Pre-Departure

Just about time to get moving west and into the vertical realm. Over the last week or so Linus and I have been trying to train on my bouldering wall, luckily our skin is toughened up and we are back in shape. We have also been planning on what we want to climb on this trip, so far the trip itinerary is as follows:
  • Devils Tower, WY
  • Spearfish Canyon, SD
  • The Needles, SD
  • Boulder, CO
  • Rock Mountain National Park
  • Crestone Needle, Ellingwood Arete
 Should be a nice little trip. If I have time I may stop off in Castlewood Canyon for a bouldering session or hit up Breckenridge to see some friends after Linus heads back to Patagonia.

After reading some of the route descriptions we realized we needed another rope, and seeing how we plan on doing some alpine objectives too, it made more sense to buy a pair of half ropes. Luckily we were able to contact Sterling and get two of the new 7.8mm Fusion Photon half ropes sent to us asap. Christmas came early.

Bouldering

Linus and I with the new ropes


I forget how great this time of year is here in North Dakota, not too hot, not too cold and rainy days. Its a nice change of pace from the Thai heat. Can't wait to get on some snow out west.

Evening sky at home



One of the other interesting activities we have been doing is drilling for my old man. Evidently there used to be a coal mine down by Bowman, ND and when the miners left they forgot to, what do you call it? Oh yeah, fill in the mine. Now the whole area is prone to collapse, with numerous sink holes littering the fields. That's where we swoop in. By drilling holes every 10 feet and looking for voids it will be easier for the state to extrapolate how much concrete will be needed to fill the old mine in. We also got a chance to see a $40,000 camera in action. It was pretty crazy to see the old mine tunnels and timbers 80 feet below us, and the crazy thing is the camera monitor is like watching an HD tv, it's that clear. Makes you wonder how many areas around the country mirror this lack of consideration for the environment.

Coal holes

Drilling



The old man at work



MacGyver shit




The reason I came home in the first place was to attend the wedding of my good friends Preston and Steph. The only problem was Linus and I hadn't wore a collared shirt and tie in years, decades maybe. Thanks to Walmarts $10 tie selection. I meant to take more pictures of the wedding but after a few beers I sort of forgot about it.....oops. Regardless, it was a great night drinking, dancing, and reminiscing with lots of old friends.


Uncommon attire