Friday, December 26, 2008

Powder Day!

December 26, 2008

Hit KC today. wOw! 14 inches of powder over the 25th. From 9:30 to around noon it was fantastic....then the crowds showed up. :-(

Did run into Dean in the lift line. Never met him in person, but I recognized him from photos. I just yelled out "DEAN" and he turned his head to see who yelled his name. We had a great run down the "back side" into the Moose Traverse. Plenty of powder!



Saturday, December 13, 2008

Blast From the Past!

My Sweetheart....
Trafalgar Square

Kathleen in London - Trafalgar Square - 1978

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grand Targhee - December 9, 2008

Boys said it was great!

Targhee - December 9, 2008

They have been twice in the last week or so, Did find out last night, KC will try to open next Wednesday...all we need is a bit more snow. The forecast shows some white stuff on the way for this weekend, so....fingers are crossed!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Healing Up....

December 2, 2008

It has been just under a month since I went in for repairs. I am now feeling human again. Been a bit of an ordeal but I see that I will be able to snowboard, perhaps as soon as next weekend. We have reservations at a condo up to JH for next Saturday night. I will give the $10 lift a try. No need to overdo it. I should be 100% by the end of the month. Glad this is almost over!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nice Rack!

Poor shots. Was late evening with low light conditions....damn near dark really. Thought they were worth posting anyway.

Size? 9 x 7....

Ririe, Idaho

Ririe, Idaho

Little Brother!

Mule Deer

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My minor surgery on the 4th ended up being much more than I bargained for. What was scheduled to be a simple 1.5 hour long Laparoscopic surgery for inguinal hernia repair, along with an umbilical hernia repair turned ugly and I was under for 5 and 1/2 hours....... I am only now feeling well enough to type a few lines.

Love the Percocet ....hate the should I say this....well, hate the swollen nuts. No delicate way to say that.

Swollen? Beyond belief. The size of a small cantelope/large grapefruit. No bullshit. wOw! My wife wanted to take photographs to provide evidence to me, in case I did not remember through my painful and blurry recovery.....oh, lord, please...I don't want to remember.....

Now I wake from my stupor to find that it has been snowing on the pass....I think I will pop a couple pills and go back to la la land.......

November 15, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

White Pine

From a couple of years ago, nothing spectacular. Was the last day of the season @ White Pine. Beautiful warm day. I had the video camera and was just dinking around with it. The boys were quite bored with the lack of terrain, but we made the best of it, was better than just sitting around the house all day.

White Pine 2007

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ice Caves

Tate and I woke early this morning and took a trip up to the Ice Caves out on the desert. These caves are located south and east of Kilgore, Idaho. The old "Red" road is now paved, though traffic is low. At the county line we took a very rough dirt road that took us 5 miles east. Very rough. It has been 6 years since I had been out there, so it took a bit of searching before we found the caves. We did find them eventually and spent a couple of hours exploring. Most had ice, like the name implies, but the big one had 1 inch of ice on top of about 2 feet of cold, cold water, blocking our way.

These cave are actually Lava tubes, formed when lava continues to flow under a hardened surface. Then, when the source of the lava dries up, the tube drains, leaving a tunnel that can stretch for miles! Think of all the tubes that may exist deep in the earth, buried from one eruption after another.

Some of the ice was 2 feet thick and very clear. Each cave was a little bit different.
Tate - Ice Cave

Tate - Ice Cave

Tate - Ice Cave

Did you know that one-third of Idaho is covered with lava. Idaho has the largest unbroken field of lava on the North American Continent, covering 23,000 square miles. The volcanic rock can be as thick as 5,000 feet that accumulated over a period of 30 million years..wOw!

Tate - Ice Cave

Tate 1 and Tate 2


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pond Skim

Yaaaah Freakin' Hoo!





Saturday, October 18, 2008

Close But So Far

So close to home, but with the rough road in, so far away. We have plans to visit this winter....think we will find huge cornices to jump off of...we shall see...

Tate - Ririe Highlands

Ririe Rocks

Knobs - Ririe Highlands

Ririe Reservoir

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beartooth Pass Trip - July 26-27, 2008

Tate wanted to make a quick trip up to the Beartooth Pass this summer for some mid-summer boarding. Did not suck.

We left late Friday night, drove through the park in the dark. Made it to the pass just as the sun was coming up. Spectacular. Awesome area to say the least. Didn't take long to find what we were looking for. The boys killed it.....

Saturday, September 27, 2008


What gets you up in the morning? Work? Sure. Most people have to do the 9 to 5 thing. But if work was all there was, it would be a terrible way to go through life. I mean, what does everyone do? Wake, go to work, come home, eat, watch TV, go to bed, do it all over again? That sucks. Big time. Certainly there is more to life, right?

Good Times

Passion. I have more than one, though sadly I think many people appear to have none. Seriously. One only has to look around for a while to see what it is that most of us find interesting. Movies, TV, shopping, eating out. These are things that are OK now and again, but every day? Come on! Keeping tabs on what celebrities do on a daily basis? Please.

I think many people are missing out on life. Many. It is sad to think of all the people going through the motions, and acting out one stupid and worthless pursuit after another.

HWY 28

24? Never watched it. Movies? Once a year at the most. Eating out? I can cook a better steak than any chain restaurant.

No, I save my time and money for better things. Worthwhile things. Worthwhile time.

If you have not found your passion, get to looking for it. It is out there.... waiting for you to find it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Osborn Mountain

"You Don't Know Why?" This is what my wife said to me after I couldn't answer the question posed to me..."Why do you climb your stupid mountains?" She wasn't being terribly critical. Just an offhand question one evening. I just shrugged and tried to ignore her.

Sweetheart....if you have to ask, you won't understand. But I will try.......

Explanation to My Wife

Perhaps long ago I should have put into writing why I have this need to disappear every weekend to go climb some obscure, out of the way mountain. It is not for the danger, for I rarely climb anything all that hard. There have been times and places where it got a little dicey, but I prefer to stay in the Class 3 to easy Class 4. Perhaps this report will help her understand.

I will start with the planning...not much goes into it other than stuffing all my crap into the outfit, making sure I have everything, double checking that I have everything, a kiss for my wife goodbye and informing her of my destination. "I don't know where the hell Osborn Mountain is!" she says. “In the Northern Winds, near the Green River Lakes” I tell her, “it is written on a note pad on the fridge”.

I hop in the outfit, drive to the end of the street and ask myself, “Did I forget anything?” It is late in the afternoon, traffic is light, the scenery familiar, I am excited about the trip. Some good tunes on the CD to round it off.

As I drive, I let my eyes wander over the surrounding mountains. I ponder about those that I have yet to climb. I think to myself that someday, perhaps I will get around to it. But this weekend it is off to the Winds. New country. Excitement. I have been in the area but most of it is new to me.

The sun starts to set. The sky behind me is full of smoke. Farmers burning stubble fields. The setting sun is spectacular. Funny how on one hand I disapprove of the burning, but enjoy the amazing colors it produces.

Dark now and I have to watch out for deer in the Snake River and Hoback canyons as I travel east. Soon I detect lightning ahead. Then FLASH! And another one to my right. Two cells of weather are producing amazing flashes of light. I can see the mountain tops of the staggering Wind River Range light up from every flash. Awesome! Strangely beautiful in the second or two that they stand out each time it lights up.

I pull into the Green River Lakes parking lot. It is quiet. I can still see lightning flashes, but cannot hear the thunder. It is late but I decide to walk down to the lake shore. It is dark, no moon. Even the stars, as bright as they are give no light to guide me. I come to the shore and feel the wind on my face. It is blowing hard, bringing with it the smell of smoke from a distant fire.

To bed I go, already made in the back of my outfit. Sleep comes after a while, not soon enough though, as I anticipate tomorrows adventure.

6 am comes and it is time to rise, does not take long to get ready, and soon I am off. I note that the parking lot is full. Colorado plates dominate (after Wyoming) and Utah comes in second. Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas. More. Idaho is represented by a couple of outfits.

My surroundings are very quiet. I try to be quiet. I see no one. It is a beautiful morning with the promise of a beautiful day. I take a few pictures and find that I have forgotten one of my memory cards at home in the reader. Oh well, I will have to switch back and forth, from the Minolta to the Kodak. A bit of a hassle, but hey, how hard was it for Jackson? This was just a minor inconvenience.

I quietly hike down the trail. The route I have chosen is seldom used and is a little hard to follow. That is ok, I have done this sort of thing before, I feel confident that I can find the way. I climb through sagebrush and aspen. The smells are of my childhood. I briefly reminisce about my early years. They are fairly good memories, especially of those summers I spent in east Idaho with my grandparents.

Quaking Aspens
Osborn Mountain Trail

The route becomes steep. The faint trail goes straight up. No switch backs here. I rest often. Soaking in the views. A chickadee does acrobatics in a dead tree. I watch it for a while. Bouncing around from limb to limb. Amazing stunts. More steep hiking and then a green upper basin to give me a break. My endorphins kick in a little. Got a small buzz going.

The views up stream are spectacular. Steep walls on both sides. Boulders the size of small houses greet me.

I stop to decide on what route to take. Up the bottom of the basin to a gap on the horizon? Or hump it up the canyon side to gain a ridge top? I opt for the ridge and soon find the going steep. 20 steps and then rest. Repeat. Again. And Again. Soon it is 15 steps and then rest. Then 10. Then 5. I can see the top of the ridge. Just 50 feet away. So close, yet so far. I make it after a couple of short breathing stops…Gasp….

But now I find the ridge to be instead - a slanted mountain top. And I am at the bottom end of a fell-field. It becomes a pleasure walk. A walk in the park. It is perhaps a mile and a half to the top with about a 1000 feet of elevation gain. It is grassy, and amazingly shaped boulders are strewn everywhere.

I sit down and have lunch. A Mormon cricket makes a strange chirping noise by my left hand.

Man are they ugly. I reach for it to have a better look. It really makes a noise now. I decide not to disturb it, as life on the wind swept plateau must be hard enough as it is.

I watch the clouds zoom by overhead. They are light and fluffy, but are traveling fast. I watch the western sky. Looks OK for now, but I decide to get going. Weather can change fast.

The going is easy, the views are spectacular to the right. Squaretop is partially hidden behind White Mountain.

View From the Top

I stroll across the top, eventually coming to the SE edge of this massive mountain top. The view is nothing less than stunning. Peak after peak cut across the horizon. The highest core of the Wind River Range jump out at me. So close, yet so far away. I walk to the very edge. The drop is startling. I find a place to sit and munch a chocolate bar while I try to orient myself to the peaks. Squaretop and Flat Top I can identify. I see a peak that I think is Gannett, but I am not 100% sure. I later find that it is indeed the King of the Winds.

I linger for a while, not wanting to leave. I walk along the edge a bit, crossing some snow left over from last winter. I wonder to myself, not many people can say they touched snow today. A few, but not many I surmise. I am one of the few. One of the few who find themselves in high, remote places. Alone. But not lonesome. I smile to myself. I am one lucky bastard.

I start back reluctantly. The walk down is pleasant. I see a low saddle a little further down the slope from where I topped out earlier and decide to try it on the descent. As I stand at the top of saddle, I look left. A beautiful view over to the Slide Lake area. I tell myself that there is another place I need to investigate. I mentally add it to the hundred other places I need to explore.

The remainder of the trip down is pleasant. Steep in places, and hard on the knees. I will feel it tomorrow. A reminder. I will wake up with sore legs and remember.

I stroll into the parking lot. Most of the outfits are gone. I am glad to be down. But I am also a bit sad. I pack my stuff in the back and as I am backing out of my parking space I am already thinking about my next trip. My next adventure. Where will it be? Could be anywhere. Almost anywhere I want. Cool.

As I drive back down the road towards home, I reflect back on the day, and observe that familiar feeling of complete satisfaction for a day well spent. I feel a contentment of my soul. Memories to get me through the mundane times, which occasionally overtake me on the 9-5 routine.

The drive home through the Hoback and Snake River Canyons are just icing on the cake. The mountains and ridges fade to shades of gray as the sun sets. The perfect end to a perfect day.

To my dear wife….Why do I do it? Well, because I like to, simple as that. I doubt you will, or can, understand. Don’t worry though, I still love you!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Gilmore Peak

It looked like the weather was going to be great for the upcoming weekend so I decided mid-week to make some plans. I invited my boys to come along but the eldest had to work on Saturday and the two youngest had football practice. They sadly declined and said perhaps next time! I saw the opportunity to get out by myself with no restrictions as to where to go and how long to stay. Cool!

Bell Mountain
Bell Mountain

No problem, I like to get out on my own, and do so about 30% of the time. I chose Gilmore Peak in the Lemhi Range of Idaho. I was somewhat familiar with the area, fairly close (by Idaho standards) and I have wanted to climb this one for years.

I got a few things done around the house Saturday AM and then loaded up and headed out just after noon. I had all afternoon to get up there, the weather was good, the tunes were good, and life was good!

Once past MudLake the traffic thinned (as if it was heavy before) and I set the cruise control at about 70 mph. I decided I had plenty of time to mess around so I checked out Skull Canyon and then the Charcoal Kilns – again. Pretty cool places. Pre-Historic Man had occupied this valley as far back as 10,000 years.
Skull Canyon was supposedly used by Native Americans for “burials”. I don’t know if that is true or not. I have heard that early settlers found skeletons in some of the many caves that are around here.

Charcoal Kilns - Sixteen kilns were built in 1866 to make charcoal for the smelter at Nicholia. Operations ceased in 1888 and the kilns were left to the elements. Over the years most of the kilns were torn down and the bricks used for other structures. Four kilns are still standing and some work has been done to preserve them.

Lemhi Range
Lemhi Range

I drive further up the valley enjoying the view, mountains on both sides towering into the evening sky. I find a place about a quarter mile off the main road and settle in for the night. I spent the rest of the evening taking time exposures of the night sky – very clear here, and watching a DVD of Lewis and Clark. Kind of cool that they crossed the continental divide just a few miles from where I was.

Milky Way
Milky Way

The next morning I wake early and drive the few miles to the trail head. Located at the Meadow Lake Campground I find everyone still asleep. Very quietly I check my daypack for all necessary goods and head up the trail. A very peaceful morning it is and a promise of a great day ahead.

The trail is easy to follow and I soon find myself at the Lemhi Divide, elevation 10,200 feet. The trail forks here, straight over the saddle and down into upper Mill Creek, to the right which will take you to the top of Portland Mountain, or to the left up a ridge that curves around to the east. This is the path I follow. I look ahead and the terrain looks very rugged. I have some doubts but keep on heading up. There were some obstacles, but nothing all that serious. It looked way worse than it really was. I wouldn’t get grandma up there but any serious scrambler will have no trouble reaching the top.

Looking South towards Bell and Diamond....
Lemhi Range

Now as I am eating my lunch I look down the ridge leading to the east. It looks shorter than going back the way I came. I debate with myself for a few minutes whether to try it or not, and then decide to give it a go.

I shouldn’t have listened. I should have gone back the same way. But no, I wanted to explore a new route. There is a reason why no one goes this way. No Easy Way Off in this direction. I should have slapped myself silly..... The last half mile was a bear. Very steep and very loose rock. Left some skin on this peak I did! I made such a racket coming down through the rock that I was sure that everyone in the campground below must surely be looking up wondering what the heck was going on. Well after much thrashing around I finally make it down to less steep terrain. Twenty minutes later I find myself crossing the lake’s outlet on some logs and then I walk up the lake shore where I find a guy sitting in a lawn chair with a fishing pole in hand. I asked him how the fishing was, he said so-so. He asked me what I was doing and when I told him he said “No kidding? That's pretty crazy!” I asked “Did you not hear me coming off the top?” He said he didn’t hear a thing. That was fine with me. No one heard the ruckus. I was back at my outfit in a couple of minutes where my cold beverage and sandwich were waiting.

Gilmore Peak

On the way back down the road I stopped and checked out some of the old cabins at Gilmore. One in particular we call the Rat Palace. Used to stay in it when I was much younger – with the rats. It is still standing after close to a hundred years – cool. The rest of the drive home was uneventful. That was OK. I already had enough excitement for one day!