Monday, October 29, 2007

Trip Report: Mini-Mummy Loop d’ doo

October 28, 2007
Hagues Peak 13, 560 ft
Rowe Mountain 13,185 ft
Mummy Mountain 13,425 ft
~20.5 miles roundtrip from Lawn Lake Trailhead
~6,100 cumulative elevation gain

Brazilian free runners inspired this outing. In the summertime this route would be an awesome “free run”. Not that I currently have the thunder thighs or lungs to run up these peaks…’s always great to have a big ridiculous goal.

With that as my theme (free running), and a fully charged iPod, I left the Lawn Lake trailhead at 6:35 am. Unsure of the conditions up high, I carried a heavy pack, which included crampons, ice axe, a puffy, and warm expedition mittens.

Darkness quickly morphed into a bluebird day. The winds were mild with gusts up to 20 mph and the temperature hovered near 40 F. Snowdrifts dominated the landscape above Lawn Lake, varying in depth from 4 inches to 2 feet. Postholing, while not one of my favorite activities, was something I did a lot of today.

On the way up toward The Saddle 12,398 ft, a playful Coyote zoomed around me for about 30 minutes. Once up near the Hagues summit, I turned and took a long time to study Fairchild’s’ features. There’s some awesome potential for ice climbs as well as skiing down this peak’s big sloping shoulder….if the spring conditions are right.

Hagues summit was windy, so after recording some observations in my field notebook, I headed over to Rowe Mountain. My original plan was to bag both Rowe Peak and Rowe Mountain; however, the postholing enroute to the Rowe Ridge filled me with discouragement. I decided to just tag Rowe Mountain on this outing. Instead taking the time I would have used to get Rowe peak and record more field observations in my notebook. The Rowe Glacier was active as the afternoon sun heated up the snowpack, causing some minor avalanche activity.

Back up over the Hagues ridge, I traversed to Mummy. With my iPod blaring, I picked my way over to Mummy’s Summit. The winds had accelerated to ~30 mph. For the descent, I chose to explore Mummy’s Southeast Slopes. There, I was greeted by a small family of Bighorn Sheep. All in all another fantastic day in the park!

Click here for pics.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mother-Daughter Inventors

If you’ve ever wondered what an inventor looks like – go to your bathroom and stare point-blank into the mirror.

There you have it.

Inventors are everyday people.

They are mountaineers, real estate investors, film producers, mothers and daughters; creative people whose ideas spark visions for solving a dilemma.

While reading a book about women inventors, we were particularly fascinated with Frances Gabe’s self-cleaning house. It is brilliant! Who the hell wants to spend time cleaning their house when they could be creating inventions or outside climbing/skiing?

Mother-daughter teams like Alison and I, spend hours in their makeshift studios pouring love into their ideas……inventing. With the autumn/winter season of shorter days and cooler temperatures, we find ourselves spending a bit more time inside. We often choose ‘inventing” as a past time. It draws us closer and facilitates sharing on many levels.

How many of you have dormant ideas stuck in your brain? Why not put some action into sharing those with the world?

Who knows….it may:
a.) Improve the quality of someone’s life
b.) Lead you to the love of your life
c.) Transform you into a self-made multi-millionaire
d.) All of the above!

You won’t know, if you don’t try.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Bryan Pletta's Stone Age Climbing Gym

Over the weekend, there was a competition at Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After the comp, Bryan's wife (Cristina) sprung a "surprise" tribute on recognition of all he has accomplished and contributed to the climbing community....and in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Stone Age Climbing Gym. Cristina asked me to write *something*. Below is the tribute I composed, which they read aloud as slides were projected on screen.

Tribute to Bryan
What a pleasure to know the magic that is John Bryan Pletta

Bryan truly embodies the best in excellence, community service, and friendship

Besides being a distinguished businessman, climber, and friend

He is a true gentleman

Some words that spring to mind when I think of him are:
Compassion, caring, community

And I should know because I’ve had the honor and privilege of sharing a rope with him while climbing throughout New Mexico, on Colorado 14ers and in Bolivia

A decade ago when Bryan had a dream for opening a climbing gym, many laughed
Bryan was not deterred
I believe he listened to an inner voice, one that is both gentle and strong
The voice of a dreamer and a visionary
The voice that guided him to where he is today
The voice of inspiration, truth, honesty, and beauty
The voice of stewardship for our public lands
The voice so many of us think about, yet few are brave enough to follow

Indeed as corny as it may sound, he is a role model for me
Looking at what he has accomplished, learning much from his modesty and generosity
Gave me the confidence to finally listen to my own inner voice, get real, and pursue a lifestyle that follows my own dreams.

When I decided that I would devote myself to being a mountain guide, many laughed
I was not deterred because I have a strong role model….Bryan
Today, I work for the Colorado Mountain School and the Boulder Rock Club
Listening to that inner voice

In the circle of life this has great significance because now my daughter sees the impact of how living your dreams affects, not only your own lifestyle, but also that of others. She will choose wisely and have the freedom to send her light out into the world

Like Bryan, she is a caring, compassionate, community-minded person, sending her light out into the world, helping others along the way, and staying connected with the beauty in our natural world.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vedauwoo - rough cut #2

After much frame wrestling with limited RAM....this second cut just wouldn't budge in the directions I'd intended. While editing raw footage in iMovie can be done quick and dirty - it has its limitations.

If you choose to view the clip, Craig's sidewinder demo is a trip! For all you folks "hooked on crack" - give the "sidewinder" a try. Conserves energy like no other crack climbing technique I've tried.

Pull down hard and keep on climbin!

cheers, ~jilly

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Argentine Tango: The Heart of Dance

Recently, I met and took dance classes with Argentine Tango artists Deb Sclar and Brian Dunn of Dance of the Heart. Naturally I was a bit nervous arriving at their studio for the first time. Would I be an utter clod tripping over my partner’s toes? Would it be safe to yield myself to American men as dance partners? Would it be ok for me to be smart and attractive at the same time? Would they laugh at my film project?

Much to my surprise, I did more than survive the evening. I met wonderful people, made genuine connections, and was accepted as a filmmaker. Learning the Tango basics, I also discovered the art of Tango resides as much inside yourself, as it does within your partner. The key to Tango is your heart connection…..can you go there?

For such an uptight society, (in the US) it’s a miracle there are any Tango dancers at all. To walk into a studio, meet new people, and instantly heart connect with them – wow! I dare all of you to try it! It’s a rare and yummy experience, like no other.

For a decade, Deb and Brian have Tangoed their way around the world. These two embody the beauty of Tango itself. Watching them together is like witnessing two people melt into, through, and around one another.

To learn more about Deb and Brian check out their web site at Dance of the Heart.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Squeeze Crack Girl

Guerilla filmmaking is something my daughter and I enjoy doing together. We’ve gotten in the habit of filming our travels and adventures. This clip shows some of the squeeze crack Alison wiggled through.

She’s racking up a list of unusual skills. In addition to being adept at operating a complex camera, she knows how to live out of a car, hail a cab, find her way around an airport, and live her dreams.

If you are a filmmaker drop us a line. If you’d like to share a comment about one of our films .... or meet to collaborate on one of our projects, just drop us an email by clicking the profil –link at the left of this blog entry and then clicking on the email link.

Cheers, ~jilly

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gym Jones

Taking my training to a new level, I’ve integrated Gym Jones routines into my workouts. If you do them right you’ll feel like puking…..kinda gross and kinda cool at the same time.

When asked by my daughter what I did for a workout today….I answered: jumped, pulled stuff, lifted stuff and then puked. These routines are royally kicking my ass….and making me stronger.

If you are an athlete consider checking out Gym Jones happy training!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Open Studios: Boulder Colorado

This weekend, Alison’s homework included visits to artists’ studios.

The Annual Open Studios event is not to be missed. Basically the community is invited to experience a unique behind-the-scenes look into the lives and creations of local artists.

We discovered loads of impressive and evocative works right in our own neighborhood. We also learned that these artists enjoy traveling as much as we do. With hands-on activities, raffle drawings, and lively conversation both kids and adults will be enthralled.

The Open Studios tours run for two consecutive weekends. If you missed out this weekend, you still have two more days to experience the magic of these gifted artists.

Click here for more information

Cheers, ~jilly

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Swirlie African Dress: Denver Art Museum

Sketchbooks and colored pencils in-hand, we decided to checkout the Denver Art Museum.

The Hamilton Building is a welcome variance to Denver’s homogenized stepford-wife-esque suburban architorture. It’s good to know there are people creating structures that challenge us to experience space and ourselves in a new light.

I suppose in some respects the museum is like other institutions that guard artifacts or things of value. There were plenty of white people milling around and security guards silently watching over "the valuables".

While the interior space screams for more energy, in terms of people laughing, having fun, holding hands, or even “performance art” taking place…what we experienced were paintings and sculpture swallowed and fully eclipsed by the architectural space itself.

The slanted walls and open galleries of the Hamilton Building are L-A-R-G-E enough to house works of massive scale. Perhaps jaded from our travels, we found the pieces on display from the modern art collection “ho-hum”.

Our visit was not a total loss. After blowing through the galleries we immersed ourselves in the multi-sensory African Art exhibit. Inspired by the swirlie dance dress, we made sketches of it and created new designs for our very own fantasy gown collection.

The Denver Art Museum is worth a visit… more than one.
Cheers, ~jilly

Monday, October 1, 2007

Vedauwoo, Wyoming

Vedauwoo, Wyoming
Medicine Bow National Forest
Sept 28, 2007

Thanks for stopping by. This short video clip provides a snapshot into our latest adventure. We plan to create a “long-play” video which will be available soon.

With the irresistible urge for road trippin’ I packed the car early and we headed up to Wyoming – Vedauwoo to be exact. What we found was a warm welcome from our extended family and plenty of rock, going at all grades.

Windy Wyoming is an alluring place of endless open space. It is home to miles of snowfences, antelope, PBRs, whirly-gigs (wind turbines), oil derricks, and the friendliest down-home people you’ll ever meet.

The advantage of climbin’ the woo in autumn, is that the cool temps make your body armor bearable. Armor you ask? Yup. You’ll want to stock up on tape and thrift store clothing to shield your body from the ferociousness of the stone. It’ll shred even the hardiest crack-meisters. This is a place where blowing a move can very likely mean a trip to your local plastic surgeon.

We played on the Nautilus formation then went over to the lower crags for full-on exploration and bouldering. As some tested their mettle on The Warden ( 5.13- V7) and others took a whack at Life Without Parole (5.11d V4)….Alison and I slithered through the narrow sidewinder gallery to a room we called “The Jailhouse”. Once there we bouldered on up and over to a rock formation we named “The Alien”. Mike, Bart, and “company” gave us bouldering pointers. Craig gave us an offwidth climbing clinic….and then we put ourselves into motion on the rocks.

Our cast of characters:

Mike Alkaitis, Joe Vallone, Craig Luebben, Bart Paull, EJ Nogaski, Kevin Bains, Sarah Pancoast, Mark Hammond, Todd Reeves, Jill Salva and Alison Salva.

Given its close proximity to Boulder, the adventure of Vedauwoo is definitely worth checking out for both climbers and non-climbers. One could spend endless hours enjoying the scenery, spinning yarns around camp or painting, drawing, skipping and slithering among the crystal giants.

Carpe Diem!