Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wildfires


This morning I woke up to the smell of smoke. When I look outside my window I can't see much, but a white cloud. On tuesday there were a reported 800 wildfires in California. This is our driest spring in the past 114 years of record keeping. Most of the fires were started by a dry thunderstorm not producing any rain, but making lot's of fire. It's been advised to stay inside with the windows shut and not to do any strenuous activity outside. I'm sad. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yosemite

Yosemite Falls

I've just returned home from a couple of days spent in Yosemite. It was my first time to Yosemite, but there will be many more to follow after one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Recently, I got into climbing. After purchasing most of the necessary gear for guide school in Alaska, I thought it was only appropriate that I put that gear to use seeing as though I will only be in AK for a couple of months in the winter and hope that I will never fall into a crevasse and actually have to put my harness to use in that way. 

I ran into an old friend and we got to talking about climbing. I had never been outside of a gym and really never had the opportunity to go. He took me bouldering and proceeded to give me a little introduction by taking me out to Donner and a few other destinations in Tahoe. A few days ago, Ming invited me on a trip to Yosemite. I went to the local Alpenglow, gathered up some freeze dried meals (spaghetti and meatballs is the best), packed up my gear, and we were on the road. 

Our adventure started the next morning at 6 AM after sleeping past our alarm set for 5 AM. That extra hour would have helped us in the long run. We set out, using topo maps as our guide, from Tuolumne Meadows. Ming had planned to climb Mathes Crest that day and the following day we were to climb the Royal Arches. On our way out to Mathes Crest, we got a bit off track due to sun cupped snow and made our own approach which cost us some time, but got us to our destination. 


Ming killing it!

Ming lead the climb and while I was at the bottom of the first stage I ran into a pesty little marmot. He was trying to nibble on the rope, but I wasn't about to let that happen. Then there were two of them going after the snacks in my bag. I was surprise how comfortable they were around me, but happy to leave them behind and start my accent up the first stage. 


Lil Marmot

The climb was amazing. Breathtaking panoramic views and a beautiful day. When we reached the last pitch the light was getting a bit dim and we knew that the sun would be setting soon. With a repel down and a few mile hike out, we decided to call it and get off the rock. This was a difficult decision because it is hard to leave behind the summit, but you can't let your pride get the best of reality. It's better to turn yourself around than let the mountain turn you around.


View from the top of Mathes Crest

By the time we set up for our repel the sun was about to be gone. Our mission was to get to the pack at the bottom that had our light for the hike out. We couldn't afford to make any mistakes and get the rope into any knots so we were cautious, but speed was necessary. 

After reaching our packs we pumped some water from a nearby stream and began our hike out under the full moon. It was a strenuous hike. We made it to our car around 1:30 AM and cooked our freeze dried meals, which never tasted so good. We found a nice lake outside of the park and made it home for the night. The next day we decided to do the tourist thing and check out some of the incredible features of the Yosemite Valley. Exhausted from the previous day, taking pictures and getting blasted by waterfalls felt well deserved rather than attempting to climb the Royal Arches. 


I'm a tourist


Water falls.

It was a successful trip in my mind, mentally and physically challenging. I look forward to going back and taking down Mathes Crest! Thanks Ming.

The Road Home

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Reverse Graffiti Project

A different take on graffiti.

See The Difference

Ever wonder how much it actually matters whether you recycle that can or swap out that light bulb? Counting it up in inches, hours, and gallons, or even in hippos, breakfasts, or Tolstoy, can help you see the difference you're making. Here are some fun, real ways to visualize the impact of your green choices.

-In one day, a single low flow toilet in a single household saves 50-80 gallons of water, more than the amount drunk in 24 hours by a 3-ton African hippopotamus. That's a lot of water!

-Recycling a six pack of cans saves enough energy to run an average television for long enough to watch your local half-hour news every day for two and a half weeks, or long enough to watch 36 house renovations on Greenovate. That's a lot of screen time!

-Changing one 100-watt incandescent light bulb to a 100-watt CFL in a fixture you've got switched on for 8 hours a day saves 216 kWh over the course of a single year. That's enough electricity to blow dry your hair in the morning and the evening, plus microwave your breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for all 365 days. When you've done that, you'll still have plenty of energy to spare, if "plenty" means enough to make about 28,000 holes with a power drill. That's a lot of holes!

-If you recycle a four-foot high stack of newspapers that's equivalent to a saving a 40-ft fir tree. In the time it takes a fir tree to grow that large, you could fly a single-seater airplane for 4,000 trips around the entire circumference of the Earth. When you've finally landed, you'll still have enough hours to give an unabridged audio book of Tolstoy's famously hefty epic novel War & Peace 700 plays from beginning to end. That's a really long time!

By Megan Cohen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

SheJumps


For a while now, I've been following the site www.shejumps.org. Finally, yesterday I decided to get involved. Check it out!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Love Boat?

K2 RV

It's been a busy week. From Montreal to Mt. Hood to Tahoe. Mt. Hood was in the middle of a snow storm. I was there to test some skis for the K2 T9 line and shoot for their upcoming add campaign. It was good times with lot's of leather...you'll see soon enough. 

Clouds in Hood

Then home to Tahoe. It's been amazing to be here. I was invited on the Porter's cruise on the Tahoe Gal the other night. The theme was Love Boat. These guys rule! For more pics and some funny stuff check their site at www.porterstahoe.com and click on the blog link.

 
Porters Crew 


Tram shot!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Window Shopping

Stopped by a pet store recently. Here are some birds.

And the cat that might eat them.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Tipping Point


I'm reading The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell right now. I read this passage and I couldn't help, but to yawn 3 times...

"A world that follows the rules of epidemics is a very different place from the world we think we live in now. Think, for a moment, about the concept of cantagiousness. If I say that word to you, you think of colds and the fly or perhaps something very dangerous like HIV or Ebola. We have, in our minds, a very specific, biological notion of what contagiousness means. But if there can be epidemics of crime or epidemics of fashion, there must be all kinds of things just as contagious as virusis. Have you ever thought about yawning, for instance? Yawning is a surprisingly powerful act. Just because you read the word "yawning" in the previous two sentences - and the two additional "yawns" in this sentence - a good number of you will probably yawn within the next few minutes. Even as I'm writing this, I've yawned twice. If you're reading this in a public place, and you've just yawned, chances are that a good proportion of everyone who saw you yawn is now yawning too, and a good proportion of the people watching the people who watched to yawn are now yawning as well, and on and on, in an ever-widening, yawning circle." 

How many times did you yawn?