The first snows have fallen in the Rockies. The summer is quickly coming to a close. I’ve been home from Everest several months now and the time simply is flying by. In some ways it seems as if it was yesterday that I was departing Camp II for base camp and catching a helicopter ride to Kathmandu. In other ways, it seems like that was a long time ago. I suppose that’s a good thing… Regardless, I’ve happily put all the weight back on that I lost in the Himalayas. It was, indeed (and as anticipated), a fun process.
Soon after returning home, I decided to use some of my free time (i.e. I’m still an unemployed bum) and finally get the dog I’ve been talking about getting for the past 20 years or so now. Meet Camden (lots of proud papa pictures by clicking the picture above), who is named after beloved Camden, Maine. He’s getting big fast and is a great pup. He’s trained me well. It’s been a lot of fun, although this is as domesticated as I’ve ever been. It’s eaten into some of my climbing plans, etc., but it’s been worth it. He’s sleeping at my feet as I write this and will be my good buddy for many years to come.
So, other than a few days on the local crags here and there, I haven’t been doing much climbing this summer, at least until last weekend. Ben and I headed to Jackson, WY, for a shot at the Petzoldt Direct route on The Grand Teton (13,775′). It’s a long, fun, technical route. Unfortunately, it snowed while we were driving up there on Thursday night so our plans changed a bit. We ended up climbing the Upper Exum route instead due to ice on both the Petzoldt Direct and Lower Exum routes. It still made for a long, 13-hour day as we climbed the Upper Exum and then descended all the way back to the trailhead in the same day (a 3,000′ technical ascent followed by a 7,000′ knee-busting descent). We had a great time though (more pictures available by clicking on the picture above). It was this time last year that I did the Complete Exum route on The Grand with Craig and talked him into joining me on the Everest expedition. He, of course, summited in good form with an appropriate amount of suffering along the way (that mountain seems to demand it of everyone) and became the only former NFL player to stand atop the world. Ben and I didn’t come up with anything quite that audacious on this trip, although there seems to be an Ama Dablam expedition potentially lurking somewhere in the future… time will tell.
Otherwise, all is well. I’m spending a lot of time working on my new venture and am now shifting from the ideation phase to the execution phase. If things fall right for my partner and me, we should be officially in-market by early 2013, so stay tuned. Happy Fall Equinox to everyone.