Posts Tagged with "Big Sky"

What it Takes.


I am lying in the tent at high camp on Denali and staring at the bright yellow nylon walls and although it looks sunny outside and feels warm in the tent, I know outside the storm is still going strong. I know, because for the past four days I have fallen for the trick countless times, sticking my head out of the tent only to find a grey sky and blowing snow. The barometer too has been holding steady and giving no encouragement of a change in the weather. We have two more days of food after today which means tomorrow is our last chance at a summit.

Our expedition went very smoothly for the first ten days and we rode the good weather into our camp at 14,000 feet to take a well-deserved break. The main challenge for our team was communication. My seven clients were all from Japan and did not speak much if any English. To complicate things, I did not speak any Japanese nor have I ever been to Japan. For the guides this made for some frustrating situations since we could not communicate easily with our clients. We overcame this obstacle using a mixture of … READ MORE >

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City of Rocks


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 along. I was quietly elated knowing that a third would be a welcome rest for leader or belayer.

Friday afternoon Kyle and I left to meet Kevin down in the City with plenty of PBR and elk steaks.  No self respecting Montanan will part with either of these two elements.  Dark set in and so did the potato fields which continue to haunt us with their bleak and unexciting scenery.  Eventually we hit unpaved roads missed turns, double backed, and eventually found our way to “the city”.

There is nothing like arriving somewhere in the dark, then when to wake … READ MORE >

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Thailand Day 11: Tonsai Beach


We decided to move last night to Tonsai for a change of scenery.  Monica said that she was moving over here as well.  We wanted to get over here before the International Climbing Comp. which starts on the 14th so we packed our bags and got a refund for the night.  We made the short walk to  Railay West to catch a long-tail to Tonsai.

Waiting on this beach for the four person discount to Tonsai.

We did not want to pay the 100 BHT for two people so we waited about a half hour and two others showed up.  Making our trip 50 BHT for two less than 2 dollars.

Everything for the month in a Big Sky and a G-5000.

Once arriving we had no idea where to go and the locals just pointed us up the hill.  So we blindly went and ran into the Dream Valley Resort where we got a bungalow for 500 BHT per night plus breakfast for both of us- a killer deal.

Loni passes some longtails on Tonsai Beach.

The views on the west side of the peninsula are far superior to the east.  Long-tails racing from Ao Nang outside the bay … READ MORE >

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AK08 – Mystery Ranch on Denali Part I


Andrew Crow, Ray Baker, and Mark Seacat doing their best to keep the scale in perspective. Kahiltna Glacier, Alaska. Photo by Kyle Christenson

5/21 Day three 7800 feet

We slept as long as we could. At least until the intense sub-arctic sun drove us out of the Dutch Ovens we refer to as tents. The rest of the day was spent lounging around camp in our underwear eating cheesy meaty grits, drinking too much Dead Man’s Reach and watching the guided groups slog by in the wet snow and severe heat.

Cheesy Meaty Grits for Everyone! Photo by Matt Steen

Sun’s just going down and we’re just getting started. Photo by Matt Steen

While on the lower mountain, nighttime travel is the only way to go – the snow is harder, the air is cooler, and the gumbies are all tucked away in their sleeping bags. It took me a week to get over what a freaking highway the lower mountain is! There is a steady stream of overloaded and overdressed climbers from every corner of the world wandering by our camp all day long. If you are a people-watcher like me, that place is heaven!

It was particularly cool … READ MORE >

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