December 26, 2016

A Collage of December Powder

It's been a great month. Holiday fun and some wonderful mornings out in the hills with friends. December is a special time of year, not only because of the many festivities but the snow is unique. Some of the coldest temperatures of the year tend to fill the morning hours of December, capturing the lightest personalities of the flakes. We have been fortunate enough to enjoy some.

Lars- Courtesy Jason Dorais

Jason Dorais and morning December light
Tom Goth- Courtesy Andy Dorais

Old man- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Jason Dorais

Bart Gillespie- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Andy Dorais- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Old man-Courtesy Jason Dorais
Justin Wilson- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Tom Goth- Courtesy Jason Dorais
Morning Magic

August 22, 2016

Lowe Route-Lone Peak

On Saturday, Jason and I were able to get together again, enjoy some fine mountain air and share yet another most excellent outing. Ashamedly, I had never done the Lowe Route. It has been on my list for many years. Incredibly, we had the LP cirque to ourselves in an almost hauntingly calm morning. The steep granite walls received us like a cathedral beckoning the saint or sinner forward. 

Autumn was in the air and the granite felt like mid-September. The morning went off without a hitch, except for the clove hitch we had to use because Jason forgot his belay device. The route met every expectation, amazing setting with exhilarating exposure. A most magnificent alpine morning indeed.

Jason topping out on Pitch 1

Me looking down the incredible Question Mark Wall

Jason Dorais!

August 12, 2016

Grand Teton- Upper Exum- Parental Highlight-- August 10, 2016

Alex who is now 17 years old a few years ago climbed the Middle Teton with me. Upon reaching the top, the youngster got his first glimpse of the Grand Teton's magnificent south ridges. "Dad we gotta go there someday!" he quietly said, with the summer sun pouring morning rays over both of us.

On August 10th, we departed the car at 2:25 AM, hiked in at a good pace reaching the Lower Saddle by 5:45 AM. Our route of choice was the Upper Exum Ridge of the Grand, one of my favorite classics in the range. We simul-climbed a good chunk of the route, except for belaying the Golden Stair, Friction and V pitches. We arrived on top at 9:05 AM. After enjoying the summit to ourselves in heavy winds, we headed down the rappel.

Upon reaching the Lower Saddle, nestled between the Middle and Grand Tetons we hid from the wind and reflected on the spectacular morning. After some photos we then descended, arriving at our car just after 4 PM that same day.  It was a journey I shall never forget and I hope Alex carries it with him always too.

Wall Street and Exum Guide Silhouette

Morning light and the Golden Staircase

Friction Pitch and wind spinning the cords

V Pitch

Getting there




August 7, 2016

Hailey Washakie Loop- Wind River Range

This past week, my sons and I, my brother and his boy and Mike and his sons made up our group of wandering travelers in the high Wind River Range. These mystical white granite mountains beckoned our suburban-ridden souls and delivered a memorable impression on each one of us. 

Each year my brother and I take our sons on a multi-day backpack trip. This year after studying maps and blog data, I created an itinerary that I felt our group of young ones would manage, albeit with some suffering. Fortunately, the stars aligned. We were able to get away from work and the demands of life and dive into this great and wild range.

Spanning over five days, these young men and their dads learned some important life lessons. The kids dug deep and pushed one another over nearly 40 miles, crossed over the Continental Divide twice and experienced peace and solitude only Nature can provide. Our boys range from 17 years of age down to only 9. They all did remarkably well.  We travelled from Big Sandy, going over Hailey Pass to Washakie Pass looping back to Big Sandy.

Day One  (10.5 Miles)


Skull Lake - End of the Day
Day Two- (7 Miles)
Hailey Pass- 11,200

The man and mighty Mt. Hooker  
Beach on Grave Lake
Day Three (5 Miles)
Mike and the waking light on Grave

Washakie Basin
Lake Washakie

Washakie Trout
Day Four (9 miles)
Macon Lake
Youthful longing for a couch
Washakie Pass-11,600

Shark's Nose, enroute to Dad's Lake
Day Five (6 miles)
Dad's Lake

One last look back