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Favorite Photos of 2016

2016 was an interesting year.  I started freelancing, took some trips to British Columbia, Alaska, Zion, the Wind River Range, and many others.  I think I got some good photos from those trips and more importantly great experiences with friends.  I’ve compiled some of my favorites below as well as my #2016bestnine on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BOtJaYsgvFa/?taken-by=pete_wilk

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2012-10-07 thru 14 American Alpine Club International Climbers Meet

View of the Cathedrals.

Climbers and non-climbers alike recognize that Yosemite Valley is rock climbing’s mecca.  This has recently been underscored by the media coverage (Nat Geo & 60 Minutes) of Alex Honnold and his amazing free solo ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome.  It was further emphasized by his and Hans Florin’s record-breaking speed ascent (a mind blowing 2 hours 23 minutes) of the Nose on El Cap, a route that takes an average party 3-4 days.  Yosemite’s long history is an amazing one and if you haven’t seen the Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks I highly recommend it.  I haven’t seen all of the episodes but his coverage of Yosemite is great.  Knowing all of the hard work that many people put into protecting this amazing place made me appreciate it more while I was there.

Speaking of which how did I come to visit The Valley, as it is called?  Back in the early spring I joined the American Alpine Club (AAC) and noticed they had an invitational climbers meet in Yosemite.  I thought this would be a great experience so I filled out the application for the International Climbers Meet (ICM).  In late July or early August I got a message saying I was accepted.  The details of the meet were pretty sweet:  Pickup at Fresno airport, transportation in the park, camping and meals covered, all for $450.  Not to mention experienced host climbers to help participants select climbs–pretty awesome way for a Valley virgin such as myself to be introduced to climbing there. …

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2012-10-05 Extended Stay Hotels

You know you’re staying in a classy place when there’s toilet paper in the vending machine.

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2012-10-04 West Slabs of Mt. Olympus

Today after work me the QA engineer I’m working with on my first projects at BD and a few other BD people did the West Slabs (5.4) on Mt. Olympus.  Again I was sucking wind and at the back of the pack on the uphill.  I was really pushing to keep up too.  Hopefully this will get easier and easier as time goes on.  Anyway after getting to the base of the slabs we put on our climbing shoes and headed up.  The route is pretty sweet.  Pretty much a choose your own adventure type of climb.  Since it was easy we all solo’ed with got us to the top in less than an hour.  Not bad for about 1,000 feet of vert.  We enjoyed the setting sun and a PBR at the top.  Yeah a PBR, not the finest brew in the land, but it was tasty on the summit.  Car to car we were three hours.

Pictures

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2012-09-30 South Ridge of Mt. Superior

An impromptu gChat message from Alex around 4:30 this afternoon had me in the car and headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  He suggested the South Face of Mt. Superior.  Since the route is only 5.2 and only in a few spots, we’d be going light and fast, no gear save but a headlamp and light jacket.  Around 5:30pm and at ~8,000 ft we headed up.  Alex quickly out paced me and my out of shapeness, but I’ll blame it on sucking the thick, oxygen heavy air of New Haven just seven days ago…hmmm yeah let’s go with that as an excuse.  Any way once we got to the technical climbing we got back in sync.  The climbing was fun, a little exposed in a few spots but over all just great and comfortable.  We topped out (11,132 ft) in about 2 hours from the car and were back down in another 1.5 hours under the full moon.  

I think this might make a fun winter route as well.

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