Tuesday, August 26, 2014

24th Lap Around the Sun

Life is certainly an interesting ride. A wonderfully interesting one if you ask me. Last week my wisdom tooth got infected putting me in mandatory slow down mode. It’s been nice to have some time to collect my thoughts and reflect. Last year I did a birthday blog post with 23 moments from the last year in honor of my 23rd birthday. And although I wrote down the ideas a month ago, I’m finally publishing 24 moments from the last year in honor of my 24th birthday. Much gratitude to all.
Successful second attempt of the Bear’s Tooth with good friend Bud Martin. An iconic spire (of which the mountain range is named after) in the Montana wilderness. Got lightning stormed out of the first attempt 5-6 years prior. Such a magestic spot with deep deep blue lakes and a massive rock glacier below. It’s the kind of environment that breathes life into your skin and demands presence and appreciation.

Ventured across the country to attend my Uncle’s wedding in Maryland. I have rarely visited the east cost of the US, and it was such a treat to spend an entire week with my extended family relaxing before a long field season in the Arctic. I particularly enjoyed morning runs along the riprap of the pier as the fisherman were setting up their poles and offered friendly hellos.
Returned to Churchill for my second year with Polar Bears International. I am always blown away by how much I learn surrounded by the PBI family, and how much my appreciation for the environment grows while immersed in the incredible Arctic ecosystem.
Rolling out into what seems to be as close to the unknown as you can get while still being in the known, I headed to Cape Churchill with PBI for the final trip of the field season last year, and although much of it was incredibly challenging, and we were exhausted from the previous 2 months, there’s something about being out there, amongst it, that makes it all worth while…

Joined a posse of some of my closest friends, along with some new ones for a fabulous New Years celebration at the Woody Creek Cabin. In my opinion, cabins are one of the finer places to spend such a holiday.
Decided to spend a few outings exploring a zone close to home that I’ve always been intrigued by. Caught a gem of a day with good friends Adam Pohl and Nick Truax.
Had a primo day of skiing with two of my most favorite gentlemen (Beau Fredlund and Brody Leven) and a new friend Christian Overson in the Wasatch. Duffy delux conditions in the Hallway Couloir really put the icing on the cake. There may have been a few other shenanigans as well…

Two weeks of high pressure greeted Caroline Gleich and I when we arrived in Chamonix. Two weeks of fabulous technical skiing ensued. Corn partay!
Later in the year Beau and I both agreed that this was likely our most memorable day skiing together. After many days waiting, watching conditions, and developing a mountain partnership, we finally had the opportunity to get on a bigger route.
Joined the Shifting Ice Changing Tides ladies in Iceland for the expedition of a lifetime. Prior to boarding the sailboat and setting off across the Denmark Straight we had a succulent few days in the glassy fjords on Iceland’s west coast. Words cannot describe the beauty, serenity, and inspirational vibes of such a place. No wonder Camilla hasn’t left ;).
Had an incredible trip sailing from Iceland to Greenland and skiing in magnificent mountains along the way. What a treat to get to join an amazing group of gals and document their journey.
Flying over the Greenland Ice Cap at the end of our trip really put it all together for me. Although we covered a massive distance we barely scratched the surface. The environmental reserve that is Greenland is so vast, so complex, and so important as a global climate regulator.
Although I probably should have stuck around Bozeman after returning from Greenland, conditions were about to tee-off in the Tetons. So Beau and I rendezvoused with Brody for 5 days of some of the most incredible ski mountaineering conditions I have ever experienced. Boot top powder off the top of the GT (and we skinned *yes skinned* the Ford).
Skied a new route in the backyard that likely rarely comes into condition, and likely has rarely been envisioned before. Quite a thrill.
Fully embraced the onset of summer with a few canoeski missions on the other side of the range (and Beau’s new summertime home).
Began to trade the skis for running shoes and started linking up trailheads in the Bridgers. Started the season off with a Cottonwood to Cottonwood shuttle (thanks Dad). Chose to stay low on the foothills trail due to wind and ended up with just over 22 miles and 8,500 vert. Thought it would be good training for the ridge run. Ran the ridge run over a month later only to discover that it was 20.5 miles and 5,700 vert. “Training”… ha!
Had a good friend swing through town. Was great to catch up with Ryan and reminisce about Alaska, and what a wild adventure that whole experience was. Would have explored much less had Ryan not been in AK my first season.
Returned to Whitetail Peak in July. 3rd time was a charm. Nearly died in an avalanche on my first attempt 6 years prior. Stay tuned for a more detailed story.
Spent a fair bit of time exploring Yellowstone National Park this year. Despite growing up next to the park I have not spent my share of time inside the boundaries. It was lovely to get to know my home turf a bit better.
Beau and I found ourselves out for a run in an enchanted post-burn forest mid July. Unforgettable jaunt in the hillz.
Had an AWESOME visit with Josh. Psyched on new collaboration with LowePro.
Lots of fabulous trail runs followed by cool dips in the lake.
And occationally walking on water.