12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours

12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours
Last February 20th, I hiked and skied 12 laps on Mt. Glory. 19,638 feet climbed with skis on my back and 19,638 feet skied to raise money for Camp To Belong. It's snowing again and I'm ready for the 2nd edition! Click the logo for more info and ways to support camp!

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse
We're racing the Elk Mtn Grand Traverse this March, a 40 mile ski race across the roof of Colorado in the middle of the night! Click for updates on our training and fundraising progress!

Peaked Sports

Peaked Sports
Driggs, ID

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Table Mtn Ascent

I've been planning another trip up Table since my last ascent a couple weeks ago so I decided to take advantage of a Wednesday morning off from work and set off on another jaunt up the mountain. I was scheduled to be at work at noon so this would require a pre-dawn start to allow for my estimated 3 hour ascent and 1 1/2 hour descent recorded from my last trip.

It was snowy last time and chilly with temps near freezing or slightly below on the summit. I've done this route so many times in summer conditions that even with the added snow and lower temps, it still felt within the norm for an outing up Table. This time, it was only slightly snowier after a little skiff blew through on Tuesday afternoon, but the drastic drop in temperature last night made this trip substantially more serious. It was 13 below zero when I left the trailhead in the dark at 6:21am.

I had the benefit of the full (or almost full) moon and a crystal clear sky (as most sub-zero nights are) so I found myself constantly looking over my shoulder to watch as the moon set, the sky grew lighter, and I climbed higher.

Looking back into Alta, WY and Driggs, ID

I had decided to start out wearing my hiking boots for the first 1,000 ft or so until the snow was deep enough to use snowshoes then change into my skate-ski boots that I had packed along and strap the snowshoes on my feet from that point on. My theory was that the hiking boots were necessary for the rocky lower section and the skate-ski boots would provide me with enough additional insulation to protect my toes from damage. It kinda worked.

The skate-ski boots were indeed much better than my hiking boots, but I'll use my plastic shell mountaineering boots or find some thick neoprene over-booties for next time. My toes were numb by this point. And almost every part of exposed skin felt extremely cold. The area around my eyes was the only place I could comfortably leave uncovered. It was almost 8am, I was around 9,000 ft, and although I don't know exactly how cold it was at this point, it felt much colder here than when I started.

The Grand Teton, Table Mtn, the Middle Teton, and the South Teton

It had been bitterly cold all the way up, but nothing compared to what it was like on top. Not only was there a slight wind out of the north, but I'm sure the ambiant temperature was somewhere under -30 degrees. I had a medium pair of gloves under a thick pair of leather mittens and when I took my right mitten off to take pictures, my fingertips turned ice cold within seconds. I had no feeling in most of my toes. After a few minutes on top, I began to feel the cold air working its way into my core.

When I got back to the trailhead at 11am, my car thermometer read 7 degrees and it felt balmy.

*For this trip, I only wore three layers on my upper body: A lightweight Smartwool longsleeve shirt under a midweight polyester running shirt and a Mont-Bell Ex Light down jacket over that. I was plenty warm and, for much of the time, had the down coat unzipped because it's too warm. If anyone out there is looking for the warmest coat on the planet that won't take up your entire backpack, back seat, or closet, I strongly suggest giving this one a look. Here is a link:

Mont-Bell Ex Light Down Jacket

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Table Mountain

Grand Teton from the summit of Table Mountain

Got a wild hare (and maybe hair?) on Sunday morning and decided on a late-season ascent of Table Mountain. This was by far the latest in the year I'd ever been up there, but it offered me a completely different (colder/snowier) experience than what I've grown accustomed to in summertine conditions and that made for an outstanding way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Shylo!

Hope you're having a fun climbing party!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Teton Crest Trail - Late August

Here are some of the photos I took when I ran the TCT back in August. I just haven't put them up til now. As you can see, it was quite a gloomy day. Not ideal conditions to take in the hundred-mile-views in every direction, but still beautiful in a kind of dark, erie sort of way.

1st hour: Heading up towards Phillips Pass

2nd hour: Normally, this is the first glimpse of the high peaks when running the TCT from the south. Today... clouds. The broad Moose Creek valley heads down to the left.

3rd hour: Marion Lake...

... and Fox Creek Pass. Fossil Mtn is on the left. Spearhead Peak is on the right.

4th hour: Death Canyon Shelf. Typical cheeky Marmot. These critters are everywhere up here.

Looking north along the shelf. Death Canyon drops off immediately to the right.

5th hour: Preparing for the descent into Alaska Basin behind a group on horseback.

Evidence of an unusually wet summer. On the way up to Hurricane Pass.

Hurricane Pass. Table Mtn is the round peak on the far left. Paintbrush Divide is hidden amonst the jagged peaks far off in the center. Cascade Canyon heads to the right in front of and below those peaks.

My favorite view from Hurricane Pass

That's the Grand Teton behind me.

Looking down into the upper Cascade Canyon water basin

Marmot tending to a precipitous itch

6th hour: Heading down the south fork of Cascade Canyon. This is the funnel (the "V") through which the glacial lakewater passes

7th hour: Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake at the mouth of Cascade Canyon. My preferred finish for the TCT is over Paintbrush Divide (which adds 6 miles and 3,000 ft of elevation), but after feeling like I had already pushed my luck with the weather, I decided to take the shorter route back to my car at String Lake. This ended up being a very wise decision as 30 minutes after finishing, an enourmous black thunderstorm broke out over the entire region.

Oh, and for good measure, here's a shot of my downstairs neighbor who is currently living under the top step of my stairs. Every summer, there are just a handul of Cat-Faced spiders that take up residencies on the exterior of our buildings. I'm not fond of spiders AT ALL, but I can't help but find these guys fascinating. But this photo doesn't really let you see it.

This one does.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swiss Drumline

I found this on Youtube recently. Next time I take a vacation, I'm going to Switzerland just to see these guys!

(Pause the music player at the bottom of the page before viewing)