Quoted: Lionel Terray

If the conquest of a great peak brings moments of exultation and bliss, which in the monotonous, materialistic existence of modern times nothing else can approach, it also presents great dangers. It is not the goal of grand alpinisme to face peril, but it is one of the tests one must undergo to deserve the joy of rising for an instant above the state of crawling grubs. On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men.

It is hard to return to servitude…

Lionel Terray was one of my first favorite climbers, simply because of his ability to convey such familiar feelings about the sport so eloquently.

An Alphabet Update

This past week I was pleased to find out that my work had been featured on a favorite blog of mine, namely Coldsplinters!

How slick is that? An unexpected pleasure. A big thank you to Mr. Jeff Thrope for the post and write-up. There’s 2 posters left at the moment if anyone’s still hunting down early Christmas presents, but stay tuned as there’s more on the way.

*UPDATE – all sold out at the moment, but more soon…


WATCH: A Skier’s Journey

While I don’t consider myself a bona-fide “skier” by any means, I do enjoy sliding around in the white stuff on a snowboard from time to time. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some time for said sliding this year on my splitboard. This winter is supposedly going to be a heavy one, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, this series from photographer Jordan Manley really resonated with me and provided no small amount of stoke this morning. Amazing locations, super-tight editing, and a great eye for angles and adrenaline.

Paul Petzoldt

Paul Petzoldt

Having lived now in Wyoming for nearly 2 years, I’ve come to really appreciate and love the climbing history that surrounds me. I recently finished a wonderful book called “Teton Tales and Other Petzoldt Anecdotes“, which is a brief memoir of sorts from Paul Petzoldt. It was a quick read, but only because the stories were so close to home, and so comfortably shared by the man who lived them. Petzoldt started climbing pretty early and had a good common sense approach to safety and order which manifested itself in the climbing commands still in use by climbers today around the world. He pretty much set the standards known today as minimum-impact camping, and taught those principles to thousands over the years through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Wilderness Education Association (WEA). In the introduction to Petzoldt’s book, his friend Kevin Cassidy summed up the simple lessons Paul shared: know where you are going, watch your step, look around the bend, and pay attention to what you have left behind. I think we need more people like Mr. Petzoldt, now so more than ever. Anyway – having just finished the book and done a little reading up on the guy, it made my day when I came across this footage of Paul along with a wonderful overview of his work with NOLS. The video below was recently found at the NOLS headquarters and cleaned up and posted online. It’s a bit rough, but the message comes through clear enough.

See also: An article on Paul Petzoldt from Life Magazine in 1969.

Thirty Years Ago

I was just barely 4 years old and living in Mountain View, Wyoming when Mount St. Helens erupted, but it’s one of those events I’ve always “remembered”, even without being actually present. My grandparents were living in Seattle and sent down a newspaper which I still have around here somewhere… Having lived in the PNW for most of my life now, it’s a part of the history and culture of the area, and even more so with my interest in climbing history. From my father’s memorable sunburn on a summer ascent and our shared summit in 1994 with my scout troop, to seeing the mountain on a daily basis when we lived in Vancouver, it’s just always been there – along with the knowledge of how unimaginably powerful she was that day 30 years ago.

Some links to browse:

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Boston Globe’s Big Picture: Mount St. Helens, 30 Years Ago
Spokesman Review Retrospective

Dick McGowan

Dick McGowan

That’s one heck of a resume.

Seattle’s own Dick McGowan was (among other things – see above) the first employee of REI, the first American to set foot on Mt. Everest, led the first guided climb of Denali, and obviously an accomplished backpack model.

WATCH: The North Cascades

Always a place that held both good memories and no small amount of mystery to me, Washington’s North Cascade region is a pretty unique. Many of my first climbing mis-adventures took place in this part of the state, and I have a lot of respect for those hills. This video gives a tidy little overview of the area and features a quick couple of minutes on the indomitable Fred Beckey… Someone I’ve had the pleasure to meet a couple of times and hope to see out there someday!