Goodbye 12… Welcome lucky #13

The year began with a visit to the Zombie Apocalypse Store in Vegas

The year began with a visit to the Zombie Apocalypse Store in Vegas

With 2013 upon us, and still NO Jedi powers… I figured I could just write about my 2012 year in review.

I’d say 2012 was one of my finer hours on this planet. I discovered Twitter, Blogging, found new Amazing friends, got into the ORshow for the first time, and saw many new and beautiful places…

I found new motivation, changed my perception of life, and my outlook on the future became very exciting… I even shook the Magic 8 Ball.

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The year began with multiple trips to Las Vegas, once just for fun, then again to check out the NASCAR race with my friends Willie & Delynn. There was loads of drinking, walking, spending evenings at the roulette table and site seeing. Though these adventures aren’t much of the outdoors type, I did feel they deserved a mention, since they were part of this past years adventures.

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As the weather broke and the sun returned to SLC, I decided to take my boys climbing on the rock. Seeing how Kemry had done so well climbing in the gym. So we ventured up BCC to climb at the Salt Lake Slips. Both boys did well, Kemry topping out on the 5.8 slab climb on a top rope, and Caelan making it to the crux. I figured now was the time to put Kem through a trial by fire and give him his first taste of a 5.10a, steep overhung climb. And he almost topped out, making it to the crux. I was proud, that kid has serious climbing skills and little fear. Completely psyched that my boys had finally shown interest in climbing, I couldn’t wait to get them back on the rock.Kemry gets his first taste of a 5.10a climb..my boys & I by the camp fire

Kemry gets his first taste of a 5.10a climb..
my boys & I by the camp fire

So we took a camping and climbing trip to Maple Canyon with my good friend Jeremy. And met up with Haley Dahle, the first member of our #Climbchat community I actually met in person. She brought her two cute kids Guy & Ava down and we all camped together and climbed. It was such an amazing experience to finally meet someone I had networked with, and chatted with online for months. I was so happy I had discovered Twitter and connected with such AWESOME people.

The dudes hiking Box Canyon

The dudes hiking Box Canyon

     In June, I had my first ever Canyoneering experience… My frirends Jeremy, Miller and my brother Bill and I all took a trip down to southern Utah to hike the 20 mile version of Buckskin Gulch (the longest known slot canyon in the world, if you do the entire 70 mile hike).

Bill & Jeremy in vastness of BG

Bill & Jeremy in vastness of BG

     With the Canyon being about 80% slot canyon, and beautiful twist and turns throughout, I highly recommend this hike. The lighting in there is a photographers dream…

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We reached the confluence and decided to rest an hour, eat dinner and then press on.  Wanting to finish the hike all in one day, proved to be more difficult than we expected. The last 3 miles were riverbed, hiking through sand, though luckily we were finishing it in the dark.  At one point, I remember my brothers knee almost giving out and him saying “I’m not going to be the guy on the news who had to get Helicoptered out of Buckskin Gulch.”

Billy Riggins & Brandon Miller In the Buckskin Gulch Narrows

Billy Riggins & Brandon Miller In the Buckskin Gulch Narrows

Since we finished the hike in a single day, Jeremy and I decide to spend the second day with a swim at Lake Powell. And I had discovered a new a passion in Canyoneering.

Jerm\emy Arnold in Buckskin Gulch

Jeremy Arnold in Buckskin Gulch

     July started with my boys and I hiking Donut falls and Timpanogos Cave, 2 extremely beautiful hikes so close to home that I had never experienced.  Both short, but fun day hikes that can be done in an afternoon.  Followed by kayaking the Great Salt Lake with Jeremy.  Oddly enough it doesn’t stink in the middle of the lake, and the salt is great for your skin… And you float.

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My good looking little dudes

Then I discovered Zion…  Sharing these outdoor experiences with my boys was amazing.  The 3 of us hiked the first few miles of the Narrows in Zion, and camped in the park through a down pour of rain.  It was the perfect way for us to bond, a little father and sons time.iphonehome-1564.jpg

The excitement began to build as I realized next I was going to be hiking The Subway.  One of the most beautiful hikes in all of Utah, with a few miles of the most unique canyoneering anywhere.  We were lucky enough to score some spots on a permit with my friend Ryan.

iphone10 916     A few twists and turns aside, and getting lost trying to find our way into the canyon, we made it, though hiked an extra 5 miles.  The Subway is a hike filled with swimming through deep/cold pools, short/fun repels, and a gorgeous riverbed walk…  And a slot canyon resembling that of a subway tunnel.  I feel truly blessed to have been able to experience this place, and plan on making this hike an annual staple on my adventure itinerary.

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Though I had done so much, I couldn’t believe that the year would get any better.  The first weekend of August I attended my first ever Outdoor Retailers Show (thanks to Haley Dahle).  We met up with the rest of the #Climbchat crew for an after party, and some climbing in American Fork Canyon.  Upon entering ORshow, I realized a few things:

1- These are my people. 2- I had found new adventure companions, climbing partners and friends for life.

#Climbchat

photos by Andrew Bradberry

photos by Andrew Bradberry

     Awesome finally meeting Gina Begin, Steve Weiss, Kristie Salzmann, Katie Boue, Whitney Orban, Jacalyn Gross, Shawn Parry, Haley Dahle and Krysia Hepatica.

Old Faithful Photo by Kristie Salzmann

Old Faithful
Photo by Kristie Salzmann

     Later in August, I took Kemry and Caelan on a road trip acrossed northern Wyoimng.  We visited Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Devil’s Tower and Mt. Rushmore, even got to visit with Kristie again.  During this trip, I decided there was definitely a need to summit the Grand Teton, and climb DT.

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As the year started to wined down, an the adventures were becoming few and farther between.  With only a few climbing ops and the college football season starting.  I joined Kristie in Colorado for a relaxing weekend of beer and climbing Colorado limestone,  then good 5 days in Seattle for some R & R.

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Winter came early, thus so did the snowboarding season.  And with new climbing partners came also new snowboarding partners, and snow shoeing friends.  I had finished out the year in radical style, picking up a new sport in snow shoeing, and meeting a few more of Columbia’s Inaugural #Omniten crew.  I had discovered the motivation needed to move forward in life.  Often I’m asked why I take these risks?  What I gain from these adventures?  The answer is simple…  In these moments, I find peace, my life feels a little more graceful, and obtains meaning.  It’s now that I see the truth of my existence, through the beauty of pressing the limits…

Carving powder @Snowbird

So here’s to new friends in 2013, removing the poison from my life, and moving forward and leaving the sorrow behind.