This is a slideshow featuring pictures from the Alaska Range, found on the Facebook page from the good folks of Talkeetna Air Taxi. Click on the image to go to there.
Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’
Old Hawaiian system of communication and engaging with the universe that actually works to make a better world.
I’ve been meaning to write about this book for a while, and a recent email prompted me to follow through. On one hand, while the cover, and some of the book’s precepts are a bit hokey, such as getting the woman and car you want, I doubt I’d be married to the wonderful woman that’s my wife, had I not actively engaged the universe and actually asked for what I want. I was using this technique during the summer just before we met. I was leading a mountaineering course in Alaska at the time, and while in the mountains, practiced the technique about 30 times per day. This book illustrates a technique that has quite a track record and impressive story behind it. Below is an email from a good friend to whom I recommended the book and technique. As Tolle says, “Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess?” This technique helps you do your part to clean up the mess.
I really enjoyed our conversation today.
Shortly after our conversation, I Googled some reviews of “Zero Limits” as well as several pages of the book itself in the form of a preview. In it are perhaps the most potentially life changing ideas I have ever encountered. I thank you very much for introducing it to me. I am going to order copies for several friends and myself.
Yes, this technique of simply saying “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you”, is still working wonders in my life. It’s time to raise the bar for all of us, isn’t it.
Thanks for the link to Meninger. I’ll check it out.
Looking forward to seeing you.
From New Zealand to Utah, From Alaska to New Hampshire – Ice bergs to Honeycombs
It’s called calving, when a glacier’s edge dramatically breaks off. Many cruise ships take the tour along Alaska’s shores. From Seward and other harbors along the coast, one can sign on for a daily round-trip to get up close views.
The dramatic Perito Mereno Glacier in Argentina’s Southern windswept Los Glaciares National Park has many visitors.and is possibly the most famous rivers of ice in the world because. It was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1981. Amanda and I stopped at Tasman Lake in New Zealand’s Mt. Cook National Park to see the floating ice bergs in the grey-green water thick with rock flower. We hiked up to the top of an old terminal moraine and saw the bergs as the sun was setting.
More than a few times, I’ve jumped into such frigid waters, after a run or back country mountain sleep, just to wake me up. While at University of Utah, when I was still learning about the mountains, I did an overnight up White Pine Canyon in the late fall and jumped into White Pine Lake near Snowbird. A few minutes later, it had a skim of ice on it. That’s chilly, but there were no icebergs or calving going on, just shivering.
The Tasman Glacier regularly claves ice bergs but the evening we were there it was calm and each iceberg gave us a show of *“petreflections” of various sizes and patterns.
When the ice goes out in Lake Sunapee, NH, the reader may be curious to know that there usually aren’t big ice bergs. Then again, I didn’t grow up on the west side of the lake, where the whole lot piles up on a windy afternoon leaving dramatic piles of ice, as if the town dump truck and just deposited its backlog for the winter. On the east side of the lake, we observe the ice gradually thinning from the spring melt, and as it thins, darkens to almost a black. It turn into “honeycomb ice” we call it, where its transformed from the meter-thick solid sheet that runs the whole lake, to fragile, loosely held together elongated splinters that fall apart when scooped up in your hand. Those of us that grew us as kids along the shore of a lake will know what I mean. Daily we watch the progression.
Official Ice Out day is declared when Artie Osborne can take his boat from the north tip at George’s Mills to Newbury, some 10-13 miles distant without obstruction. To my knowledge, he still makes the trip, and in the process, closes the informal town bets for the season. Go swim in an ice-berg filled lake sometime. It’s the right thing to do.
Author’s Note: Also see my earlier entry on largest iceberg breaks off of Tasman Glacier in 100 years.
*Petreflections: A term coined by Kathy Lowe. See her link above.
Going with the flow
Text and Images: Randy Richards
Last July I found myself sitting and staring at my stuff in a hot storage locker in Park City, UT. I had just moved out of my last relationship, and was practicing being in the moment. “Hmmm,” I thought, “I wonder what spirit may provide for the next big adventure.” Keeping an open attitude, a sense of humor and staying light-hearted, I pondered. Just then, I got a call from an old friend at Outward Bound, who I’d not heard from in years.
He was asking me if I’d like to teach a mountaineering program in Alaska. It’s been a while since I’ve been on the role call for OB Wilderness in the West. I’d been busy with Alpine Ascents International, Outward Bound Professional and now Mountain Spirit. He was also stepping back in temporarily at his old admin job. I only got the call because he knew me and had his old contact list out. I wasn’t even in the OB computer system anymore. Regarding this Alaska proposal, I told him, “Let me think about that…. I’ve thought about it, when do I leave?”
Before long, I was on my way from Alta, Utah (thanks to Bob and Glenda Cottrill by the way), to Seward AK, packing bickies in the food room, checking tents and stoves, and back in the OB swing. I was prepping to co-instruct a mountaineering segment of a sea/mountain combination program for Outward Bound Wilderness located at their Seward basecamp. I’ve been pretty busy with Mountain Spirit Institute these days but decided to take a bus-man’s holiday and go back to what, in part, inspired MSI in the first place. We had 10 bright and motivated kids who were eager to learn, climb and mix it up.
When I met the group, they had already been 12 days in kayaks. The thing that strikes me about Alaska is the sense of expansiveness, the “no thing ness”. Of course there is plenty there to see in all it’s splendor, but I wonder, after all these years and miles in the mountains, why this experience was so deeply different than my previous days. It wasn’t about the place as much as the experience I was perceiving.
I’ve spent literally years on the trail and backcountry. I learned to climb in the Alps, where I learned not to kill myself. I took classes with the Austrian Mountain Club, but that was only minimally effective as I missed half the lecture content. My Austrian was pretty limited at the time. But I learned a few things. But I was young.
I think having gone through what life can throw at someone over a few years, has change my wilderness experience. I looked about me at my fellow instructors, and at my students. Of course I knew they were having their own “ah hah” moments as well, while out there, but I felt as if I were “touching the void” (without having to go through Joe Simpson’s epic). I’m not sure why it was that way, but the silence which I’ve heard over the years had a depth to it that I’d not experienced before. Is it because of where I am in my life? I could lean into the wind’s howl, or its whisper, into the void…
Of course I can’t put it into words. It’s similar to what Byrd Baylor’s writes in her story, “The Other Way To Listen” where she does a very solid job of telling the story of someone suddenly finding a mountain singing back to him while on a hike.
Alaksa’s Mt. Ascension was an admirable and beautiful peak, with spectacular 180 degree views, with the Harding Ice field to the south, and Lost Lake and a minor peak to the north. The north face of Ascension has couloirs and arrets dropping off directly to the valley floor below.
The students did well, gaining the upper slopes of the glacier, route finding, laying wands, and making the summit. The coastal fog rolled in, which made finding basecamp, on the eastern shelf of the range, a bit of a challenge. Our back bearings could have been better. Maybe more on that adventure another time.
I’ve been rambling on a bit about the mechanics of the climb, which are relatively important. But what was absolutely important for me, was my new and improved experience of the mountain vastness. Maybe it was just Alaska, but I doubt it.
You think you remember, after being out for a while. But you don’t. You can only be reminded of the vastness, of your place in it all, by going back out there. And not just climbing a damn peak, but coming to terms with the end of it all, the cold, the wind, the rocks and the snow.
Solo is a big part of Outward Bound and we at Mountain Spirit have our own twist on it as well. Getting out while you still can, stepping away from the machine just makes sense. Whether with a group or solo. And as Willie Unsoeld used to say, when it’s time to come back to civilization, you’re better equipped to really contribute something to the cutting edge.