A Little Alpen-Gloating

Hardware stores in Thailand give out free popcorn and calendars, just like in the states. That's a definite plus for globalization. Today I was enlisted as a driver for some of the girls at the orphanage. This meant driving a truck with no power steering down the left-hand side of roads filled with motorbikes, motorized noodle carts, and regular traffic. And to top things off, there were 17 girls jammed into the back of the truck. Luckily my left-hand driving days of New Zealand are coming back to me, and everyone was safe and sound.

I just heard from the American Alpine Club that I was selected as a winner of one of the 2009 Mountain Fellowship Grants for young climbers. It will go a long way toward paying for an upcoming trip. I'm joining my old climbing friend Nate Farr on an expedition in the Spring or Summer. Nate was among the first people I ever climbed with, and we met the day before classes began during my first year at Western Washington University in the fall of 2004. Nate's been up to some amazing ice climbing lately, butI bought my first rock climbing shoes from him back when I began. I remember Nate was leading the first time I went "sport climbing", which consisted of a 120' sandy slab, with 5 rusty bolts in it, along the ocean in Bellingham.
THANK YOU to the AAC, which means dues-paying AAC Members.

A few months ago, I climbed the Naked Edge in Eldorado Canyon State Park, with a couple friends from Trango Climbing. They were out there to help rig camera stuff, cheer on, and be awed by the other ascent of the route that morning. The other group was three local climbers, one of whom, Erik Weihenmayer, is blind. A Boulder-ite named Cedar Wright filmed the video of their climb, and you can see our team above theirs in some of the panned-back shots.

The same filmer/editor also composed this video with photos and film that Sol, Jens, and myself had taken on a new route last summer on Washington's Mt. Stuart. Having tried a little bit to make/edit these kinds of videos, I am impressed with the ones that Cedar ends up with.

And finally, in a fully non-edited format, here is my lovely wife doing battle with the Geico gecko's little brother... guess who wins.

Since we aren't climbing here yet, we've been using our climbing gear for lots of other things. This morning we had a serious jump rope competition using the climbing rope, and then things switched to tug-of-war, Blake vs the entire orphanage. I wonder how many kN of force we put on the rope?

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