VLOG #13: Melakwa Lake & Kaleetan Peak

Last week my adventure buddy Austin and I did what we love to do and found a fun hike and scramble off the i90 corridor to complete.  We headed out the night before, slept in hammocks near the trailhead, and then proceeded to burn the ever-loving piss out of my shoulders and back in the shape of the pack I was carrying.  There were fun times.  Great views.  Some route finding and steep rock faces.  We slipped at one point, that’s not on the video.  And, we jumped in the lake.

Sooo… Enjoy the vid!  No tunes added on this one, so it’s just the incredibly enjoyable sounds of nature… rather the commentary of two adventure dudes yukkin’ it up on the trail.  #CaptivatingAF

This weekend marked ten months of a booze free life; two more to go and I am officially done.  Who knows what will come then, but the initial quest is getting close to complete!

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

 

VLOG 12.1 – Day One: the Spider Gap

Starting our trip at approximately 9 AM on the 4th of July, our first day consisted of hiking from the trailhead to Lower Lyman Lake.  A pretty ambitious, however unintentional goal that was the result of finding unsuitable camping conditions at Lower Lyman Lake’s higher brother, Upper Lyman Lake.

The hike started out like most other’s do here in the Northwest, meandering through forested slopes as we gained elevation, finally reaching the Spider Meadows.  From their we climbed up to the Spider Gap glacier, then down to Upper Lyman Lake, followed by Lower Lyman.  Here is a video account of Day One of our trip.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

VLOG #11: Bikin’ til the Legs Cramp!

West Seattle to Vashon Island and back with my Uncle

On Thursday my Uncle Paul and I took off on an epic bike ride, throwing fifty miles onto the pedals and converting my legs from solid transport vessels to Bill Cosby’s favorite dessert… waiiiiit a sec… I meant, JELL-O!  Sorry for the confusion.  Anyways… watch this fun vid!

For my last Quest Update, Click Here!

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

VLOG #10: Bro’in’ It Up in the Olympics

Here’s the promised footage of my brother and I camping and hiking out in the Olympics last week.  What a pretty and fun day hike.  It was super easy, but definitely had us sweating a bit due to the heat.

 

Click Here for my most recent Quest Update!

 

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

To The Summit of Mount Saint Helens

Trailer for my upcoming VLOG: To The Summit of Mount Saint Helens

Guaranteed to be less impressive than this cinematic masterpiece.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

The Bluest of the Birds; Gorging on Crab Legs

Yesterday was another awesome day at Crystal Mountain.  It was my first bluebird (sunny) day of the year.  In one week I had my first REAL powder day and my first bluebird day.  I would categorize that as an exceptional week.  The runs were fast and, although the snow was heavy, even chunky, off-piste, the steeps were open and filled in beautifully.  Ski season in the Pacific Northwest is no-longer stuck in the early season rut where scoping out rocks and creek holes is a requirement.  We’re ready to rock up here and I spent yesterday hanging with two of my good buds doing exactly that… Rockin’!  I won’t bore you with descriptions of ski runs I took, but it was another fantastic day making my quadriceps sing in joyful agony as I worked on form, speed through bumps, and just all around having a swell time.

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This past week I have been working on aspects of my quest that I feel are helping me turn the page and move forward.  My creative output has drastically been increased as I’m writing daily now.  I started working on a book.. meaning, I’m going to write one.  I’m also reading much more than I was.  I have cut my TV and screen-time down to a minimum, although I still need to cut time spent with my newsfeed back.  Video gaming has been eradicated from my daily task list.  All-in-all, I’m making some serious strides towards accomplishing the goals I have set while still putting time in to work on my physical and mental health.  That has me feeling good and my relationships are benefiting as well.

This morning my girlfriend and I woke up and went on an early day date to a well-known local restaurant, Salty’s on Rodondo, for a belated birthday crab leg feast.  Did I mention that my girlfriend and I share the same birthday?  Well, we do.  Thank you, Jossy, for the birthday gift!  It was a great morning full of delicious food.  After I was done eating a food-coma came over me and I crashed HARD AS A MOTHERFUCKA.  It’s crazy what a cinnamon roll and excessive calorie intake does to you once you switch your dietary habits.  I felt absolutely destroyed.  I cannot remember the last time I had an all-you-can-eat buffet, but my last two meals have been such.  I will be abstaining from attending anymore fuck-my-face-with-food events for the foreseeable future.

My gal had her work’s holiday party last night.  Another challenge in sobriety is attending things that you hate to attend, like a party full of strangers, and not being able to drink yourself through the experience.  With that said, hilariously sung karaoke was a highlight of the night.  Also, when the Director of Operations of a Fortune 1000 company wished the entire party a happy birthday and didn’t correct course… yeah, that’s a fucking laugh riot, right there.

Cheers 🤙 ,

~Dane

Powabunga, Dudes; Not-So Bloody Thumbs

A powder day.  If you are like me, there is nothing quite like it.  Deep snow accompanied with the ability to drop off steep cliffy mountainsides without (likely) causing harm to yourself.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but for those whose cup it is, there is nothing quite as exhilarating… perhaps, the exception would be jumping out of a plane.  I have also done that and I think I would still rather have a day of powder skiing, but it’s a close call…  Hmm… whatever, flip a coin, they’re both bad ass… either way, today rocked.  Now, let me share with you the amazingness that is POWDER.

Yesterday I woke up and did what I always do first thing on any given winter morning, I checked the snow report at the local mountains – Crystal and Stevens.  Low and behold, ten inches of fresh snow had fallen at Stevens where I am a proud holder of an overpriced seasons pass.  Fuck me.  I did squats two days ago and my legs had not fully recovered.  I got out of bed and winced slightly at the pain in my quadriceps.  Skiing today was out of the question.  However, upon checking the NOAA forecast, exactly what I was hoping for was confirmed.  Another 4-8″ was expected Wednesday night followed by 10-16″ on Thursday.  Fuck me, twice.

I headed to the gym and got a lift in, a long stretch and sauna session followed by the routine ice cold shower.  I then ran some errands and washed my ski gear.  The excitement grew.  Tomorrow is the first real powder day I will have had all year thus far.  I had a 10″ snowner – a boner for snow, for the layman.  For clarification, these snowners are often much larger than one’s actual boner.  Just saying, I don’t rock a Ron Jeremy sized piece… unless it’s a snowner.  I put the hedgehog’s snowner to shame.

This morning I woke up, and again, checked the snow report.  The report claimed that it had snowed four inches overnight.  I got up, packed up the dogs and my gear, and headed out the door.  I stopped for a coffee, grabbed a sandwich for breakfast, one for lunch, as well as a tasty maple bar that I justified eating because I was going to undoubtedly burn it off on the hill.  Once I got near the top of the pass, the snow gods smiled and so did I as the rain turned to flakes and the roads became slick with slush.

Parking around 9:00, I ran the dogs for 15 minutes or so as I put my boots and jacket on. Then I locked those two bitches up – they’re girl dogs so this isn’t rude, it’s accurate – and skied down to the chairlift.  I did not catch first chair, but it did not matter because the skies were puking snow.  There was definitely more than just four inches of fresh white powder on the hill and I, again, smiled ear-to-ear as I headed towards the backside of the mountain loudly whooping with joy.

On the backside, I ran a couple cumbersome laps.  My legs were still a bit tender from squats, but not nearly as bad as yesterday.  I figured they’d warm up but they were definitely slower to do so than normal.  Shitty visibility wasn’t helping the cause.  I stuck to the trees to counter the whiteout conditions; trees tend to offer contrast and increase the visibility when the open slopes don’t.

With every lap I got a little better.  By the third or fourth chair up the mountain I met two dudes, Ben and Andy, who must have pitied my lonesome self, and so, invited me to ski with them.  I accepted the invitation and the rest of the day was spent lapping untouched powder stashes all around the hill.  The powder was so deep we even lost a ski for a period of time when Andy fell at the bottom of a run.  Beyond that, we got cliffed-out (when you end up in a place that is not skiable and requires either hiking back up hill or crossing your fingers that you don’t get injured should you decide to drop the unskiable cliff) on a particularly sketchy portion of the mountain, which, once navigated, resulted in the deepest untouched powder stash of the day.  We, also, created enough slough that we were fully aware that avalanches were a danger to be considered.  We skied together until a little after 3:00.  We had the best day ever.  Lesson: The bond of skiing makes strangers best friends.

It snowed a foot before I made it back to my car.  I left the hill pleasantly exhausted and as I drove back towards civilization I noticed something.  My bloody thumbs were fully healed and were no longer bloody at all.  Things are changing, people… things are changing!

Powabunga 🤙 ,

~Dane