I dig U-Dig… Fossils

July 24, 2021

I have a hard time stopping for side trips when I have a destination. However, Sadie’s love of fossils convinced me to turn off desolate highway 50 in Nevada. Another half hour down a gravel road brought us to a trilobite quarry called U-Dig Fossils. My expectations of walking around, mostly bored while looking at pieces of shale were blown away after breaking my first rock open to reveal a trilobite fossil!

read more …

Alone at Desolation Lake

June 13, 2021
Looking down from Piute Pass towards Piute and Loch Leven Lakes

Getting ready for the summer backpacking season I was excited to reach higher than 11,000 ft on this trip up Piute Pass near Bishop. The plan was to pack a heavy bag to get the feel of a multi-day trip on this 16.5 mile, 3000 ft gain out-and-back trip.

read more …

Unexpected Snowstorm at Robinson Lake

May 24, 2021
View from Barney Lake, early in the trip.

Another early season backpacking trip was met with unexpected snow conditions out of Twin Lakes near Bridgeport, CA. Our trip was planed to go 20 miles, 3600 ft round trip, ending at Snow Lake in the Hoover Wilderness however, early season backpacking never goes as expected.

read more …

Early season backpacking to Baker Lake

May 3, 2021
Baker Lake all to ourselves

The upside of a low winter is that the backcountry is accessible in early May 2021. Looking at the snow in Mammoth Lakes, I decided to give a backpacking trip up to 10,700 ft a try and hope for limited snow on our 13.7 mi, 3,800 ft adventure. At 8:30am, Sadie, pup and I all started up the little traveled Logging Flat Trail outside of Big Pine.

read more …

Getting Ecological in Costa Rica

April 26, 2021
Walking towards our hotel room in the jungle of Arenal

As I said in my first piece on Costa Rica, my trip here was much more of the jungle-beach-tour type of event. One of the benefits of working with guides is the wealth of knowledge you can be communicated vs. going solo. I learned more about the environment than ever before in this nation containing 5% of the worlds ecological diversity.

read more …

Tags

Caves and Canyons in the Volcanic Jungle of Costa Rica

April 19, 2021
View of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica

I recently took a trip down to Costa Rica, a country with nearly zero COVID restrictions and abundant English. The highlights were definitely rappelling alongside waterfalls and some very moderate cave exploration in the Arenal volcanic region.

read more …

The Beveridge Lesson in Humility

April 4, 2021
The cabin we were hoping to reach at Beverage Mine [Source]

An old stone cabin, collapsed tramways and mining artifacts. These are things that get my partner Sadie and myself to say yes to a 9,000 ft and 20 mile long backpacking trip to the Beveridge Ghost Town. On a weekend with complex options of High Sierra snow (early April 2021) and Death Valley heat (90+ degrees), we thought we found our oasis in the Inyo Mountains Wilderness.

read more …

Art: A New Aspect for Climbing

January 27, 2021
A drawing of sunset in the Minarets, Eastern Sierra, CA

One of the things I remember most from Meru is not about climbing at all. It is Renan Ozturk painting a large vibrant canvas outside his tent of the surrounding mountainscape. Outdoor art has always inspired me. I felt creating art alongside outdoor experience made the whole thing greater than the sum of two parts. In the hard year of 2020 isolationist COVID, this was the silver lining of my year.

Renan painting his vibrant canvas of the mountains. More prints on his website.
read more …

Exploring Unmarked Mines in Death Valley

December 2, 2020

Sadly, Thanksgiving 2020 (like everything in 2020) didn’t go as expected. I canceled our amazing Turkey-Holiday in the San Rafael Swell desert wilderness and instead I slept 12 hours a day with the flu (luckily not COVID-19). However, Sadie “Alpine Babe” Skiles and I did get out to explore around Death Valley in some unmarked mines…

Another beautiful vein in Monarch Canyon
read more …

Oh Shit, The Anchor Blew on the Rope I was Ascending

November 18, 2020
After the accident avoidance, I was greeted by my blown anchor

I had a near accident in the Spring of 2020 while I was out developing my crag. I already had a fixed my static line in the Welcome to Nightvale area. However, I wanted to start working on a 30m crack I had found that looked pretty great in a new Desert Bluffs area next door.

read more …