September 21, 2013


I listen to a lot of podcasts. I listen to them when I'm doing chores around the house, to ease the monotony of a long drive, and particularly in my tent at night. Just recently I was turned on to The Enormocast. Chris Kalous is the guy behind it. It's funny and a great way to kill some time if you're stuck in a tent, counting squares of ripstop and waiting for good weather. You can subscribe on iTunes.

September 8, 2013

Ten Days of Guiding in The Sierra

I've been fortunate to have been able to guide all over the High Sierra in the last ten days. I'm also especially fortunate that some of the folks I get to climb with are handy with cameras.

First was a trip up the East Buttress of Mount Whitney with two really fun guys, Dee and Stefano. The forecast was not promising, and it rained on-and-off for the whole hike in to our high camp at Iceberg Lake. Because we got up early, and because those guys are good rock climbers, we were able to sneak our climb in during a perfect spell of weather between storms. It was a first long multi-pitch climb for Stefano and a first alpine rock climb for both. Bravo gentlemen. Dee put together a short video on the climb. Check out his blog here.

After bidding those two farewell I had a rest day before a backpacking trip through some of the finest Sierra high country. Three Japanese gentlemen and I walked from Mammoth to Tuolumne. Thankfully they spoke English pretty well and were happy to indulge my feeble attempts to pick up Japanese. "Good morning" in Japanese is "ohio". We enjoyed breathtaking campsites at Thousand Island Lake and in Lyell Canyon, and got some fishing in.
On the way to Donahue Pass. Banner Peak is the pointy one above this gentleman's head.
The very next day found me back in the same region of the Sierra. After hearing a number of reports about good conditions in the North Couloir of North Peak, Bob and I made plans to climb this route. The couloir opened with a fun pitch on neve over the berschrund. Then we frontpointed, swung tools and belayed off ice screws like real ice climbers for five pitches. But this being California, we were in t-shirts.

Packing up and getting stoked at the trailhead.
In the couloir, sweet photo by Bob Thompson.