Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Oh Eun-Sun on the summit of Gasherbrum I

Oh Eun-Sun is the first woman to climb all 14 8,000 meter peaks.  Despite all her achievements there is some controversy regarding her claim to have reached the summit of Kangchenjunga in 2009.  Read on...

Monday, April 26, 2010


26 acres of the New Hartford Land Trust butts up against my backyard.  Within this protected area there is a decent sized pond referred to locally as Beaver Pond, aptly named because of the high beaver activity (3 dens and a dam).  I recently went for a hike at dusk on Friday and spotted beavers for the first time.  Luckily I had my wife's Canon which has video capability, unlike my Nikon D70.  It's not the best for video but it's perfect for moments like this.

This was the first time I have seen beavers in the wild, so I was thrilled.  Apparently one of the best times to spot beavers is at dusk.  I guess Ray Mears was right.

Friday, April 16, 2010


The groundsels found atop Mount Kilimanjaro (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari) have evolved into giants, growing into trees up to 10 meters tall.  Within the range of a few kilometers, conditions vary from equatorial to arctic on Kilimanjaro. In general the temperature steadily decreases at about 1 degree Celsius for every increase in altitude of 200 meters.  To withstand this type of climate when the giant groundsels' leaves die they don't fall off.  Instead, they wrap themselves around the branch or stem insulating the plant.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


...He was looking for a Hawken gun, .50 caliber or better.

.45 or .50 cal?  Of course I will take the .50 cal.  If it's good enough for Jeremiah, it's sure as hell good enough for me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The Bachar Ladder is a rope ladder used by rock climbers for training.  The climber would climb the ladder using only their arms.  Great for building upper body and campusing strength.  The Bachar Ladder was named after John Bachar, a famous American climber best known for free soloing.

John Bachar

"The rope ladder has to be strung very tightly to be nice - not like in the Chouinard ad. I used to use a double pulley and jumar system to get that baby strung. 15 degrees overhanging is ideal." -John Bachar
Don Best in the Tuolumne Rescue Site