Iceland June 10-21 
Friday, June 29, 2012, 08:49 PM - Trips
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My parents and I rented a car and circled Iceland over the course of 10 days. My mom's version of the trip.


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Photos from the trip are located here.

Some neat spots:

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Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge Attempt - May 2012 
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 02:50 PM - Trips
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Pictures!

Left ABQ at 8pm on Wednesday and landed at 10pm in the Seattle airport. By the time everyone rounded up gear and loaded into the rental van it was easily 11:30. Lance drove us to the closed road at White River so we shuttled gear up to the TH before dropping the van off. Lance and I were elected/volunteered to complete the extra 4 mi bonus hike. Once we got back to the trailhead everyone was gone - later found hiding from the snow in the women's bathroom asleep. Stashed some beer, and then began our hike around 5am. The sky was already lightening.

Worked our way up the trail. I wore snowshoes but no one else did. It was 50/50 snow/dry. Weighed in at the car my pack was 60 lbs so I wasn't moving too fast. Eventually I worked my way into the front of the group and decided to chance it across a 4ft snow formation on a bridge. I made the first step and broke through and promptly dropped like a rock past the bridge into the river. With the mountaineering boots and snowshoes, I managed to keep my feet dry. As I crawled out of the river and onto the edge of the bridge, I saw the rest of the group huddling around my hole. I smiled at them so they would know that I was alright, and crawled onto the other side of the bridge.



We made our way into glacier basin, only to find tons of avalanche slides. The week before dropped more than a foot of fresh snow. This along with the warm weather meant a lot of wet slide activity. Tom lead as we worked our way toward St. Elmo pass. The deep snow made travel painfully slow. We rotated leaders, but each person in front still tired out quickly. The weather came and went and we were bathed in clouds and then back out of them. The snow came and went.

At St. Elmo pass we took a break, eat some food, and plotted our course through the Winthrop Glacier. After glissading down, Lance took the lead with the probe. He managed to make it though a mile of crevassed ice before handing leadership over to Justin. We were moving painfully slow through the fresh foot of snow and traversed too low -- making the route a painful mixed snow/rock trek. Eventually we gave up on making it to Curtis Ridge for the night and camped in a basin. When I got the tent up, dinner cooked, and gear stowed I had been up for 36 hours. Bed was about 7pm.

In the morning (2am), we were up and getting ready for another full day. The snow had returned and winds were howling. Had some oatmeal and roped up for more traversing. I lead the way with the probe. Stabbing the snowpack a foot in front of my steps I did my best to avoid taking another plunge. The overnight winds and cold had helped consolidate the snowpack a little. I did my best to stay out of the wind loaded areas and move toward Curtis. Eventually the two rope teams made it to the cliff-band and camped out while Justin listened to the weather report in 25 knot winds. I took the opportunity to look for ways down the cliff. Eventually we found a way through, but it was a little tricky. We had to belay people on steep snow past a crevasse to a snow bridge. In the process of moving everyone through this obstacle course, I heard a loud noise of moving snow. The Willis Wall was sliding. I knew this would run once in a while, but this explosion of snow kept coming, and coming, and coming. From the belay stance with Tom, Justin, and Leigh, we watched as our path to Liberty Ridge was swept with the snowy plume. It was scary and impressive at the same time. This effectively ended the Liberty Ridge attempt. We realized it was too dangerous to continue.



We set up camp on Curtis Ridge for the day and watched the Liberty Ridge route slide. Definitely the correct decision to not go up. With the rest came higher spirits though and everyone was enjoying the sun and the time to relax. Plans were made to attempt the Camp Schurman route in the morning.



Up at 2am, it seemed that the group was moving slowly to Mike and I. Eventually we sorted out the route and traversed high back to St Elmo's. I lead the entire route, and managed to fall waist deep into a crevasse twice before asking for the probe. It wasn't given to me, so I used the ice axe to hollow out an opening in the top to jump. As I cut the final chunk of snow free of the opposing wall, it fell for a couple seconds before I heard ice crystals shattering a dozens of feet below me. That really got me freaked out, but I still managed to make it across with my breath held.

St. Elmo proved to be a snowy 45 degree slog. We were all happy to get on top and break for a little bit. Justin scouted the route across the Inter Glacier and confirmed that it would be safe if, and only if, we could make a dash across the high side of the snow field. Mike lead, but as I came over the snowy knoll, I could tell that he had gone too low. He was in the glacier proper and we were in trouble. Justin, came over and called things off. Avy danger was too high and our trip was over.

We glissaded back down a ways, grabbed our stashed poles and snowshoes, and had a few beers back at the trail head. Hard having come so far to not climb higher, but I was happy we made the smart (i.e. safe) decision.

*cue car camping party!


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Ice Pics 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 09:05 PM - Trips
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Vail and Beaver Creek Spring Break Trip with CU Folks 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 09:19 PM - Trips
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4 ski days, 1 house, 15 college aged people = one serious party!

Trouble with Vail is that you have to catch a bus to get to the lifts if you don't want to pay.


But then when you get there, the back bowls rock.

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Or, rather, they should have. There was thin cover everywhere, and no cover on the south-facing slopes. The thin slushy catwalk near the Orient Express melted out the 2nd day so no one could get to Pete's Bowl. Still made the most of it.




Hit Beaver Creek on Saturday.

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Snowball fight in the moguls.


T-shirt Skiing.


Back to Boulder for a relaxing Sunday with Paul, Rebecca, and Russell. Got in a game of dangle balls, cornhole, and took a spin through town on the perfect sunny, 75 degree day.





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Goofballs.

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NREL PV MRW 
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 09:08 AM - Trips
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Caught up with Charles, Howard, Rob, Jennifer, Chris, etc. at NREL this week. NREL's really changed a lot since I was last there. There are construction projects everywhere!

The nice benefit of business travel is excellent food!



Flight back to ABQ was cool - The Great Sand Dunes NP peaking through the clouds and the city was looking beautiful in the late afternoon.



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Boulder Visit 
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 08:55 AM - Trips
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Left early for the NREL PV Module Reliability Workshop to catch up with folks in Boulder. Sunday I had lunch with Paul at Southern Sun (for Stout Month) and crushed Paul 21-18 at cornhole. I borrowed an old steel bike to cruise downtown and grab a beer with Waggy and Casey at the Twisted Pine. Then homemade Hawaiian pizza dinner with Bourbon Milkshakes and a little Texas Hold'em with Paul and Russell.






Monday I had a wonderful breakfast at Snooze with R&R, hiked the Mesa Trail, and had lunch with Laura and Ben before catching the GS bus down to Golden.







Thanks all!
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Grants Training  
Friday, January 13, 2012, 10:29 PM - Trips
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Started at the Run/Bike transition. Ran - pretty good but the climb killed me with my thrashed calves. Bike didn't go well... even with a 20 minute break. Calves cramped coming down, and tightened up repeatedly on the way up.


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Lots of skiing! 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 10:15 PM - Trips
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Wolf Creek


More Wolf


Taos


Hiking at Taos


And a few miles of cross country for good measure

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Breaking 60 MPH on Skis! 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 10:05 PM - Trips
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Cracked the 60 MPH mark on my AT Skis as the 2nd guy down the backside of Taos on Jan 2nd! Jason lead on his downhill Volkls and probably was flirting with 70 MPH.


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New Years Ski Trip to Wolf Creek and Taos 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 08:18 PM - Trips
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Grant with his toy at the cabin in Pagosa:


Sunset at cabin:


Poker = -$10.


Torchlight on New Years Eve at Taos:


Fireworks for New Years at Taos:

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23rd Annual Hike to Bald Knob 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 07:34 PM - Trips
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I've hiked up to Bald Knob Cross from my parent's place every winter since I was 5. Over the xmas break I completed the 23rd annual trip up.





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Mt. Hood 
Saturday, July 2, 2011, 09:30 AM - Trips
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Had a great climb of Mt. Hood on June 24-25. The notoriously consistent cloudy weather broke for Nate and I as we drove down from Seattle and managed to gain 1000 ft before setting up the tent. Lots of snow catting here for the ski area. Up at 2:00am and climbing by 2:40am. The wind was brutal in the night and we had to take time to set up a wind break for the tent and make sure that Nate's hands had fresh hothands. We made quick time and passed a few guided groups. The shrund was easily traversed around and the final pitch was steep, but not steep enough to warrant roping up - the falling person would just drag more people down the steep, icy mountain. Nate and I managed to get up easily and we carefully walked over to the summit along the ridge. 6:30am on top. Summit beer of choice was a New Belgium Trippel. Took time on the way down and watch the Olympic ski team training on the glacier.


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Seattle 
Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 02:48 PM - Trips
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All I know about Seattle is what I new originally: they're big on fixies, starbucks, and REI. ...and the REI isn't all that impressive either. Sure it's got a forest around it, and there's a mountain biking path and a climbing gym, but they didn't have AT boots. What kind of self-respecting flagship store is that?
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Moab Trip Pictures are Up 
Sunday, May 1, 2011, 08:47 AM - Trips
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Took a trip with a large gang of Albuqerquians to Moab. Great time even though it was rainy 2 of the 3 days we were there.

Shots of us canyoneering are on the photoblog.
http://adventurejay.com/photoblog/index ... p;pagenum=


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