Casual Friday in Boulder Canyon

A couple of weeks back I did some work for an amazing organization, Peaks Foundation. Through the event I connected with Jenn Flemming, a local climber, who has has made astonishing ascents around the world. I was able to spend a day with her, Jill Wheeler and my friend Katie in Boulder Canyon, getting in some trad routes before Jenn’s move back east.

JGP_8643-2Jill Wheeler and Jenn Flemming rack up for The Gill Crack, 5.12a, Boulder Canyon.

JGP_8663Jenn and Jill getting psyched.

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Jenn half way up The Gill Crack.

 

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Favorite Instagram Feeds

Over the past two years Instagram has really blown up, even more so if you primarly follow within a certain genre or activity (i.e. climbing, surfing, etc.). You start to realize the communities in which we live and breath are actually quite small and everyone knows everyone, almost. For me, moving to Colorado has opened up so many doors and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing and talented individuals. I’ll often get asked by those new to Instagram who are some great people to follow. Well, I decided to put together a little list of my top 5 favorite feeds, in no particular order. Some are friends and others are talented shooters whom I’ve known about since I was young. Hope you take joy in their creative take on the Instagram medium.

 

@brookegaynes aka Brooke Froelich Gaynes 

When I’m in the mood for some fun ski shots or great trail running sunsets, this is what I look forward to. A Utah gal, Brooke is an all around go-getter; from climbing to skiing her feed continues to push and inspire.

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@conrad_anker aka Conrad Anker

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Conrad is an active member of various organizations such as Protect Our Winters, the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation and an athlete for The North Face. His all around care for nature and the climbing community has in some way touched all of us who climb. He is someone to look up to and learn from, as well as respect. His feed often features intimate stories of close friends or partners who have made great accomplishments in their fields as well as promoting change in the way we go about our daily lives to better the planet and ourselves.

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@moore_rachel aka Rachel Moore Shankle 

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From sailing to climbing, Rachel gets it done. I always look to her feed for an amazing variety of adventure. I’m always impressed by women who get after it and dive into sports and activities that others leave to the “pros.” A quick look through her feed will amaze you, diving with whale sharks, desert climbing and more… a list that puts most men to shame. So when you’re in the mood for a wide variety, check her feed out, it won’t let you down.

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@yamashitaphoto aka Michael Yamashita

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Michael Yamashita has been contributing to National Geographic as well as other recognized magazines for well over 30 years. He has an amazing eye for capturing people and iconic images centered around Asia and famous travelers. His images have captivated me for many years now and his work continues to inspire me everyday.

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 @pedromcbride aka Pete McBride

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Pete is another Nat Geo photographer who has one hell of an eye for water related activities. Contributing to a host of magazines, his work has been admired around the world. He takes his images from the highest peaks to the depths of the sea.

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Pura Vida! (The Photos)

Another trip to Latin America in the books, Costa Rica. This was my second time there, the first was business, this was pleasure. It was an amazing time catching up with friends, hanging with the locals and climbing some new crags in the mountains. Here’s a quick look at the trip, a full story will be coming soon!

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-Heather Porpiglia near the town of San Marcos.

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-A blind man plays guitar on the corner of Plaza de la Cultura, downtown San Jose. In between rain showers, he would shuffle his chair around and continue to play for handouts.

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-La Paz waterfalls. Heather Porpiglia and Kathy Lomel get close and personal. The shear size, depth and location of this waterfall is beyond compare.

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-The wife of a local woodworker and one of their many dogs near Jaco.

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-I sat and listened to these locals for quite awhile in downtown Quepos.

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-Heather Porpiglia and Paloma Filloy topping out on The Chimney on Pico Blanco, Escazu.

Rainy Days In The Creek

What does one do when you’re in Indian Creek to climb for 4 days but the weather is bad? Stock up on fire wood from other camps, drink, scope out new routes, drink, talk, eat… and maybe drink some more. A couple weeks back I was in The Creek with Pamela Pack and Pat Kingsbury to shoot some projects they’ve been working on… well that didn’t exactly happen. Here’s a quick look at the long weekend.

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Pat Kingsbury heading back to the car after a hike in some snow storms.

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Pat Kingsbury and Pamela Pack heading up to the rim to check out some potential routes.

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Strolling around.

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One of the few climbing shots I got, Pamela Pack on Decreation 5.12.

New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington

Year and year over New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington makes the cut for one of the deadliest mountains in the world. It’s not big, its not really that steep; so what makes it so deadly?

Hailing from Pennsylvania, I didn’t have 14,000 ft peaks in my back yard. We had upstate New York and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There were many weekends of packing the car tight and hitting the road for 9 or 10 hours to get to New Hampshire, it was always an adventure though. I’ve been on Mt. Washington 7 or 8 times over the course of 3 years, only summiting twice. Here’s a look at what makes it so deadly and why I have so much respect for that mountain.

The Stats

  • Elevation: 6,288ft
  • 135+ deaths since 1849
  • Average Year Round Temp. 27.2° F.
  • Average Wind Speed (Annual) 35mph
  • Highest Wind Speed 231mph
  • Most deaths are attributed to; exposure to the cold, wetness and wind; falls down steep slopes and avalanches.

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Heather Porpiglia looks into Tuckerman Ravine, January 2013.

My Trip(s)

After being on the mountain multiple times, I’ll note my most extreme; New Years week 2012.

Long time friend Joe Lockwood and I set out for a summit bid for New Years. After the overnight drive to NH, we logged into the ranger station and set out. We intended to head into Tuckerman Ravine, however got off course and ended up on the south end of the ravine heading up near the Boot Spur Trail. We reached treeline somewhere around 3pm and dropped back down 100ft or so to set up camp in the trees and out of the wind. The snow had been coming down all day, making visibility poor. We weren’t very sure of our location, so after eating we figured a rough plan for the morning and crawled into our sacks.

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Joe Lockwood wakes at 3am in -15° F temps for our summit bid, January 2012.

3am came very quick, waking up I looked at my thermometer, which registered at -15° F. We set out in winds and snow and quickly broke through tree line. With a steep face in front of us, we went south around a ridge and up a chute packed with snow. On reaching the ridge, the clouds broke, the sun came up and the wind died. It was perfect. 15 minutes later that all changed. A northern front was moving in and the winds picked up; slowly at first but becoming more aggressive. We made it about another 3/4 of a mile when my left eye froze shut (with goggles on). With winds so strong that we were knocked over, we had to bail into the ravine and get off the mountain. It was about 45 minutes in the deep snow till we were back into the base of the ravine and in the shelter of the trees.

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Joe Lockwood taking a look at where we are, somewhere near the Boot Spur Trail, January 2012.

We didn’t make the summit and upon reaching the ranger station and the base of the mountain, we found that winds had peaked at 85-90mph and temps dropped well down near -40° F with the wind chill. I learned a lot from that trip, what I could take, what I needed to bring and that sometimes we need to turn back and say no.

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Heather Porpiglia and James Drogalis head down the mountain after another failed summit attempt, January 2013.

 

 

photographer // writer

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