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Category Archives: March 2009

The Goldberg Variations, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) is my favorite piano piece. The Goldberg Variations are welcome at any time. The 30 variations were initially composed as keyboard practice. And practice one must if one is to play the variations. Not being a pianist I delight in listening to the variations. The 20th century Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is perhaps best known for his recording of Bach’s masterpiece.

This past week was spring break for the Montana schools. Sam our, middle son, was off to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague on a Mozart tour with his high school orchestra. From the notes we received it seems that he has had a great time. Jenni. Isaac and I went to Tucson, AZ to visit Paul, Jenni’s dad. He turned 88 (a lucky year) while we were with him. At the Pima Air Museum we had a chance to see several of the aircraft he flew during WW II. Standing next to the F4 Corsair with Isaac was remarkable. A chance to share a bit of history.

On the 11th of march we held a fundraiser in Bozeman for our local Parks and recreation Department. We built the first boulder in 2005 and due to the success we figured we would build a second one.kidsonclimbingrock_lowres The first boulder, pictured here, is a total hit with kids and grown ups alike. Regardless of one’s ability there are ways to challenge yourself. The next boulder will be twice the size. Our plan is to construct a total of four in Bozeman and hopefully one on the Montana State University campus.

In between all this I’m still getting out and climbing. One of the local trade routes is “Come and Get It”, established by the late Alex Lowe in 1997. It is a unique climb – starting out with ice, transitioning to a gently overhanging mid section and finishing on a steep pillar. By using my WS 4 I was able dial in my training. The first lap (on lead) took forty five minutes and on the forth go (on top rope) I had whittled the 35 meter lead down to 13 minutes. Silly climbers, eh?come-n-get-it-12-mar-o9

I’m still soaking inthe expereince of being in Japan. Pachinko, a pinball game played on vertical machines, is a national past time. I didn’t play while in Tokyo, but I did get a kick out of this one outfit’s marketing angle. Perhaps by covering President Obama’s eyes they don’t have to get his permission. pachinko_obama What ever it takes…. 😉

Spring is officially here – it snowed six inches in town last night. We’ll get out and play in the spring snow soon enough.

be good be kind & be happy ~ c


A month on from last entry in the public diary of the 21st century, the blog has me wondering where the time went. Looking at my calendar I count the days with my family, the days at work and the days on the road. In this I look for balance.
On the 16th of February our family joined the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center for a fund raising event at Bridger Bowl, the local ski hill. The challenge is to hike the last 400 vertical feet to the top of ridge to raise money from pledges for avalanche education.

Isaac hiking...

Isaac hiking...

We’d hike up the boot pack, click in our skis, slide down Sluice Box (a ski run) and repeat the process. We had a ton of fun as we would catch up to each other on the way up or way down, encouraging each of us to try harder. By the end of the day, drenched in sweat and smiling, we joined other families at the base lodge for a cup of hot chocolate.

The following weekend I attended the annual meeting for the American Alpine Club in Golden, Colorado. It was my last board meeting after six years. The club celebrated Layton Kor, one of our pioneering climbers from the 50s and 60s. Tall and lanky, Layton is it the epitome of a “hard man” climber. He had the vision for clean lines and climbed them in style. Layton is my hero.

This last week I was in Japan for the “Ice Candy Climbing Competition” in the Yatsugatake Mountains of central Japan. The ice comp is on an ice encased scaffold tower.

The comp wall

The comp wall

From the novice to the expert over 40 climbers joined the fun. Many of the same competitors from the Japan Cup in 2007 (where I set the course) attended. It was nice to see the same climbers two years later.
After the weekend spent in the wonderful mountains I traveled to Tokyo for the release of the Timex WS 4 altimeter watch to the Japanese market. The wide screen visibility was a huge hit with the Japanese.
Back here in Montana winter has set in with a vengeance after six dry weeks. Our yard has a foot of snow, the temperatures are in the single digits and I am called by the ice climbs of Hyalite Canyon for a last dance with gravity before the waterfalls turn into our municipal water. Which I’ll go do as on the first of April I’m off to Borneo and Mount Kinabalu to visit the cloud forest and do a little climbing.
Till the next bat dispatch… grab the hold and don’t let go!