Off the beaten path. Many times, there is no trail to take us to our desired destination. We have to find our own way. In the case of our Montana adventure, it involved fording raging rivers, boulder hopping for miles and bushwhacking through dense, thorny brush. Eventually, we reunited with the trail, with the perfect amount of daylight and stoke left.
Choss boss. As we neared the end of the Kessler-Superior linkup, the rock quality started to deteoriate, quickly. For those considering this traverse, I recommend bypassing Cardiac Ridge. In this photo, I'm practicing a technique @brodyleven taught me for dealing with tired legs! Press your hands onto your thighs to engage core. #bigmtndreams #find_away
Yesterday, I completed a ridge traverse I've been dreaming about for a year- Kessler peak to Superior! Lots of exposed scrambling forced me to focus on footwork. Which leads me to my tech tip of the day: precise footwork will save energy on a big day. Look down at where you are stepping, take soft, small steps, and don't forget to breathe! It gets easier every time- I can't wait to figure out my next ridge link up. #bigmtndreams #exploremore #find_away
We all have fears. One of my fears is lightning. Today, I almost cancelled my planned adventure because of the weather forecast. But we decided to go, always monitoring the weather and considering a bail plan. I ended up completing a ridge traverse I've been dreaming about for a year- Kessler Peak to Superior! There were a lot of unknowns when we started this adventure, but we navigated our way to a successful finish, with only a few raindrops falling on our heads. Sometimes you have to face your deepest fear to accomplish your goals. #bigmtndreams
Getting down and dirty, planting trees. This weekend, I volunteered with TreeUtah and together, we planted 2,000 native trees at @skisolitude. There are very few ancient trees in Big Cottonwood Canyon due to widespread logging for mining activities in the late 1800s. In addition to all their other benefits, trees tend to anchor the snowpack, which can prevent destructive avalanche activity. I had so much fun digging around in the dirt with @megansuszynski and @hbdub, giving these little trees a new home in the Wasatch mountains.
"Training is not the same as exercising; training requires discipline, attention, and consistency. The challenge is to adhere to a schedule and gently coax your body into a regime, not bludgeon it into submission." Excerpt from Training for the New Alpinism by @stevehouse10. Tonight's training session involved hiking to the top of Hidden Peak at @snowbird. Thanks @brookegaynes and @johngaynes for being such stellar training partners! #bigmtndreams #trainingforthenewalpinism
When trip planning, remember that the best adventures don't have to be the most expensive. We had so much fun snow camping on the glacier in Alaska and earning our turns instead of flying from a helicopter. What are your tips for adventure traveling on a budget? I'm curious to learn for future trip planning! #akgirls_way #bigmtndreams @bigagnes_
A lovely morning scramble across Devil's Castle with @andrewbydlon and @lhittmeier. Moving around in technical, exposed terrain like this is challenging- the movement is physically demanding and often, there are route finding issues and other unknowns. But, a wise mentor once told me, "familiarity breeds confidence," so I like to practice to keep skills sharp. Plus, there's nothing like a spicy ridge traverse to wake you up in the morning. #bigmtndreams #exploremore
"We are all explorers." -Eric Larsen. I had the opportunity to listen to @elexplore speak today at the Outdoor Sustainability Insights Conference. His journey to the North Pole is super inspiring and is giving me new motivation as I plan my goals and trips for 14-15! Photo: ridge walking near Sunrise Peak taken by @tmacphee. #bigmtndreams
Solo ridge scramble in very Scottish conditions. Sometimes you have to make the best of marginal conditions, deal with wet feet and slippery rock, and plan to bail quickly at the first clap of thunder. Luckily the weather window held for my afternoon jaunt up the West Ridge of Toledo! #bigmtndreams #embracetheelements #exploremore
Happy bday to my friend, photographer, videographer and ski mountaineer extraordinaire @ktmillerphoto. This past winter, KT and I went to Chamonix where we climbed and skied some of the steepest, most technical terrain the world. KT not only held her own, but she managed to film and shoot photos too! Keep an eye for our video webisode this fall, #chamonixoxo and follow Kt's adventures on Instagram. #bigmtndreams #find_away #exploremore
Without challenge, we would never grow strong. Overcoming physical and mental barriers is the key is self discovery, and performance in the mountains. #latergram from a particularly character building walk out through Cascade Canyon after skiing the full SW Couloir in the Middle Teton last spring. Photo: @tetonsandwasatch #bigmtndreams
CG tech tip of the day: practice down climbing. For me, down climbing is mentally challengig because it forces me to look at all the exposure below (eek). But practice makes perfect. It's an essential skill for the aspiring alpinist- especially if you're interested in ridge traverses! Practice in the gym or on TR. Photo: navigating a small cruxy down climbing move on the Matthes Crest in the Sierras. #bigmtndreams
After spending much time pushing myself on harder climbs, it felt so good to move fast over moderate terrain. Today, we simul-climbed 1400' of immaculate golden granite in two long pitches to bring us to the top of Tenaya Peak. I'm calling my trip #sierraspaweekend because this type of alpine climbing feels rejuvenating to my spirit. #bigmtndreams
There's something so gratifying about moving fast and light and covering a lot of ground in a day. Last summer, the ridge traverses of the Wasatch Mountains captured my imagination. Today, I'm packing up for a trip to the High Sierra to explore more spicy, knife edge terrain. So excited! The South Ridge of Superior (pictured here) will always be a source of inspiration and is the perfect training ground to take my skills to other ranges. Photo: @ktmillerphoto #bigmtndreams #exploremore
My two rules of alpine sufferfests: 1) it could be worse 2) just don't think about it. A little blood on the paws after climbing a razor sharp finger crack on a newly established route in Hogum Fork. On our two day outing, we were stoked to accompany the first ascensionist, Mark Evans, to place a bolt to protect the finishing move. #petzlgram @patagonia #bigmtndreams
The most idyllic mountain meadow, deep in the Wasatch. Alpine climbing is all new to me. And often, it feels really hard. But honing my ability to climb steep, technical terrain is some of the best training for ski mountaineering. So I persist, trying to tackle as many pitches as I can, with new lessons at each crux. #bigmtndreams #find_away #exploremore
Embrace your inner dirtbag. I found mine by sleeping in the perfect meadow under the splitter of my dreams, deep in the Wasatch wilderness. Despite the voracious mosquito attacks on every exposed piece of flesh, I managed to wake up and cheerfully climb a newly established route on the wall behind our bivy site. Hope you get in touch with your inner dirtbag this weekend!