Viewing entries tagged
writing

The Squamish Sandlot

Comment

The Squamish Sandlot

The Squamish sand lot. It’s a parking lot on the side of the sky to sea highway in Canada. It can hold maybe 8-10 cars if you pack em in real tight. Less if its the weekend and we’re trying to keep the tourists out. Many nights we realize there’s no room for one of the regulars, so we frantically re-shuffle the cars and make just enough space for one more econoline.

Comment

Drinking Myself Dry

1 Comment

Drinking Myself Dry

I drove my van into the desert, and I didn’t drink. I spent nights alone in my van listening to the sounds of people slurring their words and signing late into the night around a campfire. I met a mormon girl with a German Shepard and we woke up at 6am to watch the pink sunrise with mugs of tea. The startling clarity of the morning sunk in through my eyes, my ears and my mouth, and it woke me up better than any cup of coffee. 

1 Comment

Being A Yosemite Climbing Steward

Comment

Being A Yosemite Climbing Steward

To be a steward of climbing, to take care of and preserve a sport is a strange concept. The sport is alive and well and does not need caring for. What needs tending to is the natural spaces this sport inhabits. To be a climbing steward in Yosemite is to protect the rocks, the trails, the vegetation, and the trees.

Comment

What’s it like living in a National Park during a Government Shutdown?

1 Comment

What’s it like living in a National Park during a Government Shutdown?

We see two people soloing intersection rock in the distance, one is possibly naked and the other is wearing a pair of hot pink booty shorts. 

Mike grabs the binoculars, “Yep. He’s definitely naked.” 

5 minutes later the naked guy rides by on a bike. There’s a chalk bag clipped to his waist that is almost covering his junk, and he hollers loudly as he wizzes past. “ANARCHY!”

“Well,” Mike puts his hands on his hips, “that happened quickly.”

1 Comment

Transmission Issues

6 Comments

Transmission Issues

Kate and I are cruising down highway 191 headed back to Indian Creek after getting rained out of Castle Valley.

We had been planning on climbing the North Face of Castleton and Fine Jade, two excellent (and challenging) climbs, but the weather decided otherwise. 

6 Comments

Getting the Police Called on you

14 Comments

Getting the Police Called on you

I was lying in my bed, half asleep, when I heard the first knock. 

It wasn’t so much of a knock as a bang. Someone was pounding on the side of my house. In the large metal box that is my van, it reverberated around the small space and startled me awake. 

14 Comments

Leaning Tower: Day 3

1 Comment

Leaning Tower: Day 3

I blink and it’s morning.  

My shoulder hurts so I roll over onto my other side.

Nope. 

I blink again and the sun has risen higher in the sky. I’m on my back. I look over to see Mike with his puffy jacket covering his face. 

Nope. 

1 Comment

Leaning Tower: Day 2

8 Comments

Leaning Tower: Day 2

I never thought I would be bored at 500 feet off the ground. 

Standing on Ahwahnee ledge on the West Face of the Leaning Tower, I pace back and forth in anticipation. Or what amounts to pacing when you have less than 3 feet of space to move around in. 

8 Comments

Leaning Tower: Day 1

3 Comments

Leaning Tower: Day 1

Big wall climbing  is the culmination of all of the climbing skills I’ve been honing over the last 5 years.

It takes technical skills, mental toughness, physical endurance, and good communication with a partner. I borrowed gear from friends, grilled them on the terrain, looked over maps that climbers before me had drawn, and scrolled through comments people had left on the mountain project to try and prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the hardest thing I had attempted to date in climbing. 

3 Comments

Highway 50 West

1 Comment

Highway 50 West

Breath in. 

Breath out. 

Turn the key. Hear the rumble of the engine. Beep, beep, beep, beep, click. Roll the automatic windows down. Feel the warm breeze on my skin. Smell the wet grass and the still damp asphalt. It’s hot outside.

1 Comment

Jumping on The Circuit

Comment

Jumping on The Circuit

When you jump on you typically meet a few people who are riding the same wave as you. You’ll see them in Indian Creek, lose track of them for a few months and then see them again in Squamish. The circuit brings you around and around, like a merry-go-round of climbing destinations. After getting on, it can be difficult to get off. 

Comment

Surrealistic Pillar

3 Comments

Surrealistic Pillar

I’m standing on a hollow flake,

about 150 feet above the ground, and only 20 feet from the summit. Hidden Valley Campground is spread out below me, people are cooking around their campfires, chatting about the day and playing music. The pinyon pines and Juniper trees create shade in the late afternoon, while the orange white boulders create stools, tables and playgrounds for the park visitors. Normally I would be down there with them, enjoying the sunshine, stretching and talking, but right now I'm more focused on not dying. My palms are sweating. 

3 Comments

The Unexpected Joys and Sorrows of VanLife

Comment

The Unexpected Joys and Sorrows of VanLife

I’ve been living in my Sprinter Van for a little over a year now, and during that time I continue to be surprised by the little joys of living in a van, the ones I didn’t expect when I moved in. I expected the freedom and the flexibility and the beautiful scenery, but I didn’t expect the pure joy of a nice parking space or the giddy feeling I get when the wind blows through the curtains on my open door. 

Comment

What Keeps me Grounded in my World That is Constantly Changing

1 Comment

What Keeps me Grounded in my World That is Constantly Changing

Each day in the van is different. Like drastically different. 

Some days I wake up at 6 am, knock on a friend's door, shower, slap on some makeup and drive to the nearest coffee shop for a work meeting. Then I spend all day on my computer getting shit done and finish up the day with a climb and sauna at my local (or sometimes local) climbing gym.

1 Comment