Friday, November 05, 2010

what to do with time

i've got plenty of time recently.... and i'm a productive person by nature. if all you can do is sit around and elevate your leg what better way to pass the time then cultivating the hidden artist within?

do you need anything painted? b/c i'm available!

the walking boot

ready for ski season!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Picture worth how many words?

photo taken 2 days afterwards

Last friday i flew to las vegas and was greeted by my brother Nelson and his wife Krissy for a 4 day climbing trip in Red Rocks. Red Rocks is a beautiful area just outside of the craziness of Las Vegas. the cliffs are over 1,000 feet tall with superb climbing. i've been there a couple other times. the very first day we were hiking towards a climbing area. We had to do a bit of bushwhacking and were scrambling down a very steep creek-side. I took a wrong step, fell just a bit, and created the perfect recipe for a stellar ankle injury. I felt like as i stepped forward and down that I had left my left leg behind me, so to speak. then i heard a horrifying 'pop!' and had instant pain, then numbness in L ankle. nelson and krissy came running back up the slope to make sure i was alright. i kept saying 'give me a second i'll be better. i'll be ready to climb in just a minute...'. nelson removed my shoe and said, 'you need to start getting up this hill, right now'. i replied with the moment's current mantra: "i'll be better in just a second. i'll be climbing, just give me a minute'. nelson insisted upon helping me up the hill 'while my adrenaline was still running'. good thing, we removed my shoe and there was a lump the size of a golf ball on the outter part of my ankle. the pain really wasn't too bad, and i even tried to hike out, for a second. nelson ended up giving me a piggy back ride for about a mile back to the car. things just went downhill from there. i did the right things: ibuprofen, rest, ice, compression, elevation (you know, the whole nurse thing came in handy). i changed my flight back a day early. it was a bit challenging trying to camp with the ice bag, the bathroom 50 yards away.. nelson gave me plenty of piggy-back rides over the next day and a half.
i finally got xrays yesterday-- to find that i have broken my ankle. i cracked/fractured the bone on the outside of the ankle. i have an appointment next week with the ankle specialist in town, but until then i can't put any weight on that foot. the soft tissue swelling is horrendous, and it remains to be seen how damaged the ligaments are in the ankle. no real good news there. didn't i just come from here?! wasn't i just using these crutches? wasn't i just hobbling around a second ago? i can't express the disappointment and frustration i feel. my climbing had never been better, i've never been stronger, my plans for climbing never been brighter.... and all that has faded to gray with the past friday's events.
i've spent a fair amount of time crying. i haven't yet accepted the fact- still seems like it could, possibly, be a dream.
it sucks.
i'm kinda depressed.
i'm pretty down.

how i traveled all weekend.

me, krissy, nelson

visiting a state park north of las vegas. i don't know why i look so happy in this photo; because i wasn't.

our campsite and my assumed pose the whole time. oh yeah, a beautiful rainbow the next morning

how i felt on the inside.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Cookies (or a good reason to eat 2lbs of icing...)

my friend jamie loves sugar- in almost any form. she especially loves frosted sugar cookies. she is leaving for a 2 month paragliding-travel adventure in colombia next week, and we weren't going to be able to decorate christmas sugar cookies this year. so today we decided to make fall holiday cookies. i threw in a couple christmas ones to keep everyone on their toes. Eric assisted with the decorating as soon as he got home from work. little did we know he had such mad sugar-cookie-decorating-skills. he put us both to shame. although i win the prize for most cookies decorated, if they weren't necessarily the most detail-intensive.
we represented halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, and a couple spring-fever cookies to boot.

the blue-ish picture in the foreground is one of eric's masterpieces. it was a fall tree loosing its leaves under the crescent moon. i'm not sure how he managed to represent all that with our limited media and small space. but he did. i already ate that cookie.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Indian creek, version 2.0

if i laughed more than i climbed on the first trip, then i made up for it on the second trip by climbing nonstop. i returned to the creek about a week after my girls trip for 8 days. Eric was able to join me for 5 days, which was fantastic. he also brought he fabulous photography skills to the creek, which made the documentation of this trip pretty phenomenal.
we met our friends BJ and Lacy from washington there. and made a new friend from washington, Dave.

my next trip this week is to Red Rocks outside of las vegas, nevada to climb with my brother Nelson. i'm really excited about this trip. nelson has recently started rock climbing and i'm looking forward to sharing the rope with my brother!

dave hauling his pack to the crag. i guess the real question here is not how heavy dave's pack was, but how heavy (or light) mine was.... ??
i think dave may also have been imitating one of the near-by cows here too...

gotta have a rainy day.... we still got in 3 climbs this day though- the standard indian creek daily quota. seems you just can't c limb more than 3 routes in a day down there. of course some of the routes are 160 feet and count as two. but mostly the climbs are just so stout (hard) that you can't physically do much more than that. plus, it leaves time for just laying around in the sun...or shade. depending on the temps.

everyone needs a 'whip it' outfit. this is mine.

E and me

this is quite possibly my favorite picture of the entire trip. indian creek has a problem with human waste. there are 2 portapotties in the whole canyon, and this one is the closest to all the climbing/camping. so everyday, like clockwork, between 9-10:30 am climbers line up to do their daily business. the line can get quite long- especially on the weekends. this particular weekend we were all waiting in line and it was just comical- people from multiple states and at least 3 countries were represented. i rallied everyone to jump for the photo- it was bonding. we don't even know half of the ppl in this picture...

excuse station. 5.11

Pente. 5.11

Eric, Dave, and BJ.

Lacy and I. it was so hot this day, we were hiding behind a small boulder trying to find some shade.

Lacy getting her lead on in the Creek!

this is me impersonating a 'wilted flower'. it was so HOT! we all wilted that afternoon and couldn't even climb... all i could think about was shade and water.

coyne crack simulator 5.10/11?
eric's photography is awesome!!

yoga poses at the base of the cliff

REI catalog shot!!

Lacy and I

Scarface 5.11

Pop Quiz, 5.11

Team Girl Squad does Indian Creek

it's not called "Rocktober" for nothing. it's been one busy climbing october and it isn't over yet. to start the month off i went down to indian creek with 3 other girls, tamara, liz and jamie. i had the funnest trip i've ever had to the Creek. we giggled, talked, laughed, danced, sang, and climbed non stop for 3 days straight. my body was sore from the laughing at the end of the trip! i've never had so much fun!! we did so a fair bit of climbing, but the pictures were spread over 3 cameras, and i only have my pics to post.
we had a dance party one night and got voted off the campground island the next morning by near-by campers. they did ask us nicely to not be so loud the next night. the next night we had karaoke, but wrapped it up by 10:30 so as to not make the neighbors more mad. we met a swiss german named Krischa, who had dance moves straight from the European dance clubs. we ate like queens, slept in a 8 person festival tent, carried heavier packs than any of us had ever carried before (ie- no boys around to pack-horse the load), and got attacked by viscous goatheads (a sharp thorn from a weed). we took a lot of video, and laughed a ton. it was perfect. i was sad to leave.

my dear friend Jamie belaying. and this photo proves we did do some climbing.

Jamie and i reproducing her classic "happy deer in the headlights" look. we think jamie walks around with this expression permanently on her face.

the four of us. this picture more correctly depicts us than the next one where we are actually posed. we basicaly didn't stop giggling and/or talking the entire time.

we are so cute! go team girl squad! from top L : Tamara, me, Liz. front: jamie

what is actually happening here is jamie is trying to hand liz an extra piece of gear to help with the next person top roping the route. but we asked liz to strike a pose and this is what she did. we call it "interpretive lowering"

liz and I


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teton Tails and Bunny Rabbits

Mid august eric and i went to Teton National Park to climb. WE met up with our friends Wes and Steph and attempted the full exum route on the Grand Teton in a day. everything would have been perfect, except that the night before a huge snow/ice storm blew across the higher elevations, creating a perfect icey layer over every piece of rock on the mountain. We started our day at 2:30 am, leaving their nice, warm, safe home and started on the hike at 3:30am. 7 or so miles later, we were at the lower saddle, at the base of the grand teton, at 8 am, in 2-3 inches of snow. We watched as the guides retreated from our proposed descent route, saying 'it will never go today, too icey and snowey'. "aww", we think, "but our route will surely get more sun and will warm up. plus the ice will be gone by the time we need to descend". we were wrong. but we go for it anyway. the base ramps leading up to the first pitch were complete ice-fall. so instead of turning away we just belay them out. our first pitch is a shaded chimney- absolutely no melting out going on there. but we decide to do it anyway. i have an incredibly tough time leading it, get my rope slotted and am unable to make any forward movement. i belay eric up to me on a totally sketchy anchor and he leads out the rest of the c limb. we both fall a couple times. i'm scared. i start to cry. sob is more like it. i haven't sobbed like that on a route since my very first trad lead ever when i thought we were all going to die. and it was COLD. soooo cold. and my fingers hurt, and my toes hurt, and my most-of-me hurt. eric got us to the top of the second pitch when we looked at the veritable waterfall that was the third pitch. that was it, we were bailing. that was exactly the right move to make. as we descended we looked back at our next available exit point on the mountain, a feature called "wall street" b/c it is so wide and a nice easy ramp. it was completely snow and ice covered. no one summited the Grand Teton that day. and we would not have been able to descend wall Street- even with a belay. we were all very happy to be getting off the mountain, although very disappointed that our attempt went so thwarted.
I'm discovering that when climbing in the mountains, i seem to get shut down because of weather about 40% of the time. i'm learning to accept that, know that the mountains will always be there, and i can return another time. you know, a few weeks after the fact, i had a great time. in fact, i'd do it again!

the next day we wanted sunshine and straight forward climbing. Baxter's Pinnacle provided us with just that. it was fantastic! hands are already getting cold- and this is just the approach hike!

aww the sun!! surely our route will be warm, dry, and easy...

the approach ramps...or ice-falls. guess it's time to start belaying!

hmm..that first pitch sure looks like it's shadey...
that's because it is!

top of the first pitch in the sun. i'm actually crying in this photo..and putting eric's glove over my half frozen foot.

steph and I on top of pitch 2. we are bailing!!

E and I.

aww- warm and sunny Baxter's...and a sandbagged "5.10" on the second pitch

amazing final pitch to Baxter's

jumping in Jenny Lake after it all!

our adventure should have mostly ended at this point, all we needed to do was drive home. we drove our brand new toyota Yaris up to jackson since it gets such great gas mileage and it was all road driving. we are in the exact middle of nowhere Idaho at 9:30 pm on Sunday night when we hit an innocent bunny. we laughed, make a joke about how i'm not the type of gal who minds hitting small furry creatures, when our over-heating engine light comes on. we pull over. that said innocent bunny was still stuck to the outside of our grill! our little yaris was no match for that big bunny!! it knocked the radiator off and caused our engine to overheat, blowing the head gasket, ruining the pistons, taking out the condensor and the starter. did i mention it's 10:00 pm on sunday night? we pull the car over at a burger drive in by Bear Lake and camp in the front yard. the owner was still around and nicely called us a tow truck in the morning (of course eric's schmansy iPhone didn't get service up there...). we have it towed 50 miles to Logan, Utah to a dealership where they suppposedly fixed everything (taking 2 weeks). as soon as we got the car back i immediately thought "something doens't sound right". sure enough, we take it to the dealership here in Salt lake where we bought it and they run some tests.
yup, "your car is idling high and 2 of the 4 cylinders are not functioning properly. you need a brand new engine"
back to the insurance claim (b/c this was considered a collision!). and our sweet little car is currently still being worked on today. it's been down for about 5 weeks now.

that was a big rabbit.

or a small car.

not sure which one :)