Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 Sierra Challenge

The 2017 Sierra Challenge just finished up. This year I felt less ready than I have in past years, although I have done a bit of mountain training and can still plod up mountains off the couch. Especially for the first days I just tried to do the designated challenge peaks. This was both due to the weather (with afternoon lightning) and my feeling pretty tired. I never stopped feeling tired, but I reached a steady state and most everyone else got tired too. Most days I was able to keep up or at least within sight of the lead group up to the peak, On the way down sometimes I tried to keep up and others I just dropped into plod gear (but also had more time to take photos). This was a high snow year and I brought crampons and ice axe on most days. I also enjoyed some of the best boot (or running shoe) skiing I have ever had.

a pretty lake on the way down from 4 Gables. I sort of wanted to slide down the snow into the water

Bob and Alberto scramble from Wahoo peak onto Glacier Divide


Iris scrambles up Woods Peak



the moon heading down behind Nameless Pyramid (day 7)


Matt on the descent from the Sharktooth


The faster people ended up either taking a day off or doing alternate peaks on some days, so by virtue of being the only one who did all of this year's challenge peaks I won the Yellow Jersey. I also came in second for the "king of the mountain" polka dot jersey with 19 peaks - way way behind Scott with some 40 peaks I think (I am not sure exactly how many he got - he had many epic long days in the mountains). I actually finished with the stage winners 3 days, although on one day they started a few minutes late so were actually faster.

The total miles and altitude gain for just doing the challenge peaks was about 151 miles and 60,200 feet of elevation gain although with the bonus peaks I am sure I did a little bit more.

Iris models the 2017 Sierra Challenge shirt - and list of peaks
As usual I didn't get enough sleep but by not doing lots of bonus peaks I didn't end up with multiple days of sleep deprivation (although I did end up with only a few hours one night).


I would like to thank Bob Burd and all of the other participants for making this challenge so much "fun". It is a lot more fun to have big days and suffering with friends. I also had help from Leki (their trekking poles kept me going and upright when I don't think my feet alone were enough), Evolv and Altra for footwear. I wore the Evolv Maximus on days where I expected steep snow and scrambling/climbing and the Altra Lone Peak for longer days. Prana for Stretch Zion pants - with and without zip off legs, a Tilley Hat, Cotton Carrier for helping me lug around my brick of a dslr, and Columbia for an Omni-Shade shirt (more on this later I hope) and an ultralight raincoat.

For a lot more details check out Bob Burds web page...

http://www.snwburd.com/bob/challenge/2017/

Hopefully someday I'll have a real trip report with details and pics from every day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

March For Science / Earth Day 2017

2017 March for Science / Earth Day

On April 22, 2017 Bishop had a March for Science and Earth Day celebration at City Park. I wandered over a few minutes before the 9 am start. There were quite a few people assembling in the back of the park with a drum troupe providing beats. Things started with a number of speakers and a Paiute dance before we marched. We headed through the park and then S on 395 and then crossed at the crosswalk and headed back. There were about 200 marchers. The signs were a mix of pro earth and environmental and pro science with a few more overtly political (anti-Trump) ones. We got a lot of honks in support as we walked along the road.

Erik talking about the scientists in the area



marchers cross 395 in Bishop



Jean marched as a glacier


After the march I walked around the Earth Day festivities. These included a few vendors and a bunch of booths from local land managers and environmental and other groups.



Jean tosses a beanbag at the Earth Day celebration


solar roasted garlic - quite tasty, but we empirically determined that one shouldn't eat too many

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Red Rocks Rendezvous 2017 plus more in Red Rocks

This year we had more YogaSlackers than ever at the RRR. Dani and Michelle taught Yoga, Sam and Raquel taught acro, and Tom and Tom taught slackline. Kimberly was also there as well as Jen and David and Tina and heaps of other cool peeps. Paul and Kathryn came after the RRR to climb.

I got their early, but that just meant a really windy Wednesday night. Unfortunately I had already set up a tent to claim an area for the YogaSlacker tent compound. I discovered that if I set up tents then sometime during the night a woman would occupy them. Thursday Tom came and we set up the slack park and played on it a bit.

sunrises are often nice here

Friday we went climbing up first creek canyon. We did some crack climbing and toproped a face at the Romper Room. It was a bit of a walk to get there and back, but nobody got lost, we didn't need our headlamps, and only a few people got stuck by cacti.

I must commend Raquel's choice of bright colors - here on "romper room"

The Rendezvous passed in a blur of classes, playing and training on the lines and each other, talking to friends new and old, cooking and eating in "YogaSlacker East" (the parking lot), and sleeping in the YogaSlacker tent compound. Sadly I was not able to win any of the contests.

Warrior One on plank on plank (that is Michelle and Tina supporting me)

Sam achieves ToeSox enlightenment (this was fun to stage)

YogaSlacker tent compound at night

YogaSlacker East - the parking lot

 After the Rendezvous a number of us went climbing. Sadly there seemed to be crowds everywhere we looked. We ended up finding a few things at Moderate Mecca though.


the peanut gallery watching Raquel climb
Then a heap more people took off and I climbed a few days with Kathryn and Paul (who showed up the last night of the RRR). First we went to the Dog Wall and I got thoroughly beat down trying to sport climb. I did however get the rope up - perhaps that was the theme of the week.

Kathryn at the Dog Wall


Paul belays me on "no dogs allowed" (K took the pic)
 The day with the best weather forecast we went on a multipitch adventure climbing "mister z" and then "armatron". The not so great belays on armatron got a little old as a party of 3 but we all had a good time and managed to get down the slabs before we needed our headlamps.

Another nice morning here - this was on our way to a multi-pitch adventure
We got in a half day of cragging at the hidden falls area before the wind and exhaustion finished us off. The wind got pretty strong (staggering us as we walked). P and K were planning on heading back the next day and the forecast called for strong winds through their departure time so we packed up and bailed. I threw myself on the mercy of Val who recently moved to Vegas for a travel job. A shower and shelter from the wind was most appreciated. I spent a day mostly staring into screens and then on Saturday we went climbing. We went past Moderate Mecca and it was totally empty but the crag we planned to go to was packed. Sigh. We ended up doing some moderates (Val got to lead) at the Hamlet and then on to Newcastle wall to get tired out. Back in Vegas we had to bake some cookies and soak in the jacuzzi.


Val - Queen of the desert


When I got home there was new artwork on my white board. This one by Amara. I also have been finding bits of popped balloon about. It is nice to be able to return some of the generosity I have enjoyed during my many years on the road.



I intend to write a more complete trip report with more pics some day, but this is a start.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Tom Grundy 2016 year end report

As some of you may know I try to write a year end report every year. Sometimes they don't really come at the end of the year though. In any case I wrote one up for 2016. I also mail these out so if you want to be on that list you should tell me. Google seems to have changed their contacts thing so that it is less like a computer and useful and more like a phone and hobbled so it is possible the report went into your spam folder this year.

on the summit of Longs Peak with Sam and Raquel


Tom Grundy 2016 Year End Report.

This year I am going to try something novel and new – writing up the year end report near the end of the year!

I'm starting in March 2016 since that is where the last report ended with a return to Bishop from overseas adventures. Mostly I was busy catching up with lots of little tasks that had piled up in my absence. And bouldering, a fair bit of bouldering. Then I took a trip to central Texas for YogaSlacker festival teacher training and to get pretty miserably sick – I might have been patient zero there. On the way back I taught at the Red Rock Rendezvous and stayed after with Nalumon for a few days for more climbing and a hot spring hike. Then back to Bishop. I got in a day of skiing in Yosemite. There were plans to climb the Colorado 14ers (peaks over 14,000 feet tall) this summer, so I began training for that a little bit with some gentle running and a few uphill efforts. As the weather warmed a few hikes into the Sierra including a Hurd –  Johnson - Trapezoid – Goode traverse and a training acclimitization hike up Mount Langley.

By the end of June I was packed up and on the road again to Colorado. First was Wanderlust music and yoga festival in Snowmass with the YogaSlackers and then the 14ers started July 4th. I won't bother listing them all here but in general I started in a range with Sam and Raquel and then after they left to work in various places I finished up the range before starting the next one. In July we did the Elk Range. Nalumon joined us near the end and although she didn't do any of these 14ers she did join in on rock climbing, camping, backpacking, and backpacking up a 13er. Then it was on to the San Juans. I wasn't able to finish them all with Sam and Raquel but Nalumon joined me on the second half of them.

In August I went to SLC for the summer Outdoor Retailer show and then back to Colorado for more 14ers with Nalumon before she escaped but I was rejoined by Sam and Raquel. We were working our way through the Collegiate Peaks when my truck radiator exploded. That put a crimp in our style but with their help I got back rolling again to do a few more before Wanderlust 108 in Fort Collins and then finishing the range up by myself with some early snow and a few days to rest and recover.

It was now September and with S and R back we did the Sangre De Cristo 14ers in some lucky weather windows and some rather grim conditions. After a brief respite in Pueblo we were back at it with Pikes Peak and then Longs Peak to finish up my effort. 57 in all and all of the 53 “official” 14ers except Culebra which I purposefully skipped because it is on private property with logistic and cost issues. These 14ers entailed hiking about 457 miles and 177.5 thousand feet of elevation gain. Then I hurt my bum knee and we taught at the Yoga Journal Estes Park Conference before rushing back to Bishop for Wilderness First Responder training at my place there.

The WFR training ended in October but there was little rest to be had with a visit from Nalumon and then another trip climbing in Red Rocks. It seemed like I would have a bunch of time to catch up for the rest of the year but then I discovered that I was going to Nepal and Thailand – yay and yikes. I scrambled to get everything ready for that and then whoosh off to the opposite side of the world in November.

In Nepal I met up with Sam and Raquel and we flew from Kathmandu to Lukla and trekked up to Gokyo by way of Tengboche before they had to return. I parted with them in Namche Bazar and trekked up to the Everest base camp area and Kala Patthar before returning via Kongma La. I got to experience sickness, cold, stunning views, tired legs, an early morning earthquake, and flying into and out of what has been called the sketchiest airport in the world.

In December I went to Thailand and immediately down to Krabi and Tonsai for 10 days of rock climbing. Sadly I wasn't in as good climbing shape as the last time I was here but I still met some great people and had a good time. Then I joined a bunch of other YogaSlackers for the Koh Lanta adventure complete with slacklines, waterlines, snorkeling, and acro. After that we went back to Tonsai for a few days before a day in Bangkok and 40 plus hours mostly awake flying back to LAX and the return to winter and what passes for responsibility in my life. Many thanks to the people I shared adventures with as well as the sponsors and people that allowed me to spend vast amounts of time away from home.

As usual if you don't want to be on this mailing list or you want this sent to a different e-mail then tell me. Also there are links to various trip reports on my web page and blog.

http://www.electricant.net/grundyman/index.html

http://tomgrundyman.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nepal

In case you didn't know, I went to Nepal. There I met up with Sam and Raquel and after a few days in Kathmandu we headed to Lukla for some trekking.

Sam and Raquel didn't have a lot of time so we planned to head up to Gokyo and back. We took a detour to check out the Mani Rimdu festival at Tengboche and visit Brandon and the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse and then up to Dole and Gokyo. There Sam took ill (I woke up to the sound of him puking in the next room). So I climbed up Gokyo Ri alone (with plenty of others) while Raquel watched him. We spent another night in Gokyo and returned to Namche down the valley rather than up over Renjo La to a different valley for the return.

In Namche I said goodbye and they headed back to go to Thailand. I continued up past Tengboche to Somare where I really bonked. I ran out of energy and my stomach had not been processing food all day. I curled up in all my clothes in my sleeping bag under blankets trying to warm up. When I got up I puked. Ugh. The next day I slowly moved up to Lobuche and the next day to Gorak Shep. From there I hiked up Kala Patthar for sunset pics of Everest and others and then the next day went to pseudo Everest base camp on the Khumbu Glacier. By doing Kala Patthar the day I got there I freed up a day so after another night in Lobuche I went over Kongma La on the return and then to Dingboche and back to Lukla. My appetite came back in Tengboche. In Monjo I was woken up by an early morning earthquake (turned out to be a nearby 5.5 or 5.6).

looking down from near Kongma La on a lake with Makalu in the distance and Lhotse on the left 


Back in Kathmandu I was looking forward to a hot shower, but the hotel didn't have hot hot water until that evening. DOH. at least there was plentiful food to slake my returning appetite.

As usual someday I hope to get a trip report up on the trekking complete with some of the 100s of GB of photos I have taken. I'm pretty sure there are a few good ones in there somewhere.

I managed to survive a fair bit of walking up to over 18,000 ft (5600 M or so is the highest I got). There sure are a lot of spectacular mountains there as well as hardy Sherpas carrying huge loads on their backs and Yaks and musk deer and blue lakes and big glaciers and so on.

After another day here in KTM it is on to Thailand and hopefully climbing down by Tonsai.



I have a trip report up for the first part of my travels in Nepal....

http://www.electricant.net/grundyman/nepal2016a.html

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Finished the 14ers and WFR

I finished up the Colorado 14ers project with 57 summits. I skipped Culebra for various reasons - mainly the price.

I updated my page on it here - although the individual peak trip reports are slow in coming.

http://www.electricant.net/grundyman/co14ers.html

Then I hurt my knee - good timing if there ever is good timing to get hurt.

Then we were at the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park taking a bunch of various (but not too energetic for me) classes and teaching slackline and continuing to study up on the WFR materials and taking the online test. (WFR = Wilderness First Responder - medical training for a wilderness setting). I took advantage of the wifi at the Conference to finish up and then drove back to Bishop to clean up my place and prepare for the WFR course there.

The WFR course was intense. Lots to learn in 5 long busy days. It is a course I think everyone who does somewhat dangerous things in remote places should consider doing and it could save someone's life. Originally we planned to do shenanigans when class wasn't in session. In reality Sam and Raquel were busy packing for leaving the country and we all had class stuff to review. It was still fun to have a few of the people staying in the CoG with me.

WFR class


The YogaSlackers who took the WFR class


After the WFR and Sam and Raquel's departure Nalumon came to visit. We managed to climb, slackline, hotspring, boulder, and she was busy emptying, cleaning, and repacking her turtle shell. (evidently the now clean CoG floor expanse is good for that). We also managed to watch some movies and eat lots of good food.

Jill at the Happy Boulders

Nalumon at the Buttermilks


Nalumon Slacklining at the park

we baked pizza and pies.
and enjoyed the sunset at one of the Long Valley Caldera hot springs. ahhh



Sunday, August 7, 2016

more 14er action and a break at the OR show

I have now finished the Elk and San Juan 14ers (21 total). Nalumon joined me for the last 4 - as well as support car and hiking companion for a number of the other peaks.

Then I went down to the hot lowlands to the Outdoor Retailer show which was a bit of a break in some ways, but grueling in others. I did get a new pair of lightweight Leki poles and a few other things for the rest of the 14ers and there are some potentials in the works which will be pretty exciting if they pan out.

I started a trip report page for the 14ers which is just a skeleton right now but I hope to complete all the links some day. This isn't going to happen while I am out climbing peaks.

http://www.electricant.net/grundyman/co14ers.html

Sam waits for a mtn goat to yield North Maroon to him
Meanwhile I have been busy plotting out the next section. My tentative schedule is below (subject to change based on all sorts of factors). If you want to join in for one or more of these adventures get in touch - I am on T-Mobile so my connectivity is pretty poor, but hopefully I can get messages. Contacting Nalumon or Sam and Raquel might be more successful at least some of the time. Generally I try to get an early start (6 am is often the goal although sometimes it ends up being more like 7 or 7:30) to avoid the afternoon storms.

Aug 9 Mt Holy Cross

sometime between the 9th and the 16th, probably trying to avoid the weekend and taking the 15th off unless that seems like a good idea.

Gray and Torreys
Evans and Bierstadt
Quandary Pk

Aug 16th Sherman
Aug 17 Lincoln, Bross, Democrat, etc
Aug 18 Elbert
Aug 19 Massive
Aug 20 Missouri, Oxford, Belford
Aug 21 La Plata
Aug 22 Huron
Aug 23 Harvard and Columbia
Aug 24 Shavano and Tabeguache

Then on to Fort Collins for the Wanderlust 108 on the 27th.

After that I plan on finishing any peaks in the area before heading down to the Sangre de Cristo range.


Sam and Raquel finish the catwalk to Eolus

a welcome sunrise high on the buttress to El Diente