2019 Adventures


Free Solo Mt. Thielsen

August 30, 2019 - There have been a lot of climbing movies in the past few years: "Free Solo", "The Dawn Wall", "Meru", etc.

I climbed Mt. Thielsen yesterday, and it was the least difficult scramble I've done recently; although, it looks more difficult than it actually is.

Since my video clips I made had little drama, I decided to make a climbing movie-trailer parody to make this video more interesting.

Thielsen was fun even though it wasn't very difficult. It was a beautiful day and being on the top of Mt. Thielson was a good way to spend the day.

I have the utmost respect for Kevin Jorgeson, Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold, Stephen Colbert, and the filmmakers. I enjoy watching climbing films and I want a lot more to be made!

If you haven't yet seen "The Dawn Wall", "Free Solo", or "Meru", do yourself a favor and watch them. Incredible films and amazing stories.

Mt. Thielsen:

9184 feet high

9 miles round-trip

3700 feet of elevation gain

80 feet of 4th class scrambling on the summit block

about six hours round-trip

Circumnavigate South Sister

So, not only do I climb mountains I also like going around them. I've circumnavigated Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and now South Sister. I have a few more on the list too.

In my effort to go around South Sister, I left the Devil's Lake trailhead at 7:10 in the morning. When I reached the Moraine Lake trail, I turned left to do my circumnavigation clockwise. I choose the clockwise direction because of no particular reason. I returned to my truck at 7:15 pm.

There are established trails around three quarters of the mountain, but on the Northeast side there are no trails. I like being in the wild, and this section is the real Three Sisters Wilderness. I didn't run into a single person out there.

This is a great hike. I did it as a day-hike in about 12 hours as kind of a reconnaissance for a backpacking trip with my wife. We will return again as an backpacking three day hike. On my return I can summit Middle Sister and I really want to do The Husband which is a 3rd / 4th class scramble.

Around South Sister Circumnavigation

24.5 miles

4920 feet of elevation gain and loss

my total time with all breaks (about one hour total) was 12 hours and five minutes/

Strawberry Mountain

I climbed Strawberry Mountain in the Strawberry Wilderness in Oregon on August 19, 2019.

Strawberry Mountain is 9042 feet high and is 12.6 miles round-trip with a total elevation gain of about 3900 feet.

This is a beautiful hike and scramble climb that takes you past the popular Strawberry Lake. Once you pass the lake the trail gets far fewer hikers. After the lake you will pass Strawberry Falls and the scenery continues to impress.

Eventually you will get to the Strawberry Mountain sign near the summit which will direct you to the right. However, you can just continues straight up the trail and scramble to the top.

The scramble route yielded a much more interesting terrain and, in my case, a close encounter with a family a mountain goats.

Once at the top, just descend the "standard" trail down.

My time to the summit was almost exactly three hours. I trail ran down most of the trail, and returned to the trail-head in just under two hours.

Borah Peak

On July 30, 2019 I climbed to the top of Borah Peak, or as the locals call it Mt. Borah. Either way, it is a fun 3rd class scramble to the summit of Idaho's tallest Peak.

After switchbacking my way up a steep climb for about a couple of hours I finally got to "Chicken Out Ridge". This is where the fun starts. There are a lot of 3rd class rock scramble moves to make. Many with some sphincter clenching exposure.

After getting passed Chicken Out Ridge you cross what is called the snow-bridge. This is a sliver of snow (at this time of year) to cross and it represented the only snow I stepped on for this climb. Once beyond the snow-bridge there is no spooky moves needed to get to the summit of Mt. Borah.

Mt. Borah Peak: 12,662 feet high 8 miles round-trip 5667 feet of total elevation gain.

I left the trailhead at about 6:00am and was on the summit at 10:45am. I returned to the trailhead at 2:40pm. My total round-trip moving time was almost exactly 8 hours.

North Twin Sister

July 23, 2019 - I have been wanting to do this scramble for a long time. North Twin is a big day with a total of 15 miles and 5500 feet of elevation gain. This is a 3rd/4th class scramble that delivers a lot of climbing fun.

The approach is a boring logging road and makes up well more than half of the total mileage. I took my mountain bike and rode it/pushed it up to about 1/2 mile short of the West-ridge scramble.

The weather was the big concern for the day. No threat of rain, but I like my summits to have views. Unfortunately today, by the time I got to the summit shortly after Noon, it was completely covered with thick fog. And the fog moved in and covered much of my descent off the ridge to just below the false summit.

Fog notwithstanding it was a fun scramble climb and I highly recommend it, and it delivers hours of 3rd and 4th class moves up and, of course, down.

Vesper Peak

July 21, 2019 - I have been wanting to do Vesper for a long while now. Last year I did Mount Pugh, nearby, but didn't do Vesper. Well, my wait for a great day paid off. This was a perfect day to climb Vesper Peak.

The drive into the Vesper TH was not too bad. I had a truck, but any Subaru would have little trouble getting to the TH either. The trail conditions were about as good as possible for this climb.

This was 7 miles round-trip with 4500 feet of elevation gain.

Kaleetan Peak

I climbed Kaleetan Peak on July 19, 2019. It rained in the early morning and the trails were wet. I proceeded cautiously to do this 11 mile route with 5600 feet of *total* elevation gain.

On my return I ran into Kaytlyn Gerbin twice. Once near peak 5700 I saw this woman really haulin' the mail. I yelled "You go girl", and she yelled back that she was trying for the record time for Kaleetan.

I ran into her a second time about 1/2 mile below Melakwa Lake. As she passed I told her, "You're my 2nd favorite hero, right behind Courtney Dauwalter". I later learned that Kaytlyn finished in 2nd place (F) behind 1st place (F) finisher Courtney in the Western States 100 (2018). That was a weird coincidence.

I filmed her for a brief time as she was burning up the trail. You can see her at 1:53 in this video.

Her round-trip record-setting time was 3h 6m 17s.

Climbing Mt. Bachelor - Trip Report

July 5, 2019 -- We started our hike up Mt. Bachelor at 8:45am. The temperature was already 58F degrees, so we knew the snow would be perfect. Shortly after entering the woods we encountered our first patches of snow. The snow was a long carpet to the summit after only 15 or 20 minutes of hiking.

I wore trail-runners and Sara wore hiking boots. I carried an ice axe, but I preferred to use my hiking poles on the ascent and descent. I did not feel any need to use the axe. Sara used a hiking pole and an ice axe.

The route up/down is a total of six miles from the highway to the summit with 2900 feet of elevation gain. The snow conditions are still good for carving some turns. We saw skiers, boarders, and a trail runner (doing a double!). I ran down most of the snow from the summit back down to the (closed) parking lot.

Be careful about parking. The entrance is closed, and so is parking along the highway. However, you can park in the dirt area just West of the parking entrance.

Topo: https://caltopo.com/m/J210

Mount Adams

I climbed Mt. Adams on June 10, 2019. I left the trailhead at 2:30 in the morning. Only the first half mile of the trail was snow-free. The remainder was firm snow in the early morning hours. I arrived on the summit at about 10:00 am. The hike up was about seven and a half hours and about three and three-quarters back.


The weather was perfect, and the snow was nicely firm on the ascent. The descent was soft enough to glissade down at many points.


The snow got soft enough for skiers around 11:00am to carve turns from the summit without being icy.

Training on South Sister

June 3, 2019 - The mountain, South Sister, is a short drive from my home in Bend, Oregon. I usually climb this mountain three or four times a year for conditioning and training. It is 5,000 feet of climbing and 12 miles round-trip. This time of year, however, it is much more difficult because it is a slow snow-slog to the summit and back.

When the trail is dry all the way to the summit in late-July, it takes me half the time. This effort took 6.25 hours up and 3.75 hours down. My record for up and down when the snow is gone is 4 hours and 45 minutes round-trip. A big difference when there's snow!

150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad Completion

May 10, 2019 - On our return from Cedar Mesa, we stopped to see the meeting reenactment of the Jupiter and No, 119 trains. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railways joined together at Promontory Summit, 66 miles northwest of Salt Lake City on May 10, 1869.

The Undiscovered Ruin

May, 2019 - We finally returned after about 12 or 13 years to the ruin we discovered by accident in Cedar Mesa. After a number of attempts to reach it, I finally made it up to it. The lack of footprints anywhere near the fine sand, and my footprints left behind left no doubt we were the first to visit this site in, at least, decades or longer.

Also included here are the Yellow House Ruin and the House on Fire Ruin

The Old Columbia Gorge Highway

April 28, 2019 - We rode the Old Columbia Highway 30. It was a perfect day on the Gorge for a bike ride. This is one of a few bike-only sections of the old highway. It is very scenic and beautiful with two tunnels to pass through from Hood River to Mosier, OR.

Just a Local Workout: Skin up to Mt. Bachelor

April 22, 2019 - Took the Tele skis and skins up to Mt. Bachelor for a workout. I've been doing this recently, and will do it while the snow lasts on Mt. B this season. I head up to Pine Marten Lodge, remove the skins and ski down. It really works the quads.

Hiking Misery Ridge and The Scar

April 12, 2019 - This is a fun, short, Spring-time conditioning hike. I will do this with Sara sometimes or solo. I do it a few times each Spring and Fall. It is about seven miles with about 2600 feet of climbing.

This hike combines both the climb up the Misery-Ridge trail and The Scar on the South-East side. The Scar, in particular, is a very steep, but short, trail of only 1/3rd mile, but the challenge is to see how long it takes to get up it.

Escalante National Monument: 100 hands

April7, 2019 - On my "down day" I enjoyed a couple of short hikes. The first was to the "100 hands" pictograph. The second was to "Upper Calf Creek Falls".

Horse Canyon

April 6, 2019 - I hiked Horse Canyon. This canyon wasn't a slot, but rather a canyon that transforms from a wide wash-type canyon into a slot and back and forth. It was yet another pleasant day for a hike near Boulder, UT and the Escalante National Moument.

Little Death Hollow

April 5, 2019 - On my solo Spring trip to Escalanate I stopped and did a slot canyon called Little Death Hollow. Although I didn't see the similarity to Death Hollow, I sure enjoyed this 17 mile day hike.

Luckily there was almost zero mud and water obstacles to deal with and the boulder obstacles were fun to bypass.

Little Death Hollow - Full

April 5, 2019 - This is the full 30 minute movie of Little Death Hollow.

South Kaibab to Bright Angel via Tonto Trail

This was part trail run and part hike for me on this 13 mi trek in the Grand Canyon. I have enough experience with the Bright Angel trail having done the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim (R3) trail run seven years ago. But I've never been on the Tonto Trail, so I thought of this short-loop.

Originally I was trying to get a backcountry backpacking permit... yeah, good luck with that.

Outer Limits Cross-Country Ski Route

March 4, 2109 - Sara found a loop around the outer limits of the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Ski area. We had this fantastic day. The weather was perfect for Nordic skiing and all of the black diamond runs were freshly groomed.