Monday, July 25, 2016

Suddenly Summer - 2016

Hello everyone!  Thank you for joining me here, yet again.

My last entry for this project and blog was actually winter of last year, after attempting the areas around Reno.  Unfortunately, that was one of Reno's coldest years. I waited for it to warm up and then I attempted to go back by way of Vegas first. In February of this year, I was actually able to make live electronic music and film it in desert areas around Vegas: Red Rock Canyon, Valley Of Fire, Hoover Damn and even the solar farm. It all came out great, and those tracks and videos are all pending release (just like the multitude of other tracks and locations that I'll be lucky if I ever tackle within a decent time frame). Regardless,Vegas was a success.  However, Vegas actually ended up taking so long that I ran out of free time and finally had to return to Los Angeles for my obligations there. This has left Reno still pending, along with many other locations--but it's coming.

Also, I'm not sure if you remember, but last fall I had summitted Mt. St. Helens three times within a two week period, and I was getting ready to post some videos about it, showcasing the footage of the event(s). Stand by on that; it's coming first actually, as a priority. My apologies on the delay. It really was a successful operation, yielding some truly great music at the crater rim, including my cover version of the Tangerine Dream song Horizon.

However, summer crept up very quickly, and all of a sudden, my window to climb Mt. Hood was upon me this month. mid-July is what all of the guides have told me, for years, is the cutoff to climb Hood safely. I was already a couple of weeks late, so I went for it as quick as possible over this last weekend.  I took a plane here three nights ago and rented a car. I made an attempt on Hood two nights ago, Saturday, with a climbing partner I met through Cascade Climbers. He made it to the top, but unfortunately, I didn't.

It turns out I was not nearly acclimatized enough, and I had lost too much sleep to be strong enough to go very far at all. What kills me is that I actually did make a lot of time over the last three months to train in Malibu and the Santa Monica mountains with a 50 pound pack. But that's in LA, a completely opposite climate. Amazing to me. It always seems to be something. In one sense, I suppose this failed attempt should not be news, but I've gotten myself together enough for other summits, so it's all just the pace and pattern for this project now. It has been roughly 4 years since I last attempted any Cascade mountain other than St. Helens, and I live at sea level in Los Angeles, so of course I was asking for trouble on Hood. 

I had to turn back not even one thousand feet up, the gain for Hood being well over five thousand from the Timberline trailhead to the summit. Not only that, but mountain guides told me the best time to climb is actually May and June, which conflicts with info I had gotten from guides back in 2011, saying that July was the best. And most were fretting about rock fall this time of year, but my climbing partner the other day stated that clearly the steep shoots and crevasses were the only risk up there, and that there was no rock fall. A bit of a mess as far as strait answers go.  I'm not sure what that's all about, but I guess it's nothing out-of-the-ordinary for The Summit Music Project.

I may have lost my last window to climb Hood this year, because it gets massively dangerous up there now, due to crevasse exposure and steep slope exposure. However, I will indeed be coming back in a few weeks to attempt Mt. Rainier.  I know--steep ambition gradient between the two, but I still have a safe chance with Rainier, so I have to take it.

More soon.


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