Mt Shasta | Lessons Learned | A Few Steps Shy

I skydive out of airplanes with a parachute and free fall for ~45 seconds at a lower altitude than the top of this mountain. It was the first mountain 14er I’ve climbed and snowboarded down. This would be her first 14er as well. We decided it was time to take our bus. This isn’t something I wanted her to do and convinced her to do it, she knows my passion for the mountains and had her own reasons and desires to attempt something out of her regular hobbies. She asked my brother (who’s a mountain guide) and I if we could take her up so we coordinated everything to work together nearly 6 months ago and we gave it a 100% preparation and effort. She created a goal, trained, prepared, and learned possibly the most difficult lesson of all along the way. She’s 110lbs has no mountaineering experience, doesn’t backpack regularly and I wouldn’t say she enjoys the snow very much. Me on the other hand. The 180* opposite. I love it all, I moved to the mountains 5 years ago to follow that dream. She didn’t complain to me once, she was fired up the entire time and she carried everything she needed on her back, she had trained for a solid year and really pushed herself physically the past 6 months. We ran through every environment and situation a mountaineer could in a single trip. We started out a day delayed due to bad weather, cutting our trip down from 3 days to 2 days. When we hit the trail it was nearly a 70* summer day at 6,950 feet. Geared up with ~35lbs of gear, food, water and a flask of whiskey we started our trek up our first volcano together. I never really wanted to have a mountaineering partner that was also my girlfriend. The idea of her slipping off the edge of a cliff... View More »

Blue Bus Adventures To The City of Atlantis

Nick told me a while back that he had picked up a project bus—had anyone else told me this I’d have to see it to believe it, but this was Nick and a project like this was right up his alley. I was stoked he was taking this on.“AK. Spring 2016, you in?” He asked me in a conversation. I honestly didn’t know where I’d be in spring of next year, but I was down. When someone asks you if you want to co-pilot an adventure-mobile to the Great Land, you pretty much do whatever you have to in order to make it happen. “Uh, yeah.” Alaska is still a year out though, and to be able to drive a bus on the Al-Can, several test runs are required. Test run No. 1, Nick decided was up north to Mt. Shasta. The land of a single massive volcano, hippies, a whole lot of weirdness, and the occasional Sasquatch sighting. The Blue Bus had many quirks, however my favorite was the uncontrollable honking during left hand turns. We all agreed that this was our karma for idly watching as some moronic woman at the first gas stop slowly yanked the pump off of the terminal. We couldn’t manage a sound between the 4 of us, we were in such disbelief that we were going to get to see it go down. The drawers had a mind of their own, so Travis and I had to hop up and close them, uphills were a waiting game and the honking got progressively worse. This bus was turning out to be a real head turner, especially on the highway. Despite the honking and 30 miles per hour we were putting down on the highway uphills, Travis and I sat in the back on folding beach chairs up on bed platform, sunglasses on and our hair raging with the wind—I can’t think of a... View More »

Lost Trail Lodge

I was invited by a friend of mine to join him and his friends for a retreat into the forest. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into but have been on the “yes” train as much as possible the past year or two….so naturally, I had an amazing time. I was able to meet 16 new people, all of which were very nice, open minded and welcomed me into their lives like I was family. Friendships were made almost instantly. Throughout my travels I’ve come up with theory that the best way to meet someone isn’t over beers at a bar, or loud music at a party. My personal favorite way to get to know someone is to put yourself into a potentially uncomfortable situation, or at least an unfamiliar location. Something you don’t do everyday, some place you don’t have all the answers too. Doing this takes away a big amount of “I know’s” and puts everyone on the same level of knowledge, or at least closer. I learned a lot from the guys I was with and will take my new knowledge into the future. Oh yeah, and Lost Coast Lodge is absolutely beautiful, Ill be back in winter for some snowboarding, snowmobiling and good... View More »

Patchfest 2014

Patchfest is an annual snowboarding party several miles in the backcountry. Its described as: “Do you enjoy Snowboarding on Glaciers? Camping with Strangers? Drinking in excess? If you answer yes to any of these questions then this may just be the party for you!” This was my second year in attendance and my group “upgraded” our camping spot with a keg this year. MUCH less trash and an overall amazing experience. Here are a few photos from the event when I had a second to put my beer down and picked my camera up. San Francisco, aerial photography San Francisco San Francisco The new bay bridge San Francisco Giants stadium San Francisco aerial photography Metal Print with Black Shadow Frame Metal Print with Frame Metal Print with Hanger Metal Print Only Metal Print... View More »

14,179 Feet Above

At 14,179 feet Hiking Mount Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascades AND one of the most physically draining treks I have ever done. Here my brother, Jonathan, and close climbing partner Tracy are ascending (going up) Mt Shasta. We started at our trek up the 14 thousand foot mountain at midnight and around 1am all I could do was look up and watch the milky way arc across the sky above us. It felt as though we were walking on the moon – I couldn’t get enough of it. The rest of the trek was just as difficult as I thought it would be, like the last time I hiked it 4 years ago. To put the size of this mountain into a visual perspective: Empire State Building in NY is 1,250 feet tall. Transamerica Pyramid in SF is 853 feet tall. If you can visualize stacking the Empire State Building in New York just over 5.5 times, that’s the height of this mountain…OR take San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica building and stack that building a bit over 8 times and you’ve got Mount Shasta. We carry our backpacks full of food, water, safety supplies, extra gear, gloves, goggles..and for me a 7lb camera the entire way up and down. The different types of feelings and emotions one can experience during something like this is priceless. You can go from the most upset you’ve been all year, to instantly feeling the largest waves of euphoria you’ve felt in your entire life all within a few hours of each other. San Francisco, aerial photography San Francisco San Francisco The new bay bridge San Francisco Giants stadium San Francisco aerial photography Metal Print with Black Shadow Frame Metal Print with Frame Metal Print with Hanger Metal Print Only Metal Print... View More »

Castle Peak Backcountry Snowboarding

Castle Peak is known to be one of the “gnarly” backcountry zones of Lake Tahoe. Its a 30-45 minute snowmobile ride just to get to the “zone” – IF – someone has already blazed a trail through the fresh snow. This morning I went with someone well rounded in this area and he was blazing the first rail out to the zone from the trailhead by 8am. I’ve lived in the area for 4 years and this was my first time being back here. Lucky for me, I have just enough skills on my snowmobile to ride with all my snowboarding gear & camera gear on my back. I felt like every previous snowmobile adventure was practice for this moment. 2 feet of fresh snow, steep hills and camera gear. Talk about being in the right place at the right time? Here are some photos, two of the photos I did not take…because I’m the subject riding.... View More »