Monday, July 28, 2008

Wilson Group Pictures/Video

I didn't get any good pictures or video on Sneffels or San Luis Peak, but here are the requisite summit shots anyway:

And some fantastic video, superbly shot and edited, from the Wilson Group. In order to access them, we had to hike about 5 miles in and set up a base camp on the shore of Navajo Lake in the basin below the peaks. We tried to access one of them a different way, but had a little mishap* along the way which is described fully in the video.

*The mishap described in the video is entirely fictional. The land was really just closed but Scott made up this imaginative story about a crazy old coot guarding his mining claim with a 12-gauge. Later, we found out that the land was not actually closed and had in fact changed hands just 2 weeks ago and we would have been fine hiking through it.

21 down

I'm really starting to get the hang of this hobo thing. I'm up to 21 peaks now, as we just finished a backpacking trip to climb Mt. Wilson and Wilson Peak. (Don't confuse them with each other, they are indeed separate mountains.) These were fun, as they involved a lot of scrambling and death-defying bad ass moves. Scott and I agree, huge cajones are required to climb these bad boys. And helmets, which may or may not have cameras attached, are also a good idea. Video to come later, with footage from the NEW IPROVED HELMET-CAM 2.0!

Before the Wilson Group, we climbed Mt. Sneffels which was a lot of fun, although at the end of the day I wanted to let the air out of the tires on all the rental jeeps on that road. You see, idiots are allowed (surely through some omission of law) to rent jeeps in these mountain towns so that they may "explore" back roads which have been pre-approved by the jeep rental company. For Example, Farabee's Jeep Rentals ("On the edge of adventure!") charges you $100-$125 a day to sit on your ass and burn $4/gallon gasoline which is not included in the rental price. Here is a short script describing what must surely happen in these vehicles:

Dad: Kids! We made it! We're all the way to the base of the mountain! What an accomplishment!

Kid 1: Yay! We sure are exploring in the middle of nowhere!

(A caravan of rental jeeps and landscape photographers drives by)

Dad: Yes kids, this is living! Smell that fresh mountain air!

Kid 2: Dad, the mountain air smells like exhaust fumes!

Dad: Yes kids, you need gasoline to explore! God Bless America! Let's have a twinkie and a Coke! We sure earned it after that hard climb.

(Dad, highly obese, huffs and puffs as he steps out of his red rental jeep to get the twinkies and Coke out of the back)


Hiker: No, I'm walking. For fun.

Mom: But you must be at least A MILE FROM YOUR CAR! HERE, HAVE A TWINKIE AND COKE, YOU POOR THING! (speaking to husband) Honey, can you give that poor hobo a twinkie and coke? I've been having trouble standing up under my own power lately.

(The scene changes, and we see the family of jeep renters driving down a dirt road one lane wide, with no room for 2 cars to pass)

Dad: Oh no! There's somebody coming the other way! What do we do? I'd better just sit here and not move. Hopefully the situation will improve itself.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Stay tuned

Lots of stuff has happened but I haven't had time to write about it...stay tuned.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The shenanigans continue

Scott abandoned me to go to a hippie music festival, so I climbed Handies Peak solo. I met a couple fine young ladies though, so it worked out fine. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the video thing so here is a fine summary of my exploits on Handies Peak.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More video!

Since making videos is a lot more fun than typing, (I try to keep myself as illiterate as possible) here's another one. This morning's mountain, Wetterhorn Peak, was the most technical one I've done so far and IT WAS AWESOME! Scrambling! Danger! Multi-hundred foot cliffs! Absolutely fantastic. And we saved a good 1000 ft of vertical downclimbing through the magic of glissading, captured for the first time on my state of the art HELMET CAM!

Here's a picture of the verticality of these awesome mountains:

If you have the chance to climb in only one Colorado mountain range, make it the San Juans. (FYI, that picture was taken on Uncompahgre Peak yesterday)

Here's the video from today's climb of Wetterhorn: (warning: I think I drop an F bomb or 2 in the video, so if you don't want to be exposed to profanity, don't play the video.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Statistical Update & Video

I didn't climb yesterday because I slept too late and I didn't climb today because I had a gnarly case of food poisoning this morning...this simply won't do. In any case, here's a video from my latest climb, Mt. Antero (14,269 ft):

Some stats:

Peaks reached: 14
Feet climbed: 49620
Miles Walked: 98
Miles Driven: (forgot to check)
Days without showering:
Current: 6
Record : 10

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kicking it up a notch!

Allright, no more pussyfooting around these lumps of rock. I'm doing 2-3 days in a row of climbing to try to knock 'em all out. I'm getting in good enough shape that walking up a mountain is actually more pleasant than excruciating. Got 13 down now: Since my last update I've climbed Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Harvard was a lot of fun...some rocky scrambling at the top which is a nice change from boring old walking. I think it was said best in Dumb and Dumber:

Harry: I expected the rocky mountains to be a little rockier than this.
Lloyd: I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver's full of shit, man.

Here's the summit photo:

That other guy is Scott. We both had the same dream for the summer: living out of our cars like dirty hobos and climbing peaks. So we've teamed up. He's really good at being a bum; he knows where all the free wi-fi is in these towns and taught me how to camp in the Wal-Mart parking lot. (Free bathrooms, 24 hours a day!)

Then, on the way down, I stopped for a side trip at Bear Lake. I tried to take video of me jumping in, but my camera's battery died about 3 seconds before I hit the water. In any case, here's a picture of the lake. It's where I want to go when I die. It has the clearest and tastiest water I've ever experienced. You can see in this photo that the far side of the lake is covered in a sheet of ice. The water was cold. Very cold. And refreshing, in a "my testicles have taken refuge inside me" kind of way.

Jumping back a few days, here I was on the 4th of July:

America! Fuck Yeah!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Status update

Peaks reached: 9
Feet climbed: 28,070
Miles Walked: 58.4
Miles Driven: 1051
Days without showering:
Current: 10
Record : 10

These mountains are kicking my ass

That said, I got 3 more: Belford, Oxford, and Princeton.

To climb Princeton, I met up with some dudes I met on a climbing forum. We had an instant rapport due to our mutual love of bathroom humor. This was one of my favorite climbs so far. In the morning, the clouds were climbing up the mountain and the scenery was amazing. By the time we hit the summit, we were above the clouds! Also, we ended up bumming beer off some other climbers on the way down. It was a long climb of 5300 vertical feet and 13 miles.

Clouds rising up the mountain:

I climbed a couple others too:

I'm slowly getting quicker at climbing...slowly...And as the snow melts, it gets easier to climb. I may actually be able to finish my climbs this summer!