Author Archives: patrick-odenbeck

Going big and going home – The first ascent of the Pisce Wall

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About a year ago, my friend Tom mentioned that there was an alpine wall way back in the Beartooth Wilderness that not only had not seen an ascent, but had no name.  He had done a reconnaissance trip in 2009 to see what this thing looked like and exactly what it would take to get back there.  He told me about a 20+ mile approach, much of which was off trail and through swamps, down timber and difficult orienteering.  Apparently, other parties had tried to access the wall from different locations, but all had been skunked.  Often called the Phantom … READ MORE >


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Monumental Elegance

Bridger Jacks Moon3
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The desert has always inspired me with its clean crisp air and the stark contrast between the iron red dirt and cerulean sky.  A time in my life existed where I would go to places like these for weeks at a time, climbing and soaking in the surroundings, while living virtually on pennies.  Though it was a simple existence, it burned into my memory as a time of focus and reflection- – a period when I could breathe unobstructed by the constrictive ways of modern life.  When each morning you would wake to the sunrise screams of Peregrine Falcons echoing  … READ MORE >


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Hellmouth Couloir

Hellmouth Couloir is the anemic line dead center on Alex Lowe Peak.
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Hellmouth Couloir is the thin aesthetic line dead center on Alex Lowe Peak.

In the Spring of 1997 Alex Lowe and Hans Saari made the first descent of an anemic ski line they nicknamed “Hellmouth Couloir” in the Gallatin Mountains of Montana. For years the exact location of this line had been lost and it gained mythical status. On September 15th 2005 a peak in the Gallatin National Forest was named “Alex Lowe Peak” for the memory of Alex who had unfortunately passed October 5, 1999 in an avalanche on the slopes of Shishapangma in Tibet. It was then unveiled … READ MORE >


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Killer Snow

Ymir Ridge
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After four hours of driving through the interior of British Columbia we arrived at our destination: the Ymir Motel, in the forgotten gold mining town of the same name. This place is the staging area for most trips into the Ymir backcountry–and, it’s cheap, $12 per person per night cheap–by sharing rooms.  Turns out the owner of the hotel is an art collector and purchased the 18 room hotel for his prized possessions, thousands of painting of all styles, covering every wall. Imagine a museum crossed with a nineteenth century brothel. We slept well under the smug smell of oil … READ MORE >


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Frazier Basin

Myself on the Hollywood Headwall

Last Friday, five of us met at the Daily Bread parking lot at 5:30 AM for dawn patrol.   Kyle had made it up to Frazier Basin on Wednesday, they found stable conditions and the skiing excellent.  Once I heard the possibility of going up on Friday, especially since Kyle has access to two snowmobiles slashing the multi-hour skin to Frazier Basin to less than a 30 minute tow- I was in.  This was my first time to Frazier and I must say I was blown away.  The North Bridgers have so many aesthetic looking couloirs- it is like God himself … READ MORE >


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Curing Cabin Fever

patrick
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After Outdoor Retailer Dave Downing and I, plus 4 others, one dog and a ridiculous amount of gear strategically stuffed ourselves into a minivan and set off toward Carbondale, CO. Carbondale is where I grew up and I was excited to revisit after about a 10 year hiatus. Dave and I had planned to ski some of the backcountry outside of Marble, which is about an hour drive outside of Carbondale. Unfortunately avalanche conditions turned from bad to worse when a strong Southern storm dropped about 3 feet of fluff in 2-3 days. Our suspicions of instability were vindicated once … READ MORE >


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Phobias

The poison is seeping in and there is nothing I can do about it…

But let me back up a bit.

I have phobias even though I hate to admit it.  Some people, namely my wife, gladly shares with others that I have many.  Most of these fears come from the fact that I am allergic to just about everything, cats, horses, penicillin, pollen etc.  I have also been known to be paranoid of other things  like when I found some perfect boulders up here in Montana.  I instantly became suspicious of everyone.  Who should I tell?  Should I reveal … READ MORE >


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City of Rocks

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Kevin Brumbach into the goods on Crack of Doom

Occasionally I have some time to leave the gentle embrace of Bozeman.  This Summer has had an unusual amount of precipitation making such departures even more mandatory.   The City Rocks in southern Idaho is a classic American rock climbing mecca that has eluded my many rock climbing tours. With 30% chance of precipitation in the forecast for the third weekend in a row, Kevin’s suggestion of a 6 hour drive to climb for the weekend seemed reasonable. Through sales office banter Kyle was able evoke my plan and quickly invited himself … READ MORE >


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Perfect Granite

About 40 miles North of Vancouver, where the ocean touches the land, the second largest granite monolith in North America jets virtually straight up from sea to sky.  The perfect granite of Squamish, British Columbia is littered with so many beautiful features and climbing history, and neither of Loni or I had been there before. We intended to climb and experience this mystical place for ourselves.  After leaving Montana late Wednesday night we made it to Squamish around 3 PM Thursday afternoon.  We set up camp below the Chief.  The Chief one of the cleanest pieces of granite I have … READ MORE >


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Thailand Day 26: Chang Mai/Lampang Elephant Conservation Center

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This morning we woke up pseudo-early because we had to do some errands and get to our tour for the Elephant Conservation Center.  I had to drop off the scooter and Loni had to get some snacks and water as well as book another night here at TK House.  All of this had to happen before 0800 and it did pretty much.  Our guide that we met from Pooh Eco-Tourism name was Naret.  He grew up in Lampang where the Elephant Conservation Center is located outside of.  We jumped in his personal Isuzu track and drove the 1.5 hours to … READ MORE >


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