Last year I started an annual tradition – my yearly bucket lists. As I mentioned in my 2019 post, the term can sound so morbid. How many things can one cross off the list before you die? It’s the “before you die” part that gives “Bucket List” the negative connotation. But, Google puts it in a little better words defining bucket list as “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.” Yet, in 2019 the bucket list became even more real to me…. because, well, I almost died. And I realized that I have so many things that I still want to do. The saying is true, when you’re life flashes before you, you don’t regret the things you did do, but you regret the things you didn’t do.Read more
Let’s face it. Avalanche airbags are expensive. And they’re heavy. Not to mention that traveling with them on planes can be a a real hassle – some models of airbags can’t travel on planes or you have to discharge a canister of pressurized air and find some place to refill it, or buy a new one. And let’s talk about deployment – how many times have you pulled your airbag? Maybe 1-5 times a year? Did you ever have a deployment fail? How do you know your airbag is actually working and that you aren’t carrying all this extra weight for nothing? And how do you actually practice deploying an airbag? The Black Diamond JetForce Pro has solved a lot of these problems.Read more
To most people, I appear healed. It would take the average person to notice the subtle things, like how I can’t turn my head all the way, and how much I have trouble with using my arms above my head to get things off a top rack or shelf. To most, I walk fine, I talk fine, I smile fine, I have a few extra scars but so what…. I am healed but not healed.
Today, it has been 3.5 months since I nearly died under the wheels of my car – now named Voldemort after giving me a large “Harry Potter” scar, among dozens of other injuries….Read more
Back in the hospital, a doctor had told me that I would be there for up to weeks, and would probably spend some time in a rehab facility upon discharge too. No one was with me when I spoke to him, but I wish they had been. It was maybe that conversation that drove me the most… I told him, “I’m strong. You just wait and see. I’m going to surprise you.”
Perhaps I surprised nearly everyone by my quick recovery given the extent of my injuries…. everyone except for myself 🙂Read more
On Monday night, I was alone in my room and my spine surgeon came in to visit with me. Some surgeons can be weird, and admittedly, this was one of them. He said that this surgery was going to be painful – more than the last spine surgery, that it might make me worse, and that he would pray for me. I’m sure he was going from and “under-expect but over-perform” standpoint. But, his words didn’t inspire confidence in any way. I would have preferred to hear something like, “You know, there are risks with this surgery, but I have had overwhelming success in similar surgeries” – Or something along those lines. Instead, his words were making me squeamish and more nervous than I already was.Read more
I was thankful when they decided that I would undergo femur surgery that day. From what I understand, the surgery was pretty quick – a couple of hours. And then, I remember them saying to me post-op, “Your leg is now weight-bearing as tolerated.” What? That’s impossible? I’d known over a dozen people to have broken their femurs too, and none of them were allowed to put significant weight on it for 6 weeks. How could this be? But, it was what it was. It didn’t take me long to be determined for the next step…. I wanted to walk again.Read more
On July 6th, Frank and I left Crested Butte in the dark hours of the morning, driving toward Fairplay, with the intention of skiing a peak near that area. We didn’t know that tragedy would strike, so much that we wouldn’t make our way back to Crested Butte for two and a half weeks – and our lives would be forever changed.Read more
Torreys was the second fourteener that I skied during my fourteener skiing project. I skied it back in 2006 and was lucky to have descended the luscious Emperor Couloir. You can catch a glimpse of this iconic line for just a couple of seconds as you travel down I-70. This line is respectably steep, aesthetic, long, and fun. It has all the makings that a classic ski route should have. Yet, Dead Dog seems to get more love. But I love the Emperor much better.
Frank and I were looking to ski something in the Crested Butte area. Admittedly, after skiing here for so many years, sometimes it’s hard to find things to ski that keep us interested. But, I suggested Mount Richmond – a peak that I had never skied, and Frank had an idea for a different line on it which would be new to him as well – it seemed like a great option. Mount Richmond lies the shadows of nearby Augusta Mountain and Mineral Point. Seemingly unassuming from afar, Mount Richmond, actually has some fun steep backcountry ski descents!Read more