Sunday, September 30, 2012

Big Climbing in the Back Yard

It's been a while since I've traveled. I am not even talking internationally, but simply out of town. It's all for good reason, but every now and then I get a huge itch to travel. Most of the reason why I would travel is to go climbing - something that has been lacking this spring and summer. While I watch my friends go off to the normal and exotic haunts, I happily stay home and work at my dream job. But the itch comes back.

I jokingly asked a friend if he wanted to climb the Diamond. He said yes?! Damn, I wasn't expecting that. We eventually set a date. After inquiring for beta about the nighttime approach, I was determined to remember the clear instructions. I am not going to lie - my memory for such things can be spotty.

After hiking for nearly 4 hours I started to wonder...The rock walls that were illuminated by the moon had little to no resemblance of the fabled Diamond.

Our wrong turn took us into the next cirque over from the Diamond. Once we began retracing our steps I all of a sudden could hear my friends beta replaying in my head. Oh yeah, we needed to go right there....

The sun started to come up and everything was clear - that our wrong turn put us at the back of the line. A long, long line. We knew the popularity of the climb, the good weather and the fact that it was a Sunday could make our chances of an ascent at 50%. As we sat in the boulder field watching the shit show going down on Broadway Ledge we ate breakfast and shifted our sights to a shorter climb on the lower east face.

The snow field up to the base of the climb didn't look that bad. I had on regular tennies and thought 'I can get up there, not problem'. My partner Patrick watched in horror as I tried to ice skate up hill. At one point I thought to myself 'if I fall, I am going to slide down this like a rag doll and end up hitting some rocks along the way'. Then I got scared. Then I downclimbed.

And this was all on my first attempt. Yeah, that's right. I tried to ice skate up hill a second time on what I thought was a better section of snow. 

Back down safely after getting scared, we gave up. We came to find that even if we hadn't gotten lost we'd still be line. There was already a party sitting on Broadway at 4:30am waiting for the sun to rise. It was like the DMV - everyone takes a number, sits down and watches angrily at the people who are at the window taking their damn time. And behind them were 12 parties.

One thing I will say is its so beautiful up there. It's big. Way bigger and more grand than the pictures can capture. And its in my backyard. The plan is to try again before the season is over, which is like in 4 weeks. And next time, I will have my crampons.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sights and Sounds of Silverton

Spent 2 very lovely weeks in Silverton, Colorado over the holiday. We skied as much as our legs would allow, and I even got out on ice a couple days. Kate and I managed to go back to our nemesis and redeemed ourselves by climbing it on a blue bird (and non-epic) day.

The crew heading up to Rope Dee with Billboard in the background.

Kate getting it done.

Core Shot

Our ride to the lift.

One last hike for the day.

The Yurt.
Doing what I do best. 


Rum Bar.

Hiking Up To Rope Dee 4 from Lauren Wilson on Vimeo.
Taking First Class to a Mountain Top from Lauren Wilson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moldy Bottles Suck

I have a lot to learn about brewing. First off, how to keep beer bottles clean. Second off...well, I don't know what I don't know.

I had a good crew of friends help bottle the stout. A taste test reveals a heavier than I was expecting coffee tone to the beer - I think I put more fresh coffee into the wort than the recipe called for. I pulled out a finished bottle the other day - not bad.

Thanks to Todd for lending me the brew kit. And no, I didn't use the moldy beer bottles for my stout.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brewed with the Brewsters

I was itching to brew. It’s summer now, how about a stout. Wait. A stout for a warm, summer’s night? Sounds a bit heavy don’t you think? Nah – I think that sounds just right.

If I am going to brew, well then I should have the Ladies over to help. The latest installment of the Ladies beer and brewing club (which I officially(!) named the Boulder Brewsters) gladly showed up to socialize, ask questions, and share each others favorite beer. Being new to this brewing gig I wanted to be prepared, have my ducks in a row so I don’t get distracted when everyone starts chatting and drinking. I sanitized before everyone showed up, laying out all of my tools like a surgeon’s table.

I used an extract recipe - here Andrea adds the yummy malt.

These Ladies need a beer - stat!

Adding some fresh espresso.

Few weeks later....Moving into the secondary.

As you can tell by the look on my face, its tasting pretty decent so far.

So far I've been using extract recipes found online, so I can get the basics down. I am hoping to start playing around with ingredients by the end of the summer and see what I can come up with. That and brew with an all-grain recipe. Next up - the bottling party with the Brewsters! If you are in the area, and want to come hang out you are welcome to join :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Project for next year

The beautiful couloir right in the middle, near Radiobeacon Mountain. This picture doesn't do it justice. More on this tour later.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tecky Mantel

I am watching Matt on a reconnaissance mission. Dude, don't fall. You weigh a lot more than me, you'll squash me like a bug. Maybe he had the same thoughts.

Sometimes you are sitting there figuring out beta, and by the time you figure it out, the power meter is empty. Matt tells me about fast twitch muscles. I start to think I was built to be a boulderer exclusively. Whatever, I have a beer in one hand, and my other hand is spotting a 170lb man. He won't fall, he's strong.

A long weekend in Joe's turned into a short weekend, capped off with a front range route session. In between all of that was a lot of desert. No cell phone, only music on someone else's Ipod. Mine died somewhere on the way out. Do you think applying glue on a finger will hold enough to climb on? Well, it does somehow.

I think Utah hates me. First it made me leave my gear at home, and then it rained me out. But the universe has a funny way of keeping things in line. While Utah was hating me, I was having the most romantic time with a certain beer. Yes, I just put the words romantic and beer in the same sentence. A certain elusive beer has made itself present when I probably needed it the most. Do I believe in karma - hell yes I do.

I woke up with all four corners of my tent housing puddles of white creamy water. I start laughing. Matt hears me as he's sitting in his 15 year old North Face tent perfectly dry. Bastard. Not him - my tent. I've decided my tent is a male.

Primo Wall was the trip wrap-up. By the time we were on the last route, the rain started to come into the canyon. It's the same rain we out-drove from Utah in the cute car. Oh - the cute car. Aka, my homie. If you think your car can be male, well, it can.

Thanks to my buddy Matt Battaglia for being a wonderful guide in Joe's Valley. Check out his humor and good story telling here:

Friday, April 15, 2011

I am taking over the world. One beer at a time.

I have officially started my first club. Its a beer and brewing club - for the ladies. My first installment of the club consisted of two ladies visiting my house, both who aren't big beer drinkers, but came anyways for moral support. I had this big agenda for the night, beer stuff I wanted to talk about. About 5 minutes into my talk on beer ingredients, the conversation took a 180 and we were officially off the topic of beer for the night. Fail.

I waited 6 months to have the next installment. This time, I decided to have the meeting at a beer establishment - Avery's tap room. I came with no agenda, only with the hope that I could slip in some beer trivia, or see some ladies trying a new beer for themselves. Six ladies showed up. Success.

Over the noise of the tap room, I could hear spontaneous conversations of beer occurring, without my doing. I did mention that I wanted everyone to at least sample something new or different than what they normally order, but some of the ladies did that anyways. I could catch the lady sitting next to me commenting on the smells and flavors of a particular beer. A smile quickly formed on my face. Total success.

After a couple beers in (one casked conditioned IPA, the other an imperial IPA) my inner desires of what I wanted to accomplish with the beer club stated to make their way out into words. After these poor ladies listened to me for a few minutes, one of them said straight "What you are saying is you want to take over the world." I thought about it for a second. Why yes, that must be what I am trying to say.

Beer making is 90% sanitation. Scrub, scrub, scrub!

I am taking over the world, and making this guy the King. Love you Duke.