2020 Goals

Like my 2019 review my 2020 Goals is going to focus on the process not the accomplishments. I’m still dealing with an ankle injury that is preventing me from running currently. My biggest goal for 2020 is to get back to being able to run pain free. While I work on getting back to running I need to find cardio in other places. Such as cycling and skiing. Here is my list of goals for 2020:

Get back to running pain free

Ski more days than I did in 2019

Ride my bike more days than I did in 2019

Climb outside more days than I did in 2019

Read more paper books than I did in 2019

Fewer Total Zero Days than 2019

Move to Portland

If I can do all of those things than I believe 2020 will be the happiest year of my life.




2019 in Review

Sleep Locations 2019 (1)

In 2019 I didn’t set goals the way I normally do. Instead I wrote a 30 before 30 list and failed to complete that instead. I did complete some goals along the way. But after a big trip in 2018 I wanted to match that intensity, but with a large variety of smaller goals. Some of them turned out to be too big. And as more and more of those goals, become unattainable I lost interest in the list. The list had been my reason to train and with that gone and my ankle injured I let my training slide and I fell into a funk. Not excited about anything and not interested in going through the ups and eventual downs of planning something big. I needed to snap out of my funk in a different way. I’ve been focusing on doing the little things and enjoying the little things for themselves. My review 2019 isn’t going to focus on the accomplishments its going to focus on the process.  So here is some of the data from 2019:

10 States and 5 Countries Visited

336 Miles Run on 53 Runs

335 Miles Bike on 9 Rides

32 Days Climbing Outside

69 Days Climbing Inside

9 Days Skiing

37 Books Read



The North Ridge

Two years ago I sat at the top of pitch three drinking an undeserved summit San Peligrino. I looked out and took in the stunning views, feeling mostly relieved that we opted to bail on the rest of the climb. The third pitch goes at 5.9+ and took nearly everything I had on top rope. The North Ridge of Stuart was just too big and too hard for me at the time, but I was so awed and inspired by it that I knew I had to come back. 


Over the last two years I’ve gotten stronger and I’ve gotten better at leading trad, but I still only wanted to climb a route that big and that hard with someone who was at or above my climbing level, but also someone who I would enjoy hanging out with for 18 pitches. That didn’t leave me with very many partners. With Mark in a different state and Sky out in Hawaii I wasn’t sure Stuart was going to happen this season. But when Sky returned from Hawaii he was as inspired to climb the North Ridge as I was. 

We broke the climb up into 3 day: Drive and hike to base camp on Monday, climb and hike back to camp on Tuesday, Hike out and drive home on Wednesday. At least that was the plan. 

After setting up camp on Monday we remarked that it was a real possibility we would have to bivvy somewhere on the mountain. “Its so warm that won’t even be an issue though” Sky said. We made sure to pack warm layers, but left our sleeping gear back at camp. 

Sky took the first pitch and half. That left me with the second half of pitch two leading into the 5.9+. I was definitely anxious for the pitch that had worked me two years earlier on top rope. But I kept telling myself “You are a better climber today than you were 2 years ago.” I tied my shoes and chalked up. I took one more deep breath! “You are a better climber than you were 2 years ago.” I stepped over the belay and started moving. My foot work felt great and the moves felt good. And before I knew it I was at the bottom of the 5.9 crack. I plugged in a cam. “You are better climber than you were two years ago” I pulled past my cam and just kept moving. I reached the top of the pitch and thought “You really are a better climber than you were two years ago.” When Sky reached the top of the pitch. We switched to simul climbing and cruised through hundreds of feet of climbing. We swapped leads and cruised through hundreds more feet. After an epic section of exposed ridge we came to the gendarme. The final two hard pitches. 5.9 fallowed by 5.9. Sky took the first pitch and climbed it beautifully. I took the second pitch and struggled through it. Reaching the top of that pitch left me spent, but Sky gathered up the gear and lead the final simul block to the summit. 

With only about an hour until sunset it was clear we wouldn’t be making it back to camp that night. We cruised for a couple hours until we found an excellent bivvy site to crash for the night. Neither of us got much sleep. Sky only got an hour and a half, but when the sun began to rise we stood up and started moving. We traversed around Sherpa Peak and back to the ridge-line. We went up and over a fin and started down a gully. After sometime moving down the gully we came to a drop off. We had gone down the wrong gully. We had to climb back up to the ridge. Traverse around another fin. Climb up and over another fin. Drop down and go around another ridge-line and finally we made to the notch where we could descend. This time the gully went all the way down. Exhausted from the climb and the lack of sleep we considered crashing at camp for one more night, but after a quick meal and some chocolate covered espresso beans we mustered up the energy to hike out. The appeal of warm food and cold beer drew us into Leavenworth. 

The North Ridge of Stuart is easily the toughest alpine climb I have done, but it was exactly what I needed. It was on my 30 before 30 list so here is the updated list:


How to Ruin Your Mani-Pedi in 1 Long Weekend

I wrote a blog post the other day about climbing Flyboys and I gave an update on my 30 before 30 list.

A friend mentioned that getting a pedicure would be much easier to cross off my list than an 18 pitch rock climb. So Nick and I did exactly that. Mark refused to join, but we had fun without him.

The next morning we headed to the first flat iron for a 10 pitch 5.6. At this point we still had hours of daylight left so we had more time to abuse out hands and feet. We ran down the trail back to the car. My feet did not appreciate running in approach shoes. We made our way to Eldorado Canyon for a 5 pitch classic(Bastille Crack). The hands and feet were tired, sore, and at least a little banged up, but we had more damage planned for the next day.


We headed to Mount Bancroft for a route that included close to everything. We started skinning nearly from the parking lot and made it to the start of the ridge before taking the skis off and attaching them to our bags. We continued hiking from there in our ski boots. After a short rappel we had a short section of steep rock. The ski boots made the climbing more difficult and the skis attached to our backs didn’t help either. From there we had a long stretch of 4th class terrain. Hours of scrambling and route finding later we reached the top.  We skied off the summit, but once we got back to the approach trail the snow had all melted out and we had to hike the rest of the way out in our ski boots. My feet did not appreciate it.

Exhausted and worn out from weeks of travel, lots of climbing, and a big day in the mountains. We opted for a crag day on my last day in Boulder. After a short and terrifying warm up on an easy trad line. We hopped on what we thought was a 10b. After Mark lead it we noticed a bolt to the right of us. Further investigation revealed that the line to the right was the 10b and we were climbing an 11a. I paused for a second considering top roping the route, but then shrugged and pulled the rope, committing to getting to the top on lead before the thunderstorm hit us. The route wasn’t easy and I didn’t climb it pretty, but I pulled all of the moves and reached the top of the route. The thunderstorm still hadn’t hit us and it was barely raining, so we all hopped on the 10b to make sure our hand and feet were banged up enough that no one would guess that we had gotten a mani-pedi just 3 days earlier. After that route I felt adequately abused.

Now I’m headed to Idaho for work where I’ll abuse my hands some more and if I’m lucky I’ll be able squeeze in a bit of climbing while I’m there!

Here is another update on my 30 before 30:


3rd Time is the Charm

Travel Tip: Do not show up at the airport more than 4 hours before your flight. You won’t be able to check your bag and you’ll be extra bored not being able to go through security.


My history with Fly boys is long and storied. But definitely involves dropped phones flat tires and another San Peligrino on my windowsill. After two failed attempts I added Flyboys to my 30 before list. As if I needed any more motivation to get back to Mazama to climb the 18 pitch sport route. When Nick and I were asked to present on our 20 peaks trip in Seattle I jumped on the opportunity to turn it into a climbing trip and Flyboys sat firmly at the top of my to do list.  I invited Gage, the first person I attempted it with, Jimmy, the second person I attempted it with, Nick who would be presenting with me in Seattle and Kate who had been wanting to climb it for quite a while. Jimmy bailed, Then Nick bailed. So invited my sister, Sarah. Then Nick was back in. Then Gage bailed. In the end there was 4 of us. Me, Sarah, Kate and Nick. We broke into two teams. I had the most experience and Sarah had the least so we teamed so I would lead every pitch and Kate Nick climbed together so they could swap leads. I took off first and almost immediately I lost Kate and Nick. At the end of pitch 4 I wasn’t having any fun. I was stressed out. I didn’t know how far back my friends were and I wished Gage and or Jimmy was there. I was in this beautiful place doing essentially my favorite activity with one of my favorite people and I wasn’t having any fun. Even then at the top of pitch 4 I realized how stupid that was. It didn’t change my feelings though. I stopped there and let a pair of climbers pass us. And then when Nick and Kate caught up with us I made them pass us. And having the group all together made me feel less stressed. but I still wasn’t present and I still wasn’t really enjoying myself.

At pitch 7 I began to have a bit of doubt about weather or not we would be able to make it through all 18 pitches, before sun down. And started being impatient. Sorry.  Rappelling down would have been a pretty horrible so getting to the top before the sun set was our best option. Once the last of us reached the the top of pitch 7 I felt a little bit of relief, but we still had 3 of our hardest pitches to go. And by pitch 10 we were all exhausted. Sarah was having self doubt. Nick was having hand cramps. I was wondering why I ever wanted to do 18 pitches.

On pitch 11 a made split second decision to go slightly off route and combine the pitch with pitch 12. I skipped past Nick and Kate. I decided I was going to try to make things as easy as possible for every one else. Pitch 14 was going to be one of the toughest pitches. I had Sarah leave the quick draws on route so that Nick could lead it with draws in place. I made my sister lead pitch 15 so I could wait at the top of pitch 14 and encourage the other two through it. I yelled encouragement and sprayed beta. And when the last of us reached the top of pitch 14 I knew we would make it through it, but I still wanted to beat sunset. I put my arm out in front of me and counted my fingers. 6 fingers from the sun to the top of the hills. We only had an hour and half until sunset. We couldn’t slow down. I collected all of the draws so I could just leave them on each pitch through pitch 18. Many consider pitch 18 the toughest pitch, but I moved through the bouldery problems quickly and reached the top with more than half an hour until sunset. I let out a yell, something I almost never do at the top of routes and set my final belay for the day. After Sarah reached the top I set our rope as a fixed line and rappelled down to take a few photos of Kate leading the final pitch as the sun was setting.


At the top we all split my San Pelligrino. Probably the best testing San Pelligrino I have ever had.

At the of the day I was excited to have finally climbed fly boys. I was proud of myself and my friends for what we had accomplished, but I was unconvinced that I still actually enjoy climbing. Regardless I was a able to cross it off my 30 before 30 list. Here is my updated 30 before 30:


Wild and Free

We got this trip off to an interesting start. The entire pacific Northwest was predicted to be hit with a snow storm people were calling snopocalypse. The results in Portland were a little bit of snow that didn’t even stick.  Seattle allegedly got hit pretty hard. Our first flight was from Portland to Seattle before taking a longer flight to Frankfurt. but 4 hours before the flight took off I got a good alert that it was cancelled. First I took a screen shot and sent it to Claudia (and posted it to my Instagram story. )img_20190211_114257_6496036848057537681335.jpg

Then I called Alaska Airlines.

“We are currently experiencing long wait times. We can call you back in 56 to an hour and 24 minutes”

We headed to the airport hoping to speak to someone there. With just a few minute before we arrived at the Airport I got a call back. At first it didn’t sound encouraging.

“Oh, that won’t work.” Long Pause “All the flights from Portland to Seattle are cancelled” Long Pause “Okay, I think this will work, how close are you to the airport?”

As we pulled into the Airport we had a possible flight. She put me on hold to get all the details sorted out. We would be flying through San Francisco instead of Seattle and on United instead of Alaska+ Condor. But none of that mattered; we were flying to Frankfurt and we would only be 30 minutes later than we were originally scheduled.

The 9 hour time difference was rough, but we slowly adapted.

After a day in Frankfurt Tanja observed “I don’t think you guys have really changed. Not really” And I think we all knew what she meant. That even though so many things about us had changed. We were still able interact the same way we did 12 years before.

A day or so later Claudia said to Gloria “We really haven’t changed, you are still wild and free and I’m still uptight”

“I think she is trying to say that you have poor time management and stresses her out” I said

“That is the nicest way any one has ever told me I have poor time management”

Gloria, Claudia, and I left Frankfurt by train. There weren’t enough seats so we spent the first half of the ride sitting on the ground. Eventually we arrived in Munich and pulled up directions to our airbnb. “These directions are like a scavenger hunt” said Claudia as she looked of the instructions she had printed out.

I plugged the address into my phone. “It’s this way” We fallowed my phone until we reached the apartment building. “How do we get in?”


“We need to waive the key near the door frame”

“Where do we get the key?”

“I don’t know, It says we need to find a blue bike”

When we found the blue bike in one of the 9 locations it might have been around the city. We had to crack not, but two safes to retrieve the key. After that we traveled to an extravagant maze to reach our home for the evening.

After a couple of days in Munich Gloria was headed home. Before her train left we grabbed one final drink.

We had finished our beers and were chatting. When Gloria looked at her phone and said “We need to go like now” We flagged down the waiter and paid for our drinks. Then off we ran. Down an escalator. Around and down another. We pilled into the train back to the main station with seconds to spare. “When we to the main station I think I’ll only have 5 minutes to get to my train.” The Main station is huge and she also had to grab her back back from the locker.

The doors to the train opened and and we were off running again. Up an escalator around up another and then another.  “WILD and FREE!!!” Gloria yelled as she darted up the final escalator to the surface. When we arrived at the locker Gloria checked the time. “I think I’m going to make it!!”

And she did!!

The next morning Claudia and I took a bus to Zurich. And the fallowing day I went skiing in the Swiss Alps I told all my friends ahead of time that I was going mostly only going skiing in Switzerland to make them jealous. And I’m sure that I was successful. The skiing was fun the weather was beautiful and the Alps are fucking stunning. Let me just say there is a reason people like to compare mountain ranges to the alps. At the top of the resort there is a restaurant with 360 views. Mountains in every direction.pano_20190220_1235378225183269170582336.jpg

I sat up there with the sun on my back staring out at the mountains drinking a beer and I thought. “This is bliss.” Then I got back on my on my skis and dropped 3000 feet to the bottom. I hopped back on the lift and did the run again.



Two years ago yesterday I got home from my first real international trip. Yes I had been to Canada and Mexico before that, but traveling to Australia and New Zealand felt different. On Monday I leave for my second real international trip and my first trip to Europe.

About 6 months ago I got a Facebook invite to my high school reunion. I’m sure no one is surprised to know that I wasn’t that interested in attending. But it did make me think about the people who I did miss and did want to see. So I got on Facebook and sent a message to two of my best friends from my graduating class Gloria and Leo. I then added in a friend from the class behind ours, Claudia. After a few messages Claudia were planning a trip to visit Gloria in Germany. Leo unfortunately wasn’t going to be able to join.

I’m actually more nervous about this trip than I was for my trip to hike across both islands in New Zealand. For that trip I knew what I’d be doing. I would be walking long distance. That is something I’m good at. I would be eating like a hiker and sleeping in the woods as often as possible. Easy. This trip is different. We have housing already set up for most of the nights and our train/bus tickets already booked, but I have no idea what we will do with ourselves all day. I guess that’s part of the fun. But it feels weird to me to travel somewhere with out a mission.

After 9 day of hanging with my friends I head solo to Spain. I’m excited for that. because I actually really enjoy spending time away from anyone who knows me. Both when I was on the PCT and when I was in New Zealand I got to do a little hiking by myself. After making group decisions for a long period of time it feels incredibly liberating for me to be able to make any decision on a whim. It also makes me nervous though, because I’m not always the most social and I can struggle to make new friends.

I’m sure it will work out. And I am super excited to see Gloria for the first time in years!!!

I’ll to blog about my travels, but I will probably fail. But it doesn’t matter, because no one will read it anyway.


Taking a Break from Social Media

About a month and a half ago I completely deactivated my social media accounts. I did this for a few reasons. The first being that I felt I was wasting a significant amount of my time. I would open up Instagram scroll through until it told me I had seen everything from the last few day. Then I’d open up face book and scroll through ads and shared memes until I realized I had already seen everything. Then I’d close facebook and open instagram.

I was looking through the settings on instagram when I stumbled upon a feature that told me how much time I was spending on instagram each day. It was spending nearly 30 minutes a day on instagram. I figured it was probably a similar number for facebook. I figured I could probably use that time more productively. And while that time was definitely spread out over an entire day I felt like it was time not really adding value to my life.

Beyond the wasted time it just feels disingenuous. We share all of the snippets from our lives with the world and together they paint this picture. But that picture doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. We have all these friends we know so many things about and yet we don’t know at all. And for me knowing all of these things felt as though it was actually a block on real conversation.

I’ve taking time away from social media before and I always come back. I’ve come back this time because it can be a resource to connect with and meet people who have similar interest. I reactivated my facebook so I could find climbing partners in Spain.  And I reactivated my instagram, because I’m going climbing in Spain and I don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to use these snippets to paint the picture of myself as someone who is always off on some epic adventure.


Post Trail Depression

Since I got back from New Zealand nearly 2 years ago I’ve been trying to write this blog post. Sometimes I’ve started typing it up. Sometimes its sat there with nothing but a title waiting for me to miraculously gain motivation to tell a story that has already been told by many others in many different ways. Some people have tried to pin point the causes others have discussed the solutions.

I hadn’t even heard of post trail depression until I finished the PCT. In November of 2014 I reached the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Shortly after that I was back at home in the middle of winter with no job, no money and an abundance of time. When I stumbled upon a blog post on Post Trail Depression I realized it was describing me. I didn’t feel sad exactly just empty.

I found a job and it occupied some of my time. I started being more active again, running climbing and a bit of backpacking. I felt more like myself, but I still missed the PCT every day and wanted to recreate the magic I felt from that hike. I started planning my next hike, Te Araroa, a long trail across both islands in New Zealand. It seemed perfect. I had always wanted to visit New Zealand (I was a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings) it’s summer was during our winter and it presented a unique set of challenges that I hadn’t had to deal with on the PCT. It was an amazing experience, but it wasn’t my first thru hike and some(most) of the magic was gone.  There was also a cloud hanging over the entire trip; post trail depression was a real possibility for when I returned home. Before I returned from New Zealand I had a plan.

When I got home I immediately made moves toward finding a job. I started running and climbing again. And I made an effort to spend time with friends. I would write a post on Post Trail Depression. The blog post never happened, but neither did the Post Trail Depression. I loved my job and felt respected and appreciated. I kept climbing and running. I had made a decision to do little things consistently to take care of my mental well being rather than live one large trip to the next seeking the magic I had found on the PCT.

Then came the 20 peaks trip. Though the idea dated back to 2015 we didn’t give it life until last January. The pieces all fell into place and we were off. The trip was big, but I felt inspired by it. I had to see if we could do it. We did it and it all the magic I had found before plus a good dose more. I had fought off post trail depression before I would do it again. Dive back into work, run, climb. I did that. Then I got injured, I stopped running. I felt fine, until I didn’t. I’ve started running again, but the emptiness is still there. I want to get back to consistently doing the little things to take care of my mental health, but I also feel like something big might be the only thing that can make me feel genuinely happy. And I’ve upped the ante, because finding a trip as epic as the one we did last year might not be possible.

I wasn’t able to write the post before, because I wasn’t feeling it. I feel it now.

In other news: My 30 before 30 list is off to a good start. I have already crossed “start a retirement account” off my list and am 5 days into a month with out alcohol. I’ve taken significant steps toward making Germany Switzerland and Spain happen. I have also been climbing regularly and recently started running again which will set me up nicely toward several of my before 30 goals. I have things to look forward to. I should be exited about those things.

I was having a hard time motivating myself to go for a run today. I didn’t want to drive to run on a trail and I didn’t want to run on the roads. It felt tedious. So I opted to run to the track and run a mile as fast as I could. That wouldn’t be tedious. Stupid: yes. Arbitrary: obviously. But at least it wasn’t tedious!

I was contemplating bailing on skiing with my friends, because that would be good for my mental health…. But thankfully I found the motivation to go.

I plan on blogging a bit more. No one will see it which I have mixed feeling about, but I think its helpful,

30 Before 30

Typically at the start of each year I write a list of a few things I want to accomplish this year. But in 2019 I turn 29. So instead of a few items I’ve decided to write out a list of 30 things I want to accomplish, before I turn 30. I have just over a year to check these things off. A few of the items on my list are cumulative and I wont start tracking those numbers until I turn actually turn 29 on February 8th.

30 Before 30

  1. Run 750+ miles

  2. Run Timberline Trail

  3. Ski 20+ days

  4. Ski in Switzerland

  5. Do a one armed pull up

  6. Climb V9 in Gym

  7. Lead 5.12 outside

  8. Lead 5.10 Trad

  9. Climb Flyboys

  10. Climb North Ridge of Stewart

  11. Climb Serpentine Route

  12. Climb Zion @ Smith

  13. Ride to Whitney from death valley and climb it via east face

  14. Climb in Spain

  15. Build a Kayak

  16. Visit 3 states I’ve never been to.

  17. Visit Gloria in Germany

  18. Visit a New National Park

  19. Surf

  20. Kayak around the San Juans

  21. Get a pedicure

  22. Get a tattoo

  23. Go a month without caffeine

  24. Go a month without alcohol

  25. Read/ Listen to 30+ books

  26. Write a short and submit it to the dirtbag diaries.

  27. Start a retirement plan

  28. Move out of Salem

  29. Start planning next big trip

  30. Create 40 before 40