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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


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....

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.

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.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Colorado 14ers

As some of you may know, I am attempting to climb the Colorado 14,000 foot peaks this summer. These are known as 14ers and there are somewhere between 53 and 73 but most put it between 53 and 57 or so (sub peaks that have less than 300 feet of prominence are the reason). If they are nearby to another 14er and easily done or considered a significant peak (like N Maroon and El Diente) I plan on doing them too.

In any case, I was going to do these with Sam and Raquel who last year got me to run an Ultra (100K race) but didn't finish it themselves. They sent a list of days and I came up with a brutal schedule to try to squeeze all the peaks in - then the available days became less and less - so I am trying to fill in the rest of the peaks myself.

Right after Wanderlust Colorado we started strong but with only 3 days in the Elk Range -

July 4th Castle and Conundrum
July 5th Pyramid Pk
July 6th Maroon and N Maroon peak (with a rather exciting traverse between them)

Fisheye pic on the summit of N Maroon

Later I got Capitol and Snowmass peaks. I did those as overnights hiking in to the base of the peaks with Nalumon but climbing them myself.

Nate took a pic of me posing on Capitol

here is a Video Nate made of Capitol - I joined him for most of the peak from the camping area and show up in the video about 1:40

This is Nate coming back on the knife edge of Capitol - he is the one who made the video
Then it was on to the San Juans... Once again Sam and Raquel were able to do less days than originally planned. We didn't meet up as planned either and on July 20th I did the Wetterhorn by myself and then hiked back to the car where we met up and headed up Uncompahgre - too late to avoid the lightning which hit a little too close for comfort.  I was tired and moving pretty slowly by then too.

Then on a much longer drive to the Purgatory Flats TH where we hiked in from 5:30 to midnight to Chicago basin. There on the 22nd we did Sunlight and Windom peak one day and the 23rd Eolus and N Eolus. Then we hiked partway out. Nalumon took the train and joined us at base camp. She also was able to take more weight out with her making our packs lighter for the hike out. Then we went and did Sneffels the 25th before Sam and Raquel headed off to SLC.

Nalumon and I hiked into the Navajo Lake basin and up above the lake to a camp spot at the base of El Diente... The next morning on the 27th of July I started early and climbed El Diente, Mt Wilson, and Wilson Peak before returning to camp and hiking out.

Nalumon has been acting as "support car" and slowly acclimating to the altitude and hiking up hills and mountains. She has been a great help in keeping me properly fed and sane.

17 peaks in - although according to I've done 11 of the top 15 most difficult peaks so perhaps between that and getting somewhat acclimated to the altitude and long uphill days things will get easier? - probably not.

Hopefully over the next few days I can finish the San Juan 14ers before the OR show.

This is a pretty rough cut of what I've been up to - but I mostly haven't had much time and internet access. I hope to do a much more complete set of trip reports eventually with things like pictures and elevations and a count of tears and goats and so on...

Meanwhile you might be able to see where I am on the spot tracker...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tom Grundy not so end of year 2015 report

Tom Grundy 2015 + Year End Report

As usual I am a bit late for the end of the year. This year I have the excuse that I was traveling at the end of the year and then I just got busy/lazy when I got home. Also as usual if you want to be included in the mailing list for my not so accurately named year end reports then tell me.

I started off 2015 driving from Boston down to Florida ahead of a winter storm. In Miami I joined up with a group of YogaSlackers and friends and went on a cruise to the Bahamas. It was relatively short but we packed a lot of fun with slacklining over the ocean, beaches, snorkeling, touristing, and most importantly just hanging out with each other. Following the cruise and a few more days in Miami I headed west through the everglades to the west coast of Fl (fantastic bird photography opportunities) and then headed across the country (while getting sick) to Utah for the winter OR show. There we (Sam, Raquel, and I) decided to try to run an ultra (100K) trail run that summer – so we started running.

Back in Bishop I got back into climbing and bouldering as well as tried to continue running (really jogging) and some uphill biking to change things up. I  had some nice visits by friends. I also got back into the house project for the year – insulating the ceiling – a long slow process that along with whitewashing the roof did seem to help keep things cooler in the summer and warmer the next winter.

I explored a bit of Death Valley NP on my way to and from teaching slackline with Tom at the Red Rock Rendezvous near Vegas. I was privileged to get to join Liz and JD going up Mt Whitney for their summit wedding and then later in the Bay Area for part 2. Sadly my somewhat trusty steed (bicycle) The Sheriff was stolen from my front yard. Fortunately I was able to reconstitute my older bike.

This brings us to June and I was starting to run longer distances and add more elevation in the mountains. I slipped stowing my camera on the way up to Bishop Pass and hurt my wrist. It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but due to slow healing and re-injuries it was still bothering me at the end of the year. Fortunately I could still run even if it was slowly. I did some cool big runs including to Pilot Knob, over Echo Col – Muir Pass- Lamarck Pass- and back to Sabrina, the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, and from Pine Creek through French Canyon plus a bit then back. These were mostly all day affairs in training for the ultra. Sometimes it seemed quite possible, other times out of reach.

In the second half of July I went to Wanderlust at Squaw Valley (a yoga music festival where I helped teach slackline and slackro) and to Lover's Leap for some climbing. Then another trip was down to San Diego to visit a bunch of friends and join in Paul's Slackpocalypse – walking as far as you could on a slackline in 8 hours. I managed 2.78 miles and was pretty beat down afterwards.

Then it was on to Utah for the Ultra. The Katcina Mosa 100K trail run was pretty brutal with a lot of elevation gain and loss. We started at 2 am and I felt ok 'til about Km 45 where things started to get unpleasant. I hit a low spot in the middle and walked for a while before being able to jog for the last 30K or so. I did manage to finish within the cutoff time (total time 20:03:11 for 100K or just over 62 miles). This was my first ultra and might be my last. Then we had the summer OR show and I returned immediately for the last 8 days of the Sierra Challenge. I don't think I was fully recovered from the ultra but I did manage to finish the 8 days I was there for plus a few bonus peaks.

Following the Sierra Challenge I packed up and drove to Bend to join a fun crew for Jason's 40th birthday trip down the Deschutes. We had up to 18 people in a wide variety of mostly packrafts. I stayed up in Bend for some more packraft fun plus competing in the 36 hour adventure race which we sort of finished (we finished, but skipped some of the checkpoints/activities at the end). I also had an all too short visit with Matt and Nandini in Portland.

In the end of September I left heading east. First I did some fun climbing in Red Rocks with Dawn (Frogland and Epinephrine) and then to Castle Valley for some photographic fun with Alf before heading to Estes Park to help teach slackline and climbing at the Yoga Journal Conference. I also got to highline up by Estes and then climb in Eldorado Canyon and a visit with Matt and Kristin in Colorado Springs before heading back west to Indian Creek and Mexican Hat for more climbing with Dawn and a stop in Flagstaff on the way home.

In Colorado I was encouraged to join a big overseas trip and decided there was no real reason I couldn't go, so I tried to finish up everything, get tickets, and pack for a few months of adventures. I left in mid November to join the YogaSlackersTAO trip (Tour of Asia and Oceania).

Hong Kong. Nov
The first stop was Hong Kong where I joined Sam and Raquel in a bit over a week of touristing, paddling, teaching acro, and rock climbing.

Thailand. Nov-Dec
We started in Bangkok before taking the train to Chiang Mai for some climbing and the YogaSlacker Thailand retreat. Then down to Koh Lanta with a bunch of people from the retreat for playing on the beach, slacklining, snorkeling, and deep water soloing. Then back to Bangkok for the acro convention and Star Wars in 4d.

New Caledonia. Dec-Jan
We got to New Caledonia just in time for a massive French Christmas Eve dinner. Then we went water and highlining, snorkeling, taught acro, and a trip up north for beach longlining and rock climbing. We returned on New Years Eve with multiple sobriety checks. Then we went to Ile des Pins for waterlines, snorkeling, caving, hiking, and other shenanigans.

New Zealand. Jan-Feb
After too long in airports and the air we started in Wanaka assembling our vehicles and crew. There we climbed, hiked, paddled, conditioned, caved, and otherwise touristed our way around the South Island before taking the ferry to the North Island for the Wanderlust Festival and more hiking and climbing.

Hawaii. Feb-Mar2
Here we stayed with Marshall and family on an army base. Adventures included paddling, boogie boarding, sand castles and other beach fun, rock climbing, hiking (Olomana and Koko Head), slacklining, acro jams, and hammocks. After Wanderlust on the North Shore (where we got to witness big waves and the Eddie Akau big wave contest) we did a little small wave surfing at Waikiki.

Then it was back to Bishop where my place was still standing. In all of those countries we got to sample lots of local food as well as the usual joys and frustrations of traveling with too many toys and electronics in new places with other people.

That is enough of a year to report on. As always I would like to thank the people that shared the adventures (especially Sam,  Raquel, and Nalumon) and brought in my mail and checked on my place (thank you Julie) so I didn't have to worry about it in my absence.

You can see some of my trip reports here:

and here:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Catching up a bit...

Spring has definitely sprung here in Bishop - that means the windy season and sometimes dust and my entryway filling up with flower petals - there are worse things in the world.

I finished up some of the YogaSlackerTAO trip reports... Here in stratigraphic order are Hawaii and New Zealand.

on top of Olomana first peak with Nalumon


on top of Tongariro

NewZealand North Island:

on top of a round rock

New Zealand South Island Pt 2:

pack rafting down the Hawea

New Zealand South Island Pt 1.

Back in Bishop it is time to get back in shape - climbing peaks, mountain biking, running, bouldering - the usual.

Julie jumps on top of Tungsten Peak

Julie on "French Press" - I finally sent this

this guy was on the Buttermilk Rd.