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Tag Archives: Happiness

Well now that I have your attention… with either fast and furious music or yummy bits of vegetable adorning rice I’ll take a minute to catch up from our last chat.

Thanks to those of you that are dedicated readers. Your notes are super meaningful. My friends over at Timex prompted me to write and the result after a couple of years has been a most wonderful.

Since the last post – Ouray and the likes – I have been over to Nepal to conduct the seventh session of the Khumbu Climbing Center. Jenni joined me for the last part of the journey, which was very nice. Sam and Isaac managed the house just fine – it didn’t burn down and I don’t think they spent too much time on the X Box. The dogs must have loved being under the care of the boys. Think gravity feeder. Happy is now holding the title of “bacon back”. Not that he knows what it means. Just gotta get him out running and ice climbing.

Ross and I departed Montana for Nepal on the 14th of January, routing through the Tom Bradley International Terminal @ LAX. With the cultural melting pot and gate to Asia this hub seems to be the 21st century’s equivelent of Ellis Island. To an extent. The flight takes 15 hours direct to BKK, with a two hour transition before flight 319 to KTM.

“Mishandled baggage complaining desk.” One certainly appreciates the honesty.

As we flew in the Himalaya defined the northern horizon. Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Everest standing above the adjacent mountains. Somewhere below Everest on Tawoche Renan Ozturk and Cory Richards (Nan & Roti) were steps away from the summit after establishing a new route on the south buttress. They had a great time – running out of water, climbing loose rock and hard ice. Like, what is the point of you don’t suffer, eh?

Check out their cool ascent here:

After a two day stint in Kathmandu we flew to Lukla for the beginning of the trek. Steve Swenson, president of the American Alpine Club, David Weber NPS, Steve Gipe MD, Ross and me trekked to Monjo the first night. While in Monjo we met David, an engineer from MIT who was ice climbing with his wife and friend. He likened our meeting to a Bilbo Baggins gathering in the Shire. With his full beard and twinkling eyes he might just have been a Hobbit.

The range is dry this year, which could equate to a lack of ice. Fortunalty it was very cold and the water that was flowing formed very nicely. Once we took care of the opening ceremony we began climbing and learning the ropes.

This year we moved a bit closer to having the program run by our Nepali friends. The lead instructors were all Sherpa, we filed the Nepal articles of non profit incorporation, changed the name from Khumbu Climbing School to Khumbu Climbing Center (Nepal is very strict in that school may only be used in the traditional educational sense) and began work on the physical building.

Students climbed with great enthusiasm and learned to be safer climbers. All in all we were very happy.

Lila Bishop taught English, which is great as it is the shared language for people who trek and climb in the Himalaya. Thanks Lila!

Climbing on the steep ice of Lapharma. The Sherpas led the pitches, which are WI 5 .

That is Everest in the background. Jenni is awesome!

Taking notes below Ama Dablam, a mountain I climbed twenty years ago. The swell watch is the new analog EAltimeter. It is super cool.

See you : )


January 6, 2009.  Just saying the date is interesting. When I was a little shaver the year 2000 seemed like an eternity away. Now that we are 9/10ths of the way through the first decade of the 21st century it seems a bit… scary. I’m getting older (and hopefully a bit wiser in the process)  and see how the world has changed. Jenni and I have three sons- all of who are maturing in to a vastly different world than we experienced. Typewriters are in museums, circular dial wheels for phones show up in retro movies and text was a noun yet to be morphed into a verb. It was in my second year at the University of Utah that we would queue up at he computer lab, 5 inch floppies in hand to use the word processing on the large computers to type our reports. The Internet? Not in  my imagination.

Our boys track their friends on Facebook, text back and forth and “check in” via their on-line communities. Yes things are different. Do I expect them to live with the technology I had in those days? Obviously not.  I embrace technology. It is a good thing. We can communicate with  greater  ease to a wider audience. We share our thoughts. As we are right now.

With change there are somethings that stay the same. Like getting outdoors. Over the two week Christmas holiday our family made a point of enjoying the wilds on Montana together. Just heading up Hyalite Canyon, with the dogs in the mini van and a Thermos of hot chocolate it soul warming. The phones don’t work, there are no computers and we get back in touch with the wildness that makes us human. And for this… I am most thankful.

My goals for 2009:  quality time with my family, learning more about the earth we live on and getting after “Free Rider”, a route on El Capitan. Three things. Make them happen.

And for you?  After you read this take your self out side, open your heart to the horizon before you, yell at the top of your lungs why you like in life.  Make a goal. One that is a challenge, one that will test you. One that includes hardship. Stick to it.

I find after these hard, lofty challenging goals I am  much happier. And if the pursuit of happiness is what our short existence is all about… go out & find it.


Looking north from the summit ridge of Mt Gardner, Antarctica. Photo: December 1998

Shared the summit with Dave Hahn.