Planes for Plains

Upon leaving Thailand I was graciously allowed to cash in some of my karma chips, and somehow got upgraded to business class all the way back to the land of the free. I dare say that it may be impossible to fly economy again......

Reintegration to the US has been fairly painless, with the only exceptions being tipping and outrageous prices on things. Most of my last few weeks has been spent back home in Mandan, ND catching up with family, trying my hand at carpentry, and a bit of route development to boot.

A few years back we were lucky enough to salvage wood from a few old barns from the early 1900's. With a bit of free time I was able to whip up a few pieces of furniture with the wood, but sadly not able to sell them....

Grandma not included

Grandma not included

 

While in Thailand I became aware of a small group of ND climbers that have tasked themselves with developing some buttes in the Badlands. I was lucky enough to connect with them to sample some of the existing routes and help develop some new ones. The two main formations are at Sentinel Butte and Square Butte. The cliffs are short, but offer a ton of cracks and face climbs. Rock quality blurs the line between sand and stone often.....which gives climbing there a bit of an exploratory feel. More photos to come.

Square Butte

Square Butte

Project - a line I scrubbed on the arete, High Plains Drifter, 5.11+?

Project - a line I scrubbed on the arete, High Plains Drifter, 5.11+?

ND sunset at Sentinel Butte

ND sunset at Sentinel Butte

 

Now it is time to gear up for the Cascade guiding season. Making sure all everything is in good condition and replacing gear. Alpine Ascents International has asked me to help guide a Denali trip later this summer, which I am super excited about. Last time I said goodbye to AK was some time ago, and I look forward to our long over due reunion.