2012-06-30 thru 07-01 White Mountains

Me basking in the sun on the shoulder of Mt. Madison.

Me basking in the sun near Mt. Madison with Mt. Washington in the distance

Sikorsky decided to give us some furlough days again this year as a cost savings measure.  While it isn’t great getting a pay cut it isn’t really noticeable since they take it out of our paychecks through the whole year.  This year with Independence Day being in the middle of the week they gave us Thursday and Friday off, which it doesn’t take a great mind to figure out that for two vacation days you could have a full week off of work.  This was my plan.

Going into the weekend I had plans with Eli to climb in North Conway.  He fell through but not without some good reason.  My next option was Jesse and I figured this would be a lock since Adrienne was away in France.  He pulled out Thursday citing a rest weekend.  Finally I asked Eric if he’d like to do an impromptu Presidential Traverse.  Our attempt last year was unsuccessful and we were hoping to finish this accomplishment.  He gave me a tentative yes but said he’d let me know Friday.  A Presi-Traverse is not something to be taken lightly but I figured we were strong enough and organized enough to pull it off last minute.  Unfortunately Eric bailed as well and I was stuck with no plans for the first weekend of my week off.  I decided to head to the Whites anyways and do a multi-day hike centered around photography. …

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2012-06-23 thru 24 Gunks

A cover shot not by me!  This is too good a shot to pass up though.  Me on CCK (5.7+).

A few weeks back I finally got Carly to agree to head up to the Gunks with me.  We’ve done plenty of trad cragging at places in Connecticut and she’s done well cleaning gear so I thought she’d be ready for some classics at the Gunks.  As per usual we headed out on Friday night and made our way to New Paltz.  If you recall we had a span of nearly a week with some precip almost every day and we were heading out the first weekend since that wetness broke.  As a result I figured that the Gunks would be packed on the first nice weekend in a while, but luckily no.

Getting to Camp Slime we set up the tent at one of the sites near the entrance.  There was only two other parties there, one setting up tents the same time as us and another French-Canadian couple who were in the big site near the ranger house.  The other newcomers told us that the site all the way up at the top of the hill was open.  I’m not sure if they alerted us to this because we were close to them and they wanted some privacy or if they were just being nice.  Either way we headed up to the penthouse spots and set up camp.  I’ve never had the top spot and it is pretty nice; ample space for tents and rocks for sitting. …

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2012-06-16 thru 17 Rumney

I’m too busy to write a full post about my trip to Rumney with Jesse and Adrien, so here’s a few highlights.

  • Camp at D’Acres.
  • Sent Social Outcast (5.12a) first try!  Awesome stream of beta from Jesse got me through.
  • Sent Orangahang (5.12a) second try.  Super pumpy!
  • Jesse still working on 5.13 projects…
  • Flesh for Lulu practice, still didn’t get it.
  • Jesse’s birthday on Saturday and awesome meal.
  • Still working on Flesh, grrr.
  • Jesse sends Big Kahuna (5.13a).  Starts working on a new one.
  • Adrien and I work Good Earth (5.12c).  We both do all the moves but with 3-4 falls.
  • Nice dip in the river before going home.


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2012-05-24 thru 28 Acadia National Park

Memorial day weekend I traveled north to the region’s only National Park, Acadia with Carly, Eric, and Ben.

The adventure started for me on Tuesday night before the weekend. My sister was coming back home to visit with my parents and she was bringing Jeff, her boyfriend. The family was heading to Maine to stay at the Rangeley house and visit with the Kertlands. Unfortunately my sister was slow in getting her S together so I had made plans by that time. As a compromise so I could see her and Jeff I took Wednesday and Thursday off before the holiday weekend–Friday was a furlough day so I already had it off. …

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2012-05-12 thru 13 Rumney

The weather over the last couple weeks has been pretty rainy and damp.  I won’t complain too much since April was almost without any precipitation; the water tables sure can use the precip.  My backyard is sprouting up with all the grass seed I tossed down weeks ago.  Turns out grass seed won’t sprout an inch without copious amounts of water.  The last two weeks has provided that.

So Jesse mentioned he and Adrien were headed north to Rumney for the weekend and said I could tag along.  My last trip to Rumney was pretty lack luster, both in my enthusiasm for the place and my climbing performance.  I don’t think I even lead anything.  This time however I was determined to lead and fall.  I haven’t fallen on lead before, well once in the gym, and I think it is holding my climbing back.  Adrien had a less than stellar catch a few weeks ago and was also spooked about taking the plunge.  The plan was to fix this. …

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2012-04-22 Leatherman's Loop 10k Race

Runners splashing through the final water crossing a few hundred yards from the finish.

Runners splashing through the final water crossing a few hundred yards from the finish.

I went to a 10k race over the weekend.  Not to run in it, I’m not much of a runner, but to spectate and take some pictures.  I carpooled in with some friends under some cool, breezy, and overcast skies.  There was rain in the forecast but it wasn’t supposed to come until later in the day.  These conditions made some some good soft light for pictures.  The problem was that I’ve never shot anything like a foot race before.  I’ve never even been to one.  I got some shots at the start of the race and figured I’d have enough time to get to another section of the trail before the runners had gotten through.  There were hundreds, maybe close to 1,000 runners so I should have plenty of time.  Well not really.  I got confused which way the course was relative to the parking lot, and I got just the tail end.  Luckily I doubled back and got to the final water crossing to see some people go through.

I definitely need some practice shooting this type of event.  It was more difficult than I expected.  A full set of batteries would have helped.  I had three poorly charged ones and the servo drive autofocus wasn’t helping.


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2012-04-09 Long Gunks Day

As described in an earlier post I had an extra long weekend for Easter weekend.  On Sunday I was kind of scrambling to find a partner for the Gunks.  My original partner bailed on me for Monday but I still had one for Sunday…or so I thought.  I was unable to get in touch with Chris Saturday or Sunday morning, so I called Eli.  He was totally down for climbing so I picked him up and we headed to New Paltz.  Because of our late start we didn’t get to climbing until 11:30 or so.  We headed to the Nears since neither he nor I had been there in a while.  Being the first Gunks trip of the season for the both of us we decided not to try and crush but to just get our Gunks feet back under us.  We had a great day and got more pitches than I’ve probably ever climbed in a day, period.  We did go until after dark but in 7.5 hours of climbing, including lunch break, we got 14 pitches in.  Here’s our rundown.

  • P1 – Disneyland (5.6)
  • P2 – Farewell to Arms (5.7)
  • P3-4 Birdland (5.8)
  • P5-6 Inverted Layback (5.9)
  • P7-8 Alphonse (5.8)
  • P9-11 Grand Central (5.9)
  • P12-14 Yellow Ridge (5.7+)

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2012-04-15 Grilled Pizza

Saturday night we made some grilled pizza at the house.  My first attempt at grilled pizza last summer also included my first use of the instant pizza yeast which lead to a less than substantial dough.  After putting it on the grill with much difficulty I ended up having to fold it over in order to actually get it off the grill; effectively making a kind of calzone.

This next time around however I used some advice from Dave saying to spread out the dough, toss it on the grill sans toppings.  After a few minutes of getting the dough partially cooked, you bring it back inside and flip it over, putting the toppings on the “uncooked” side.  After topping it, put it back on the grill until done.  

The result with these steps was great.  The toppings were proscitto, fresh tomatoes, arugala, fresh mozzeralla, and carmelized onions.  A stellar combination in my opinion.


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