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Everything posted by Matt

  1. Winning the Hearts and Minds Pt 2

    The Mongols-- those descendants of Chingis Khan who live on the steppe of Central Asia, are Buddhists and were never converts to Islam. The first Dalai Lama came from Mongolia and the words "Dalai Lama" mean "ocean of wisdom" in Mongolian. And yes, they destroyed much of the world and conquered all that they could (sounds like us, doesn't it?). The Mongols were the first to use biological warfare bringing the Plague to Europe and using wonderful antics like taking a rotten festering cow that is swollen and has been dead for several days and launching it over the wall of a castle. Fairweather said: Fairyweather I didn't know you were one to paraphrase Marx. Why don't you just say it--- Religion is the opiate of the masses.
  2. Aliens are Baaack

    My experience is offsets are best used in pin scars so having them on your rack in places like yosemite is nice. They are useful for free climbing on routes like Serenity Crack which used to be aided and was nailed into submission-- ouch my toes!
  3. antitobacco prejudice

    smoke is nasty so is dippping. I tell people so. I once saw a woman who had COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) from smoking for 30 years who was on home O2 who lit up and burnt the shit out of her face and nose b/c of the O2. Clueless. Fire plus pure oxygen equals more fire. I want to die from something cool like free soloing the tooth when I'm 85 years old, not smoke. I also don't want to pay for someone else's bad habit b/c they are on medicare from all the shit that comes from smoking. I tell all my young friends who smoke/dip to quit as quickly as they can before it becomes 5 then 10 then a lifetime of dependency. treat your body like a temple.
  4. I am your typical gumbie stuck in the 5.10 rut and would like to start improving. I've been climbing 5.10s for maybe 10 years, and I mean I've lead stuff like Davis-Holland-- you know, real 5.10, but can't seem to tackle any 5.11s without hanging like a mofo. What climbs would you do to train for becoming a 5.11 climber? I want to put together a tick list of NW climbs to do, kind of like the "Road to Astroman" list. What is you favorite 5.10+ or 5.11 multipitch route in the NW? What is our "Astroman"? Side note: I can pull down V4 at Stone Gardens so SG V4= Index 5.10?

    I love it when tele nut and his many forms comes around and stirs shit up! Damn you know how to mix it up! Keep fighting the good fight!
  6. Fight Club Smile

    Maybe you were a Lab in another life. I know mine would rather hold onto his rope toy with his teeth than just about anything. Do you have a crazy urge to chase tennis balls? Don't mean to poke fun. I always say the most important things in life are your family and your health, and the two worst health problems are toothaches and back aches. Listen up youngsters! Take care of your teeth and back!
  7. New To Trad Climbing

    Honestly, it took a couple of big whippers on cams, nuts, etc., before I was willing to start trusting them. When learning how to lead with natural pro the real problem is making mistakes that you don't know you are making-- the old Donald Rumsfeld conundrum--- there are things we know, things we know we don't know and things we don't know we don't know. My advice is go climbing with someone who knows what they're doing and follow them on 20 pitches or so and then start leading yourself. This, along with reading several books on anchors, leading, and self rescue you should have what you need to get the job done. For me it took a season before I was ready to confidently push grades while leading with a rack. It wasn't until I fell 15+ feet above my last piece and was "okay" that it really sunk in.
  8. the need to own an altimeter and/or a GPS

    I second this sentiment. Pay a guide who knows the mountain you want to climb. No piece of technology you can put in your pocket can substitute for real expereince, not to mention the fact that a GPS won't pull you out of a cravass. This is not intended as spray, only my opinion. I am not a guide, but I do have several climbing partners who work as guides and can recommend a few to you if you want. Maximize the return on your investment. If you only have a week to climb, then get a professional to make sure you get the most out of your climbing experience.
  9. Darrington conditions?

    Well done my friend! I can't wait to climb Jacob's Ladder!
  10. Moving to PNW

    Renton. There is sweet granite in Renton.
  11. MOFA/WFR courses

    I reccommend the EMT class at North Seattle Community College . Very well done. Unlike many first aid classes, you leave this class with some idea as to how to deal with real trauma and medical issues. I believe the time commitment is Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays 6 to 10 for three months.
  12. Lost on Me...

    As someone who both lived in Tokyo and worked as an actor in the gaijin film sector in Japan I went to this film expecting a lot. I thought it was great! I loved how it captured the feeling of cultural purgatory of expats being trapped between not really being a part of the culture of the country your in (in this instance Japan) and being out of touch with the culture you're from (America). Japan has a way of incorporating other cultures while simultanously making those adaptations completely their own. I admire people who can form friendships and maintain them through time despite geographical and personal changes, but I for one can count the number of friends I have that I've known for over ten years on one or maybe two hands, no more. I had many more friends with whom I shared brief periods of intimacy through very significant parts of my development as a person and then never saw them again. Not to compare life to television but these episodic relationships have become part of the 21st century man by way of the new "global citizen" or "world traveler" who explores the earth with a backpack and a lonely planet guide and we constantly reinvent ourselves like we're changing the channel. We no longer live where we grew up, but feel free to transport ourselves to anywhere we fancy. How many people move to Seattle from Chicago or Tempe or Baltimore just because it was "where they wanted to go" and had no ties to the place (myself included). You say "there's a whole other world outside of the 90210 zip code," well I agree. I think Sophia captures it with the sophistication of someone with a fucundity of experience (can I say that?) only found in people who have ventured far and beyond their zip code. I know too many people who aren't even interested in getting a passport because "it isn't safe out there" and "why would I travel overseas when there's so much to see right here at home." She captures the Japanese experience and the expat experience--- have you heard the tapes of her as a kid living in asia while her dad was making Apocaplypse Now? But isn't this movie really about the isolation we all feel and the unusual places we find companionship and solace from the solitude we call reality? What do you do when you find that connnection--- that soul mate-- when it isn't sought after, when you are married or working towards a goal that does not allow room in your life for this person? The character Bill Murry played had the experience to know from the beginning that's what th realtionship was, but the girl, she was too young. She didn't understand the transience of the situation. In our lives we feel brief moments of bliss and clarity amid the entropic bussle of day to day blah-- It's been several months since I saw the movie, maybe I have it all wrong... Ah Japan, sometimes I miss it enough to forget how much I really hated it and how desparate I was to leave... yes the cherry blossoms are beautiful here too.
  13. monday/tuesdays

    I've got Mondays off. It's so nice to climb when everyone else is workin. Give me a shout.
  14. Climb on Mondays

    I have Mondays off. Looking for a climbing partner for tomorrow, March 1, and any future Mondays. Rock climbing at Index or Vantage, back country skiing, possibly ambitious one day ascents of mtns and such. It's a great way to start the week and avoid the crowds. Send me a PM.
  15. Ski to Muir Hut

    On Saturday 1/17/04 I went skiing on Rainier from Paradise to Muir Hut. The gate at Longmire is said to have opened at 0830. We left Low Rentistan at 0730 so we did not arrive at Longmire until 0930. Temps were 35F at Paradise, sunny and warm to very cold up high. Snow conditions varied from cascade cement with 2 to 3 inches of fluff on top to patches of bullet proof ice at around 7000' (guestimate). The skiing wasn't great, but my only comment was people pay to ski in these kinds of conditions back east. Challenging, but still interesting. Both my partner and I had tele gear on and we were able to skin most of the way up. It was almost icy enough to want crampons; some people wore them but ours were in the car and I was glad I didn't have the weight. If I went back the next day I might bring them. At approximately 9500' we ran into a wall of cloud, a total whiteout and decided to take off our skins and turn around. Great day, got some sunshine and many turns. If you are learning to ski or are not comfortable with icy conditions, I suggest you wait until more snow falls before going up to Paradise. As a side note, an amazing thing happenned on the way home from Raindog. My partner lost his wallet while skiing down. It must have fallen out of his pack when he took off his skins. After searching the car and all of our belongings three times we left Paradise with him in a tempered rage. As we approached Puyallup on the drive home a message popped up on his cell phone. Another climber had found his wallet and was calling to return it. Good karma followed us home!
  16. What does climbing do for you?

    Some people like to drive around in traffic with their radio on low. Others like to get in the fast lane and pass everyone with the music blasting. Climbing helps me turn up the volume on life. Otherwise I might fall asleep. For me, it's not about fear, it's about stimulation. It's about the clarity of mind and sharpness of my senses when I do something that actually requires some attention and makes me turn off the auto pilot--- the auto pilot that numbs my mind and makes yesterday roll into today. It's about breaking the spell and opening my eyes to the present-- the right now!! Some people live their whole lives without ever waking up.
  17. MY car was stolen last night

    A friend of mine had his Saab stolen from Phinney Ridge, last year I think. He found it one week later impounded. The person who stole it left in in a parking lot without paying the fee and the lot towed it. He had to pay the parking fee to get it back. I have heard of a scam where they steal your car and take the seats, wheels, stereo, etc out of it then they leave the car where the cops will find it. Your insurance company calls it totalled and sells it for parts. The same people who stole your car buy it for $50, put back all the components, and then they have a legit car with all the right parts. Good luck. I use a steering wheel lock that I bought for $20 at walmart. Keeps the theives away from my wheels.
  18. Anyone ski on Mt Hood this past weekend? Conditions? Ice? Can you recommend bringing tele skis for an ascent/ski decent or should I leave the tele gear at home and bring the alpine boots? Thanks in advance.
  19. Ski to Muir Hut

    I believe the gate at longmire is closed to uphill traffic at 1630 and downhill traffic at 1800, though I have heard rumors that some rangers will leave the combo to the gate under your windshield wiper. I can't verify this with personal experience. With the way my winter forays go, I always leave a sleeping bag and pad in the back of my car *just in case* I get back late. Good to hear there was some snowfall on Sunday. Avy danger?
  20. weekend plans?

    Ohaiyo gozaimasu Dryad-san! Ogenki desu ka?
  21. Ski Lengths?

    I am 5'9" and 165 lbs. I ski on 197 cm Tua Megas tele skis with T1s for boots. I prefer longer skis because they are more stable at high speeds and I can dip all the way down without worrying about the tip of my uphill ski getting pushed downhill of my downhill foot. Shorter skis might be nice for tight shoots, but otherwise I ski like a GS downhiller so the long boards fit my style. I have yet to upgrade to parabolic skis so my advice may be outdated. I don't know what a FOP is but if being a tele skier for 15 years makes me a dinosaur then I'll take it!
  22. Kudos to Andy Fitz

    Thank you Andy!
  23. Biggest SandBag [Local Route]

    Sagitarius is a sandbag for me. It's a really cool climb, for sure, with good pro and interesting cruxes, but not a good lead for a "I can climb 5.10 in the gym" climber, as there is much jamming, scumming, grunting and bloodying of knees. Erik, the prince of Index calls it Sagi-scary-ous. If an arrogant French (is this redundant?) climber were walking round the base of the LTW, I would tell him to climb Sagitarius. "mon ami, c'est le Index experience...you must try it... a perfect warm up to City Park..."
  24. WFR certification

    North Seattle Community College has an quarterly First Responder class that meets week nights.