CHRISTOPHER WILOCKI

A Personal and Professional Website showing my past and current work

// Colorado Bonsai //

A few images I have taken over the last couple months since I have begun helping Master Hal Sasaki at his private nursery. 

If you are looking for healthy, beautiful indoor plants or want to start with a bonsai tree, please call and set up a time to visit his nursery in Wheat Ridge, CO and support a local business that has been around for years instead of buying  plants and trees from Home Depot or other big box stores. 

Click HERE for info. 

// Make-A-Wish Race & Training Update //

  With less than one week left until the US National Championships in Crested Butte I wanted to update those of you who have donated to Make-A-Wish of Colorado on how everything has been going. 
  To date my training has consisted of an equal part gym and snow and one race. I raced the Sunlight Challenge in Glenwood Springs this January. I was having a really great race until the bottom of the last climb when I realized I had broken a ski in half. It was extremely frustrating but it is how things go sometimes.                 
  Since November I have accumulated over 20,000’ of climbing (skiing uphill) burned over 15,000 calories and skied over 45 miles. I was fortunate enough to spend three days in Aspen valley this week getting three consecutive training days in order to get ready for the weekend in Crested Butte. 
   I feel extremely thankful for everyone that has donated and cannot tell everyone enough how much your donations have pushed me further during these months of training. Right now I am 39% finished with my goal of raising $2,400.00. I am hoping everyone to send this off to people who could help.
     Just competing in the Championships is a big deal, the field of racers are the most incredible, skinny, fast humans in the country. I am excited to race alongside (behind) everyone there. Day one of Nationals consists of a 1,500’ vertical sprint. Day 2 is a 5,000’ 10 mile solo race that consists of climbing the guides ridge. And day three ends with a 6-7,000’ team race. Every second of it is going to be great fun. 
   I want to give a special thanks to my wife for supporting all this training, early mornings and travel. My coach Carolyn Parker, the people at Vital Fitness in Denver for having the best gym in Denver, Cripple Creek Backcountry for actually calling me after I broke my ski to talk about which ski I should buy. 


Thank you everyone.   

// A Honeymoon // Part 2 - Zapallar & Santiago

The last part of our trip took us back to Santiago to grab a car in order to drive to the coast. After making an amateur mistake in our driving plans we ended up in Zapallar by night. 

Zapallar was suggested to us by a co-workers girlfriend that is originally from Santiago. SO we knew we would be in good hands. The best way to describe Zapallar is sleepy, easy, fancy, quiet and so damn nice. There were no tourists, no shops of crap, no shopping area. It was a real place that people get away from it all.

We rented a pretty incredible little home from AirBnB just a short walk from the ocean. The home was something I do not think I will ever forget. Perfectly decorated with just enough art and real things to make Ashley and I want to redecorate when we got home. There was two markets down the street, three restaurants in town, one bank that ran out of money the second day we were there. And a beach that was just about perfect. We cooked at home every night, consumed way too many avocados, almost a gallon of olive oil and just as much Chilean wine. I think we were the only Americans in the whole town. 

Getting back to Santiago was tough. By that time we had spent days in a tent in heaven, then relaxed so much that the thought of a tv or a fast driving car made us shudder. Even trying to plan to get around Santiago was tiresome for us, there comes a point in a trip when it just ends. The lack of skill to communicate was tough and the fact that we were in Santiago for NYE and NY day made it even harder. The city was something out of a Walking Dead episode on NY Day. So, we did what we wanted, Walked around for a couple hours, had some drinks, then spent all of New Years day watching movies in bed. 

Next thing we knew, we were headed back home. With smiles, relaxed, happy and ready for 2016. 

Cheers! 

The end 

// A Honeymoon // Part 1 - Patagonia & Torres del Paine National Park

     Patagonia…..
It is extremely hard to write about Patagonia without sounding like self involved and pretentious asshat. In this day and age of oversharing and #humblebrags everywhere its hard for a life long photographer and traveler to sound honest and open about traveling and showing the experience of it all. Believe me, to travel is a privilege, and I am blessed to be able to save enough money, take the time off and be able to see the earth. I know that not everyone have the means to do this no matter how hard they try. For this I am grateful. 
      So here is how it went down. My wife and I wanted to go on a honeymoon. Europe was nothing but cities, cities equals food and stuff, food and stuff equal money, every day, and we did not want to spend our honeymoon walking around cities, spending way too much money on food and stuff we really don’t get excited about. So, South America was our next choice. We decided that two weeks in Chile would be something we would not only love, but we could balance a pretty great experience doing something outside, along with some time on the beach, and then a couple days in a city. The absolute best of both worlds!
     It took us all of 5 months to plan the whole thing. 4.75 months alone to plan our trip to Patagonia. 
     Forgive me if this post does not turn into a Torres del Paine “how to” post. There are hundreds of them, they all say the exact same different and confusing thing and it was absolutely maddening trying to figure it all out. But, in the end, everything worked out perfect, and everyone was just as confidently confused as everyone else there.  
    It rained, it snowed, it was hot, it was cold and yes, it was so incredibly windy that Ashley and I had to hold onto each other so we would not fall. Torres del Paine is and was everything we read and heard about. I will say this, it is a place that, just like the Alaska Range, Paris and St. Peter’s, MUST be visited to be understood. It was a really special time for both of us that we will never forget. The hardest part of it all was this. Places like this are never fully known. So many people go on trips and walk away talking like they have fully comprehended what they have done. To think, that by spending 5 days, 8 days, hell, even a month a place like Patagonia, that you understand it, is everything that is wrong with travelers. Walking off the boat to the end of our trip I KNEW I barely was able to scratch the foot thick outer coating that is Patagonia, and it made me sad, very sad. Because it is such an incredible place, and it is so incredibly far. 
      The last thing is this, Torres del Paine is considered a National Park in Chile. A person will experience a wide array of things in the park. There is one giant beautiful resort in the park “Camp Torres” and one older building at Paine Grande. There are also tiny yet perfect cabins in three other camping areas (You can see them in the pictures below) It seems that TDP is trying to cater to the whole spectrum of people who want to experience the park. That spectrum starts at the people who just want to be left alone with their backpack and just need a place to drop a tent all the way up to the people who don’t even want to carry a backpack, or sleep outside, who want wine and hot meals and who need to be taken care of. Seeing this spectrum and how it was managed made me a little scared for the park itself. Right now, you do not need any sort of reservation to get into the park just get on a bus in Punta Arenas and show up! BUT you do need to reserve a couple of the camp sites along the route. Which made me wonder and concerned for the future. When more and more people start coming into the park, without reservations, without letting the park know they are coming, what is the park going to do? At some point, without the park being in any sort of control of how many people are coming in a week or a month, sooner or later, the park will be overrun with people. In fact, one of the camps was completely full when we were there, and it was not even the high season. From what I saw the park and the people and companies that manage it are doing a pretty amazing job. It was clean, organized, some of the trail markers needed some help but other than that it was a well run place. But like I said, they have no way to limit the amount of people that are showing up. And eventually this will be a problem well after they even realize it. 
     Overall our experience of Patagonia was a short lived one. Like I have mentioned before, the shear size of Patagonia is hard to even wrap your head around. And we were lucky enough to see a tiny bit of it. Like so many cliches, getting to Torres del Paine is a traveling experience a true journey. Three flights and three busses just to get to a national park is something that takes a little work and patience. But, it really is worth it. 
     I hope these images inspire some people to commit to getting down there sometime in the future. If anyone already is planning to get down there and have any questions PLEASE let me know how I can help. This was a very hard trip to plan mainly due to the amount of conflicting and confusing information all over the internet. 

    Details. 

- Denver -> Dallas -> Santiago -> Punta Areans - Flights.  

 - Punta Arenas -> Puerto Natalas -> Torres del Paine -> Los Torres Trailhead - Busses  

- Hike Torres del Paine the "W" for 4 nights  

- Fly back to Santiago. Rent Car. Get lost in Valparaiso. Find our way to Zapallar for 4 days                  

- Drive back to Santiago for 3 days                                                                                                                

- Fly home. 

Enjoy. 
      

// Admiring the real professionals //

    I completely understand why professional athletes are admired the way they are in this world. They are humans, just like all of us, that have somehow found a way to be the very best at one thing. And they do it so well that they get to make so much money it makes everyone else sick, yet, everyone still yells their name. The debate on if they deserve the amount of money they receive will forever be up for debate. But I am realizing that maybe they are not the ones to be admired. 
   

    Real life is hard. Or, at least not always easy. Us real humans do not have the God given luxury to only be good at one single thing and make all of our money that way. Which brings me to the real athletes. The people who are professionals during their 40+ hour work week and then choosing to try to push themselves like the pros do in their free time. Having a job you actually give a shit about it tough work. It is in these hours that so much energy is expelled that most people are done with trying any harder on anything else. But there are some people who decide to then push themselves physically and mentally even harder. All over this world are teachers, designers, lawyers, construction workers, parents, people with jobs that decide to push themselves even harder for a new t-shirt on the weekends. 
   

     I often wonder why these are not the people we admire more? Why doesn't Outside magazine have articles about the teacher that works 50+ hours a week only to wake up at 4am to train as hard has she can for some obscure race that 90% of us would dare not try? Why do we not know about the non-profit designer that has ran 6 marathons in the last 5 years while waking up at 5am to do Crossfit every morning and that is STILL doing it with a new daughter? These stories are everywhere, but they get no weight in this world. Which is a shame on us!  Why do we not admire these people? Because its THESE people that are just like us. People we can actually strive to be like. People we can actually relate to. Instead we are stuck with the professionals that are in our faces on our TV’s, our instagram feeds, our newspapers, and our magazines that none of us can relate to. 
   

    And let me not forget the people who really deserve to be looked up to. Athlete parents. If there are any parents reading this that are working, rising a family AND training for something, I want you to know that I personally want to BE you people. You are the people that should be looked up to. Plain and simple, I am in awe of you guys. 

   With the blender full of knives and glass that life has thrown at me this late in the year my training has not what I wanted it to be. I have been able to get over 10k of climbing done in the last month and am going to add another 5k tomorrow. I don’t feel exactly how I wanted to feel at this point in the season but I’m still happy. I have worked hard to put down a solid foundation over the summer and winter and am hoping it is strong enough to get me through the rest of the season. 

   I am writing about this subject for one particular reason. I struggle with being hard on myself. When work gets stressful, training gets harder, and when training gets hard workouts get missed and I get down on myself. This is something I am sure every single one of us go through to some extent. Which is why us real athletes need to be admired more. Its hard for me to relate to a climber with no job, no family climbing all over the world but yet I have to see him in every piece of media I read. Or the freak skimo racers that invade my instagram feed that simply have to wake up, walk out the door, and train all day long, then go to sleep. And here is the crux of the situation,  people think that they are there in our faces to “inspire us” but unattainable inspiration is closer to self inflected failure than it seems.

   So this weekend, find a real athlete you can relate to, drop the other professionals and cut yourself some slack, because you are probably amazing at your job, a well respected human and really good at the endeavor you are striving to attain. Even if you aren't on someones instagram feed. 

 

soreness. doubt. fear. stretching. more soreness. pain. suffering. waking up. and....why?

     I believe that anyone can do anything. Once. Anyone can do a triathlon. A marathon. a 50 miler. Lift twice their body weight. The hard part where I believe takes a little more than a desire to accomplish "it" is doing it again, and again, and again until it becomes mundane almost mind numbing. And then, even harder is doing those things more than once, not being so sore you cannot walk for a week. But recovering so well that you hardly feel a thing. That is where things separate. 

I have a picture above my computer at work that is never out of my sight. Every day I get to work and change the count. Every day I remind myself that there is one less day to train, to recover, to be ready. Some days it crushes me. Some days it strikes fear in me. Most days It gets me excited. 

I had a long workout the other day. I usually try to conjure up the closest adaptation of what a race would be like, without actually being on snow. I headed out to the flatirons and said hello to my favorite trail. 1,200' of climbing in 1.75 miles, three times. Up and down.  Its funny how friendly people on the trail get when they see you again, and again and again. I felt really great finally, it was one of those days where confidence goes up and the fear of not being ready starts to subside. It was the kinda day that made me confident to see that picture Monday morning. 

I was driving with my wife this weekend after my workout and she asked me something no one has ever asked.

She asked "why" 

"Why what" I said

"Why do you do all this to do races and everything else?"

I didn't really have a good answer. There is no reason I guess. I responded with thinking out loud because I never was asked. 

"Its all I have ever known I guess. There really has never been a time in my life where I wasn't training, playing, racing or finding a place that would push me past where I was" was my finally answer.  I have been asking myself this question ever since. I ask myself when I am sore, and tired, and looking for inspiration. Its a tough one really. Its one that maybe does not have an answer. Or ever will. 

Training Day "1"

I will admit. I am not very good about talking about myself. In a world where the "humblebrag" is normalcy, I am continuously aware of its pull and avoid it at all cost.

This season I am raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado. I am tying this into my Ski Mountaineering season and hoping to raise five cents for every vertical foot I am planning on racing. I am going to be putting a couple posts up about general training and am going to avoid getting too tech-y or training talky. I just want everyone to know I am working hard to make every cent donated an equal sacrifice on my end also. I appreciate everyones help. 

Coming off a pretty solid cycling season I took about 2 months off to relax and figure out what I wanted to achieve this winter. This period seems to happen every year and every year it gets harder and harder to figure out how much I want to suffer again. Then, as usual, once the suffering and hard work begins I am right back in the sweet spot. 

Once again working with Carolyn Parker and Ripple Effect training {The most amazing training I have ever been through} We started in the gym about 2 months ago. Injury prevention and full body fitness is always the goal. This season I am going to spend more time on long endurance days and work off the strength training of the past year. 

Today was day one of the long endurance days. I have been eyeing the ridge line from Loveland pass all the way to the top ski lift at A Basin for quite some time. I have found very little on the internets and knew it was going to be a good hike/climb. I left home in Denver at 6:30 and was out of my car at the top of the pass punching up the first climb by 7:30. Top of Grizzly Peak in 90min. Then onto the ridge line. I have to admit, it was really a great traverse. Just enough "airy-ness" to make you pay attention and some fun moves up high. There was a couple tighrope moves on some beautiful ridges that remind you why your alive. I was down in the A Basin parking lot hitching a ride by 12:15. A pretty solid day. 4hr45min 8+ miles rested for about 10min total everything above 12,500'. Tired, But feeling strong, Especially after running down the service road at A Basin. Highly recommended climb if you feel good being pretty exposed up high.   

These are iPhone pictures edited with VSCO. 

Looking South from Grizzly peak

Looking South from Grizzly peak

Looking back at Grizzly Peak right in the middle of the good stuff

Looking back at Grizzly Peak right in the middle of the good stuff

Foot Breather before some more ruffles n ridges. 

Foot Breather before some more ruffles n ridges. 

{right} Looking back into the middle section. Probably the best climbing of the entire day. Pretty thin but really great rock. {Left} Just a pretty wall. 

{right} Looking back into the middle section. Probably the best climbing of the entire day. Pretty thin but really great rock. {Left} Just a pretty wall. 

Nothing but air

Nothing but air

Last ridge getting to Lawnee Peak. {right} Some goats that must have thought I was really attractive because they would not stop staring at me

Last ridge getting to Lawnee Peak. {right} Some goats that must have thought I was really attractive because they would not stop staring at me

The entire ridge. 

The entire ridge. 

One hunk of Parmesan Cheese, 5 Gels, Liter of water, favorite gloves, tiny pack with wind jacket, puffy jacket, note pad, ice ax {never even close to using, brought it in case I had to bail down an ugly scree chute} 

One hunk of Parmesan Cheese, 5 Gels, Liter of water, favorite gloves, tiny pack with wind jacket, puffy jacket, note pad, ice ax {never even close to using, brought it in case I had to bail down an ugly scree chute} 

//Summer's over//

Summer is over. 

Here is a short re-cap in the form of pictures. { I will say, this is the least I have shot in years, planning on changing that soon} 

  I married the woman of my dreams with the support of the 3 greatest humans alive.  photo: Tavis Johnson & Ryan Muirhead

 

I married the woman of my dreams with the support of the 3 greatest humans alive. 

photo: Tavis Johnson & Ryan Muirhead

Yellowstone, rainy Mt. Sneffles, Backcountry trips, days of doing nothing at all, sunsets, sunrises, bike seats, bike races, Cheesman Park, Oruay, backpacks, new cats, new car, new furniture, boring weekends, mountains, sleeping in cars, busy weekends, cooking, fly fishing, city of Denver.....ready for snow......

 

{pictures with the dates are courtesy of Stephanie Bassos} 

//Santa Fe //

After my injury this winter I wanted to be as far as possible from snow. While Santa Fe is not "the farthest as possible" it was easy to get away for the weekend. This little town never ceases to amaze me. Food, drinking, one punk bar and way too much art. 

 

// Carbondale, CO //

    In the last couple months Carbondale has become somewhat of a second weekend home town for me. Back in the fall I began training with Carolyn Parker {more on her later} Since then I have been traveling to Carbondale and Aspen valley to train for the Power of Four ski mountaineering race coming up in two weeks. 

   I took a short walk back in the fall and snapped some pictures of a pretty great town. 

//CO - WY - ID - OR // Landscapes.

Looking back on this trip we both consider ourselves extremely lucky to have taken this drive. It seems that less and less of the world is "unseen" by anyone anymore. But for us, this entire drive was new. Every landscape and view was unseen by either of us. In fact, we spent most of the time wondering why Oregon was not filled with hyper-green trees and moody instagram fog. We learned that Oregon is dry, and brown. Until you get to the coast, then it is just like every instagram you have been forced to see. 

These are some of the views we enjoyed the most. 

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// CO - WY - ID - OR // The Road

      My first road trip was when I was around 8. I think. My parents, champion road trippers themselves, {My grandparents were actually the champions, they traveled so much by car in the 1930's and 40's it's astonishing} My parents took my brother and I, by way of a purple Dodge Caravan with the middle bench seat removed in order to be able to sleep and play with race cars of course to Durango, CO. Which is pretty funny considering where I ended up.

    Since then I have almost found any chance to be in a car to travel. Chicago to Utah. Chicago to California. Chicago to Colorado on and on. And now Denver, around the state of Oregon and back. Ashley and I were fortunate enough to take 2 weeks to plan a trip that would be one we would never forget. Mainly because neither of us has been to Idaho or Oregon. 

    Those 2 weeks were filled with some of the greatest landscapes we have ever seen. Perfect roads, great music, beautiful campsites and time to take it all in. I have been sitting on these pictures because it was really hard to figure out how to present them. 2 weeks of pictures, along with the experience that goes along with them is sometimes overwhelming. I decided to split them up into what makes sense when going on a road trip, when the only purpose is to drive and see things from the road. 

   So I start with the roads themselves.

 

// Attempt of The Grand Traverse. //

    I remember coming home and sitting on my bed trying as hard as I could to explain to a friend what I just did. I was 19 or 20 years old. I had just spent 5 days successfully climbing and reaching the top of Mt. Rainer in Washington state. As a young midwestern-er this was life changing. I struggled for a while trying to explain the landscape, the chaos, the beauty, the incredible attraction to waking up crazy early and walking up the side of a frozen volcano. And how I desperately wanted to do it again and again.

    Fourteen years later, countless climbs, summits, failures, and geographical changes I find myself once again struggling to explain my last trip. 

    In April I called up my friend and super guide Gary Faulk. I met Gary while living in Durango and climbing with the crew from San Juan Mountain Guides. Like myself Gary was originally from Chicago and somehow headed west. I booked a guided trip with Gary through Exum Mountain guides located in the Grand Teton National Park and secured the chance to to to accomplish one of North Americas toughest mountain traverses. Instead of explaining the entire trip here is the greatest article I have found about the entire trip - HERE 

   This trip for me was not ever going to be about taking photos. The main objective was to complete the traverse, just Gary and I. The first day went just about as perfect as things could be. A wake up at 2:30am, strong coffee and a short ride to the trail head. After a solid and steep tail we hit the first snowfield running. Strapped up the crampons and front pointed our way to the start of some perfect scrambling. The first sunrise around 11k feet was as nice as one could imagine. We summitted Teewionot, sat across its knife edge peak, gave a quick fist bump and went on our way to Mt. Owen. Some interesting rappels brought us down to the Coven col. Then up to some awesome alpine climbing to the summit of Mt. Owen. Some selfies, a bit of soaking in the breeze from Idaho and some time to stare at the North face of The Grand which quickly led to the climb down to the col again. Since the north face of the Grand was now in winter conditions we had to change the route up by climbing the east face of the Grand. Which meant we needed to descend into glacier gulch. As Gary put it "the shit part of the trip" descending into the glacier meant crappy scree and not a perfect route to get down. Basically, hell on knees and feet. We eventually made our way to the glacier and finally got to our little bivy site on the moraine of the old glacier. From our start of the route that morning till we stepped on our bivy site was 14-1/2 hours of non-stop climbing. A solid alpine day!

    I am pretty sure I feel asleep around 7pm, and I mean sound asleep! We woke around 5am, started the coffee and breakfast and were climbing again by 6:50am. Strangely Gary noticed some very small and wispy clouds coming over the Grand, (foreshadowing). At 8:50am we started our first pitch of real climbing. At 12,300' we needed to navigate the first "molar tooth" of the grand. I was standing on a nice little 8" wide ledge while Gary started the first pitch. As Gary climbed out of sight the first obvious signs of "weather" rolled in. One minute later the hail started. One minute after that the thunder started. Then more hail. Then, lighting.....Crack.....BOOOM. Having a storm roll in 1000' above your head is....well, like having a storm 1000' above your head while standing on a ledge as wide as 2 of your feet belaying someone that you cannot see anymore and are trying to figure out what to do next. Gary came down to our little ledge and we laughed pretty hard, I think I stole a line from "Anchorman" and said...."Well that escalated quickly!" In truth, there was little chance of getting struck by lighting, we were well protected and in the mountain. Which is why we laughed it off. Unfortunately we had no idea what kind of weather was in store for us. Climbing the east face meant that we could not see west, where all the weather came from. So we descended back down. Things cleared up for about 10 min. Then just as quickly brewed up again and covered the summit in clouds......The climb was over. 

     We descended down through the incredible valley. I decided not to think about the trip being shut down and instead enjoyed everything around. The flowers, the streams of perfect water, the trees, a good climbing partner and friend and thicker air. One thing I have learned about attempting to climb massive things is that they are not going anywhere. I have failed on 3 of my last big climbs, Mooses tooth, Alaska. Mt.Bona, Alaska. And now The Grand traverse, WY. But those mountains are still there for me and everyone to attempt again. Climbing mountains is the understanding that failure is expected but trying, hoping, working as hard as you can for that one small chance things stay clear, stay in control only then is success attained. (Whoever said nothing is learned from climbing mountains?) Plain and simple, The key is to be ready for that one chance the mountains let us climb them.

Sunrise on Mt. Teewinot and lower part of scrable

Sunrise on Mt. Teewinot and lower part of scrable

Summit of Mt. Teewinot

Summit of Mt. Teewinot

Summit of Mt. Teewinot looking east. My ugly mug. The north face of The Grand Teton.

Summit of Mt. Teewinot looking east. My ugly mug. The north face of The Grand Teton.

(Top Left) Rappels off of Mt. Teewinot. (Top & Bottom Right) Climbing Mt. Owen. (Bottom Left) Coven Col with the Grand on the left.

(Top Left) Rappels off of Mt. Teewinot. (Top & Bottom Right) Climbing Mt. Owen. (Bottom Left) Coven Col with the Grand on the left.

(Top Left) Approach to Mt. Owen. (Top Right) The Grand as seen through the Coven Col (Bottom Right) Climbing Mt. Owen (Bottom Left) Full alpine conditions descending down to Mt. Owen.

(Top Left) Approach to Mt. Owen. (Top Right) The Grand as seen through the Coven Col (Bottom Right) Climbing Mt. Owen (Bottom Left) Full alpine conditions descending down to Mt. Owen.

(Top Left) Looking back at Mt. Teewinot. (Top Right) Looking down Mt. Owen (Bottom Left) Gary and I on Mt. Owen Summit. (Bottom Right) North Face of Grand and other peaks (Full winter on that side!)

(Top Left) Looking back at Mt. Teewinot. (Top Right) Looking down Mt. Owen (Bottom Left) Gary and I on Mt. Owen Summit. (Bottom Right) North Face of Grand and other peaks (Full winter on that side!)

(Top Left) At that point an old leather shoe would have made my smile. Summit of Mt. Owen (Top Right) One of many rappels into Glacier Gulch (Bottom Left) Down Climbing Mt. Owen (Bottom Right) Rappel into Glacier Gulch

(Top Left) At that point an old leather shoe would have made my smile. Summit of Mt. Owen (Top Right) One of many rappels into Glacier Gulch (Bottom Left) Down Climbing Mt. Owen (Bottom Right) Rappel into Glacier Gulch

(Top Left) Teton Glacier as seen from "Glacier Gulch" (Top Right) After 14-1/2 hours of full-tilt action, having my shoes off was a slice of heaven! (Bottom Left) Talus field of glacier (Bottom Right) 5am tent scene.

(Top Left) Teton Glacier as seen from "Glacier Gulch" (Top Right) After 14-1/2 hours of full-tilt action, having my shoes off was a slice of heaven! (Bottom Left) Talus field of glacier (Bottom Right) 5am tent scene.

(Left) Climbing up the East ridge of The Grand. Climbing over trees that were probably older then the country is. (Right) Climbing on East ridge of the Grand - Notice the small clouds......

(Left) Climbing up the East ridge of The Grand. Climbing over trees that were probably older then the country is. (Right) Climbing on East ridge of the Grand - Notice the small clouds......

(Left) At about 11,500' we stopped for some food. Looking south at Day 3 objectives....The "weather" moves in.  (Right) Looking up at the first "molar tooth" and the weather......

(Left) At about 11,500' we stopped for some food. Looking south at Day 3 objectives....The "weather" moves in.  (Right) Looking up at the first "molar tooth" and the weather......

No, No, No this cannot be happening......We waited to see what was going to happen....to climb or not to climb........

No, No, No this cannot be happening......We waited to see what was going to happen....to climb or not to climb........

Looking East......Gotta say it sure was pretty. (Notice small glacier lake in lower middle of picture.)

Looking East......Gotta say it sure was pretty. (Notice small glacier lake in lower middle of picture.)

(Left) Things cleared up...So we went for it. (Right) Belay ledge at about 12,300'....and the hail.

(Left) Things cleared up...So we went for it. (Right) Belay ledge at about 12,300'....and the hail.

(Left) Belay ledge at 12,300' in the middle of the hail storm. Right before the lighting. It was incredible to see how quickly the smallest areas filled with hail and water. (Right) Back down around 11k watching the summit of the Grand make its own clouds.

(Left) Belay ledge at 12,300' in the middle of the hail storm. Right before the lighting. It was incredible to see how quickly the smallest areas filled with hail and water. (Right) Back down around 11k watching the summit of the Grand make its own clouds.

(Top Left) Entry of Delta Lake on hike down (As seen from image above) (Top Right) The Grand once again making its own weather as more clouds roll in (Bottom Left) Yes, that is the color of the lake! So amazing. (Bottom Right) Delta Lake!

(Top Left) Entry of Delta Lake on hike down (As seen from image above) (Top Right) The Grand once again making its own weather as more clouds roll in (Bottom Left) Yes, that is the color of the lake! So amazing. (Bottom Right) Delta Lake!

(Top Left) The Grand seen from below Delta Lake - O Look! Its clear now! (Top Right) Hike down looking east (Bottom Left) Looking over Delta Lake at The Grand - O Look! Cloudy again....son of ah! (Bottom Right) Looking East over the park......The end.

(Top Left) The Grand seen from below Delta Lake - O Look! Its clear now! (Top Right) Hike down looking east (Bottom Left) Looking over Delta Lake at The Grand - O Look! Cloudy again....son of ah! (Bottom Right) Looking East over the park......The end.

        I want to thank first and foremost my incredible future wife Ashley for helping my train, keeping my head on straight and supporting me without question with yet again another trip. Thank you! Gary Faulk - "Adventure Capitalist" for being a solid, solid, solid guide and great friend. My grand mothers for answering my phone calls when I drove into the park and called them way past their bedtimes. And my parents for being just as excited as I am for every single one of my endeavors.  And last, for the United States of America when it was the incredible governing body that created the National Park System. There is SO MUCH history in this park, and so many people made this park what is it today, and to them I say from myself, from my nephews and nieces that will one day (hopefully) see this amazing piece of land.......Thank you!

// Ditch Camp, Rocky Mountain National Park //

  It has been in incredibly long summer and I have finally been able to work on some of my 50 rolls of film I just got back.

   I have been spending the summer in the Never Summer Range of Rocky mountain national park trying to learn as much about it as I can. While the summer is still not over this is one of the first trips into the area. We were told that this area was "not that great". My friend Andrew and I found a great area for camping with great views and great sun. The hike to Ditch camp is flat as could be and spends most of the time along the Colorado River. The last mile gains 1K feet and makes the campsite a welcome sight to see.

 

// Lead Mountain Recon Hike //

I took a hike out to take a look or even climb Lead Mountain this weekend. Knowing that the Never summer range is the most remote and hard to reach range in the park I tried to set out early. The hike up to Dutch camp is around 6miles through the pretty dead and empty forest. A short walk along the Grand Ditch road (Which is an incredible piece of engineering that none of us know about, diverting water away from the Colorado River and into Wyoming) I had to turn around well short of the peak do to an early afternoon storm.