I really love climbing things. I also need motivation to stay in shape. I got in the best shape of my life this year, and I need an inspiration to stay there. Since this year is about shot and I don’t have any vacation time left, I’ve started thinking about next year. If you’re interested in joining on a trip drop me a line. All routes are moderate alpine or rock.
This route eluded me this summer because of an out of shape partner and too little time. The crummy thing about this route is an 8 hour+ bushwack to get to it – the part that decked my partner. However the route looks like it’s well worth the effort.
About the route
- Difficulty: III, WI3/M3
- Trailhead elevation: 8,600ft
- Summit elevation: 12,324ft
- Route length: 1500ft
My groggy mind just couldn’t make sense of why my phone was making such a loud racket at 4am. As I gained consciousness I the reality of what was going on set in – I had already climbed over 4,000 vertical feet on Mt. Rainier, the most glaciated mountain in the 48 states. I needed to wake up so I could climb another 5,000 vertical feet to the summit. As my sleepy eyes came into focus, what I saw took my breath away – a massive expanse of stars set against a black backdrop. I had chosen to ‘bivouac”, or camp out in the open with only a thin layer of material covering my sleeping bag – a decision that later came back to bite me. This night was surprisingly warm, and as I dressed to climb I warmed quickly.
14 Jul 2011
Note: I wrote this article for the Spearfish Travel Blog. Thanks for the opportunity to contribute!
Many climbers believe that great rock routes can not be found in South Dakota. They are wrong. In late March of this year I drove with my friend Jasen the “short” half day freeway cruise from Sioux Falls to Spearfish to embark on some early season climbing. Our original plan was to do ice climbing in Spearfish Canyon, but the weather turned surprisingly warm in the week preceding our trip. Spring is beautiful in the Spearfish area, and as we arrived the warm breeze was a welcome change from the cold weather we’re used to in the eastern side of the state this time of year.
26 Feb 2011
- Date climbed: February 18, 2011
- Quandary Peak: 14,265 ft.
- Elevation gain: 3,520ft ft.
- Length: 7 miles (round trip)
- Climb difficulty: Easy (Class 1)
Sometimes time in the mountains helps me gain perspective on life, and on this trip I gained more than I expected. Although I’m a pretty confident and driven guy, sometimes life jars me. The week before this trip I went through rejection, loss, and a time of realizing again that I do not know how life works. I think God knew that I needed to get my perspective knocked around, and he was going to use this mountain to help me look life straight in the eye. I tend to get busy – a good excuse to avoid looking myself in the eye – but a day alone on Quandary eliminated that option. There was nothing out there except for the thoughts in my head.
18 Aug 2010
- Capitol Peak: 14,130 ft.
- “K2″: 13,664 ft.
- Elevation gain: 5,300 ft.
- Approach distance: 13 miles (round trip)
- Climb distance: 4 miles (round trip)
- Climb difficulty: Insane (Class 5)
I decided to attempt Capitol after climbing Huron and Browns Peak in early June. I thoroughly enjoyed this climb even though I was out of shape and marginally equipped for the climb. After I returned from this trip I vowed to get in shape, get the gear I needed, and climb a more physically challenging mountain. Capitol Peak has always attracted my attention because of the physical and mental challenge it presents. I first learned about Capitol on the forums at 14ers.com because of its difficulty – Capitol is regularly included in lists of the most difficult 14ers in Colorado. SummitPost.org has a stern warning to would-be climbers:
12 Jun 2010
A bit of background: I have been working to get plugged in to the mountaineering community in Colorado, and recently met Matt Payne of 100summits.com, a strong up-and-coming website dedicated climbing in Colorado. I found out that Matt needed a partner for the weekend of June 3, so I made the decision, juggled some meetings, and committed to the trip. Less than 48 hours after the decision was made, I was on the road for Colorado.
Matt is a strong climber with solid experience staying safe up high. He comes from a climbing family, and knows the area extremely well. I was fortunate to climb with him, and we quickly finalized plans for the weekend.
We drove out to the foot of Huron on Saturday night, and were forced to drive in the dark on some 4-wheel drive only roads. I’m thankful we had Matt’s solid jacked-up Cherokee. We had no problems and got to our campsite around 10pm.
09 May 2010
Climbing big mountans is pretty much impossible unlesss you can climb a vertical rock wall. There are obviously some rocks (Aconcagua for example) that are essentially a ‘walk up’ that do not require any difficult walls. However, it doesn’t take long to get in a bad situation that requires some real skill, so I’ve decided to learn the fundamentals of climbing.
Lucky for me, a guy I work with (Ted) is a huge climbing fan, has all the gear, and the knowledge to teach me how to start. The past few weeks we have been going out to Palisades State Park not far from Sioux Falls. It’s actually one of the smallest state parks covering only a few dozen acres on Split Rock Creek near Garretson. What the park lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty. The park is ringed by 50 foot cliffs, a stark contrast to the surrounding prairie. These Sioux quartzite rocks make for great climbing.
26 Apr 2010
- Top elevation: ~8,600ft
- Trailhead elevation: 3,966ft
- Elevation gain: 4,634ft
- Hike Length: 14.8 miles
- 2 days
- 1 night (Merced Lake)
- Incredible view of Half Dome from multiple vantage points
- Secluded – virtually no trail traffic
- Got to hike with a guy from Israel
- Had my first experience snow hiking
At the last minute the week before my California trip to SugarCON 2010, a change in conference schedule forced me to change my flight. Immediately. I took this opportunity to rebook my departure date to be the Friday before the conference, giving me a full 2 days to explore Yosemite, a place I’ve heard so much about.
29 Jun 2009
- Summit elevation: 12,448 ft / 3794 m
- Trailhead elevation: 9,100ft
- Elevation gain: never made it
- 3 day/2 night trip
- Climbed with my long time backpacking buddy Joel
- Climbed very early season, almost no trail traffic
- Learned a valuable lesson about researching summit conditions
- Viewed some beautiful lakes
- Fully understood the value of snowshoes/crampons
This year I learned an important lesson of mountaineering – make sure you check conditions at elevation before you schedule a trip. What I didn’t know when planning this trip is that the Bighorns are generally covered with snow until early July. My friend Joel and I, however, scheduled this trip for June not knowing this important fact.
01 Oct 2008
- Summit elevation: 14,060 ft / 4285 m
- Trailhead elevatin: 9,619ft
- Trail elevation gain: 4,441ft
- 3 day/2 night trip
- 5 friends
- Camped beside a beautiful creek
- Summitted my first 14er
- Avoided getting struck by lightening on the peak
- Gained a healthy respect for weather at high elevation
After conquering Cloud Peak in 2007, I decided that a ’14er’ in Colorado was the logical next step to my growing interest in mountaineering. After talking some friends into going on a trip to Colorado, we picked a date and located a mountain not far from Denver. I was excited to try a bit steeper of a climb (Cloud Peak is a pretty flat walk up) and a group to try it with.