Archives for category: Climbing

Monday July 12, 2010

I think I’m finally starting to get it.

It could have something to do with the perfect weather, the great mentors and the lung-burning, headache-inducing desire to get there.

Mt. Adams' shadow at sunrise.

OK. I may be a little dramatic right there. But, according to my climbing partners, I “ran” to the top of Mt. Adams. But at 12,200 feet, you don’t run. I just picked up the pace. I couldn’t help it. The summit was right there. I could taste it. I could almost touch it. I could see others on top of it. It was my turn. Read the rest of this entry »

My fingerstips are pretty raw. Showers have helped some, but the soft skin blisters from Red Rocks have rubbed away, only to expose new skin that I pawed with on Leavenworth and Peshastin rock Sunday.

Last weekend was the annual Olympic College mountaineering class field trip – where the students learn about climbing on real rock during an awesome spring day in April. Since I took the class in 2007, I’ve volunteered to be a helper on this annual trip – make sure everyone ties their knots properly, does their commands, teach a fireman belay or two, answer questions, meet new friends and learn a few things myself as well. Oh and camp in Leavenworth because I think it’s just that spectacular to look up at the clear night sky and take in a moment to breathe in that endless sky of stars.

Stella the Honda, loaded for first climb trip of 2010

But this was also a bit of a solo trip. Read the rest of this entry »

The amount of climbing competes with the amount of laughing that took place the weekend of April 1-4. But it doesn’t matter which was more – both were awesome, felt good and created a whole new set of memories associated with social media, climbing and camping (Hmmm, an odd combination, yes?).

Rock Climbers a.k.a. Cliff Dancers

Because of the success of the November 2009 Joshua Tree Tweetup, several folks from the same trip organized a similar outing at Red Rocks Canyon, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada for Easter Weekend 2010. While we didn’t have as big of a turnout, it was so fun to see those who did, as well as new faces who missed out last time and those who have gotten into the loop of our climbing tweetups since then. Read the rest of this entry »

I’ve been wanting to do this little recap lately, to reflect a little on the past, but mainly to make myself accountable for the future. I’ll admit, I’m stealing this idea from the various blogs that I read.

Pursuits for 2010:

Wear more dresses

Fight cravings for coffee (which i don’t really like much in the first place) and reach for tea instead

Hit up some PNW classics – Mt. Adams, Mt. Constance, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Si, Seven Lakes Basin, Royal Basin

Raise $4,000 and climb Mt. Rainier

Climb more with the ladies

Climbing solid 10bs in the gym by June, maybe even lead in the gym too!

Build up confidence about sport leading outside

Be comfortable with doing 50 mile bike rides

Really stand up when I’m not happy about a situation

Try to be more patient with my family

Visit sister in Italy

Get as much house stuff done before the weather turns nice, then ignore all house things until winter

Accomplishments 2000-2009, (in some relative chronological order):

Graduated college

Spent a month in Europe post-college

First post college jobs: worked at a TV station as a writer, did my first ever waitressing gig and freelanced for a magazine, all during the same 6-month period

Packed my car with 99.9% of my belongings and drove 3,000 miles from Cincinnati to Seattle for first real job as a reporter and real life

Learned about life in small town community; learned that no matter the size, community is community, with all its bitches and pleasantries

Thought I moved out here to be an artsy writing brooding type; found out that I’m more of an outdoors, outgoing, adventure,  photography type

Moved from being a journalist to what I probably should have done initially – public relations (and still trying to figure out that one.).

Loved stories about Indians and their cultures as a kid; now find myself adoringly working for them as an adult

Gotten considerably more bitter over time

Managed to tweak back, tweak shoulder, tweak knees, tear a miniscule wrist ligament and tweak shoulder again. Getting old is a bitch.

Tried hard to not have the heart trampled on; probably suffering some because I haven’t let it happen enough

Never in a million years thought i’d do this: Buy a house on my own

Never in a million years thought i’d do this: Become a landlord

Never in a million years thought i’d do this: Become my own DIY plumber, electrician and general fixer-upper

Learned how to mountaineer, rock climb, road bike, mountain bike and practice yoga

Completed a few sprint triathlons

Learned to SCUBA, went to Hawaii

Learned girls-only trips around the world are fantastic

First close family member passes away – grandfather

Got back in touch with family values and morals

I may live 3,000 miles away or farther from immediate family, but you can never escape them

It’s slightly absurd how giddy I feel right now – mainly, because it was brought on by Twitter.

Since delving into the Twitterverse late last summer, and even more so after the Joshua Tree Tweetup, it’s been a pretty amazing community to be a part of, mainly with the climbers. I like Randy’s description best: “It’s like walking into a room of friends.”

And now, because of this small yet mighty social tool, the climbing community is starting the new year by supporting each other as a Tpup.

A Tpup is a member of the Tweep PullUp Team – as intiated and defined by Steph Davis who started this movement today and I think is amused and tickled by how many of us are catching on. She’s giving us general workouts and we all report back to share our successes.

It’s weird. I’ve never been so inspired and excited to go to the gym tomorrow morning to see what I can do – assisted? unassisted? let’s throw some crunches in there, maybe a push up or 10 in between Tpup sets?

Once again, the power of today’s media tools blows my mind. And a great way to start off climbing in 2010!

Mt. Rainier from My Wonderland Trail trip, July 2006

I was going through the Summit for Someone/Big City Mountaineers web site recently, looking for some stuff for my fund-raising campaign and came across this video that describes the program. It’s pretty cool with interviews from climbers, guides and the youth who benefit from all our fundraising.

As I was watching it, I started seriously thinking, Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? Do I know youth who would benefit from this? I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of brainstorming fund-raising ideas and the thought of doing Rainier with an all-women team and Sara that I  never actually sat down to think about the Big Question. And I know, subconsciously, it’s been bugging me.

Then someone in the video mentioned Boy Scouts.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m not back yet. Give me a second. Hold on. HOLD ON, I said. Don’t talk to me right now.

(eyes closed. rock formations ahead. belaying at the top of Double Dip with 360 degree view of Joshua Tree National Park. Then down to campfire, s’mores and snuggly feeling of new friends.)


OKAY. Now I’m back to civilization. Just relishing in the last lingering moments of the Joshua Tree Tweetup. It’s Sunday, Nov. 15, at 7:19 p.m. now – 24 hours ago, I was sitting in Crossroads Cafe in Joshua Tree with Jeremy, Nina, Darren, George and Randy, recapping the day, the week and drooling over the very tasty Crossroads food and a Dead Guy Ale.

Not really sure how to write this post. I’m still reeling in the post-first-date-feeling – the glorious uplifting cozy warm happy zone where you don’t want to let go of what happened the previous 24 hours – or previous four days in this case. Read the rest of this entry »

From – an essay on “Who Is A Climber?”

Quote from it: “It is sustenance as necessary as the air we breathe. Even in the midst of long absences, climbing remains a preoccupation of our thoughts.”

1st Half of Toxic Shock at IndexIt’s an interesting article. A twee bit dramatic but it touches a lot on the constant struggle in my head. I conflict with calling myself “A climber” vs. saying, “Eh, I kind of climb.” I enjoy climbing/bouldering at the gym 1-2x a week, enjoy the gear, getting out with friends, meeting new friends and touching real rock. In fact, I stood in the rain this past weekend at Index,watching guys aid and free climb (and surprised myself by free climbing up wet rock too)  just because I knew I needed to be by some real rock because I’m already getting bored at the climbing gym.

But I don’t eat/drink/breath/think/absorb/digest climbing like most of my climb friends. I don’t have a stack of guide books next to my bed, I don’t constantly talk about it everyday. I don’t keep my weekends open just so I can climb. I don’t spend my evenings pouring through web site after web site and forum after forum researching routes and gear. I don’t have a climbing training plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Good and The-Ugly-Truth-about-Lessons-Learned

Our goal: To climb the ultra classic Beckey Route on Liberty Bell, a chunk of rock that is part of a group of spires in the North Cascades mountain range, west of Washington Pass.
Trailhead: 5,200 feet at Blue Lake Trailhead
Base of route: 7,400 feet
Summit: 7,800 feet
Route: Grade II, 5.6
Liberty Bell from the Blue Lake Trailhead

Liberty Bell July 09

Read the rest of this entry »