Thursday, February 21, 2013

Glacier Ice Climbing

The weather window was small, but Ben and I decided to check it out anyways.  Our plan was to ski into Snyder Lake basin and climb "6 pack" to the summit of Mt. Edwards.  I had done the climb about 8 years ago and knew it would take us two days.  As we began our ski in, we quickly realized the area had receive a lot of new snow and that the idea of climbing on Edwards would be a bad one.  When we reached the lakes and our campsite, we could see signs of natural avalanches all throughout the basin.  Our hopes to climb Mt. Edwards were shut down, but we had a back up plan...brainstem wall.

The brainstem wall is in a slightly less hazardous location and the climbs were in good shape.  We set camp and prepared for a cold night.  We woke to clear skies hungry to climb.  We started by working on a new route.  I climbed the first pitch only to be shut down by loose rock and poor protection.  As we were setting an anchor, the sun came out and the south side of Mt. Brown came alive.  Small slides came shooting over us at shot regular intervals.  We waited for a fair bit of snow to release then made our descent.  We made it back to the packs without a problem.  

As high clouds moved over Glacier, I decided to climb Brainstem.  It was in amazing shape.  The left side was touching down creating 50m of vertical ice.  It was one of the best pitches I've climbed.  I threaded off the climb and we packed up to head home.  Ski conditions were great so the ski out was actually an enjoyment.  Back to the car early, we made our way to Whitefish for dinner and drinks with friends. 


Assessing pitch 2 

Watching clouds roll in the basin 

The approach 

 Left side of the Brainstem wall

Ben starting the approach 

 Pitch one

Little Matterhorn

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Designs by Jessica

Again I finally followed through on another project.  For awhile I've wanted to get images of my friend Jessica's hand crafted jewelry.  She has beautiful pieces and I wanted to try and capture that.  The other night she brought by her most recent work and I gave it a try to highlight her work.  I'm pleased with what we got.  You can find her work around Missoula or at 

French Inhale

On the 14th, Bethany and Caitlin have a show in town and were looking for some images they could display and cycle through in the background while they preform their aerial silk.  They had the idea of "french inhale".  It wasn't as easy as we thought it would be so these images are what we came up with instead.  I'm excited to see how it all comes together at the show.

Aerial Silk

After talking about it for about a year, I finally grabbed my camera equipment and took some pics of my friends Bethany and Caitlin performing their aerial silk.  They were in the climbing gym practicing so I thought it would be a good opportunity for a trial run.  When the temps warm up again, we will take it outside and hopeful capture some unique images.

Outdoor Retailer Show

After 3 years of wanting to get into the OR show it finally happened.  Within a few hours however, I wanted out.  It is a neat show with every company you could imagine and all the right people to meet, but totally overwhelming.  I felt like a little kid being drug around a mall with their mother.  Too many people and too much stimulus.  Quickly I wanted to leave and go climbing rather than talk climbing.  Ben and I put in our time, made some good contacts and saw the latest and greatest products.  

Hearing that Maple Canyon ice was in, we skipped out on the 2nd day of the show and went climbing. It was a great break and a beautiful place to experience.  Temps were warm and the ice was quickly disappearing but we managed to squeak in two climbs before returning to Salt Lake.

Saturday we spend a half day at the show saying our thanks and good byes to folks we met.  After that it was a quick drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon with Ben and Nick for a little side-country tour.  We spent the afternoon touring the side-country and getting some nice turns in.  After some dinner that evening, Ben and I motivated for the drive back dot Missoula....big mistake!  We rolled into Missoula around 3am completely strung out on red bull wanting nothing more than our beds.  It was a rough drive.  

Ice Season

Our local ice season started off slow, but has since come on strong.  With the good ice, I've been spending most of my free time climbing.  Conditions have been great and I'm feeling more confident and comfortable than I ever have before.  I couldn't be happier climbing right now and can't wait for the next opportunity to challenge myself.  I love this shit!


Maui marked the start of 2013 for me.  I headed over there with family and had a blast.  It was a wonderful relaxing week.  Snorkeling, whale watching, hiking, or just laying on the beach drinking.....what to do? Very stressful decisions to make :)