fat ice to get some cardio and some air under our feet, also using the time to do a bit of catching up.

Ryan and my sister Sally got married a few months ago! So, I finally got a brother after all these years. I probably met Ryan around 2005 at one of so many nights bouldering at the Alaska Rock Gym. We headed to the Latok peaks in the Karakoram of Pakistan shortly thereafter, making an couple attempts at the complete Northwest Ridge of Latok II (7200m). On that trip, I was continually impressed by Ryan's attitude, his strength in the mountains, and his positive nature. Later that winter, my sister Sally and Ryan met for the first time. 

From the start, it was obvious that there was something special there between them. I tried to set them up but they had managed to set themselves up in the meantime! Despite their early connection, they tended their relationship patiently, four and half years later deciding to pull the trigger on short notice in a small ceremony at a courthouse in Utah.

Thankfully, Sally and Ryan are back in AK now and the Johnsons are reunited, living in the same town for the first time in about 5 years. Though the big city of Anchorage is quite an adjustment from Fairbanks, it is very nice to be back near the mountains again and able to get out and have days like today with people I really enjoy without having to do a ton of driving. Soon, the snow will be here and ski season 2012-2013 will truly kick off. We are ready!

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