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Category Archives: August 2009

From a scientific standpoint summer officially ends on the 21st of
September. In the mind set of school age boys, summer ends when the first
day of school arrived. For Sam and Isaac this day arrived on Wednesday the 26th of August.

Regardless of my ministrations extolling the virtues of academia, the boys
find it to be the ultimate insult from grown ups. “You’re asking me to do

To which we reply, “It isn’t that bad and education is the best use of your time.”

Before school started we had some fine time together as a family. The dogs,
Happy and Leroy got a bath. The boys enjoy this, for the dogs it is about
the same as going to school. See expressions on the dogs and see the kids
outlook towards school. Same?

wash dog

The annual summer event for Gallatin County is the Sweet Pea Festival. The first weekend in August is just about the ideal window for the fragrant flowers. Part of the event is the parade. Lots of good stuff going on.


Children driving farm equipment.


Nancy riding Hijo in old west attire. (I think the gun she is brandishing is a toy.) edit: It is a real gun! It is an antique.

nikki & jenni

Nikki Kimball and my dear wife Jenni. Nikki is a world class ultra runner. The next weekend she won the Bridger Ridge Run, took ten minutes off of her previous course record. She is very fast. Go Nikki!

fire truck

Of course no parade would be complete with out a fire truck. Goes along with mom, apple pie and splitter hand cracks. No wait? What was that? Is there nothing more American than splitter hand cracks?

terry & jenni

Terry Cunningham is a friend who helps out with community projects. From changing the name of Peak 10,030 to Alex Lowe Peak and his endless work on the community boulders Terry gets after it. We are starting on boulder # 3 and have shared our knowledge with Jackson, Wyoming.

Our eldest son Max has been in the Bay Area working for The North Face on a summer internship. He has enjoyed being in a real office with real responsibilities and a real water cooler. Sam is entering the food chain for employment as many of us have – washing dishes.

sam food chain

It is a great way to learn the value of time and money. Isaac likes his Timex watches. He wears two of them – his signature as a 13 year old.

hammst synch

He’ll spend time synchronizing the two watches. He is quite familiar with the functions.

synch watches

Perhaps the biggest news in Gallatin County was President Obama’s visit for a town hall meeting on health care. Health care is a pretty big “mountain to climb” and Obama has been working with his team to bring reform to the insurance industry and health care providers. On a personal level I achieved two firsts:

1. Camping out for tickets &
2. Sleeping in an alley.

We pitched our tent and dozed through the night to be rewarded for tickets to this monumental event.

o camp

Senator Max Baucus of Montana is the Chair of the Finance Committee. He has huge order to bring consensus with in the Senate and keep as many people happy in the process. We’re thankful to have a person of his caliber representing our state.


This shot was taken at Belgrade meeting. Max speaking.


I thought President Obama did a fine job answering questions and presenting his plan for health care reform. After the meeting he went fishing (in the rain) on the Gallatin River. Our President is a hard working fellow. Quite an inspiration.

On a personal level I am returning to academia after a 23 year hiatus. My part time studies wil be focusing on glaciers, geomorphology and climate change. My goal is to add to the body of scientific knowledge in this area.

may_ca_mugs eye tooth

Mugs Stump :: Alaska :: 1989 ~ The spirit of the wind horse.

be good
be kind
be happy


It is the 5th of August, a nice day that occurs once a year. It doesn’t have huge social, cultural or personal significance. Perhaps it is a day like every other day. And if I can have every other day like today I’d be most happy.

Morning arrived with sunrise and a short run in the local park. The dogs were well into it, bounding through the tall grass and cooling off in the creek on the way back. I’m now in my office, which I enjoy. For lunch I rode home to visit the boys and cook up some scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches. A quick reminder for the boys to “get after” the recycling and then back to the desk.

In the past two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in Salt Lake City. The bi-annual convention is like a massive toy store. I imagine this is what the North Pole must be like. All the elves scurrying about with the best in toys. From climbing gear (my fav), to boats (bright colors), to rocking Timex goodies (a reminder I should train more) to the collection of friends. This is the best. Catching up with the tribe.

My friend Doug hosted a dinner, a welcome respite from the trade parties. It was great. Apa Sherpa from Thame, Nepal bro ught his family up to the bar-b-que. Apa is a totally humble fellow. He has climbed Everest 19 times and is looking send # 20 this coming spring. He works at a machine shop in Salt Lake City – his three children attend school in SLC. He is a great guy.


Apa and Yangjee watching the kids play air hockey! The tow headed blond is Owen, Lynn Hill’s little guy. He liked air hockey.

Lynn Hill – one of our generation’s best climbers and the first person to free climb the Nose on El Capitan came by. Here the three of us are hamming it up for the camera. I felt quite unworthy as I am a far cry from Lynn when it comes to free climbing and a mere mouse when compared to Apa. Fun none-the-less!


After the trade show I headed north to the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jimmy Chin, David Breashers and I guide a climb each summer for the Rowel Fund for Tibet, part of the International Campaign for Tibet. Our goal is to support Tibetan arts and culture in hope of preserving Tibetan culture. We had a splendid time. The day before our summit attempt we were treated to a nice mountain storm. Beginning at lunch the clouds descended upon us and pelted us with hail, snow, lightening and thunder. Nothing quite like mountain weather to make you feel alive.

sunrise grand

At sunrise one can see the shadow of the Grand Teton reaching out into Idaho. Are these not reasons enough to get outdoors?

Once back in Bozeman we rallied the kids for a day of hiking, climbing and huckleberry picking. Here are the kids laughing at the base of the Gallatin Tower.

kids aug 09

The best part of getting outdoors with the kids is the parental units get a chance to play. Here is Scott, Andie and Bridgette’s dad, pulling down on Bowling for Buicks. A thin and pumpy .12a.

scott bowling

Rick Ridgeway came by for a visit and we hauled out the carts we walked across Tibet with in 2002. Memories came flooding back!

Rick_shaw 09

Rick is working on the Freedom to Roam program. The goal is to preserve wildlife habitat & corridors so animals will be able to migrate. Well worth a look:.1992_baffin_016

Till we visit again,

Onward, Upward and Outward