Outside (Rock and Ice)

Home (Photo: Michael Wolf)

Home (Photo: Michael Wolf)

My first love is trad climbing outside. Maybe it is because that is the first form of climbing I ever got into, living in Northern California with Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas not too far away. I have been lucky enough to have learned to climb in the Valley, all over the Sierras and other mountain ranges out West (e.g. Sawtooths (ID), Wind River Range (WY), Squamish (BC)). While long alpine type climbs are very difficult for me now I still try to get in trad pitches when weather (a fickle thing in New England) allows for it. I tend to make a few trips out West to warmer, drier climes if possible. My climbing partners tend to be much larger than me, so the deal is they carry most of the gear to the base and I lead the pitchest :) I have a ton of climbing photos from before my accident; and I am accumulating new ones from after my accident. That is quite satisfying.

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Top of Incredible Hulk, Sierra Nevadas, California

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Putzing about in the warmer crags of Yosemite Valley (Sherrie’s Crack, Pat & Jack PInnacle)

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The Needles, California. I love the vivid colours of the lichen there.

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My favourite place in the whole wide world: on the sharp-end on El Cap, Yosemite (we were starting off on Freeblast)

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The Incredible Hulk, Sierra Nevadas, California. Best lines and granite in the Sierras, I think.

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Hanging out on top of a monolith, The Needles, California.

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Start of West Face of Leaning Tower, Yosemite, CA. This was my first multi-day aid-climb.

And here are some post-accident.

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This photo is significant in that this was my first lead post-accident (South Crack, Tuolumne)

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Hanging out on High E, at The Gunks, NY.

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Does all this gear make my butt look big?

Post-accident, I started to ice-climb, mainly because climbing exclusively in a gym all winter would be deathly boring. Ice (and mixed) climbing is quite straightforward in some ways, but there also seems to be quite a bit of creativity in tool use and body movements, which I find quite intriguing. It is also a medium I am less familiar with so gaining and understanding of it is all quite interesting to me.

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One of my first ice-climbing experiences. Ouray, CO, February 2014.

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My first multi-pitch ice climb and also first time leading on ice, North Conway, NH

Oh, and back on the big stone.

Back on El Cap

Back on El Cap

Funnily enough, I find myself on the sharp-end most of the time.

Funnily enough, I find myself on the sharp-end most of the time.

Belaying Mike on Kor-beck (Photo: Michael Wolf)

Belaying Mike on Kor-beck. You can see what how wide the temperature range is from all the clothing dangling off my harness (Photo: Michael Wolf).

 

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