Monday, January 2, 2012

Story of 2011

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had an amazing 2011 and a great  2012 around the corner.

I have been living the life of a nomad and have been moving around all over the place.  So for everyone that I have lost touch with this is my story for 2011.  


I had the opportunity to go on a backcountry snowboard trip in the Sierra Nevada's with legends Jeremy Jones, Darren Rhalves, Chris Edmands and Seth Lightcap.  We summited and snowboarded Feather Peak 13,240' on the second day, and then climbed and snowboarded a no name 13,000'+ peak directly out of camp on the third. This trip was very inspirational and made me realize what it is that I live for.  Climbing mountains and snowboarding.

Me shredding Photo: Seth Lightcap

Breaking trail up Feather Peak.

Feather Peak 13,240'

Looking back at the Owens Valley, The White Mountains, and Mt. Tom.

After this Trip I packed up the van and drove to Montana, and then moved to Valdez Alaska.


In mid Febuary I started work with Valdez Heli Camps as a guide in Training.  Extensive learning about helicoptors, snow cats, the Chugache Mountains, skier safety, avalanche forecasting, guiding and snowboarding on ice.   Unfortunately Alaska had a poor season for snow conditions.  We had a month long high pressure sitting over the top of us. Creating 170mph winds and stripping all of the snow off of the mountains.  However these conditions produced the best Sastrugi skiing in the world. 

Chad Colby and Devo the Pilot.  Nice spot for lunch.


Heli skiing, Cat Skiing and lots of learning about these things. The Northern Lights and 2 Pies in my face for my birthday.
Nags strikes with two pies to the face during the PM guide meeting on my birthday.  I did get to Heli on my birthday. 

Northern Lights


Valdez finally got good snow and I had the opportunity to snowboard some great lines.  More Heli skiing, cat skiing and day to day operations at Valdez Heli camps.  In between guiding I planned and organized  the launch of AK 30 day, a month long Sea Kayak expedition in Prince William sound, AK.  As the ski season came to a close, 14 friends from all over the country came together to spend a month kayaking in the Alaska wilderness.   After gathering the whole crew, all of our gear, and food we launched a day early on April 30th. Its a great feeling when you move out of town via sea kayak and escorted by 14 friends. 

The Valdez Arm. 

The Team! Thanks guys for being so cool.


YAKiN's AK 30 day lasted for the month of May.  We Paddled from Valdez to Whittier and had a food resupply on the 15th were we traded my Dad, Karren and Lowell out for new faces.  Then we paddled back out into Prince William sound for the second half.  We paddled over 300 miles over 31 days and ended back in Whittier were my mom and George picked us up. 
We documented the trip and a film is being produced sometime when I settle down long enough to edit all the footage.  Overall it was an amazing trip with whales, glaciers, bears, rain, sun, friends and amazing bushwacking.  I think the best part of the trip was the great people  and the fun games we played.

The crew paddling with Ice burgs.

Prince william sound is amazing.
Cowboy TV.
Emily paddling in her 14' boat that she hand built prior to the trip.
Glaciers are cool.


Directly after the trip I moved 800 miles to Haines, Alaska to guide sea kayaks.  However after such an amazing adventure, you get a little bit of post adventure depression and sitting in a kayak all day with tourists is the last thing you want to do.  I decided to move back to Lake Tahoe in order to help a friend develop and build his screen printing business.  The community and town of Haines is amazing and I am thankful for my time spent there and the friends made.

Fort Seward of Haines, Alaska with the Chilkat mountains in the back ground.

Its nice hear on the Lynn Canal.


I hoped in the van and drove 2,800 miles to Meyers, Lake Tahoe, Ca.  Since I lived hear for 8 years previously I had an amazing community welcoming me back to town.  

Fallen Leaf Lake looking into Lake Tahoe.

One Day Chris Edmands called me up to go rock climbing.  I had previously only climbed up 2 pitch routes, and never trad climbed. Edmands thought that we should go climb Calvaris dome.  I showed up at Chris's in the late afternoon and got in the car not knowing what I had just signed up for.  Always an great adventure with Edmands.  So it turned out that our route was 9 pitches 5.8 and due to 100 degree temps we climbed it at night via headlamp.  So I got my first Trad cleaning, multi pitch route and night climb done all at once.  Thanks Chris for pushing my limits, and for leading everything, your the man.  I was so relieved to be back on flat ground around 6 am.

Check out  a video from a trip to the east side to snowboard North Peak on July 9th.  

I started working with Justin Befu at HI-NRG screen printing and built him a website


Lots of mountain biking, climbing, and hikeing around Lake Tahoe. I went on a sweet climbing trip with my old friend Dave to the high sierra.  We climbed at Tualumne Meadows in Yosimite. And Then Bear Creek Spire 13,713' 

Dave and I in Tualumne.

So I am at the top of Bear Creek Spire setting up the Rappel to go down and another party comes up behind us. I hear a guy calling for Canyon.  I was like what?  Who are you?  Oh another Canyon.  So I met this 16 year old Canyon from Austin Texas at over 13, 000 feet.  We had time for a high five and this photo. 

Lake Aloha


So according to Dave Berkman's GPS watch, him and I mountain biked 64 miles of dirt from Mt. Rose on the north east shore of Lake Tahoe to the bottom of Toads in Meyers. It took us 14 hours to get over 4 mountain passes at 9,700' with a total elevation gain of 13,000' and total decent of 15,230'. Hats off to Berkman for doing the ride on 2 hours of sleep and a rubbing brake pad. We rode the last 10 miles in the dark. 

I had the opportunity to photograph one of the coolest wedding I have attended.  Rachel and Jason got hitched next to Lake Aloha.  The wedding party backpacked in set up camp had a wedding and then partied down.  I feel very privileged to have met this crew and experience this awesome day.  I couldn't stay the night with the crew and had to sprint out threw a thunderstorm and drive to Sacramento to shoot a music video the next morning. 


Durring mid August into October I had the opportunity to help and old friend Jay Seals to kick start his new music project Dad's LPs.  I shot there PR photo, music video, designed there logo, website, album cover, and printed there T shirts. Check out

Watch the music video at


My roomate Taylor, Kelly, and Erin Grover packed up my van and drove down the Eastern Sierra to Joshua Tree to rock climb for a couple of weeks.  I learned  a lot about climbing and stepped my climbing up another level on this trip.  I led a 5.9 trad route.  During this trip I ran into Robin from the AK 30 day and we joined crews and got some great climbing done.  On a couple days I was the token male climbing with 6 females.  

Taylor climbing.

Joshua Tree.

Me on top of the Shark Tooth Aret with Mt. Whitney in the background.


Hanging out in Lake Tahoe waiting for the snow to fly.  I have been developing and prototyping a ultra light weight camera crane and hope to be selling them online this January.  More on this to come soon.....

I did get down to the Cali coast with old friend Mike Wier and went surfing for the first time in a couple years.  So fun.

So I guess that about it.  Its been a fun ride.  I hope that this inspires people to get out and get some.  Whatever it is that you want go and get it.  

What are my plans for 2012.  Feww....   Lets see.

Climbing big mountains and snowboarding down them.  Alaska again this spring and possibly an amazing ski expedition.  Guiding again next summer?  South America for snowboarding?  A surf trip to Indo?  How about New Zealand?  Whatever is ahead I know its going to be a damn good time.


Feel free to forward to anyone who would like it.


Rag and Stone said...

Go YON! Looking good in 2011, let's make 2012 kick some major adventure butt! also, ever heard of the liebster blog award? me either, but if you check out my blog, you can pick up yours! Happy 2012 yon, keep on it!

Michelle said...

You know about STONCO?
They got it.
They got it.
You know about USTECO?
They got it.
They got it.
You know about KENCO?
They got it.
They got it.
And they got it with McCREA.
That Blue Yak....
Went CHO.
With CROW.
Everybody is informing.
Everybody is MOLE.