The Mancation

A word to the wise – posted at the trailhead

“Honey, you’ve been working way too hard recently, I think you need a mancation.  So, I contacted this company called RMI that guides climbers up mountains.    You are going to climb a mountain in Washington called Sahale.  You’ll be out in the wilderness for 4 days.  Oh, by the way, you ARE going since I’ve already paid for it all.”  This is a true story.  I am not b-s ing you.  We were sitting in our camp in the Boston Basin in Washington’s North Cascades, the self-styled “American Alps” when Fred related this story about how, courtesy of his wife’s efforts, he came to be part of our climbing team.  I admit to being completely flabbergasted by his revelation, although at the time I hoped I did a good job of hiding my reaction.    Continue reading “The Mancation”




IMG_1159After spending 19 years in Maryland, with easy access to the northern Shenandoahs, my wife and I recently moved to Wisconsin.  It’s a big change.  For those of you accustomed to easy access to the Cascades or the Rockies this might not sound like much of a loss – the northern Shenandoahs top out at 3,000 ft or so, compared to the unlimited 14ers in Colorado or the chain of Cascade volcanoes from California to Washington State.  But, as Albert has said, it is all relative.  I’ve now moved back to the midwest where communities provide downhill sledding opportunities for their children by piling dirt on landfills and creating Mt. Trashmores.  I lived in Chicago for many years where 15 or 18 speed bikes seemed a ludicrous extravagance – I used just a single gear on my bike while living there.  This is not an exaggeration and it is also to what I just now returned. Continue reading “Patience”

Walking in Mallory’s Footsteps: Part 9

The Final Chapter

Zhang Mu

Zhang Mu from our hotel
The city of Zhang Mu, as seen from our hotel

For those of you reading this blog, you probably never thought you’d see the words “Final Chapter” associated with my blogs.  Yes, I promise, this is THE END.  After 9 installments, I am closing this out with one final posting and will return to writing about other things of interest to me.  For me, this trip was pivotal in my approach to being in high places.  On future climbs, I continued to make mistakes and miscalculations but this trip established a major data bank on which I was able to draw as I embarked on future adventures. Continue reading “Walking in Mallory’s Footsteps: Part 9”