December 15, 2017 While this trip to Yosemite Valley was short, two nights and three days, this photo sums up the month I spent in this magical place throughout 2017. Sleeping in my car (or maybe behind a few boulders), working and getting worked by the granite behemoths, spending some time with legendary climbers, and popping my mom's Yosemite cherry with backpacking into Glen Aulin.
January 2017 On my 21st trip to Baja Sur, Mexico. My families annual pilgrimage to the desert and waves, the place I learned how to drive while sitting on my father's lap, learned how to surf, quasi-adopted a brother, and now the place I get to call my second home. This door leads to the beach I began surfing at the age of 8. Standing within this door is the place I hope my children will stand someday, eventually wandering towards the same beach.
February 2017 The Grand Canyon. Dropping out of graduate school, I hit the road heading to WY with my dad. Along the way, we made a large, outta the way detour for the place that would seem impassable if you arrived on cart and buggy. In awe, my dad and I stared at this marvel for two days, then headed for the Wind River Range and Lander, WY. My dad flew home and I began living, for what felt like the first time in my life.
July 2017 Relaxing in CO's aspens. With a base camp in Mancos, CO (the headquarters of Deer Hill Expeditions) I was able to find some sanctuary, while not on course, at Lemon Reservoir. Here I tackled several routes and learned how to safely top rope solo. With Deer Hill Expeditions, we spent 24 days in the backcountry of the San Juan's.
August 2017 Developing Bear River Boulders with Baja. After two months in CO, I rushed home before dashing away once more to Baltimore. During my time at home, I decided to see what was in my backyard for climbing. Within biking distance, it turns out, there is much! However, along the Bear River, there are a few small boulders. Baja, my childhood dog, kept a close eye on me as I worked this route into the night. Topping out around midnight, we headed home only to run into my second mountain lion of the year.
September 2017 Mom and Dad celebrated their 29th anniversary (I think). These two raised me to be the person I am today. Thank you for your ongoing love and support!
August 2017 Naked on the Tahoe Rim Trail. After taking several falls while bouldering in Auburn, CA, I woke up (on top of handlebar boulder) unable to move. My dog seeing that I am hurt, kept licking my face. Together we made the 2-mile walk to the car. Getting home and doing nothing but yoga for 36 hours, still hard to walk or bend over, I was growing impatient to get back on the rock. Knowing climbing more would be a bad idea and knowing that I had 6-days worth of food, I packed my bag and began the 180ish mile walk. Day one sucked because of my back. Day two I walked from sunrise to sunset, hating almost every minute, but my back was getting better. Day three, I woke up with my knees hurting so bad I could barely walk. Day four, I pushed on finding relief from the sticks in the photo above. Day five was my favorite because of the wildflowers of Desolation Wilderness. Unfortunately, as I settled into my camp, I found the red eyes of a mountain lion, my third of the year, staring back at me. Quickly packing up, I walked until 2 am. Day six I awoke to a frantic poop which ended up in my pants. Other than that, I was picked up by my dad where he dropped me off.
October 2017 The Blue Peter splitting the pack line. In August I became an Instructor Apprentice for Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School (BCBOBS). In October, I wandered the AT with 10 students and a co-instructor. While at BCBOBS I struggled to be away from the mountains of the West, but here is where I found comfort behind the lens. Thank you Ben for the supportive and encouraging environment you create! Also, huge thank you to the whole Outward Bound family for taking me in and supporting me (especailly when I am two hundred miles away and need a ride)!
May 2017 Banff National Park. Living out of my car and road-tripping from Wyoming to California the long way, I fell in love. From the peaks to the people of Canada, life felt alive. Belting out songs and dancing in my car and expanding my known world, Canada brought me new friends and deepened old vacation friends (the ones whose family also make a yearly pilgrimage to Baja). One of the coolest chicks I have ever met lived in Banff at the time. Now, she is shredding pow in New Zealand and trekking to Everest base camp. Pretty rad, aye?
October 2017 The Gunks with A. Wildman. Meeting in Yosemite Valley, this amazing man climbed El Cap after overcoming cancer less than a year ago. I swear his heart must consume his entire body because this guy is nothing but love. To me, this man is a legend! He took me out to the Gunks for a weekend of climbing together. After soaking my sleeping bag with white gas, I shivered throughout each night, but getting to spend three days listening to this Wildman was life-changing. Not only can you tell he is dedicated to his daughter and being climbing stewardship, he made me promise to ALWAYS use a prusik, which saved my life in December 2017 while rappelling in the dark on Middle Cathedral in Yosemite Valley. I owe you a hella lot more than just one man! I'm looking forward to our 2018 adventure.