Thursday, December 18, 2008

Unemployed? No Problem...Go Climb Something Huge!

So, its been a long couple of weeks and a while since I have posted. The past few weeks have been life changing. How you ask?

I was laid off from my job at Starwood Hotels last Tuesday night after 3.5 years there in interactive and loyalty marketing. (On a side note, any jobs out there, let me know!!!!!).

It was quite a blow but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was somewhat expecting it.

In any case, I am fine and have some time before I have to find "a" job, as opposed to "a good" job. So what to do, what to do? First of all, I ate. Pretty much whatever I could find. I started talking to people and decided its the perfect time to get into shape, so starting next week, its exercise time. When we get back from vaca, its off to the gym and maybe even a trainer.

Someone suggested, "why not go climbing, something big"? The theory was a potential employer might love to hear, "well, I can't start next week since I will be climbing in the andes". So that's what I am working on. A trip to Ecuador to climb some amalgamation of volcanoes like Cotopaxi, in the photo above. I will start blogging again because a) I have nothing but time, b) I enjoy it, c) i can update on exercise and d) it will be fun to update on Ecuador planning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Loos with Views and an Update on Me

I am pretty dull lately. A lot of work and time at home. I did go to Vegas a few weeks ago for work but that is as exciting as it gets for me lately. We are trying to figure out next climbs. Possibly Shasta or some place like that in Feb or March for this years winter climb, and then probably Baker again in the summer, maybe through Summit for Someone.

I have been hiking lately, with my 30 lb or so pack. Its great to get out and now I have all the gear for cold weather hiking. I have been hiking a lot in Ridgefiield, trying not to get overly fat and complacent.

Oh, and my most exciting news is that the book with my photo from the toilet on Baker finally came out. Its called a Loo with a View and is available at Amazon. Its written by Luke Barclay. Click on the link on the title to go to the Amazon page. I am the last page of the book where you are asked to send in your photos.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Two things. First of all, I FINALLY lost a toe nail today. Scroll down and you will see a previous post that shoes a photo of the big toe on my left foot after Rainier. Thats NOT the one I lost. I lost the one on the big toe of the right foot.

Second of all, we are trying to plan the next climb. We are discussing Baker in the summer, me, Keith, Jay and Mark. We came across Have you ever heard of it? You climb mountains, and raise money for inner city youth to experience the great outdoors. Pretty cool. We are thinking about it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Long Time

I haven't blogged in a while mostly because I haven't had anything to do with climbing since the successful summit of Rainier.

I have mostly sat around, not exercising and eating everything possible. I am trying to figure out what to climb next, whether its in the winter or the summer.

Mt. Baker looks like next summer with some of the Rainier crew, but we are also discussing a winter climb of Shasta or somewhere else like it. Who knows.

Boring post, but at least I did it!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some Random Things I learned on Rainier

  1. Bring a pee bottle
  2. Never blue bag when you can use an outhouse, even if you have to smell of it for a while
  3. Always bring an iPod
  4. Cram and Jam
  5. Where boots extremely loose
  6. Rent boots that are too big so your toes don't look like mine at the end
  7. Mini bagels are of no use on Rainier, especially a bag of 12
  8. Use the stairs in Mt Rainier National Park to train to climb Rainier
  9. Go up and down in style
  10. Always send OK messages from your SPOT on the way down or risk the wrath of your wife and mother in law
  11. No matter what you do, you will hurt for a week after!

Day 3 - The Descent - 8/11/08

We left Columbia Crest and headed back to the crater for a quick snack and water break. Then the descent. OY!

JJs team left first and then we headed out after they were already gone. I think Stuart wanted to catch them as our pace down made our pace up look like we had been sleeping. We ran down that MOFO! We met up with JJ on top of the cleaver which we were NOT excited about descending. Luckily, Stuart realized the shoulder of the Cleaver would be much less scary so we descended that way. But, we saw EVERYTHING that we didn't see on the way up! Much scarier when you can see it!

Stuart had me lead through the Cleaver and all was fine until I made a decision but it wasn't the right one. Eventually we got back on track and Stuart took the lead. We made it through the Cleaver, ran through the Ice Fall and made it back to high camp. 20 minutes to pack our gear that we left, and we roped up and headed back over Cathedral Gap into Camp Muir and the kitchen tent. I was dripping in sweat as I had on my helmet and soft shell too. We drank a ton, said goodbye to JJ who stayed there, and started to descend the snow field. The day was incredible! Perfect blue sky, no wind.

So, the snow field. I think I hate John Muir and his f'ing snow field. It was warm and slushy, so every step became a slide and a fall with a 50 pound pack on. I fell at least 15 times, no joke. I was one of the last to the group but we met up and continued down. On the way down, Stuart saw the person who had set the speed record on Everest (10.5 hours from base camp to summit and back) who is going for the Rainier record this week. We were too tired to talk to him and just stayed where we were. Ultimately, after lots of slush, sliding and bitching, we made it to Pebble Creek (7200 feet) for our last break. Thats when the fun started. My big toes started to kill as they kept jamming into the front of the boots. From Pebble Creek down is all stairs and steep downhills to the parking lot. I felt my legs just stop. I was the last one down by a lot, but I did get down! Meaghan was a big help and walked down with me for a bit. When I got to the parking lot, it took me 5 minutes to take off my wool socks, no joke.

We took the van to longmire to check out, used the bathrooms and drank a ton of water. My butt was soaking from the falls on the snowfield, soft shell pants are NOT waterproof!

Big discussion over Whittakers vs Copper Kettle for lunch and Stuart won out and we went to Copper Kettle. Burgers and Beers were awesome, and a lot of discussion around vulcanologists, where people would climb next, and Meaghan's veggie burger with bacon and coffee and a beer. Keith had an old fashioned BlackBerry milkshake, whatever that is. We went to Whittaker to return some rental stuff and saw Ed Viestures there, pretty cool. We drove back to Seattle (which felt like it took forever) and de-issued our gear. I went with Mark to the Westin, checked in, cleaned up and had a drink with him. I ordered a pizza, ate it in bed, and passed out.

Day 3 - Summit Day - 8/11/08

So, we "go horizontal" at about 4 pm to rest up for the big summit push. Mark claims I tried to snuggle but I dispute that. As mentioned in a previous post, I had to pee about 30 minutes into my bag and held it in for almost 8 hours until 12:30 am when they woke us up. I have to admit, part of me was hoping, due to the wind, that they might not let us go. I am glad they did!

We packed what we needed for the summit push and left the rest (sleeping bags, food, etc) in the tent to pick up on the descent. We had our hot drinks in the kitchen, and I had a couple of breakfast bars. It was very windy but very clear. The stars were amazing.

We roped up and started climbing. The route would take us through an ice fall first, where we sped through, and onto the dreaded Disappointment Cleaver. We made it to the Cleaver and WOW! It was the scariest thing that I have climbed. We had crampons on, and were climbing on boulders, scree, loose rocks, all in the dark with sheer drops on both sides. The climb was very solitary, no chatting at all. and thats not like me! We were short roped, 4 to a rope. I did wonder how more people don't fall or get hurt, but, amazingly, no one did. We were all thrilled when it ended, but worried about descending through it. We took a "10 minute" break, which I am convinced never lasted for 10 minutes, put our parkas on and off, and headed out again. We kept climbing up the glacier with tons of switchbacks and some pretty steep sections. One foot after the other in dark and wind. I used a lot of footwork techniques; duck walk, 12-3, cross overs and did a lot of power breathing to counteract the altitude.

My legs were fine but I started to worry about my ability to descend. At high break, I expressed my concern to Stuart. I loved the response. "You have 3 minutes (than 2, than 1) to decide if you are commiting to continue up or not." No, "you can do it, you are doing great" or any coaching, just pure, cold, facts.

I continued on. I took an espresso lovers GU pack (2X the caffeine!) and felt fine. Tons more switchbacks and steeps on the way up. My favorite piece had gaping crevasses on the right (with ladders and protection, just in case) and a 50 degree snow slope to the left that dropped off after 30 feet or so and a 2 foot wide path! Yikes! Still pretty cool though.

Around 5:30 or so, JJ on the first rope team said "Congratulations, you are about to summit Rainier". WOOO WOOOO WOOO!!!!! Amazing feeling as we came over the lip into the crater. I almost started to cry. This was 2 years in the making and I made it! The crater was bathed in the pink light of sunrise and was gorgeous! We dropped our stuff and a few of us headed across the crater to Columbia Crest, the true summit (I felt fine now). We walked across the crater and signed the register of summiteers. We then hiked up the rocks onto the snow and the ridge to the top. the wind was pretty strong but nothing would deter us. The view was incredible. Mt Adams, Hood, St. Helens and a ton of other mountains. Beautiful sunrise and we were above the clouds. We took a lot of pictures and descended the ridge back to the group and the crater.

And now a break in the story to discuss BLUE BAGs

OK, so, Blue Bags. Since mountains are generally pristine, the goal is now to Leave No Trace and pack out whatever you pack in. Yes, that means that too. If you poop it, you bag it and pack it. Before the trip, we were given blue bags. We were instructed to use them to poop in if there were no toilets or outhouses. So, in Camp Muir, we were all obsessed with the concept of pooping as often as possible so as to not have to either poop at high camp in the "shelter", or to have to unclip from your rope and poop on a completely exposed glacier on Summit day. So, we all pooped as often as possible in the most foul outhouses ever. I almost gagged and barfed after my first trip to the out house. The best part was how the smell stayed in your clothes for hours after. Suffice it to say, I timed my poops perfectly and never had to use a blue bag. Amazingly, no one on our climb blue bagged. I wonder if thats a record?

Day 2 - Camp Muir and High Camp - 8/10/08

We woke up in the hut after a protected night from the wind and horizontally blowing snow. Some people, who shall go nameless, peed in special water bottles that are dedicated to pee so they don't have to leave their sleeping bags. I am not that smart, but I will be next time! YES, there will be a next time!

JJ woke us up around 6:30, we packed up our stuff and headed over to the kitchen tent for breakfast.

In the kitchen tent, they made us blueberry pancakes, sausages and hot drinks. This was certainly a first class climb! They also told us to poop as much as possible so we wouldn't have to blue bag it. After breakfast, and the obligatory bowel evacuation, we went to snow school to practice cramponing, ice axe, rope team and footwork routines. We ate our pre-summit meal of Pasta with Pesto, roped up, and proceeded to cross the Cowlitz Glacier en route to our high camp at Ingraham Flats at 11,100 feet. the climb across the glacier was easy although there was a threat of rockfall. After the Cowlitz, we reached Cathedral Gap, an area that was all loose stones and scree. Not fun! Very difficult to get a foot hold and we slid a lot. Little did we realize that it was a precursor of Disappointment Cleaver. We reached high camp which was incredible. Great views of the summit, Little Tahoma (3rd highest peak in Washington) and Disappointment Cleaver. We met for hot drinks in the "kitchen" and got our summit briefing after we picked our tents. Mark and I tented together. Being honest, i was nervous and went through a period where I questioned why I was doing this and if this would be my last climb. Really, the only part that got me nervous was the prospect of climbing the Cleaver in the dark at 1:30 in the morning. The team was strong with no weak links, so we went to our tents to "go horizontal" and rest at 4 expecting to be woken up at 12:30 am or so. Of course, 30 minutes into my sleeping bag and I had to pee. I held it in for almost 8 hours!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 1 - Up to Camp Muir - 8/9/08

I met Mark in the lobby of the Sheraton Seattle at 5;20 to cab over to Alpine Ascents. We met up with the rest of the group, loaded our gear into the back of the van, and headed up to Ashford, WA, kind of the gateway for Mt. Rainier National Park. We stopped for breakfast and coffee at the Whittaker Bunkhouse, a place where climbers stay started by the Whittakers, famous climbers. We had breakfast there and bonded with the group some more. I hung out with Keith (who decided that week to go climb something -- if only i was in that kind of shape!), Jay and Mark. We made sure to use the toilet as we had no idea what was waiting for us later in the day. After bathroom, last minute gear rentals, and breakfast, we headed up to the Paradise Lodge to gear up and start moving. It was pretty crowded in the lodge with climbers getting ready and tourists incredulous that climbers were getting ready! We spoke to some nice people, filled water bottles, put on boots, gators, etc and got ready. Of course, one of my trekking poles broke but luckily AA (Alpine Ascents) found me a spare.

We started our hike. I soon realized, this was ALL going to be uphill, until the summit! The hike and park are gorgeous. Wild flowers, snow fields, green meadows, glaciers, waterfalls and views of Rainier everywhere. On the way up, John the guide and I discussed the merits of Team America vs. Anchorman.

About an hour in we took our first break. We ate, drank, and learned some basic footwork tips. The break ended and we hit the Muir snowfield. Overall, the hike to Camp Muir was about 5 hours, 5,000 vertical feet and extremely monotonous. All of us had altimeter watches (all about the gear). You couldn't see anything as we were in a white out condition. The hike was literally one step after the next up the snow field. The only thing that kept us going was a peaking Rainier through the clouds once in a while and a desire for the snow field white out piece to end.

At Muir (10,000 feet), we got to stay in a hut share by RMI and AA/IMG. The weather turned while we were there. It was highly windy and even snowing for a while. When it was clear out, it was incredible. Most of the time was in the hut. We ate in it and slept in it. I slept on the second level platform between Mark and John. We ate well, chicken quesadillas, hot drinks, and some moldy brownies. Stuart joined us (another guide) and gave us tips, and outlined the following two days for us. I used the outhouse which almost made me barf. Got into my bag, got ready to sleep, joked around with Mark and Keith and of course, then had to go pee. Oh the inhumanity!

Start of the Climb - The Gear Check - 8/8/08

So, the gear check is the beginning of the climb where the guide runs through the entire equipment list, tells you whats really needed and gives tips on what to bring and what sizes to wear. For example, JJ, our lead guide, told us to get boots that were way too big so they didn't hurt your toes on the descent. Guess who ignored that one and paid the price? Hence the heinous big toes!

Mark missed his flight so wasnt there for the check. I was introduced to some of the team, Kurt, Freeman, Tim, Jay, John. The gear check lasted for about 2.5 hours and was extremely thorough and very valuable. Of course, i realized everything that I forgot as well. I picked up all of my rental gear, boots, ice axe, crampons, helmet, bag pad (which I gave back), and got my blue bags (more later) and my Alpine Ascents TShirt!

I ended up bringing way too much stuff and food so I took a lot out. The stuff I left, and I gave Mark half the food since he wouldnt be able to shop. JJ gave some great tips which were repeated throughout, power breathing, rest stepping, eating and drinking and to overall, take care of our selves. That was our primary responsibility. I went back to the hotel and watched the opening ceremonies (amazing) from the bar at the Daily Grill next to a bunch of drunk women from Alaska who were in town for craft and quilting shows.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mt. Rainier Climb Video - Stills

Video made from all my still photos of Rainier using iMovie.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Slide show of Mt. Rainier Climb

Mt. Rainier Climb Video August 2008

Video of our just completed summit of Mt. Rainier. Blog postings to come soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

So it begins. outside alpine ascents post gear check.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ready or not, here I come

So, one week from today, I will be waking up from probably a lousy sleep at Camp Muir on Rainier. Do I care about the lousy sleep? Not at all!!!!

I am SOOOOOO excited! I have come to realize lately, that for me to truly disconnect from the world for any period of time, i need to go to remote places that focus all of my attentions on myself and my surroundings. So, does the thought of no blackberry, no cell phone, no laptop, no email, no IM, no meetings, no documents, no kids, no wife, no dogs, no house, no mortgage for 3 days sound appealing? YOU BET YOUR PATOOTIE!

I have been excersizing a fair amount between hockey, treadmill on an incline and hiking, but the only way to determine if I am really ready is to go and climb the bad boy. I am off to LA tomorrow, then on to Seattle. If all goes well, one week and one day from now I should be descending from the summit of Rainier. I am not a religious man at all, but will take all of the support that I can get on this one! Stay tuned for updates as I can send them.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend Wonderland

So, I can't blog about work as people from work read my blog on occassion. Therefore, lets talk Hockey and Hiking, and things that start with "H".

Last night, we had our second, big, Yellow Jackets game in 3 nights. Last night was against the Panthers. Two of our best players got thrown out really early. We only had 7 to begin with, so once they got thrown out we were down to 5 plus a goalie. What does that mean you might ask? It means that the 5 of us played the entire game with no rest at all. It was pretty exhausting. My back was killing me.

So I slept for 5 hours and then drove the wife and kids to the airport. I got home, and being the idiot that I am, went for a 2 hour hike. Needless to say, my body is not very happy with me right now. But, I am climbing Rainier in 2 weeks from today (WOW!!!!!) so I have no excuse to not work out. Am I in shape for it? Who knows. I hope so. Only the Mountain will be able to tell me for sure.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Work, Work, Work and TRAINING

So, all work and no play makes Burt a dull boy. I have been working a ton lately trying to keep up with all that is going on. That being said, its only 27 days until i start the climb on Rainier. ARGH!!!!!!!!

So, I am training in my free time. The pack is up to about 47 pounds with weights and a full camel back. I went out for two hours yesterday around Hemlock Hills near my house, as its the hilliest area around with some steep sections. I played hockey friday night, hiked for 2 hours on saturday, and hiked the treadmill for an hour today.

While hiking the treadmill, I played Grand Theft Auto IV. Anyone played it? Pretty wild. I opted not to kick the guy off the roof, although I have certainly gunned down and driven over my fare share of pedestrians! Pretty wild game, the graphics are great. I also just finished Call of Duty 4, which might have been my favorite video game that I have ever played. The multi player is awesome also even though I tend to survive for only a few minutes.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Burts Famous -- well actually his toilet photo is

So, funny story. I am on Facebook, duh. One day I get an email from a chap who asks about my photo, the one to the left for a book he is writing.

Of course I don't trust him and ask him to prove who he is. He works for the BBC, is British, and is writing a book and wants my photo of a LOO! He checks out and tells me he will get back to me if I make it in.

I just found out. I made it in! I am a professional photographer now!

I will put the title and link in when the book comes out. I haven't signed over the movie rights yet, so if you are interested, let me know.

Onward and Upward

Wow, long time no post. Its been a while but I am back in the saddle and training for Rainier. Everything I do, I do it for you...just kidding (shout out to Bryan Adams). Everything I do, I do with a 40 lb pack. Whats in it? All my gear PLUS a 10 lb dumbbell (my 7 year olds favorite word).

I am hiking as often as possible on weekends, and during the week, playing hockey, doing stairmaster and treadmill on highest level with my pack on.

So, why no posting? I have a new area of responsibility now. I don't usually blog about work, but I work for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (can I get props for using the trademark correctly?) lead a team of people responsible for brand interactive marketing, website initiatives and call center strategy. In addition to that team, I am now leading the Marketing for Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) our loyalty program. So, needless to say, I have been busy. Very busy!

But, that doesn't put my climbing ambitions aside, I just have to work harder to realize them now.

Anyone know of any good soft shell pants?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Scott Waxenberg is the greatest husband ever -- or, What Shmoopie has told me

T Shirt ideas for our New Company:

  1. If you can't bag it, fuck it!
  2. Fuck it or bag it
  3. Got Bark?
  4. Designed by Tim
  5. Eisenhower sucks (bites, is a jerk...)
  6. Jackson Rules
  7. Paper, plastic bag with Steve (ask Scott)
  8. Peak baggers do it multiple times

Who is better than Scott Waxenberg -- or, how do I get the shit smell out of my clothes after using a composting outhouse

More Randomness:

  1. Scott learned about the sound of rain on a tent and its non corrolation to the strength of the rain shower outside the tent
  2. We woke up at 5:45 and I made everyone go back to sleep, finally waking up at 8
  3. Scott had to use the outhouse twice in the dark
  4. Grey jays are beggar birds

Scott Waxenberg is God - Or, don't climb 75 degree slopes wearing snow shoes

More Random Thoughts:

  1. Not sure what kind of president Pierce was, but his mountain rocks!
  2. Scott Waxenberg don't need no stinkin' snowshoes
  3. If you fall into a deep hole wearing snowshoes, its help to have Steve Nishiro there with a snow shovel to dig you out
  4. Climbing 7 hours a day for 2 days is hard
  5. Peanut Butter sandwiches are nature's perfect food
  6. I hate Eisenhower
  7. There are a lot of peaks and knobs now named after Dillon
  8. I fell in Moose shit
  9. My sleeping bag could keep a family of Inuits warm for a year in theArctic -- a little too much for 40 degree weather!
  10. It rained on Sunday

Scott Waxenberg is awesome - or, don't fall in moose poop and rinse your hand in icy cold streams

Random thoughts from NH:

  1. Thank god we had a 2 person tent big enough for one person
  2. It was beautiful -- around 40 degrees.  we were well prepared with sleeping bags rated to -20
  3. Sara rocks!  She set us up from the EMS office in NH.  She is, in essence, the Russell Brice of the Presidentials.
  4. Scott drew WAY too many parallels to Brokeback mountain and Deliverance, but he truly loves his smoochie (I had to say that)
  5. Nothing tastes better than Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki and Chili spiced Ramen noodels from foil bags
  6. With all due respect to President Eisenhower, his namesake mountain SUCKS
  7. We were going to get there but weather set in and Eisenhower mocked us.  BASTARD

Scott Waxenberg is my hero, or what I learned in the Presidentials April 2008

So, where to begin.  This post is way overdue but work has been insane lately and unfortunately, i have had no time at all to post.

Mark, unfortunately, never made it to NH.  He was stuck in O'Hare for 11 hours.  Ergo, the dedication of these posts to him.  The irony is that Mark is truly my climbing partner, although Scott is coming on strong, and of the three trips we have planned, we have only climbed together once!

So, what follows will be a number of random thoughts from the NH trip distributed across an equal number of random posts.

Peak Bagging in the Presidentials NH, April 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

From Mountain to Great Big Mountain

The odyssey that is this week begins! Tomorrow, its off to Scottsdale Arizona for the Freddie awards, the penultimate awards show for travel loyalty programs. GO SPG!!!!!!!!!!!

While there, we have an event with an agency where we will have a healthy breakfast and then go hike up camelback mountain. Fun!

On Friday, after a hopefully hugely successful night (GO SPG!!!!!! -- did I already say that?) i get on a flight at 7:35 am and fly through Cleveland to Manchester NH on Continental. I then rent a car, drive 2 hours and get to North Conway NH at about 8:30.

Saturday morning, we meet at EMS, plan the weekend, hike in and camp below tree line overnight. Sunday, we wake up and go PEAK BAGGING!

This time, I will be smarter and not drive home sunday night, but I will head to the best nacho place ever where we had brisket nachos last year. Wax and I then drive home on Monday.

What a week!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A psychological look at the amassment (is that a word??) of gear

First of all, I have no idea if its legal or not to use the REI logo. But, if I was them, I would love the fact that people want to add their logo to blogs! Being a brand marketing person, I would love that!

So, what is it about climbing and hiking that makes you want to amass gear? I am at a strange point right now. I get daily gear mail from REI and EMS, but I honestly don't think that there is anything left for me to buy!!!! OY!!!!!

I recently bought a -20 sleeping bag from EMS for my upcoming NH trip and my Rainier trip in August. Thats about it! Aside from a tent for camping with the kids, I don't need anything else. Is it time for a new hobby?

Just kidding. David Brashears started a facebook group called why we climb. Its interesting in that a) he is world famous and extending himself into social networking with the likes of yours truly and b) for a middle aged mountain climber it forces me to look inward into why I decided to take up this hobby.

My answer? The solitude. There is nothing that I can think of that disconnects you from everything as well as being dependant only upon your self, carrying everything that you need, and trying to overcome a big challenge and return safely!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Campus Tolerance

A break from climbing posts. My mom has started a group, Campus Tolerance, that tracks bias incidents on campuses in an attempt to expose colleges and universities that have bias issues. Read this, its from the facebook page (

There is more bias and hate on college campuses than people realize. We set out with a pilot study to develop a tolerance rating, that allows prospective students to gauge how comfortable they will feel in a university environment and which universities they may want to avoid. We have just started releasing results and are looking to scale the research from 3 to 200 schools.

If you are interested, please become a fan of the facebook page and spread this around.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Ode to the Presidentials

So last time we climbed in the Presidentials, we had a severe lack of respect for Mt. Washington. Leading up to it, I worked out for a week and expected to summit and walk into the gift shop to buy souvenirs on the summit jockeying in line with tourists in shorts and hawaiian shirts. We were so wrong that my favorite Dillonism was uttered after he had completed a marathon about 3 months earlier. "Marathons are for P_ssies".

So, no more lack of respect. I jumpstarted weight loss with South Beach. My wife finally yelled at me for not eating carbs 10 days into it so I am now on brown rice too. I was "not" myself. I am also working out again hiking and walking on max incline on my treadmill while wearing my 35-40 pound pack. And, most differently, I am on a homeopathic cleansing protocal that I don't understand but my wife tells me to do it and I am smart enough to just shut up and listen. I will tell you though, that Arnica does wonders on your back pain.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Check out this new web browser!

so, I downloaded this new browser today.  Its AWESOME!!!!  Its called Flock (  It allows me to track all of my friends while I surf, view any media streams I choose, customize feeds, publish to my blog, etc.  Climbing mountains is getting easier every day!  Thanks Flock!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Conquering Mt Treadmill in the Family Room

Last Friday, my climbing partner Mark and I did a conference call with the nice folks at the EMS climbing school in North Conway NH. We decided on the weekend of April 5-6 and are going to do a hike up to below treeline, a night camping in the snow (i am hoping for a miserable night with tons of snow) and going peak bagging on the next day across some more of the presidential range, including Mt. Madison and others.

So, I have to drop at least 10. South Beach Diet, here I come!! I have also been working out with my pack, until, I slipped on the stupid F'ing dog toy on the stairs and broke/sprained my toe. OY!!!!

I am working on it, but staying on the diet and looking forward to the next workout.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

What Should I

So, my wife can't take me asking "what should I eat?" anymore so she is trying to get me to register the URL, but I can't get it. Even on Blogger.

But, 90% of the time, the answer to the question is Nachos. Is there a more perfect food? Carbs, protein, vegetables, melted cheese, all in one perfectly crafter pile of food.

I love nachos so much, that my nutritionist felt the need to call me out. I might have to make her a plate of my famous nachos to convince her to change teams. They are a great training food. Actually, the best nachos I have ever had, were in North Conway NH after last years Mt Washington climb. Brisket nachos, not something to be taken lightly.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Training isn't all climbing

I am trying to look at my training regimen holistically. I went to a nutritionist a few weeks ago to start adopting my diet

I am eating a lot of Lara Bars and Cliff Nectar bars, all fruit and nuts. Of course, I need to be told exactly what to and what not to eat, so I still eat a fair amount of Nachos, otherwise known as Gods food.

I am about to take some tests to see if I am to high in yeast or other bad things. Once I find out, I will go on a strict regimen to accompany my hiking and working out. I will update the blog as my nutritional plan develops. Who says nutrition is boring?

Not all mountains are literal

Tomorrow I leave for a conference of Interactive Marketing execs called iMedia. Its a fantastic conference with a high class list of speakers and great opportunities to meet a ton of people and to learn about what is coming up and what is starting to emerge.

I just found out that my climbing partner, Markzing, is attending the conference as well so we will get to catch up. He works for United Online. We can talk training and our next attempts in either NH in March, or on Rainier in August.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Long time no post

So, admittedly, I am a slacker, but its been a while since I posted. You can see that we had a successful scaling of Nordhoff peak. My brothers in law finally cowboy'ed the F up and climbed that motha.

So now, whats new? New year! and a whole new attitude! With Rainier on the horizon, and a possible presidential range traverse for early march, I have decided to start the Extreme Makeover: Burt Edition immediately. What does that entail you ask? I am playing hockey 1-2 times per week, exercizing a lot more, and beginning to start training again by walking up treadmill, stair climbing, and outdoor hiking (even in 20 degree weather). I also went back to the nutritionist that helped reinvent me about 5 years ago. She is awesome. I am doing some tests to see how to tailor my diet, and I am on a whole regimen of supplements, vitamins, and homeopathic detoxes and remedies. Coming out of this, I should be able to fly, turn invisible, and shoot health rays from my fingers.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

men of moore pha-sis

This year we finally did it, the assault on Nordhoff Peak by the legendary Men of Moore. If not familiar, the Men of Moore, in this case, are the sons in law of the vaunted Moore clan of Ojai Ca. Enjoy the video.

Numerous names came out of the summit attempt. Flatulence flats, Tim's Turnaround, Dead Vole Corner, and others.

Climbing Mt. Baker

Slideshow of Mt Washington Climb

Recording about the Mt. Washington and New Hampshire Trip - 2/11/07

6 Minutes of Video of the Mt Washington Climb 2-11-07

This is long but will give you a feeling for the climb on Sunday.