Scotland’s West Highland Way

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Day hike up Scotlands highest Peak, Ben Nevis.

 

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The handwork done to the trail was impressive to say the least. Many well placed stone staircases eased our ascent.

 

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The view from high up on Ben Nevis, moments before a white out rolled in and my finger completely obscured the camera lense.

 

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Day one: Hiking the West Highland Way near Kenlochleven. We picked up a friend, Max. Notice the subtle difference in pack size!

 

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Looking good in our “waterproofs”: 12 miles in and still smiling!

 

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Of course it’s always the last mile, or two, that’s the hardest.


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Day Two. After descending the devils staircase the weather turned foul. We walked by a famous mountain with a Gaelic name that continues to elude me.

 

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Day three. Moss!

 

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Entering quaint farmland, which means be careful where you step.

 

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We encountered a couple hikers today that had strange accents: They were from the U.S..

 

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The Dover Inn: a 300+ year old establishment featuring a bar where the staff all wear kilts.

 

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Day four. After a ferry ride that featured coffee with a shot of whisky (Wish I had a picture of Wendi’s joy upon learning this) we walked along Loch Lomond on the most beautiful trail.

 

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Lovely winding narrow track.

 

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Day five, Last day. Got an early start on the trail today, which started out by going up Conic Hill for a view of Loch Lomond.

 

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I think the Scottish really appreciated my “desert nomad” look.

 

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“Are we there yet?” The last mile of the trail before it finishes in Milngavie (pronounced “Mull-guy”, of course). The most tragic thing about trekking is that by the time I finally learn how to properly pronounce the names of the towns I’m visiting I’m usually leaving the area for the next town…

Ready to be done walking for a while.

The Tetons deliverith

I think we found the G spot in Idaho Falls. Downtown is a great restaurant called the Snake Bite, and next to is an amazing hand-crafted wine and beer store with a mini bar in back.. We're lucky we made it out of town that night...

I think we found the G spot in Idaho Falls. Downtown is a great restaurant called the Snake Bite, and next to it is an amazing hand-crafted wine and beer store with a mini bar in back.. We’re lucky we made it out of town that night…

Characters at the Pines Motel

The Pines Motel in Driggs is a pure wonderland of enduring western kitsch, and the occasional sock puppet. The family owners have been friendly and treating us well for over 20 years now..

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Dismantling the repeaters on Mount Wire

I heard the the giant reflector panels were coming down so I had to go investigate.

dismantling of the reflectors on Red Butte's Mt. Wire

Free Steel: Say goodbye to the mysterious panels on the south ridge of Mt. Wire.

I can’t really say that I’m happy or sad to see them go. They’ve just always been there, a marker on the way up, something to walk by. Now the familiar slopes of Mount Wire suddenly feel nude, like a freshly shaved chin.

Click the image below to view a larger pano.

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Book Review: Gilgamesh

I just finished Stephan Grundy’s retelling of the 4000 year old epic, Gilgamesh. It’s been unnerving to come to terms with the fact revealed in the book that, unlike technological advances, human nature really hasn’t changed since the beginning of civilization. I highly recommend the tome and its fascinating depiction of ancient culture and humanity. And, as a urban bound wilderness enthusiast, I found this entry particularly haunting and wanted to share it here:

“Enkidu sat alone under the far hard gleams of the stars, with a flap of the wool cloak raised over his head, watching hard through the cold moonlight for the slinking gray shadows and listening for the bleats of a sheep trapped by wolves, or the bubbling death-breaths of prey with its throat crushed by a lion’s jaws. Though now and again his head nodded into a lion’s nap, he was always able to jerk himself awake again, remembering that he was a man. Then the tears came to his eyes, cold in the moonlight—and he did not know whether he wept for pacing the hills, or whether it was the warm huts of the village, where each curled against their most beloved, that stung his lids with salt. Yet the night air tasted clean in his lungs with no dusting of burning dung; and yet it was good to hold the smooth wood of spear and bow-shaft, knowing that with it he bore the weight of human trust, warm as the cloak that wrapped his shoulders.”

Biking season – FF style

Thanks to excellent corn conditions as of late, the freaks mobilized for a Deseret Peak multisport outing.

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My previous design for strapping skis to my bike didn’t allow for medium to small radius turns. Needless to say, a re-design was in order.

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A Wald Twin Carrier Basket proved the way to go. It held two pairs of ski boots perfectly snug. Hanging the skis off the back prevented break cable issues, and some rafting straps cammed everything into a nice bundle. Then came the best part of the bike ride: Skiing!

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Powder Princess once again ignoring the bootpack.

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Kanookie Krazy

Mount Saint Nicholas
Years ago a Canadian told me that Mt. Saint Nicholas made a nice day tour from the Bow Hut. After finally seeing it in person I’m not so sure “nice” is the best descriptor!

winter camping in april
After suffering through a sleepless night of high winds at camp 1, we dug camp 2 in deep, and had an amazing sunrise before the skies turned back to grey.

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Like an ant on an icy watermelon, the highlight was descending from our Mount Collie camp down to the Des Poilus Glacier on the most gigantic rollover ever.

at the toe of the glacier
The Des Poilus glacier ended in a gentle tongue we happily slid down. We’re now ready for the syncronized-roped skiing contest thanks to Des Poilus! Isolated Peak and our destination, Isolated Col, on the horizon (directly above PowderPrincesses backpack).

Thank you Canada!

Being Avoided by Winter

I feel kinda bad about the fact that it’s January and I’ve posted so very little about actual skiing. I feel it’s my responsibility as an irregular ski blogger to inspire the uninspired to get out there and ski. But, there comes a point when it’s just time to move on.

If winter doesn’t want to come, why act like it has?

So, since winter has been avoiding me, I decided to avoid winter. I went out to Antelope island with a baguette, goats cheese, olive oil, and my camera and tripod. I took my neutral density filter so that I could take long exposures in the broad daylight. I took pictures that required long periods of waiting. So here you go. Pictures not of skiing, but of waiting for skiing…