Still running wild.
It's been a while since I've had the time to sit down and blog about my latest adventures. I've been pulled into work on the weekends, which has allowed only a few sprinkled adventures here and there. Overall, summer has been rough. For me, it is the time of the year where the rock climbing shoes are put lower on the shelf and the crampons and ice axes are on display. Mountaineer's have prepped their maps and gear up to top the big boys. I had plans to hit Mt. Baker again, the North face of Mt. Rainier, Sahale Peak, and Mt. Olympus. It would be an ambitious summer on our local glaciers.
Sadly, the only monumental adventure I had this summer was heading up to the summit of Mt. Baker. It was my second time up there and this trip was extra special because I lead a group of first timers. The route itself is highly travelled with a boot path pretty much to the top. And it felt like I'd remembered every twist and turn from the first time. We woke at midnight after camping around 7,000 feet, made a hot breakfast, and left camp for summit. We made our way through the ice fall, needing to climb around 3,000 more feet before we hit the summit. It was a bit eerie walking across the terrain at 2 am, laced with giant cracks that have claimed lives. The calm winds carried us forward and before we knew it, we were at the Roman Wall, the steepest and sketchiest face of the route that takes extra care in ascending. We huffed and puffed and made the summit by 7am-ish and enjoyed a fun photoshoot with an American flag we'd brought up and celebrated with some beers and ciders as well. The weather, the company, the travel, and that cheese pizza afterwards all added to a very flawless trip. With three years of mountaineering under my belt, I was proud to have coordinated the climb with an outcome that my friends will cherish for the rest of their lives.
I've also been able to get out for a few climbs in at our local crags in Vantage and Wallula, Washington. I've been very interested in climbing photography and have dived straight into it, hauling my big DSLR to the top of a route, anchoring in, and snaping hundreds of photos of my super rad climbing friends. It's a fairly terrifying hobby, having to dangle on a single daisy chain 100 feet up. But it's very rewarding. Here is one of my favorite shots of my talented friend, Jeromy Markee (Instagram @jeromymarkee). Came out pretty well!
I also had a fantastic birthday at the end of July (turned a quarter-century). That weekend was spent with lots of sushi, kayaking, cake, wine, friends, and wake surfing. I was gifted a sweeeeet camping two-burner stove that I'll put to good use in the coming years. Overall, I'm excited to shelf my crampons and get back on the rock. In terms of my climbing ability, I've lost a lot of endurance, having climbed about once every three weeks. But this Fall, my friends and I are planning trips to Smith Rock almost every weekend. Don't you worry, I'm still running wild. And it's time to get sendy. ⤲