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Tag Archives: Life

Hi Folks,
Welcome to the mini page! After a hiatus of several weeks (or more! yikes) I’ll share a few notes and thoughts.

First off – facebook had me change from a friend type of thing to a fan page. All this because I had over 5000 friends. If I may impart my two cents worth – don’t go there. Not nearly the community that I had built in the three years on fb and a kinda one sided conversation. I’m keen on the fluid communication of the old set up. A bit more equal. Chatting with climbers from Mumbai – kinda fun. Anyhow… no sour grapes. Just made me realize how superficial and non essential fb is. Yeah I’m glad you had a nice weekend but do you really need to know what I had on the grill? What is it?

Too much information.

Here is Scott, training partner and ace ecologist at Frog Rock in Montana. The route, John Coltrane is a pun on the 125 wagon coal trains that trundle down our valley several times a day. Off to Seattle to power X Boxes and hairdryers. We get it back a bit later in the form of mercury in our lakes. Well – no big deal – fishing is about catch and release – not catch and feast. So what’s a little pollution? Quite a bit in my book. Subsidies to the extractos is business as usual. Subsidies to the wind and solar guys (China is growing their business with massive government subsidies) is government meddling.

Here is a snapshot of Daniel Woods crushing the final route at the Summer Trade show comp. Max Lowe took this picture. Max’s images are spot on. Daniel is one fierce boulderer. Dedicated he is.

On the harsh reality end of things, got news today that Kurt Albert, German rock and alpine climber passed away. He fell a distance of 18 metres. Kurt was a wonderful man, dedicated to the sport of climbing and will forever be remembered for “red point” ascents. Routes that were climbed free in the Frankenjura were given a red dot, hence the climbing parlance of a red point ascent. Rest in peace my friend.

This is Juan Martinez on the descent from the Grand Teton. This was his first climbing experience. He sent the peak and endured a blizzard on the descent. Juan is from South Central LA. You the man, Juan. I’m coming to visit you and your family.

This is the type of stuff that I like. A durable, analog Expedition watch from Timex. Easy to read dial (bi focals not needed), the date (so you don’t look like a slacker when writing a check at the supermarket – uh … What day is it?), the Indiglo night dial for checking time when drunk frat boys stumble down the alley and pound on my wife’s horse trailer at 2 AM (and covert ops – fully morse code compatible) and the type of classic style that is right there. Always there. Cool and timeless. Functional and timely.

OK . Bye for now.


Well not that you might find it here on the Return to the Outdoors blog, rather the internal question that most of us think about once a day.

Or maybe even more than that.

What gives my life meaning? Family – be it my parents, siblings, wife and children, they most meaningful part of my life. To be with them, to laugh with them, to comfort them and to accept them is what being human really means. As the boys gain knowledge about our planet and their existence and my parents adjust to bodies that have seen eight decades I realize that I am somewhere in the middle. To be this link bewteen three generations is pretty darn cool. It seems at times there is a bunch of responsibility. How not to let this responsibility eat away at life energy? Get outside. Breath the freah air, rolls around on my bike, stop and check out the wild flowers. Yup, these things bring meaning.

Last week I climbed El Capitan with Alex Honnold. At 23 he is half my age and twice the climber. Getting stronger each day he is. Where as the health & fitness tables say I’m loosing 15 % of my strength each year. Just say no! Do more pull ups, push ups and sit ups. They are called ups because they bring you up.
This is a good thing.

Sam & Max Dolomiti
Sam & max in the Dolomites

The family on the porch.

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.