The Last Year in Photos

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I worked a super fun NOLS course in the Wind River Range last July

 

 

 

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We crossed rivers

 

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And more rivers

 

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and snow

 

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We had spectacular climbing and clean living. 

 

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After that I went on a personal trip to the Bugaboos in British Columbia

 

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 Sam rappelling off Bugaboo Spire

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Pigeon Spire

 

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In the fall I worked again for NOLS in Red Rock, Nevada. We taught climbing as well as vertical rescue techniques. 

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No humans were harmed in the capture of this photo 

 

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And then I went bicycle touring in Chile for Most of the winter

 

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Cerro Castillo

 

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Heavy bikes and lovely scenery 

 

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We rode a lot of ferries  

 

 

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We passed into Argentina for a bit

 

 

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Guanaco in Parque Patagonia

 

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Confluence of Rio Baker and Rio Neff

 

 

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Lago General Carrera

 

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And now I’m back in the Moab area for the spring

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Good views on the horizon

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Bike Touring Spain

After a nice Thanksgiving visiting family on the East Coast (of the U.S.) the wife and I (that’s right, we got hitched) traveled to Spain and Portugal for a cycling honeymoon. As you would expect is was a wonderful experience.

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We cycled the blue line over four lovely weeks

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We encountered lots of thick fog

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One of the best parts of bike touring is eating with impunity

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Extremadura made for great rural cycling

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Aracena

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Lots of nice Castles

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Seville

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We found cycling in the mountains the most rewarding. Although the climbs could be hard and long. The descents are pure downhill bliss.

P1000204White wash is the standard paint job in southern Spain

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Lisbon (Lisboa), Portugal

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Lisbon

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Back to Winter

Return to Asia

Unable to stay away from it’s magic for long, in November Sarah and I returned to South East Asia for our third visit. We did a lot of bike touring, a little climbing  and a ton of enjoying the local cuisine. It was an unbelievable two and a half month adventure!

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We began the journey in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and worked our way north via bicycle, train and ferries.

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Pangkor, Malaysia

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Georgetown, Malaysia 

After a couple weeks of enjoying lovely Malaysia, we made our way up to Thailand, and would proceed to spend most of the two months left of our trip savoring the country.

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Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

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Climbing outside of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

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Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Siem Reap

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Lopburi, Thailand, home to Thailand’s longest climbs

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View from the top!

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Mae Hong Son, Thailand

Bike Touring Southern Utah

Last month I decided to try out another type of adventure, bike touring. I did a 450 mile ride over twelve days, alone. I rode from Green River, Utah to Pahranagat Lake, Nevada, through some amazing areas of Utah.

DSCN0276Crossing a wash on day one

My first day out of Green River was by far the hardest. It rained hard for the first few hours. I was quickly soaked to the bone and had to cross a few flooded washes. Luckily, the air temperature was not too cold. Eventually, the sun came and I dried out. After that the weather was great, not too hot or too cold.

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One of my campsites

My second day took me through beautiful Capital Reef National Park. I took advantage of an old orchard planted by the settlers and filled my bike bags with apples.

The third day found me crawling up the side of Boulder Mountain (3000′ elevation gain). The views where spectacular looking down on the desert. The aspens were exploding in full fall colors. Once on the summit, like a wind up toy releasing it’s energy, I bombed down the other side hardly pedaling for miles. A quick stop for Ice Cream in Boulder, and I was pedaling up another hill into Escalante National Park. I rode a knife-edge ridge and then flew down a long 14% winding grade into the heart of Escalante. Back up another huge hill, and my legs were beat. I found a nice little camp site and settled in.

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Boulder Summit

The next few days blended together into a blur of tired legs and stunning scenery. Looking down on Cedar Breaks National Monument and Cedar City, raised my spirits, knowing that I had a 4000′ ft hill to cruise down. The hill was no let down. I passed about ten cars flying down it. It was great to do the passing instead of being passed for once.

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I took a well needed rest day in Cedar City, and then rolled across the border into Nevada. The second day in Nevada was bleak and empty, yet beautiful. Finally, I made it to  Pahranagat Lake. Looking at the map I was unsure what to expect, but the lake was lovely and the bird life was stunning. It is part of the migration corridor for birds coming and going from South America to the Arctic. I spent the last two nights of my ride there. It is also very close to the Air Force Base comonly known as Area 51. I heard a few sonic booms while I was camping there.

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Upper Pahranagat Lake

Eventually one of my favorite adventure partners, Riley, picked me up, and we drove out to Yosemite National Park. Of course we had to make a quick detour to the hot springs on the way. We spent a couple soggy days waiting out the weather, and then spent two days climbing the 3000′ Nose on El Capitan. We went light and fast, so we had one chilly night without sleeping bags, but it was worth it to have a light bag. Once we topped out, our friends met us up there and we spent another lovely night enjoying the summit and the views.

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El Cap,   Photo Credit R. Jordan

It was a memorable and adventurous few weeks!

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Photo Credit R. Jordan

Explorations in Northern Patagonia

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             Travel is the process of life in hyper speed. You arrive in a strange world where you have trouble understanding the people and customs. Your biggest concern is fulfilling your basic needs; food, water shelter. You learn lessons rapidly only to forget them and learn them again.

1               Last December found me born out of a belly of a giant jet liner into the strange world known as Santiago, Chile. I met up with my friend and fellow guide Riley, and then we traveled across the Andes into Argentina. We spent about two weeks climbing in an alpine granite area known as Arenales. The climbing was great multi-pitch routes with beautiful crack systems for up to fifteen hundred feet. It’s location in a high remote alpine valley was stunning.

4Warm soup is great when it’s Chile (actually Argentina).  

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Riley preparing for a rappel high above the valley.

2In the clouds.

              We made our way further south to another alpine climbing area called Frey, where we endured endless winds and spectacular summits.

7Riley on top of Torre Principal.

10Refugio Frey

              Eventually we grew tired of the wind and traveled down to the desert sport climbing area of Piedra Parada where we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the climbing.

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Riley flexing his muscles.

8Great swiss cheese climbing.

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I was going to put my tent on him.

13This 400 foot spire is named Aguja De La Virgen

12Outside of El Bolson

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The Crossroads

15Sunset over the Gulf of Corcovado.

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Valley of The Condors

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Andean Condor

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Via Ferrata approach to the crag

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              Like life, all travel must end at some point. So after three months we made our back to our lovely home of Moab, Utah.

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In early September, guiding work was slowing down enough for me to make a brief escape to the splendid High Sierras. I met up with my favorite adventure partner and girlfriend, Sarah, in a empty pasture in Western Utah and then we booked it to California. P1000765

Charlotte Dome

     Our first objective was to hike into Kings Canyon National Park and climb the fabled Charlotte Dome. We hiked in eight miles and set up camp at Charlotte lake. The next day we climbed the beautiful South Face of the dome. This route was featured in the legendary book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. It was originally published in ’78 so many of the climbs are classic in the “old school” way; like climbing wide cracks with hiking boots and the rope tied around your waist. Charlotte Dome still holds up to our modern expectations of a good quality route. Nearly 1,500 hundred feet of clean, crisp granite in a pristine backcountry setting. Although I do suspect Charlotte Dome would be off most climbers radar without its inclusion in The Book, since it is twelve strenuous miles into the backcountry.

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Summit

      We figured since we trudged all the way out there we might as well sneak in another climb. So the day after we did the South Face, we climbed the South West Arete. It was hard to find much info. on this climb but it turned out to be a great outing on good rock. One of the most memorable sections was a great hand size crack in a sea of giant knobs. I enjoyed the route even more than the South Face.

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Hot Springing

     We broke camp and hiked out to a relaxing rest day in Bishop. We enjoyed the local Bakery (Schats), not to be missed and the heavenly hot springs. We could road trip there just for pastries and soaking.

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Second Lake with Temple Crag

    Next, we made our way into the Palisades and set up camp at the beautiful glacier silt blue lake called, uncreatively, Third Lake. The color of the water made us think of the tropical blue of the Andaman sea off of Thailand.

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High on Temple Crag

    We climbed two great ridge/arête routes on Temple crag. Each route was at least 1,500 feet of climbing. The rock quality was sub par but the views and position were incredible.

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Really High on El Cap

    After another day of soaking and eating in Bishop we made our way to Yosemite Valley. There I meet up with two of my great friends Riley and Mckenzie for a trip up the storied 3,000 foot sheer face of El Capitan. We spent four days sweating our way up the Salathe. It was the second route climbed on El Cap and is also included in the Fifty classic Climbs of America; also, my thirteenth Classic Climb and eighth time topping out El Cap. Mckenzie had his thirty fourth birthday on the fabulous El Cap Spire. The climb went off without a hitch, just the usual hard work punctuated by brief moments of bliss or horror.

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El Cap Spire

    We spent a few more days lingering in Yosemite, catching up with old friends and enjoying short approaches to world-class granite.

AdamantsThe Exam, Photo Angela Hawse

    Finally our time of leisure had ended. Sarah had to head back to Wyoming for work and I had to head to Red Rocks outside of Las Vegas for my American Mountain Guides Association Exam. Although I have done plenty of stressful climbing (there was a pitch I climbed on the Salathe that if you were to slip and fall you would die) being examined on my guiding skills was the most stressful climbing I have yet done. Despite the stress, I did great on my exam. I’m now a fully Certified AMGA Rock Guide! Which is a good way to end a great trip.