August 9th, 2012

Sad news in New Zealand as the search continues for three climbers who fell from Paritutu Rock. 

Paritutu Rock in New Zealand.

The grim news continues with word of a father and son falling on Mt. Rogers in British Columbia

An interesting story about a re-enactment of the first ascent of Mt. Baker in Washington.

Al Hancock and company wait out of wicked storm on K2

Denali is an amazing mountain. Tate Zandstra has written a very interesting article about two climbers.

A nice piece about a sea kayaking race in Minnesota

An awesome wingsuit video:

<p><a href=”″>Dream Lines Part III – Wingsuit proximity by Jokke Sommer</a> from <a href=””>YETIGUZ</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

A nice alpine climbing video:

<p><a href=”″>The Hardest of the Alps</a> from <a href=”″>LaFrenchTV</a&gt; on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Some sea kayaking:

<p><a href=”″>Archipelago kayaking</a> from <a href=”″>Klas Rydstrand</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>


Time to Re-Evaluate

Wheeler Peak, the only significant peak I have climbed this year. Photo courtesy Charles Young 2012.

This year has not gone as I would have liked. Except for the big trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion and Great Basin, I haven’t climbed — either rock or mountain — nearly as much as I would have liked. Neither have I kayaked, other than paddling in my backyard. I was supposed to climb Middle Sister a few weeks ago, but an averse withdrawal from some medication I was taking forced me (by doctor’s orders) to withdraw from that trip. Now, a few days before I was set to leave for Mt. Rainier with Charles, the guy I went with on my big trip, informed me that he was dropping out of this trip because — it still makes me angry — his twenty-something daughter got spooked since we were going as a two-man rope team instead of the ‘traditional’ three-man team. She had done ‘some research’ and decided that she knew more about climbing than I do, apparently.

This is two years in a row that I have had a major slowdown in my outdoor activities, and I do not like it. I live for outdoor recreation, and here I live in a region famous for it and I find myself going through another semi-wasted summer. It started out very promising in the spring, and then the early summer, but now it has fallen apart. I don’t know if I will be climbing any more mountains this year. I hate having to say that.

But at the same time, I have some issues to work out, and perhaps the reason why I am not getting where I want is because of these unresolved issues. I am terribly disorganized, I get serious lapses in motivation and self-discipline and I don’t exercise like I should. Being a big believer in manifestation, I know I am sending mixed signals to the universe by not doing those things.

I stopped working several years ago due to the serious and unrelenting nature of my chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. I actually did try to get a job a year and a half ago, but I am in an odd position since I was a manager of an incredibly busy and successful business in Eugene, so I am over-qualified for most barista jobs I tried to get, and that is my main marketable skill. I have a ton experience in that area, but despite putting out a bunch of resumes, I didn’t get a single phone call. Never in my life have I ever struggled trying to gain employment.

So, no job, no money, no outdoor trips. It’s as simple as that. I probably could have rock climbed locally on a more regular basis, but my friend Kevin was hurt and then moved to Minnesota, my friend Dave, when we were giving him a space to stay when he was trying to get himself in drug recovery, started being sketchy and looking for drugs in our house, so I am not on speaking terms with him. My friend Scott now lives in Texas. I am almost out of reliable climbing partners.

For now, school, writing and family are my focus. I am forty-one years old, and time is a-wasting for me to start a career. So I just have to focus on getting my degree, continuing to write my various blogs and fiction, and know that I will be able to climb and kayak and hike like I want to when I do get hired as a journalist or in some other capacity. In addition, I also must work on being more organized, more disciplined and I really need to get myself in much better shape.

Life is full of do-overs. This is just another one.

In a year we will be moving to St. George, Utah. It is a year-round playground for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and being in a bigger city will no doubt put me into contact with a lot more climbers, so hopefully the move will spur much more outdoor adventures.

For now, the focus needs to be inward, to make the changes I know are necessary.