Get out alone, into the wilderness, at least a week… Advice spoken by a ture friend that has echoed in my mind over the last few months. Words I’ve known and felt before, but coming from him they sounded like a clear bell that could split the fog. Near the end of the winter, my friend and his wife invited me over for dinner. We shared a simple, delecious meal and then talked. I cried. They offered support and well wishes for the season ahead. The snow began to melt and we parted ways. But the words remained. Continue reading
Over the week of July 25th to the 31st, Liz and myself climbed two routes and reached as many summits in the Gunsight Range of the Glacier Peak Wilderness area. We climbed the South Ridge route of the South Peak, as well as the West Face of the Middle Peak. Our ascents were completely free and followed the existing routes over varied terrain, including, but not limited to: splitter granite, steep glaciers, loose choss, devils club, and hot pavement. The trip was a great recon and an epic adventure in its own right. The Gunsights should be high on the list of anyone looking for golden granite in an absurdly alpine setting. In addition to our meager climbing achievements, the significance of this trip lies, for us, in the fact that we undertook the approach entirely by use of Public Transportation.
Living in Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter, I’m lucky to be able to enjoy backcountry skiing in both wilderness and watershed areas, zones that are free (read – prohibited) of snow-machine travel. If you’re reading this, most likely you’re a skier or snowboarder, and even if you use an old beat-up sled to get deep into the mountains, once you’re there you probably trade it for skins and slog your way up the mountainside to earn your face shots. Backcountry skiing is about solitude and isolation, a dance with the wilderness. When not used correctly, snow-machines can create a noisy, hectic, and often dangerous atmosphere. If you value you value the solitude and serenity of a quiet mountain range dressed in white, then you should know this: on June 18th, the Forest Service issued a long-awaited rule for public comment on designating areas as open or closed to winter motorized vehicles, this is a good first step, but comments from our backcountry community can make it stronger! Your help is both needed and essential to capitalize on this opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. By designating specific trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use may occur, winter travel planning is an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry. The community of backcountry skiers needs to be heard! Please consider adding your comment to the voices of support for human-powered winter recreation. To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, and help you draft a comment worthy of consideration, the Winter Wildlands Alliance has put together a very helpful page to aid you in navigating this beurocratic issue. Keep reading to see a few links that can help you along, as well as my annotated comment if you’re interested. LET’S DO THIS!!!