Thursday, October 29, 2009

Departures

And once again I find myself outward bound. The room has been cleaned, my coaches locker cleaned out at school, and everything cleaned up, with as many loose ends tied as possible. Savoring the moments in the comfort of my home, I strike out again for another task. This one for a Instructor Training Course with the Wilderness Medical Institute of NOLS. New people, a new place, new challenges and uncertainty. It is hard to leave the family and the friends. It is hard to leave the community that speaks with their hands. It is all challenging, and can be stressful, but it brings new life and excitement of which I live for.

All to0 quickly I am across the country. Strange to think that it would take 5 days to drive here but I can close my eyes, and suddenly I am here in a matter of mere hours. Commercial air travel is something I never get used to. Just north of Seattle for the night, then a 19 hour drive to Lander, Wyoming. My truck, Timmy, has been waiting for me here, and it was wonderful to see him again. I greeted him like I would one of our dogs. Timmy and I have been through a lot together. Reliable and always ready! The adventure continues.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Downeast Maine!

A 28-day sailing course taking me my co-instructor 100 miles "downeast" almost to the Canadian border! I'd done the legs of the journey to and from fabled Cross Island but never the round trip, and never as Captain of the ship. So finally after too many years of putting it off, I got the course!

The course was wonderful. 300 miles were made over the course of 28 days. It was wonderful to be back in a pulling boat and really go on an expedition. No circles, no futsing around, just getting ourselves through the fog and rain and wind to Cross Island and then back.


My partner in crime: Dr. Ice (aka D. Rice)

Mistake Island!

The view from Cross Island: an array of 26 radio towers used to communicate with underwater submarines. Fascinating!




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waddington Mountaineering in B.C.

Here we are in the Waddington Range! Excuse the out of orderness of the pics and writings. The task of updating everything is a bit overwhelming and some things are working and some are not.

We had to move through days of this stuff.

Slide alder...a cherished sight. Yeah, right. Better than devil's club perhaps...

The Jenga!
Mother Teresa is a wicked mountaineer!










The bushwacking began: 3 days of moving 1/3 of a mile for each arduous hour. We sweated our way only 3 miles for 9 hours of toil. I would be in the lead sometimes wondering how these students are following me, and not knowing how I was going to get through what we called "the jenga" - a lincoln log array of fallen pine trees that had succumbed to the pine beetle infestation.

But eventually we made it to the snow and alpine territory, and it was beautiful. We climbed some wonderful peaks and had long days of glaciated mountain travel. It was fantastic to be back in the same mountain range that I'd been on two years ago, some new territory, and some old.

We had many crevasse punch throughs, but thankfully no one went through more than up to their waist. There were some exciting times though, and some HUGE, GAPING crevasses that we crossed on relatively small snow bridges. That's all for now. Hopefully the pics will tell some of the rest of the story.

The above picture is from climbing Jubilee Peak. We awoke early and as we made our way up the peak, the sun rose EXACTLY between the two peaks of Mt. Waddington. It was an amazing sight. Many things had to align for that to work out!