Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Ok...so "I" didn't make the cover...Tommy did....but it's my photo!!  Very excited about my first cover shot, which is La Sportiva's catalog for Fall 2011!  I also got a spread in the back!



So...because married to the man I am married to...because he has El Cap dialed....because I am turning 25 in May (quarter of a century..heyy)...and just because I want to, I have set a lofty goal for myself.  My big bad birthday goal this year is to "mostly free" a route on El Capitan.  Currently Tommy and I have decided on the Salathe, but it's not 100% decided.  When I say "mostly free", I mean free climb as much as I can, and if I need to, I will pull on gear.  Depending on where my climbing abilities are at that time, if I need to I will have foot sling things and jumars, but I'd rather avoid using the jumars if possible.  I have been avoiding writing about this because I knew if I posted it that I was committed.  :)  I know it's going to be really physically and emotionally demanding to accomplish, but I'm really excited to work hard toward the goal!!!  It's also going to be fun to see another side of El Capitan, and since I have the wall logistics relatively well worked out, why not try to climb?!  I've been getting a lot of great advice from other friends who have climbed, which even though Tommy is the master, he's also on his own level with things....so having input from "normal" people regarding the climb has been awesome...sobering, really.  I know I'm still a little ways out from May, but I feel like I'm still pretty far behind.  If anyone has any training tips or things to think about...I'm open!!

My general planning schedule is this:
Currently - focus on power via bouldering.  Mid February = trip to Hueco Tanks.
After Hueco - focus on endurance.  Route climbing wherever I can get it...in the gym, but outside as much as possible.  Late March = trip to Red River Gorge, and sometime a trip to Indian Creek.
April - Phase in to long days of multi-sports.  Run/bike/routes/boulder/weights...whatever.  Wear myself out!!

May 6th is my birthday and at some point during that day we will be on the wall!!  I hope things work out!!!

Skinning up....great cardio!

Taking off the "skins" before heading back down.

TC kickin' up some snow.

Me, shredding down the slope.  Yeah braw!

"WU TANG!!!" - This one is for Hayden Kennedy!

"Training" at Tommy's parents' garage.

Trying to stay on the wall!

TC crushing as usual.  :)

My other little training gym!  I watch climbing movies to stay psyched while I cycle.  Ha.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blog Reflections...

This whole blog idea sounded like a fun thing to do to keep friends and family up to date on our travels and what is going on in life since it has been "go-go-go" since our wedding.  The ability to archive our travels was appealing and so we thought, "yeah, we should do it".  Needless to say, Tommy is a busy man and "our" effort quickly became "my" effort (which I don't mind, but have hope).  He loves to write, but it takes him a while to get his writing done.  He's good at it...I suppose that's why.  I obviously have looked at this in a different way...not super concerned with my writing skills and just going with it (if that's good or bad..I'm not sure).  When I started writing about Tommy's progress of his project on El Cap, I had NO idea that this would be linked all over the place and read around the world.  Finding that out was intimidating.  I didn't know how personal to be...I felt like I had to "perform" in a sense, which quickly transformed things a little bit.  I was worried about what people were going to think of what I wrote, and make judgements about me, etc.  I got nervous about writing and got a little bit lost with the whole thing.  Starting a blog and putting information into cyber-space means it's there for all to read...I guess I just never thought anyone would find it.

In my efforts to think a little bit more about this blog thing, I've decided not to fret about it or overanalyze things and just write like I started...to my friends and family.  I will no longer worry about the evil climbing forum-commenters (which I was out of the loop and didn't realize existed) and just do my thing.  For whatever it's worth, it feels good to get that off of my chest.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Visit from Lynds...

I got a call from Lynds the other day that said she was coming to Denver with an organization that she volunteers with, Wings of Hope.  She is a nurse and volunteers as a medic on these small flights that base out of St. Louis.  She flew in to Denver and was going to be transporting someone the next day.  It was great to catch up over dinner, and the next morning have the chance to check out the plane, meet the pilots and learn more about what she does!
Cute uniform.

View from the hangar.

The plane!

Snow in the park...

Winter in Estes Park can mean a few things:  unbelievable winds (although I think El Chalten still takes the gold on that one), an occasional day of spring-seeming 50 degrees, and skiing in RMNP.  Last year Tommy and I got AT ski setups, which allows us to go skiing up in the park (a popular place being Hidden Vally, which used to be a ski resort).  The bindings have releases that allow our heels to pick up similar to a cross country or telemark binding, and once you've reached the top of your destination or the point you want to turn around and head down the hill, you simply click your boots back in, and you are able to rip down the hill as you would with a regular downhill setup.  When you do head up, you put "skins" on the bottom of your skis to give them some traction in the snow heading upwards, and these of course come off on the downhill.  Skinning uphill is quite the workout, but the beauty surrounding you while you suck air and head up is so beautiful it keeps your mind off of the suffering.   The snow isn't quite like the champagne powder in Utah, but it'll do, and sometimes can surprise you.  I love that we have Hidden Valley just a short drive away and think it's another reason Estes is so great!

FYI:  Hidden Valley is where Tommy grew up skiing.  In order for the schools to save money in the winter from heating, etc., they only had school 4 days per week and one of the days the parents were able to drop their kids off at the school and they were bussed to Hidden Valley (when it was still a ski resort) and the kids would spend their afternoons skiing.  Apparently Tommy had quite the skills, and hasn't lost them despite not skiing for a long time until last year.

An old school pic I pulled off the web!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


My apologies...I have been slacking on the blog.  No excuses.

Since the last post things have changed!!  Here's the update...

So...the morning after my last post, Tommy and I had been feeling a bit homesick and for a handful of other reasons were feeling like we wanted to head home after our time in El Chalten was going to be over instead of continuing on the remaining one month time in Argentina.  We thought it would be a long shot with plane tickets and change fees, but if for some reason it worked out and wasn't too expensive, we were going to head home.  We called the morning of the 21st asking Delta about flights home around the 5th of January.  The person told us that the only available flights were on the 23rd of December and there were only going to be "change of flight" fees, which was as cheap as it could get.  We debated for a little while, and decided to pull the trigger.  We were excited that we were going to be home to spend Christmas with our families, and just the thought of being at home was a wonderful thing.  I figured out that we have lived in the van longer than our house, and the total house time has accumulated to one month spread out over the past 6 months since we got married.  Crazy!!  We love traveling so much, and all of the opportunities that we have had have been amazing, but there's just something about home.

We were so sad to say goodbye to our friends in El Chalten, Carsten's family and the beautiful mountains, but it just seemed right.  The morning of the 23rd came super quick, and by 7:30am we started our 30+ hour journey home.  Everything went unbelievably smoothly from leaving the house to getting picked up at the airport by Tommy's parents.

We can't wait to head back down to El Chalten again so Tommy can actually get some climbing in and I can hopefully spend a lot of time running around the trails with a healthy knee and maybe even climb a route with my husband!

Aside from traveling home we have been eating and celebrating.  We had Christmas day dinner with Tommy's parents, the 26th was Christmas with my parents, followed by feasting for my brother's birthday, then I don't even remember what we did the 28th, and the 29th was another feast for my dad's birthday followed by a much needed day at Movement climbing gym.  Of course then there was more feasting and celebrating on the 31st with our friends from Estes.  We headed to The Rock Inn and spent 01/01/11 in bed watching movies until we peeled ourselves out of bed and went for another feast with my family since my brother was heading back to school.

The other night we had Hayden Kennedy and Kelly Cordes over for some margs, mega man salads and pizza.  Psyched for the company and don't plan to load my plate too full!