Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Although fall reigns as THE primo season to crush projects on crisp granite awash in blustery sunshine, my "rocktober" is defined by liquid, not stone. As "cellar master" (that really is my official job title...can you believe it!) at Icicle Ridge Winery my next month will overflow with ten hour days and thousands of gallons of sticky grape juice slowly becoming wine.

My climb time may suffer during this period, but my focus does not. Long work days are sandwiched between rainy runs and bouldering sessions. Once a week I get out and beat myself up in the mountains. We all have to make a living and I am grateful for my job and the ability it gives me to follow my passions.

Out for a training day in the Stuart Range

The fall is also a time when I hone in on the year's upcoming trips. The money I make now fuels my adventures later. I am excited to say that a few awesome trips are lining up for the future year, the most iminent a journey to Argentine Patagonia, near the end of November, to search for ice runnels shining their way up towers of granite. I am estatic to be climbing with Joel Kauffman, a great friend and passionate mountain companion. Psyche is building and every step I make in my daily life points directly towards our goals down south.

Besides working a new and difficult rock project over the past week, I also enjoyed a training day in the Stuart Range. I left my car in misty darkness and followed my feet through a new basin and up a fresh route, the West Ridge of Argonaut Peak. After summiting, I traversed over Colchuck col and down to the base of the Serpentine Arete on Dragontail. Hard rain pelted away my desire for a solo lap up the Serpentine and instead I slipped down the moraine, splashed through the muddy woods, and rallied back to town in time for a gathering of friends.
It's a rocky road...On my way to Argonaut via Sherpa Pass

Can't solo rock in the rain...About to bail from under the Serpentine Arete

Life in Leavenworth, even during the heavy work season, is heaven on earth.

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