This is a place for records. It’s a habit I’m trying to start, so we’ll see what happens. I’m writing here to appease my compulsion to record everything, and because I feel I owe it to friends and family to keep people updated on the lifestyle I’ve chosen. Which in a way I’ve realized is pretty selfish.
And so it begins. After skipping my college graduation in May to suffer in the snow in the Wind River Range for a NOLS instructor course, I worked field courses and climbed in Washington most of the summer. For four or so weeks in August and September I went on a trip to Japan, climbing and hiking in the Japanese Alps and drinking on trains in Tokyo. At the end of September I headed to Ashford, WA to hunker down for a few months in the winter with a job at Whittaker Mountaineering, a climbing shop at the base of Mt. Rainier. Curious about the lifestyles of professional guides and Outdoor Industry people, I happily took a job in Retail and Rentals with the promise I would leave in January to embark on a vaguely planned climbing road trip.
My time here has been good — restorative in many ways. I’m only just beginning to grow bored of the low-stress 9-5 life, a welcome change of pace from the planned-every-hour schedule of college. Time to write, I told myself (something I didn’t do) and time to train (Something I did do). I built a motorcycle, I pieced together some last bits of gear, I took an AIARE course, and I got a splitboard setup dialed for climbing approaches.
Time to leave.
A few months ago, my friend Marcus made plans to come visit and climb in the Cascades for a few weeks over his winter break. Our text conversation went something like this:
“I have a home base in WA. Wanna come climb in the Cascades on your winter break? Think I’m gonna quit in Jan and climb the next four months after that. ”
“I’ll buy plane tickets. And pitons. People still use those in the Cascades, right?”
A few days later he told me he went ahead and took the rest of the semester off. I didn’t believe him until he told me he had already found someone to replace him in his house. Marcus, a friend from the rock climbing team, is the only person I met at school with any serious interest in Alpine climbing. We have similar goals. The current plan is to spend the rest of January here in Ashford, spend a month in Ouray, CO getting strong on waterfall ice, a month working on crack climbing technique in the Southwest, and another month alpine climbing in the Cascades once the snowpack settles in this season.
And there it is, all the pieces. Free time, transportation, a rope, rack, reliable partner, and the stoke to get things done.
See you in the records!