PAKISTAN 2017

First off, I'd like to thank Everybody who worked hard to get me to Pakistan.

 For those who don't know, The world lost Scott Adamson and Kyle Dempster last fall in the mountains of Pakistan. Those boys were unlike anyone I've ever met. The boys were climbing on the Ogre II and never made it back to base camp. This year has been beyond words. Getting a trip organized to go be where the boys were was an effort I almost didn't know how to emotionally navigate after all that had happened. Luckily I have the best friends in the world, and with generous support of the climbing community Ghafoor Abdul, Jewell Lund, Andrew Burr, Doom Fassbinder and I were able to pull this thing off.

Huge thank you to Rab Equipment, Liberty Mountain, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, Lowa boots, Specialized bicycles, La Sportiva and Revelate Designs.

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Pictured in the clouds is the north face of the Ogre 2, Where Scott Adamson and Kyle Dempster were last seen. Photo taken from the boys base camp by me.

We went to Pakistan with the spirit of the boys in mind. We planned a fat tire bike overland journey to the Choktoi Glacier. Home of the Ogre 2, Ogre 1, and Latok. We crossed river and glaciers, Cried and Laughed, but most of all visited a place that was so sacred to both Kyle and Scott. We also Established a beautiful memorial at the base camp Scott and Kyle stayed at. Andrew Burr had this incredible vision and with the unwavering help of Doom and  Ghafoor, Aziz and Hauseen made something none of us could have imagined. The memorial is Perfect. 

BIKE GANGZZZZZZ

BIKE GANGZZZZZZ

When we arrived in Skardu (City In Gilgit- Baltistan) we caused quite the Ruckus. Not only were we white people on bikes riding around Pakistan, But we were American, and our bike tires were so FAT. So naturally people stared. There are many motorcycles in Pakistan but the good old fashion bicycle is far and few between. So the kids who had bikes were super excited to show us and would ride around town with us. I mean look how cool we look....

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doom being silly on a day ride around Skardu. 

doom being silly on a day ride around Skardu. 

DAY ONE TOWARDS THE CHOKTOI BASE CAMP

So then we were off! On our first day we rode from the town of Skardu towards the Village of Askole (where the road ends). We did a long, hot ride then threw our bikes in the jeep to make it to Askole before nightfall. We actually had a very tight regiment for this trip. We had one month before our flights returned to America. And when the mountains get involved things always seem to take a little more time.

Doom broke a chain like 10 minutes outta town. Good thing he's a bike ninja, we were on the road in no time.

Doom broke a chain like 10 minutes outta town. Good thing he's a bike ninja, we were on the road in no time.

At this point I didn't know our porters brought a kalashnikov or else i could have given her a go!

At this point I didn't know our porters brought a kalashnikov or else i could have given her a go!

All along the way to Askole women and children were harvesting wheat. Really was fields of shimmering gold.

All along the way to Askole women and children were harvesting wheat. Really was fields of shimmering gold.

Doom started a chase for the school boys, it was so adorable. They loved him.They were so shy until he started messing around then they were in full effect.

Doom started a chase for the school boys, it was so adorable. They loved him.They were so shy until he started messing around then they were in full effect.

Jewell, Doom and Burr on the sandy jeep road

Jewell, Doom and Burr on the sandy jeep road

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Then we piled into this thing

Then we piled into this thing

it was a little cramped . 

it was a little cramped . 

then the road that dropped off 2000 feet was washed out so obviously the bad ass Pakistanis just fixed it with man power and a few sand bags. Needless to say i got out of the vehicle when they drove the once broken stretch. After the driver had cleared the stretch he immediately got outta the jeep to smoke a cigarette. Which confirmed I was not over reacting , haha.

then the road that dropped off 2000 feet was washed out so obviously the bad ass Pakistanis just fixed it with man power and a few sand bags. Needless to say i got out of the vehicle when they drove the once broken stretch. After the driver had cleared the stretch he immediately got outta the jeep to smoke a cigarette. Which confirmed I was not over reacting , haha.

Our driver. He liked to dance to indian club music, it was amazing.

Our driver. He liked to dance to indian club music, it was amazing.

DAY TWO TOWARDS THE CHOKTOI BASE CAMP

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So we ate and we slept and we woke up decently early to depart out of Askole. We were excited to head into the mountians, and apparantly so was the rest of the village. The Pakastanis were fascinated that we were taking bikes to Latok, many of them being porters to the Choktoi knew just how stupid this idea was. But we were gonna do it anyways. Adventure! right?

and naturally we didnt make it a mile before the kids came running. Everyone was so curious!

and naturally we didnt make it a mile before the kids came running. Everyone was so curious!

The little boys size up jewell

The little boys size up jewell

and try out the bikes!

and try out the bikes!

Right outta Askole there is this rickety bridge, we got to do laps over it on the bikes. It was crazy! nothing like a torrent river to keep you going in a straight line. 

Right outta Askole there is this rickety bridge, we got to do laps over it on the bikes. It was crazy! nothing like a torrent river to keep you going in a straight line. 

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This day was the best day of the trip as far as riding goes. we got stretches of sand as pictured here spliced with cobble stones and steep cliff hike a bikes. 

This day was the best day of the trip as far as riding goes. we got stretches of sand as pictured here spliced with cobble stones and steep cliff hike a bikes. 

this part was my favorite riding of the whole trip. it was just too cool. a rock stacked snigle track on the side of a river. 

this part was my favorite riding of the whole trip. it was just too cool. a rock stacked snigle track on the side of a river. 

doom in green, shredding!

doom in green, shredding!

jewell navigating the cobbles. This was some of the most annoying riding for me. It gave you confidence you could ride it smooth cause it looked so mellow but then you were thrown off the rocks by a sliding tire every now and again.

jewell navigating the cobbles. This was some of the most annoying riding for me. It gave you confidence you could ride it smooth cause it looked so mellow but then you were thrown off the rocks by a sliding tire every now and again.

and this is what gave us flat tires outta all the gnar. Pretty rose petals with some thorns scattered in-between.

and this is what gave us flat tires outta all the gnar. Pretty rose petals with some thorns scattered in-between.

our posse. We had 5 animals and about 10 porters for our gear, food, camp set up and memorial materials. It was crazy for me to have that many people in the mountains with us. I had never used more than 3 porters of expeditions and had always gone in a very minimalist style. But this was definitely not that style. We were living large. we even had vegtables and live chickens in base camp.

our posse. We had 5 animals and about 10 porters for our gear, food, camp set up and memorial materials. It was crazy for me to have that many people in the mountains with us. I had never used more than 3 porters of expeditions and had always gone in a very minimalist style. But this was definitely not that style. We were living large. we even had vegtables and live chickens in base camp.

DAY THREE TOWARDS THR CHOKTOI BASECAMP

DAY THREE SUCKED. it was a short distance, maybe only 6 miles.... but look at that talus. Yup, bikes on that. What were we thinking? so we pushed and carried our 70 lbs bikes.....

DAY THREE SUCKED. it was a short distance, maybe only 6 miles.... but look at that talus. Yup, bikes on that. What were we thinking? so we pushed and carried our 70 lbs bikes.....

awesome riding

awesome riding

it was somewhere around here shit got real steep but I was too busy carrying a bike to take pictures. 

it was somewhere around here shit got real steep but I was too busy carrying a bike to take pictures. 

Scott would always pick me wildflowers. so I picked them as we rode, and tried to adorn myself as often as i could. 

Scott would always pick me wildflowers. so I picked them as we rode, and tried to adorn myself as often as i could. 

we had arrived at camp for the night. porters chilling for hours cause we were so slow carrying our bikes.

we had arrived at camp for the night. porters chilling for hours cause we were so slow carrying our bikes.

Its good to travel with goofballs. Andrew Burr and Doom. And yes, a donkey carried us in plastic chairs. Yea, yeah, i know. 

Its good to travel with goofballs. Andrew Burr and Doom. And yes, a donkey carried us in plastic chairs. Yea, yeah, i know. 

DAY FOUR TOWARDS THE CHOKTOI BASECAMP

so at the end of day three we had actually arrived on the Choktoi glacier proper. It was lots of talus covered ice, and that went on into day four but nonetheless we were where we had aimed to be. So lots of feelings were in the air. 

I personally had a really challenging day. I had dreamed about traveling here with Scott. Climbing these mountains, meeting these people. It was incredibly bittersweet to be in this beautiful place without him. And know that he was physically so close by , but i didn't know where he was. and i couldn't hold him, or kiss him. That I was just here, alive. And he wasn't.

To make it all more interesting, I don't do good at high altitude. That was the reason I had never been to the Choktoi in years past. In 2014 I got very ill on a Expedition to Nepal to Attempt Unclimbed peaks in the Rowaling Himal. I left after struggling around 19,000 with cerebral edema and severe chest pains that later turned into coughing up blood.

After arriving home my symptoms worsened and I Experienced a elevated magnitude of health issues and have been struggling with in years following that trip. Scott had been my rock through all of this. He was super committed to getting me strong and back into the mountains. Every day, every time I struggled with it, he had my back. We were so scared for me to return to high altitude, after spending so much time in hospitals with specialists that could guarantee no safety for me and my mysterious health condition.  So we waited, and I did not go to Pakistan with him in 2016.  He always told me the mountains weren't worth my life.

But here I was, testing my luck one year later, now without him. Feeling strong and healthy but still so scared, but I wanted to be near him so bad. I wanted to see all he saw. Experienced what he had in his last days. My family and friends struggled with this, and so did I. But I felt I must go. 

I had been running marathon distances around 10,000 feet back in the USA. sleeping as high as I could in my truck around Silverton , Colorado. I climbed Mt. Whitney at 14,500 before I left to see how I would do. And I appeared to be doing fantastic. I did all I could to prepare, and I felt ready. 

In Pakistan I tested my heart rate and oxygen saturation every day and kept a journal. I was taking Diamox and was monitoring how I felt very closely. But as we got further up it did catch up with me. I just was'nt recovering like the rest of the group. My heart rate would continue to climb. This was something I knew was a high possibility of and unfortunately was now becoming a reality. 

Andy burr standing on one of the heavy metal hills we carried our nikes over

Andy burr standing on one of the heavy metal hills we carried our nikes over

Hussain and Ghafoor waiting on us like usual. But we had made it to ridible glacier!

Hussain and Ghafoor waiting on us like usual. But we had made it to ridible glacier!

jewell and doom sunscreening up.

jewell and doom sunscreening up.

Ghafoor taking a mid day nap next to our glacial highway to basecamp.

Ghafoor taking a mid day nap next to our glacial highway to basecamp.

We had turned the corner and I was a little too preoccupied to get the camera out. But it looked something like this, the Ogre2, distinguishable yet still in the clouds. Off in the distance was the mountain that claimed the lives of our loves. Jewell and I lost it. and we sat there for a great while, trying to process what had happened and where we were. I love that lady, so thankful to have her. This day was a trying one. So grateful to be there but missing our boys so much. And knowing they were here somewhere.

We had turned the corner and I was a little too preoccupied to get the camera out. But it looked something like this, the Ogre2, distinguishable yet still in the clouds. Off in the distance was the mountain that claimed the lives of our loves. Jewell and I lost it. and we sat there for a great while, trying to process what had happened and where we were. I love that lady, so thankful to have her. This day was a trying one. So grateful to be there but missing our boys so much. And knowing they were here somewhere.

And next to the ogre 2 was Latok a daunting yet shining beauty. And so in a daze of confusion we carried our bikes the remaining portion through the talus to camp. We had done the first half of  what we came to do "rode" to the boys' base camp to just be. Be where they had been.

And next to the ogre 2 was Latok a daunting yet shining beauty.

And so in a daze of confusion we carried our bikes the remaining portion through the talus to camp. We had done the first half of  what we came to do "rode" to the boys' base camp to just be. Be where they had been.

camp. with the Ogre one peeping out on the right.

camp. with the Ogre one peeping out on the right.

OUR WEEK AT THE CHOKTOI BASE CAMP

We spent a little over a week at 15,000 feet. The Choktoi basecamp. This base camp was situated a few miles up from the traditional camp used for Latok. Ghafoor had built this camp specially for Kyle and Scott. It was their second year here, and they wanted to be close to the Ogre 2. So there I slept in Scott's tent. In the same place he slept. That felt nice

Jewell and I spent our days walking around the glacier. Jewell studies glaciology and was often surveying or taking samples of the snow/ice. I warndered around listening to tunes, writing letters to Scott and letting it all sink in.  

Jewell and I spent our days walking around the glacier. Jewell studies glaciology and was often surveying or taking samples of the snow/ice. I warndered around listening to tunes, writing letters to Scott and letting it all sink in.

 

This was the ice fall that seperated us from the actual base proper of the ogre 2 (on left). The boys had to climb it to access the mountain. But Scott had told me it was very dangerous to climb up, even worse to Descend. We had also just heard horrible accounts from Alex Huber and his party from just days earlier. It was prone to rock and ice fall on both sides. As well as avalanches. We decided to stop here and figured it was best not to go any further.  Jewell, the boys and I all went to visit the face at separate times throughout our stay. I was only able to go once. The face was at 18,000 feet approximately. I felt totally fine when I was up there, but I was unable to recover from spiking that high. My heart rate was resting very high and my oxygen sats were dropping so I chose to stay in base camp after my trip here. I felt like the universe kept me just well enough to get here. To get me as close as I could get to Scott. And for that I was grateful.

This was the ice fall that seperated us from the actual base proper of the ogre 2 (on left). The boys had to climb it to access the mountain. But Scott had told me it was very dangerous to climb up, even worse to Descend. We had also just heard horrible accounts from Alex Huber and his party from just days earlier. It was prone to rock and ice fall on both sides. As well as avalanches. We decided to stop here and figured it was best not to go any further. 

Jewell, the boys and I all went to visit the face at separate times throughout our stay. I was only able to go once. The face was at 18,000 feet approximately. I felt totally fine when I was up there, but I was unable to recover from spiking that high. My heart rate was resting very high and my oxygen sats were dropping so I chose to stay in base camp after my trip here. I felt like the universe kept me just well enough to get here. To get me as close as I could get to Scott. And for that I was grateful.

Being there was weird. I didn't know what to do, I stood talking to someone who was there, but not in the present. I felt closer and yet further just not knowing exactly where our boys could be.  I will say that being back home and looking at the daunting photos of the ogres north face that I had I often struggled with the line, Feeling only in moments that it was some sort of suicide mission because it was so technical and at such a altitude.  But as I got closer to the face all that melted away. Of all the Alpine objectives in the Choktoi I  truly felt that the Ogre 2 was a fantastic choice.  Its steep face was protected from slides, The ice and snow systems that zig zagged across the face started with lower angle corner systems and linked into the headwall to an incredible high point on the summit ridge. The Route made sense. It was logical. It was hard and proud, yes. But not impractical or improbable , Shit just happens. Whether it was human error, unsuspected rockfall, or being trapped by the 10 day storm our boys didn't come home, and nothing was going to change that. Why and how the accident happened all of a sudden didn't matter. I regained trust in the boys decisions and abilities and walked away with a little more calm. A little more grace, although I feel I'm still far from graceful with it all.

Being there was weird. I didn't know what to do, I stood talking to someone who was there, but not in the present. I felt closer and yet further just not knowing exactly where our boys could be. 

I will say that being back home and looking at the daunting photos of the ogres north face that I had I often struggled with the line, Feeling only in moments that it was some sort of suicide mission because it was so technical and at such a altitude. 

But as I got closer to the face all that melted away. Of all the Alpine objectives in the Choktoi I  truly felt that the Ogre 2 was a fantastic choice.  Its steep face was protected from slides, The ice and snow systems that zig zagged across the face started with lower angle corner systems and linked into the headwall to an incredible high point on the summit ridge. The Route made sense. It was logical. It was hard and proud, yes. But not impractical or improbable , Shit just happens. Whether it was human error, unsuspected rockfall, or being trapped by the 10 day storm our boys didn't come home, and nothing was going to change that. Why and how the accident happened all of a sudden didn't matter. I regained trust in the boys decisions and abilities and walked away with a little more calm. A little more grace, although I feel I'm still far from graceful with it all.

The top of the Ogre 2 was almost always covered with clouds, but a few days that week they lifted. We felt incredibly lucky to see the summit. I spent a lot of time in camp writing to Scott in a journal I had made for him. Listening to old voicemails, scrolling through photos. Piecing together the pieces of his and Kyle's time in Pakistan. I had a memory card from their previous year's trip and I was able to retrace the places they spent time, the things that made them smile, the times they got sick, the people that were with them. It all made me feel a bit closer. 

The top of the Ogre 2 was almost always covered with clouds, but a few days that week they lifted. We felt incredibly lucky to see the summit.

I spent a lot of time in camp writing to Scott in a journal I had made for him. Listening to old voicemails, scrolling through photos. Piecing together the pieces of his and Kyle's time in Pakistan. I had a memory card from their previous year's trip and I was able to retrace the places they spent time, the things that made them smile, the times they got sick, the people that were with them. It all made me feel a bit closer. 

There is a book both for Kyle and Scott on the Choktoi now, where anyone is welcome to leave letters , thoughts or drawings. whatever feels right.

There is a book both for Kyle and Scott on the Choktoi now, where anyone is welcome to leave letters , thoughts or drawings. whatever feels right.

This incredible memorial came to be something so much more beautiful than I could even Imagine. Andrew Burr had a vision, and with the help of the families, steel fabricators in SLC and a hard working group on the Choktoi this came to life.  The Ogre 2 is obscured in the clouds in this photo, but when the clouds clear you can see the upper 2 thirds in it's beauty behind the plaques. There are two benches, an incredible patio and dozens of wildflowers. This area was just a rugged hill side above camp. Now its a place I Know Kyle and Scott would have loved to sip coffee and look at the mountains. I can't thank Ghafoor, Quasim, Aziz , Doom and Andy enough. Many hard hours were put into this. Literally moving boulders to make this happen. 

This incredible memorial came to be something so much more beautiful than I could even Imagine. Andrew Burr had a vision, and with the help of the families, steel fabricators in SLC and a hard working group on the Choktoi this came to life. 

The Ogre 2 is obscured in the clouds in this photo, but when the clouds clear you can see the upper 2 thirds in it's beauty behind the plaques. There are two benches, an incredible patio and dozens of wildflowers. This area was just a rugged hill side above camp. Now its a place I Know Kyle and Scott would have loved to sip coffee and look at the mountains. I can't thank Ghafoor, Quasim, Aziz , Doom and Andy enough. Many hard hours were put into this. Literally moving boulders to make this happen. 

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Scott was awarded the Jack Roberts Lifetime achievement award at the Cody Ice fest in 2017, so I brought it to the Choktoi for him along with some sandstone from the homeland. A heart shaped piece of sandstone.

Scott was awarded the Jack Roberts Lifetime achievement award at the Cody Ice fest in 2017, so I brought it to the Choktoi for him along with some sandstone from the homeland. A heart shaped piece of sandstone.

Soon it was time to head out of the Valley. Doom and Burr took their bikes up and over Sim La Pass while Jewell and I hiked out the way we came in. My health was stable but man, I couldn't get to oxygen soon enough. Better to play it safe.

Soon it was time to head out of the Valley. Doom and Burr took their bikes up and over Sim La Pass while Jewell and I hiked out the way we came in. My health was stable but man, I couldn't get to oxygen soon enough. Better to play it safe.

Got our base camp all packed up on the donkes

Got our base camp all packed up on the donkes

One of the last times we could see the Ogre and Ogre2

One of the last times we could see the Ogre and Ogre2

Jewell weaving in and out of the crazy moraine features.

Jewell weaving in and out of the crazy moraine features.

We spent a few beautiful and surreal days getting back to Askole.

We spent a few beautiful and surreal days getting back to Askole.

Jewell looking tiny in the mountans.

Jewell looking tiny in the mountans.

river crossings

river crossings

When Jewell and I got to Askole we spent time with the families of our expedition crew. It was so cool to meet kids, drink tea and share a good laugh between cultural barriers. 

When Jewell and I got to Askole we spent time with the families of our expedition crew. It was so cool to meet kids, drink tea and share a good laugh between cultural barriers. 

Quassim's son who was studying in Skardu home for a visit.

Quassim's son who was studying in Skardu home for a visit.

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Jewell stayed in the North to go see Ghafoor's home and meet his wife and family. I had to catch my flight home to America. In a strange Blur of days I mostly wandered around the markets of Islamabad wondering if it was all a dream. Played tourist the best I could, visiting one of the major Mosques, getting Henna and visiting a few historical sites and museums.

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Pakistan is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. I'm eternally grateful I got to go see the place that brought so much magic to our boys. I hope for all you close to the boys that I run into you and share all that I can. It's hard for me to write about, because there is so much I don't even know where to start. So don't be scared to ask. I want to share. Thanks everyone.

Pakistan is a beautiful place full of beautiful people. I'm eternally grateful I got to go see the place that brought so much magic to our boys. I hope for all you close to the boys that I run into you and share all that I can. It's hard for me to write about, because there is so much I don't even know where to start. So don't be scared to ask. I want to share.

Thanks everyone.

THE PAST 8 MONTHS.....

Ive Been up to a lot the past 8 months. Almost too much to truly recap. So instead I'll flood the page with pretty pictures and try to give you all the cliff notes. It's been a wild ride.


GOOD 'OL UTAH.......

The Greatest of friends came together for the greatest man I've ever know. Scott Adamson, you are the greatest thing that ever happened to me. We all miss you dearly and we will give 'er hell in your spirit. NWS. You are apart of everything i do and always will.  I love you.

The Greatest of friends came together for the greatest man I've ever know. Scott Adamson, you are the greatest thing that ever happened to me. We all miss you dearly and we will give 'er hell in your spirit. NWS. You are apart of everything i do and always will.  I love you.

Thats my Dad and Cousin. We took a little road trip to the desert. I wanted to show them the wild wild west

Thats my Dad and Cousin. We took a little road trip to the desert. I wanted to show them the wild wild west

Cinnamon Triano in front of Bottleneck Peak, San Rafel Swell, Utah

Cinnamon Triano in front of Bottleneck Peak, San Rafel Swell, Utah


OH CANADA.....

The Prolonged Road Trip Began..... Dave Henkel and I climb in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

The Prolonged Road Trip Began..... Dave Henkel and I climb in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Climbing in the rain, Checkamous, British Columbia, Canada

Climbing in the rain, Checkamous, British Columbia, Canada


SMITH ROCK, OREGON

Dave Henkel and Gavin come up pitch 2 of European Vancation, Smith Rock, Oregon, USA

Dave Henkel and Gavin come up pitch 2 of European Vancation, Smith Rock, Oregon, USA

european Vacation climbs the middle formation on the Left skyline

european Vacation climbs the middle formation on the Left skyline

Ripping holds off the crumbling second to last pitch, good work Dave.

Ripping holds off the crumbling second to last pitch, good work Dave.

 Dave Henkel and Gavin on the summit. Good 'ol boys.

 Dave Henkel and Gavin on the summit. Good 'ol boys.


SALATHE, THE CAPTAIN , YOSEMITE VALLEY

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Jackson Marvell Escaping the Portalege after a night of me hogging it. 

Jackson Marvell Escaping the Portalege after a night of me hogging it. 

The party in front of us trying to get the tipped out number 6......

The party in front of us trying to get the tipped out number 6......

Look Ma! Finally when the trees look like shrubs......

Look Ma! Finally when the trees look like shrubs......

Jackson Marvell and I before we knew we would get caught in a rain storm on the top of El Cap. Good times Jackson. Your the Best.

Jackson Marvell and I before we knew we would get caught in a rain storm on the top of El Cap. Good times Jackson. Your the Best.


PORTLAND ALPINE FEST

Teaching Clinics at Portland was rad. Its always inspiring to me to see how Climbing can rile people up. STOKE WAS THROUGH THE ROOF

Teaching Clinics at Portland was rad. Its always inspiring to me to see how Climbing can rile people up. STOKE WAS THROUGH THE ROOF

Jenny MacDougall Showing off her imaganary placement at the Women's Ice Climbing Clinic

Jenny MacDougall Showing off her imaganary placement at the Women's Ice Climbing Clinic


BACK TO UTAH FOR THE NWS PARTY......

All the things in this world that constitute no weak shit.....

All the things in this world that constitute no weak shit.....

Juanita and Josh throwing gang  signs on haagenshlong tower, San Rafel Swell, Utah, USA

Juanita and Josh throwing gang  signs on haagenshlong tower, San Rafel Swell, Utah, USA

Im kinda camouflage! On the fitst Pitch of lightbulb tower, San Rafel Swell, Utah, USA

Im kinda camouflage! On the fitst Pitch of lightbulb tower, San Rafel Swell, Utah, USA

Emilee, Ari, Aaron, me and some guy (in yellow) on top of lightbulb. It was a crowded summit

Emilee, Ari, Aaron, me and some guy (in yellow) on top of lightbulb. It was a crowded summit


DECEMBER IN YOSEMITE. SOLO ATTEMPT ON ZODIAC

When i arrived there was two feet of fresh snow on the Valley Floor. I should have been looking for ice but instead i post- holed 130 pounds of gear to the base of zodiac instead. Sorry ahead of time for the excesive selfies.........

When i arrived there was two feet of fresh snow on the Valley Floor. I should have been looking for ice but instead i post- holed 130 pounds of gear to the base of zodiac instead. Sorry ahead of time for the excesive selfies.........

STUFF STUFF WATER GEAR STUFF

STUFF STUFF WATER GEAR STUFF

Totally bomber placement on pitch one. Thanks Jason Stuckey for the Alien!! oh it was so good..... So on pitch two the snow had melted into horse tail falls and i was getting hit perpetually with GIANT drops of water. less than ideal for me anyways. so i spent a few days trying to climb pitch 3 but would eventually down aid back to the top of pitch one because i was getting soaked. So i drank a lot of coffee. and had a lot of fun. I'm commin' back for you zodiac. 

Totally bomber placement on pitch one. Thanks Jason Stuckey for the Alien!! oh it was so good.....

So on pitch two the snow had melted into horse tail falls and i was getting hit perpetually with GIANT drops of water. less than ideal for me anyways. so i spent a few days trying to climb pitch 3 but would eventually down aid back to the top of pitch one because i was getting soaked. So i drank a lot of coffee. and had a lot of fun. I'm commin' back for you zodiac. 

Yup, a portaledge on the top pitch one. Not very impressive, But when your trying to climb through a waterfall its nice to have a hang out zone to retreat to. 


JACKSON MARVELL'S 100th tower! ...........UTAH!!

Super proud of Jackson. Here we are shivering on top of his 100th desert tower. It was early December when he finished this amazing project and i felt so lucky he took me along for his 100th send. It was the best! O DUB for the last one!

Super proud of Jackson. Here we are shivering on top of his 100th desert tower. It was early December when he finished this amazing project and i felt so lucky he took me along for his 100th send. It was the best! O DUB for the last one!

100 beers for 100 towers!

100 beers for 100 towers!


CHAM-WOW! FRANCE, ITALY, SWITZERLAND

My trip to Chamonix was great. Conditions were less than ideal...... but hell, did my friends and I make the best of it. 

So I rented a place is Les Bossons for 5 weeks. I Played a lot in the mountains, ate a lot of rose macaroons, and laughed with a lot of amazing people. 

So I rented a place is Les Bossons for 5 weeks. I Played a lot in the mountains, ate a lot of rose macaroons, and laughed with a lot of amazing people. 

 Pete and Dave Searle approaching our route,  Cecile et la mesange on the Aiguille du Peigne

 Pete and Dave Searle approaching our route,  Cecile et la mesange on the Aiguille du Peigne

AH!

AH!

Dave Searle styling the mixed crux of the route. We found little or no ice on our pitches. Dry year in Chamonix. 

Dave Searle styling the mixed crux of the route. We found little or no ice on our pitches. Dry year in Chamonix. 

Goofing off on the cosmic arete!

Goofing off on the cosmic arete!

climbing water ice in Conge, Italy

climbing water ice in Conge, Italy

YUP

YUP

Jackson Marvell and I simul soloing the Mallory, Thats right, climbing 4,000 feet of climbing to a tram that takes you back to the land of Genipi and macaroons.

Jackson Marvell and I simul soloing the Mallory, Thats right, climbing 4,000 feet of climbing to a tram that takes you back to the land of Genipi and macaroons.

Jackson Marvell and I eating cookies / macaroons on the Frendo Spur. Mixy Mixy.

Jackson Marvell and I eating cookies / macaroons on the Frendo Spur. Mixy Mixy.

NO THAT IS NOT PATAGONIA! although the winds on the Italian side this day were insane. Jackson Marvell Heading up the gully. 

NO THAT IS NOT PATAGONIA! although the winds on the Italian side this day were insane. Jackson Marvell Heading up the gully. 

Winter climbing in the mountains is a tough one sometimes. The Wind was giving us a hard time and keeping us from bigger objectives. We stood no chance in the negative temperatures. This was a COLD day.  As you can see the lenticulars were swallowing mount blanc whole. 

Winter climbing in the mountains is a tough one sometimes. The Wind was giving us a hard time and keeping us from bigger objectives. We stood no chance in the negative temperatures. This was a COLD day.  As you can see the lenticulars were swallowing mount blanc whole. 

Jackson Marvell and I just a bit frosty on the glacier. 

Jackson Marvell and I just a bit frosty on the glacier. 

ICE SKATING IN SWITZERLAND!!! I grew up as a competitive ice skater and I will forever feel better with ice skates on my feet. Pure magic. Thank you for adventuring to this high alpine lake with me Jackson Marvell. 

THIS GIRL!  Jenny Mac Dougall brings the stoke to cham. 

THIS GIRL!  Jenny Mac Dougall brings the stoke to cham. 

Jenny cruising up some town ice. Thats right, TOWN ICE. Chamonix is kinda ridiculous. 

Jenny cruising up some town ice. Thats right, TOWN ICE. Chamonix is kinda ridiculous. 

Jenny down climbing out of the Gates of death, Augille du Midi. 

Jenny down climbing out of the Gates of death, Augille du Midi. 


SCOTLAND!!!  I LOVE YOU SCOTLAND

Scotland has become one of my very favorite places in this world. Its magic, Its people and of course its climbing. Very inspired by the Scotland style.

When i got to Scotland nothing was in condition, so I went to wander the country on a good 'ol January bike tour. Single malts, castles and Scottish candies. It was amazing. It totally got me ready for Scottish winter climbing. Rain and snow bring it on!!

When i got to Scotland nothing was in condition, so I went to wander the country on a good 'ol January bike tour. Single malts, castles and Scottish candies. It was amazing. It totally got me ready for Scottish winter climbing. Rain and snow bring it on!!

After the bike tour I met up with the ALL STAR RAB folks to do some winter climbing! Fabrizio Zangrilli, Jon Fredrick, Greg Boswell and I.

After the bike tour I met up with the ALL STAR RAB folks to do some winter climbing! Fabrizio Zangrilli, Jon Fredrick, Greg Boswell and I.

Doing some scrambling waiting for things to freeze up

Doing some scrambling waiting for things to freeze up

Getting caught in proper Scottish spin drift on Ben Nevis. 

Getting caught in proper Scottish spin drift on Ben Nevis. 

Climbed that sweet corner systemThere was even an off width on i!!! i got to chicken wind. so good. In the Carigorms. 

Climbed that sweet corner systemThere was even an off width on i!!! i got to chicken wind. so good. In the Carigorms. 

OH IT WAS SO GOOD! 

OH IT WAS SO GOOD! 


CODY ICE FESTIVAL

After coming home from Europe i got to teach a badass crew of ladies how to mixed climb with the amazing Kitty Calhoun. 

After coming home from Europe i got to teach a badass crew of ladies how to mixed climb with the amazing Kitty Calhoun. 

Cody Ice Fest participants getting rad on their first ever ice climb! Thank you for putting on such an amazing Festival Ari Novak!

Cody Ice Fest participants getting rad on their first ever ice climb! Thank you for putting on such an amazing Festival Ari Novak!


MICHIGAN ICE FESTIVAL

Oh man do I love the Michigan Ice Fest. I already cant wait to go back. Maybe its cause its my home state, maybe because its just so damn wild up there. Whatever it is, i'm hooked. 

Oh man do I love the Michigan Ice Fest. I already cant wait to go back. Maybe its cause its my home state, maybe because its just so damn wild up there. Whatever it is, i'm hooked. 

Finally got to tick HMR. or help me ronda for those who dont know.....

Finally got to tick HMR. or help me ronda for those who dont know.....

Bill Thompson , Matt Abbots and Colton Moore work super hard and laugh super hard every year. They do such an amazing job of putting the fest on.  Thank you guys!!

Bill Thompson , Matt Abbots and Colton Moore work super hard and laugh super hard every year. They do such an amazing job of putting the fest on.  Thank you guys!!

Ari Novak and I in our sweet Ice cave belay on Lake Superior

Ari Novak and I in our sweet Ice cave belay on Lake Superior

Thad , Kendra and I having fun , love my Ice Fest Crew!

Thad , Kendra and I having fun , love my Ice Fest Crew!


MONTUCKY!  HYALITE CANYON

Jenny Macdougall , Ari Novak and I ate drank and climbed very well on this quick 56 hour mission. 

Jenny Macdougall , Ari Novak and I ate drank and climbed very well on this quick 56 hour mission. 

After Driving many a hours from Seattle Jenny climbs through Screaming Barfies on Mummy 2

After Driving many a hours from Seattle Jenny climbs through Screaming Barfies on Mummy 2

Scepter in the fattest conditions i've ever climbed it in. 

Scepter in the fattest conditions i've ever climbed it in. 


PIT STOP BACK IN UTAH

so I had something like 48 hours and somehow Emily Sudweeks and I managed to get 22 pitches in. It was wet, there was snow and somehow we were still clipping bolts all the way to the top.

so I had something like 48 hours and somehow Emily Sudweeks and I managed to get 22 pitches in. It was wet, there was snow and somehow we were still clipping bolts all the way to the top.

so funny, right?

so funny, right?

emily getting jiggy somewhere up high on route. 

emily getting jiggy somewhere up high on route. 

MEXICO BABY. EL POTRERO CHICO

Here Jewell Lund Climbs into the Belay on Land of the Free. And yes, yes Mexico is. Margaritas, tacos and stellar climbing. Needless to say Jewell and I enjoyed ourselves very much.

Here Jewell Lund Climbs into the Belay on Land of the Free. And yes, yes Mexico is. Margaritas, tacos and stellar climbing. Needless to say Jewell and I enjoyed ourselves very much.

I LOVE THIS GIRL. For those of you who don't already know, she's one of the kindest raddest people in the world. I LOVE YOU JEWELL

I LOVE THIS GIRL. For those of you who don't already know, she's one of the kindest raddest people in the world. I LOVE YOU JEWELL

Jewell Lund and I Climbing Time Wave Zero. Or Microwave zero as the locals call it. IT WAS SO HOT.

Jewell Lund and I Climbing Time Wave Zero. Or Microwave zero as the locals call it. IT WAS SO HOT.

Yup those Mountians are in Mexico. We rode bikes, we wrangled cactus and we laughed our asses off. It was an incredible trip with this lady.

Yup those Mountians are in Mexico. We rode bikes, we wrangled cactus and we laughed our asses off. It was an incredible trip with this lady.

Here our friend Lucas tops out one of the spires while Jewell takes the photo from the opposite spire. DUELING SPIRE CLIMBING!

Here our friend Lucas tops out one of the spires while Jewell takes the photo from the opposite spire. DUELING SPIRE CLIMBING!

Lots and lots of hanging belays in mexico. cookie time!

Lots and lots of hanging belays in mexico. cookie time!


DEVELOPING THE PEYOTE WALL , EL POTRERO CHICO 

so the peyote wall is the beautful glowing oarnge cave 600 feet of the deck on the north side of el torro. A well known local developer JP Cashiola had been working on developing this beauty for his second season. We both had limited time to develop down there.  I tried to find something reasonable yet still beautiful and my sights were just set too high for a two week time window. JP   was kind enough to invite me up to collaborate on his baby. And what an adventure did we have.

so the peyote wall is the beautful glowing oarnge cave 600 feet of the deck on the north side of el torro. A well known local developer JP Cashiola had been working on developing this beauty for his second season. We both had limited time to develop down there.  I tried to find something reasonable yet still beautiful and my sights were just set too high for a two week time window. JP   was kind enough to invite me up to collaborate on his baby. And what an adventure did we have.

JP leading out up to the top of the wall to set the anchors. Due to the nature of the rock we decided to rap in.... there was some choss!

JP leading out up to the top of the wall to set the anchors. Due to the nature of the rock we decided to rap in.... there was some choss!

for nervous veiwers, we closed off the canyon completley for the day so nobody was on the valley floor or surrounding areas. we cleaned and cleaned so that the wall would be safe for climbers. 

JP baking in the sun on our home away from home. 

JP baking in the sun on our home away from home. 

we had all the fun!

we had all the fun!

BOLTS BOLTS BOLTS

BOLTS BOLTS BOLTS

so the hang wasn't horrible. We would do 3 day pushes on the ledge till we would run outta supplies and water. Then we would rap the 600 feet of static JP had fixed and jug up with heavy heavy packs.

so the hang wasn't horrible. We would do 3 day pushes on the ledge till we would run outta supplies and water. Then we would rap the 600 feet of static JP had fixed and jug up with heavy heavy packs.

It was in the 90s every day on the wall, we were breezing through water and having to work a lot at night so we didn't overheat. 

It was in the 90s every day on the wall, we were breezing through water and having to work a lot at night so we didn't overheat. 


BACK TO THE DESERT , UTAH

getting my number 6 fix on big red, indian creek

getting my number 6 fix on big red, indian creek

Jenny MacDougall and Scott Benett get their jam on at the crack house in moab

Jenny MacDougall and Scott Benett get their jam on at the crack house in moab

climbing fun stuff up longs

climbing fun stuff up longs

Jenny MacDougall and I on her first desert tower! South six shooter

Jenny MacDougall and I on her first desert tower! South six shooter

jenny and I playing footsie in the morning in the back of the tacoma. 

jenny and I playing footsie in the morning in the back of the tacoma. 

Lizzy Scully dancing up technicolor

Lizzy Scully dancing up technicolor


UP TO DATE? WORKING AND TRAINING, SOMEWHERE IN COLORADO

So there is a lot of this. Running, biking, lifting and climbing until jewell and I leave for Pakistan. Putting my head down and staying focused on making money. Gotta collect those freedom dollars for the next adventure. Here i am riding cottonwood pass outside of leadville colorado. 

So there is a lot of this. Running, biking, lifting and climbing until jewell and I leave for Pakistan. Putting my head down and staying focused on making money. Gotta collect those freedom dollars for the next adventure. Here i am riding cottonwood pass outside of leadville colorado. 

SCOTLAND WINTER BIKE TOUR

This past January I went to Scotland to meet up and do some winter climbing on the Ben. When I got to Scotland things were totally out of condition and temps were just above freezing. So i made good use of my time and ordered a $100 six speed bicycle off amazon and shipped it to rural Scotland. I call it the Candy, Castles and Single malt tour. It rained, It snowed, the wind blew. It was Amazing. The people of Scotland are the kindest people ever.

  • THREE HUNDRED THIRTY kilometers

  • ONE six speed bike,

  • SEVEN castles

  • ONE Woolen Mill

  • FIVE Whisky Distilleries

  • TWELVE Scottish candies

 

 

Music by the ever so talented RAPID GRASS

 

DESERT TOWERS IN JULY?

My good buddy emilee sudweeks and I were mid work week when we thought it was a good idea to leave for the Utah desert at 9 pm, on a friday night in July. 

our plan was..... Drive to castle valley through the night, hike to the base of sister superior, and  climb it by first light to avoid the heat. so... we drank coffee and energy drinks and started into the night. 

we hiked all right up the scree slopes not being able to find the trail. we were convinced wed make it anyways. 

we realized at  very first light that we hiked to the wrong end of the towers. oops. we quickly scurried around the backside and found the base of sister superior as the sun was just starting to rise and got ready to jam.

emily grabbing gear from pitches one and two

emily grabbing gear from pitches one and two

and emily leading out on pitch 3

and emily leading out on pitch 3

and before we knew it we were on top! and it wasnt even that hot!

and before we knew it we were on top! and it wasnt even that hot!

although by the time we got down and back to the truck it was 100 plus degrees and we were so happy to get into the air conditioned vehicle.  

so we drove to colorado to put in some river time ......and we even made it on time to work monday morning! 

so we drove to colorado to put in some river time ......and we even made it on time to work monday morning! 

GOOD 'OL ALASKA

The great White North is a special place to me, i've spent lots of time up there. From the climbing in the Central Alaskan range to canoeing in the northwest territories. I love every minute of it. So coming back is always the best. Especially since I brought Anna Pfaff with me this time. 

And so I returned into the the beautiful Hayes Range . . . . 

Total BADASS and CEO of Tok Air Service, Zak Keenbel flew us safely to our glacier.   

Total BADASS and CEO of Tok Air Service, Zak Keenbel flew us safely to our glacier.   

if you need an awesome piolet for remote alaska contact Zak at www.flytokair.com , or get a hold of me and i can put you in touch. 

We landed in great weather, but we knew that it was just a tiny window. The forecast predicted more snow for days, but we were optamistic and stoke was high. So we poured over maps and pictures and pondered our first plan of attatck 

skiing up towards our soon to be ABC (Advanced base camp)

skiing up towards our soon to be ABC (Advanced base camp)

Its funny how as humans we try to prepare for everything. "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Graham Bell

But in the Mountians that Rule need not Apply. We had trained hard, we had all the beta we could ever need,  And With the generous help of our awesome sponsors, we had all the most badass gear on the market. WE WERE READY!  And sometimes life just happens, sometimes snow just happens.......

 

we received accumulation on every day of our trip, thus making the snow pack very unstable. There was so many avalanches ripping at all hours. very un- nerving. so we made a few attempts on secondary objectives with good aspects while weather permitting.  

i'm really small but you can see me starting up the south facing headwall.

i'm really small but you can see me starting up the south facing headwall.

Crampons on choss on some just less than vertical climbing. i was tossing flakes off the size of my torso! we bailed due to rock quality. the way the rock formed there was bands of decent rock then kitty litter. not suitable for anchors beyond the rock pictured above. PLUS hours after we bailed a huge storm came in. we were very happy we weren't stuck on the wall.  Not the dreamy objective we wanted it to be. a good reason its unclimbed. go figure! so we waited and waited with our eyes still on the prize, for our original objective.  

Crampons on choss on some just less than vertical climbing. i was tossing flakes off the size of my torso!

we bailed due to rock quality. the way the rock formed there was bands of decent rock then kitty litter. not suitable for anchors beyond the rock pictured above. PLUS hours after we bailed a huge storm came in. we were very happy we weren't stuck on the wall.

 Not the dreamy objective we wanted it to be. a good reason its unclimbed. go figure! so we waited and waited with our eyes still on the prize, for our original objective.

 

anna getting ready for more snowy ski touring to help kill time . south ridge of hayes in the backround.

anna getting ready for more snowy ski touring to help kill time . south ridge of hayes in the backround.

we spent the next 10 days debating to launch or not. it snowed and snowed and the snow was continually unstable . There was a big slope on top that threatened 2/3 of our route.

After we thought the mountain had shed quite a bit during a two day lul of mild precip we decided to give it another go. 

But before we could even get over the sugary bergschrund an avalanche cut loose less than 200 feet to our left. we took that as a sign that the snow HAD NOT settled and we should get out of dodge. 

seconds after this photo was taken the avalanche slid.

seconds after this photo was taken the avalanche slid.

It became evident with yet another snowfall after this attempt that we weren't going to be climbing in days to come and we better start getting packed. our new concern was if we would have weather stable enough for our pilot to come get us.  after 3 days we had a window, he scooped us up and the clouds filled the sky almost moments after we landed safely at the black rapids lodge.

pretty sure we had more fun than any two people stuck in a tent ever. Its all about the people your with. LOVE this woman!

pretty sure we had more fun than any two people stuck in a tent ever. Its all about the people your with. LOVE this woman!

All in all it was a blast. A fight between wanting to climb and making good decisions. Always thankful to be safe after any trip to the mountians, and scheming our return! 

exploring your backyard

I think its natural to dream big. Thats what they're always teaching us right? I admit my sights for alpine objectives are always in far away places. Remote, cultured places where my life seems to be in great contrast. Upon preparation for a upcoming trip to alaska I tried to keep busy. All the ice had been gone for a while and i'll have to admit I was getting spring fever, my mind was slightly wandering into the comfortable days of rock in the sun . So I decided multi pitch would suffice. emilee sudweeks (my favorite ever)  and I went out for some adventures local to us in utah. It was a blast. I feel lucky that I have such a incredible venue to train in. 

Emilee putting her shoes on on top of the first 10 pitches of squawstruck up rock canyon, utah.

swapping leads with emilee sudweeks, literally overlooking where she grew up, pretty cool.

then off to IBEX, a first for the both of us. and because were both too broke to buy guidebooks we spent our first day wondering around looking at the mountain project app trying to get oriented. EPIC! tricker than ya would think.

but finally we found some climbing that didn't end after a single pitch. here emilee leads out somewhere on quatermoon tower.

after I think around 400 feet of broken up climbing we arrived on the summit. when we opened the summit registry we found out some nice people left us tequila !! so we both took a shot and giggled down the rappels. first day success.

the next day we climbed a link up  of two routes, some 510 to 511 to 512 or A0 in our case. it was great even though it was windy as hell. 

 

Here I learn to climb 511 slab.  the ibex way.  Its always so cool to climb in a place you've never been, its even more fun when your partner hasn't done it either . woop whoop!

Here I learn to climb 511 slab.  the ibex way. 

Its always so cool to climb in a place you've never been, its even more fun when your partner hasn't done it either . woop whoop!

MICHIGAN ICE

Growing up in suburban Detroit was wild and raw. a string of epic adventures. A dear friend once told me “everything in life is in a constant state of growth or decay”. As the ticky tacky houses of suburbia continued to fill the horizon line, the glamorous city of detroit began to crumble .I spent my youth exploring countless abandoned factories, schools and even insane asaylums. My curiosity grew with each mysterious remnant i’d find. an old postcard from a loved one, or a saxophone with the reed still in place. Detroit may have have been physically falling apart, but man did that town have soul. when I turned 17 I moved down town proper to start my own time of growth as I would later reflect. 

 

My love for adventure kept me thriving in Detroit, but it also kept my mind wandering elsewhere. What was it like in England ? Or Colorado? I had to know. So I eventually left the mitten state andhave had 6 years of unforgettable experiences across the globe. But sometime in the middle of all the fun i realized I NEVER EVEN TOOK THE TIME TO EXPLORE MICHIGAN. The Michigan that wasn’t Detroit. The Michigan with Great Lakes and trees for days. The Upper Peninsula, the place with all that frozen water.

 

Making the journey home to climb Michigan ice has been an unforgettable one. New and un-fathamable scenery with the same ol’ midwestern folks that I love and adore. As I skied out to climb above superior my stomach was filled with butterflies , of both fear and excitement. Colton William Moore of Marquette lead the way, with photographer and fellow Detroit Rob Dawson right behind. We skied the rim until we found a climb that looked like my dream. It was everything I thought it would be. delicate daggers hanging above the open water perfectly framing two incredibly beautiful free standing pillars. Colton told me that those the twin towers.

 

I rapelled in first, carefully walking down the two orange colored pillars. I built a belay and soon colton zipped down. I was all racked and ready to go when reaching for my tools I realized there was only one. We both hung in the belay turning our heads to Lake Superior in astonishment . Gone. It must have unclipped while i was rappelling. Luckily colton is the coolest person ever so he gave me his tools to lead on and he made a proud (and possibly first) follow on a single ice tool. THOSE MICHIGAN FOLKS ARE HARDCORE!  We laughed our way back to the minivan and shared a cheers at the Bear Trap Inn. One , two,  three Michiganders all in a row.  It was the best of all days. 

PHOTOS BY: ROB DAWSON

 

ZION ICE

This year was our third year back to Zion to look for ice. We climbed some new ice, some old ice, and some seriously covered in snow ice. Although every year it is different, It's always beautiful just the same.

BoBeck's dead dog

This Climb is beautful but as you can see the ice turns into snow. still has'nt been climbed from the bottem

Photo: Andrew Burr

Lat Man Standing

This amazing climb was about 400 feet. It's climbing  varied from a steep dagger transfer to a beautiful pillar and then onto a low angle finish.

RAD!

Photo: Andrew Burr

From our first year in zion.