Major (to me anyway) Trips, Attempts and Climbs

The Highlights (and a few low-lights):

July 1998 - Bighorn Mountains, WY

  • My first alpine climbing trip
  • With Eric and Travis, Guided by Ron
  • Climbed two couloirs above Powell Lakes on Bomber Mountain and an easy rock route up the buttress between them
  • On the way home Travis and I got spanked on the Durrance (5.7) on Devil's Tower

May/June 1999 Bighorn Mountains, WY

  • Eric and I went on our first unguided mountain adventure...we bailed after a day of post-holing up to our waists and me tweaking a hip-flexor in the process

June 1999 - Mt. Adams, WA

  • With Eric and Phil, Guided by Ron
  • Climbed the White Salmon/Avalanche Glacier (AI 1-2) route

July 1999 - Colorado

  • First cross-country solo road trip
  • Met my college roommate Matt in Colorado
  • Climbed the Summit Lake Bowl on Mt. Evans and some shorter rock routes in Boulder Canyon

June 2000 - Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming

  • A grand mountain adventure with Phil
  • Spent several nights camping and skiing on the Hogsback of Mt. Hood, then climbed to the summit via the Pearly Gates (Easy Snow) on the south side of the mountain
  • Made a half-hearted attempt to walk into Liberty Ridge (AI 2-3) on Rainier, but stopped because of unstable snow conditions high on the mountain
  • Spent several nights at the Lower Saddle between the Middle and Grand Tetons, got lost attempting to find the Upper Exum Ridge (5.4), and survived the worst thunderstorm I can remember - a learning experience to say the least

Summer 2000 - Devil's Lake, WI

Summer 2000 - South Dakota and Wyoming

  • Went on a week-or-two road-trip with Scott, Eric and Matt
  • Redpointed Dykes Next Door (5.11a) in the Rushmore Needles of South Dakota - first redpoint harder than 5.10
  • First Ascent The Rain King (5.5) a single-pitch rock route above Powell Lakes in the Bighorn Mountains
  • Climbed Durrance (5.7) on Devil's Tower

January 2001 - Chimborazo, Ecuador

  • Participated in a new route attempt on the northeastern side of Chimborazo as a junior guide. The weather, altitude and time beat us. Two weeks is not enough time to travel, acclimate, and climb a new route on a 6268m peak.

February 2001 - Munising, MI

  • Soloed The Dryer Hose (WI3+) - first real ice solo, it was like a drug. It was dusk, and I climbed its 60 feet in less than the 3:19 it took for Last Resort by Papa Roach to scream through my headphones - my pre-amygdala brain needed more.

February 2001 - Orient Bay Canada

March 2001 - Utah

  • First big wall climbing trip, and first big trip with Jay
  • Failed 5 pitches up Spaceshot (5.7 C2)
  • Old ropes and sandstone big walls do not mix - we core-shot both of our lead ropes, then bailed
  • We spent the rest of the trip in the Moab and Indian Creek area. The only thing I remember having done for sure is West Crack (5.8+) on Owl Rock.

July 2001 - Wyoming

  • Stopped at the Tower and did Durrance (5.7) with Scott and Chuck on the way to or from the Bighorns
  • Got stormed/conditioned out of the Powell Lakes area of the Bighorns without doing much

Late July/August (??) 2001 - Washington

December 2001 - Orient Bay, Canada

January 2002 - Bighorn Mountains, WY

  • Paul and I took clients on a winter alpine climbing trip to the Bighorn Mountains
  • First Ascents of Perfect Blue Buildings (III WI3 800ft) and Catch 22 (IV 5.9 WI3+ 2000ft) on the north face of Mather Peaks
  • This trip was a highlight, and a turning point - from here I knew could go higher and harder, but never did - I realized where that would end up - after this trip, and the Orient Bay trip before it, I no longer felt invincible with a pair of ice tools in my hands

March 2002 - Utah and Colorado

  • Jay, Matt and I went to Utah for spring break
  • We got shutdown a few pitches from the top on the Lowe Route (5.10 C2) on Angel's Landing, we just didn't have enough gas in the tank, or the experience to get it done - we also bailed off Spaceshot (5.7 C2) in the first few pitches because Matt had forgotten his helmet and we had all accepted defeat
  • We ended up bouldering in Ibex, and had a rad time in an amazing setting - I doubt we will ever experience anything close to the freedom we experienced on this trip
  • On the way home we stopped in Boulder, CO and climbed The First Flatiron via the Direct Route (5.6 R)

June 2002 - Delta Range, AK

  • Met Phil in Alaska and got shut down by a bum knee, one of the hardest failures of my career

September and October 2002 - Yosemite National Park, CA

December 2002 - Orient Bay, Canada

  • Went to Nipigon, with Ron
  • Repeated several climbs 
  • The most significant route for me on the trip was Mellow Yellow (WI3+) a tall, gorgeous line, not far from the road - one of my favorite pitches ever

September 2003 - Yosemite National Park, CA

  • My last climbing hurrah after accepting a full-time position in Chicago
  • Repeated several climbs
  • Attempted to solo The Prow (5.8 C2-3) on Washington Column, got stuck behind a slow party and bailed on the first day - bummer
  • Climbed Royal Arches (5.7 A0) with Dan
  • Attempted the Southeast Buttress (5.6) on Cathedral Peak in Tuolumne with Dan, got caught in a storm and descended with Dean Potter and company - that's a classic story, ask me some time
  • Attempted Mescalito (5.9+ A3) with Darren, I had no business on this route at that time, and we quit two exciting pitches up

Summer 2004 - Grand Teton National Park, WY and Rushmore Needles, SD

  • After more than a year of living in Chicago, I took a vacation and met my friends Ron and Chris in the Tetons. They climbed the Grand, I felt like I was going to die on the hike in and arrived at camp several hours after they did.
  • I took a beating in SD on the way home too.
  • This trip humbled me, a lot, and while it would take a decade for me to gain back what I had lost in only a year, this trip caused me to commit what time I could manage to climbing and not losing all of it.

October 2005 - Red River Gorge, KY

  • Ron and I went to the Red, it was fun, I got to climb at Roadside before it was closed - most of the stuff we did was easy trad or sport.

March 2006 - Red River Gorge, KY

  • Ron, Scott and I went for a Spring Break Trip, it was fun, but I was not climbing hard after a winter inside

July 2006 - City of Rocks, ID

  • Ron and I took a trip to the City of Rocks, it was fun, I redpointed my first 5.10 sport route Tribal Boundaries (5.10a) after coming back from my hiatus.
  • We did a bunch of routes on that trip, things were starting to come back

Summer/Fall 2006 - Devil's Lake, WI

April 2007 - Red River Gorge, KY

Spring 2007 - Devils Lake, WI

  • Climbed Coup d'Etat (5.11b) a great thrill to know I had not lost much over the winter
  • Climbed Pacific Ocean Wall (5.11d) on top rope. This was a major goal for me, and I spent a ton of time working on it. At the time it was the hardest route I had ever done in any style.

August 2007 - Vedauwoo, WY

  • Spent a week here with Ron, and climbed a lot of fun stuff, although the biggest hit was certainly Edward's Crack (5.7).

June 2008 - Oregon and Washington

  • Todd and I managed to get up both the South Spur of Mt. Adams and the South Side Route of Mt. Hood
  • Despite both routes being considered easy, I was happy with our training and the resulting ability to meet and overcome obstacles along the way. It was good to get back up in the thin air.

March 2009 - Jackson Falls, IL

  • Met John and Paul, did a couple of cool routes mainly on Spleef Peak, nothing special, I was weak.

Summer/Fall 2009 - Devil's Lake, WI

  • Took another trip to Jackson Falls, although I did not log my routes, nothing special though
  • Blew out a finger on Gill's Nose (5.11b) after climbing Mouse Tracks (5.11a) the day before
  • Climbing took a backseat for a while after that, I got married in May and it would not really be until 2013 that I climbed with any seriousness again

May 2013 Second Flatiron, CO

  • Not one to do anything halfway, I started climbing again by soloing (with local friend Shawn to show me the way) the Second Flatiron outside of Boulder, CO via Freeway (5.0)

Summer/Fall 2013 Wisconsin

October 2013 Boulder, CO

  • Met up with Ken Cangi for some climbing in Boulder Canyon
  • Fell my way up A Tall Cool One (5.12a) on top rope, an encouraging sign

Winter 2013/2014

  • I spent a lot of time coaching hockey, but managed to get out to Governor Dodge SP fairly regularly for some ice climbing
  • Started to train for upcoming Joshua Tree trip

Early Spring 2014

April 2014 Joshua Tree National Park, CA

  • Jay and I went to J-Tree for an "old-man" trip and climbed quite a few pitches
  • Highlight for me was sending Saturday Night Live (V4) after considerable effort (04/17/14)

Late Spring/Early Summer 2014

July 2014 Wyoming/South Dakota

  • Walked up Buffalo Back (~12,300')
  • Led every pitch including the Jump Traverse of Durrance (5.7/5.8) on Devil's Tower

Late Summer/Early Fall 2014

  • Really trying to push my absolute grade limit, lots of training and some highlights:
    • Generation Gap (5.12a) RP - first 5.12 RP ever (08/16/14)
    • Gill's Nose (5.11b) TR - This is the route that blew my finger out four years prior (08/17/14)
    • Peyote Blues (5.12b) TR - Hardest TR ever (08/20/14)

October 2014 - New Hampshire

  • Visited Jay and Kayte in NH
  • Climbed a bunch, highlights:

Winter 2014/2015

  • Stayed pretty close to home expecting our second baby and caring for our old dog
  • Did many laps on the ice at Governor Dodge State Park
  • Climbed a few times in Wyalusing State Park doing some possible first ascents including
  • Did the probable first ascent of a route in the hinterlands of Sauk County
    • Redacted (WI2-)

April 2015 - Moab Area, UT

  • Jay and I went on our now annual "old guys trip"
  • We climbed in Day Canyon, Indian Creek and Mill Creek Canyon
  • It was a rough trip due to a variety of contributing factors (lost bag, sick dog, homesickness, etc.) - in the end we didn't get much done, and we bailed early

Late Spring 2015

Summer 2015 - Wyoming

  • Did the Cathedral Traverse in the Tetons with Jon J.
  • Led the easy pitches on Assembly Line (5.9) - Jon took the crux
Fall/Winter 2015
New Year's Weekend 2015/2016 - Jackson Falls
Winter 2016 - New Hampshire/Vermont
Late Winter/Early Spring 2016
June 2016 PNW

July 2016 NH
  • Redpointed Second Go Waimea at Rumney
  • Climbed 14 pitches at Rumney in a day
  • Climbed 11 pitches on Cannon the next doing Moby Grape and Whitney Gilman back-to-back
February 2017 Nipigon
  • Repeated a bunch of ice routes from my past with Jacob - did some new (to me) ones too.
March 2017 Colorado
April 2017 PNW
May 2017 Mount Rainier
October 2017 Devil's Lake
  • Soloed Balanced Rock Ridge in 14:40 sign-to-sign, getting the sub-15:00 time I'd been working towards all summer
November 2017 New Hampshire
  • Helped Jay with his 40 pitches for his 40th birthday project
February 2018 New Hampshire
  • Climbed Shoestring Gully in a leisurely 3.5 hours car-to-car, we were back at the car less than 18 hours after I left my desk in Wisconsin.
March 2018 Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
  • I had an awful cold, but Matthew and I still got up-and-down Frogland in a respectable time
  • We also got up the easy side of Plumber's Crack - one of those "must-do" tourist boulder problems, easy climbing with serious consequences

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