How do I even summarize Jackson Hole, Wyoming through my lens? The place is huge, enlightening and spiritual. It is filled with so much energy, stoke, passion and excitement for the sport of skiing, that I just felt at the right place. The next week in Jackson would prove to be full of life lessons, excitement and epic times with some of my best friends.
Life Lessons From Jackson Hole:
I left Jackson Hole a different person. While, I have always loved the mountains, I never felt so connected, enlightened, energized and stoked on skiing. Jackson, you have not seen the last of me.
Thank you to all my friends that shared the Jackson Hole powder experience with me. Don, Drew, Johnny G, Sam, Brian and the epic people I met.
My itinerary was open. The next storm cycle was bound to hit the Wasatch Range. Utah here I come.
This adventure has just started. Continue Reading -
Utah - Saxophones and Skiing--->
This is a story about 4000 miles full of adventure, family, friends, powder skiing, life lessons and making dreams a reality. I hope you enjoy, I hope you are inspired and I hope you find the courage to live your dreams too.
“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”
I did it.
2:00 PM strikes. My job duties are complete and for the last time, I walk out of Dakine. I am leaving the stability and support of an amazing organization for freedom, adventure and an opportunity to really build out my digital marketing business. I've undeniably been inspired by the simple fact that we have one life to live and one story to write. I want my next chapter to be filled with powder days, months on the trail and abroad, search and rescue missions that change people’s lives and experiences I can look back on with a smile.
But, why am I doing all this?
Some would call me crazy, some would call this chaos and those closest to me would start to worry. I guess my Adventure Deficit Disorder (ADD) kicked in again and I was in need of a major dose of adventure to combat it. I was in need of new experiences and opportunities. I needed change.
I have opted on many accounts to trade the mundane of stability, societal norms and the same routine every day for uncertainty, adventure and challenges. This time, I have decided to leave home with nothing more than my car, the bed deck I built in the back for sleeping, a Mountain Collective ski pass and burning desire to shred as much pow as possible. This is scary. This is humbling. This is me and always will be.
My simple plan is to spend the next year working remote while I ski, climb, backpack, run marathons and do what I do. I believe this will lead to adventures into the unknown and stories that will last a lifetime. I believe it will inspire you to live the life of your dreams.
I did not take a walk down the easy path to reach this split in the trail. In fact it was rocky, had many hills and was incredibly frustrating at times. Like the days I was stuck behind a glass window knowing there were powder turns to be had. Knowing there was something more to my life than what I was doing.
So let's begin.
My next chapter starts today. I am off to Jackson Hole and the unknown open road. I want to thank everyone for the love, support and motivation to live my dreams instead of just letting them be dreams.
Continue Reading --- Jackson Hole, WY - Enlightened in the Mountains --->
The 4th of July has historically been a time to party, enjoy time with friends and family, watch fireworks and blow shit up. This year my friends and I decided that the holiday would be best celebrated if we went to the top of a mountina and just reflected on the chaos that the world below was experiencing. The summit of South Sister became our destination of awesomeness on the 4th of July, 2015. Enjoy and Summit as Friends!
I had an amazing solo adventure up Tumalo Mountain last night. The sunrise and first track pow turns this morning were unreal. Full of happiness and gratitude.
There is something truly magnificent about a waterfall. I do not quite know what it is. Maybe the sheer power that such a mass of water puts out while crashing down massive cliffs. Maybe the unforced presence that just being near a fall brings to my mind. Maybe it is neither.
I do know that Central Oregon is not only my home, but also the home to many of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. Proxi Falls and Palina Creek Falls are two of them that I will visit many times over in my lifetime.
Proxi Falls is a few hundred foot beauty that seems to just flow out of the forest. During it’s decent the water crashes on trees, a mossy cliffside and creates a true sense of serenity. I am so grateful that Nicole and I get to enjoy places like this together.
Palina Peak Falls near Palina Lake is another one of my favorites. It is a short thirty minute drive from my home. I experienced this fall up close and personal for the first time with my friend Seth. As we were sitting beneath the falls enjoying lunch he asked: Have you ever stood under a waterfall? My response: Not until today! We then proceeded to walk under the falls. This experience provided my mind with a clear sense of presence. The presence that I think many of us long for.
If you are ever in Central Oregon during the summer time then make a point to checking out these waterfalls. There are many others, but these are two of my favorites.
“Savor the solitude,” reads a PCT sign board as we entered the wilderness last Thursday evening. It was aA simple reminder that the most important things for the next few days are, in fact, not things at all. Starring Staring square at us was a vast wilderness full of abundant opportunity to explore and experience in any way we chose.
Three high alpine adventure dudes got together for a weekend in the Central central Oregon mountains and there was no doubt something big was going to happen. Something that will change the way they see life; at least for a few important moments.
My friend Ben rallied the troops including Henry, (Ben’s dog), Jon and memyself. We met at Big Lake on Thursday afternoon for a few days of peace in the mountains.
Thursday evening welcomed us with a nice warm- up hike into George Lake. George Lake, near Mt Washington, was roughly 10 miles from our rally point at Big Lake. Stack that on top of the 12.5 milesM that Ben, Henry and Jon hammered out earlier in the day and you have yourself a respectable number of miles.
Our peaceful walk on the PCT to George Lake was littered with through- hikers walking Northnorth. All with the same question: “Are you guys Southsouth- Boundingbounding?” No! No! No! We must have answered the same question ten or so times. There were that many people through- hiking the PCT, a 2,665 mile hike trek from Mexico to Canada. Yes! I have been considering this suffer-fest. I don’t know why yet. Maybe it sounds cool. Maybe there is some deeper meaning to it like there are to most abnormal adventures I do in life.
After roughly 9 miles on the PCT we hopped off the trail and bush whacked toward Mt. Washington to George Lake. We were happily welcomed with a stellar view of the mountain, one other camp party and a pristine mountain lake. Ok! Honestly, the lake was a bit of a challenge to find. We wandered around in the woods for a little over an hour, fiddled with our iIPhones, maps and eventually found the bugger just before night fall.
Dinner was great! Noodles, tuna and Sriracha. Ben, was thankful that I threw in the Sriracha. You can truly make almost anything taste really good with the stuff. Maybe because it is just hot enough to kill your taste buds.
After a great night of sleep we awoke to a beautiful day. A day that would bring stories, laughter, pain and a true test of what we were capable of. We grubbed some oats, packed our gear and began a 26 mile march.
The first mile was a bush whack back to the PCT and the next few miles pleasantly rolled through a forest that had been destructed destroyed by fire.
We entered the lava field near McKenzie Pass and travelled through some of the most barren country that Central central Oregon has to offer.
As we neared the McKenzie Pass road crossing, a large and rather colorful trailer came into view. A This trailer that provided some relief to PCT through- hikers. At this point, we had covered close to 10 miles and still had many more ahead.
We settled down for lunch at South Mathew lakeLake near the intersection of the PCT and Scott Pass trail. It was beautiful, humbling and a great chance to just be.
After lunch we saddled back up for an additional 14 mile march to where we would be camping for the night. It was a long walk in the woods. Just as dusk was settling in I felt the first of many raindrops to come. The last 4 miles welcomed us with a refreshing steady mountain rain shower and wonder. Was it going to poorpour? The Central central Oregon mountains are known for periods of rain storms that come without warning. Luckily, just before dinner, the rain and clouds broke to provide a magnificent star filled sky. It was a A wonderful way to end a day with 26 miles of hiking.
The next day, (Saturday,) we awoke to a view of South Sister and Middle Sister towering above Camp Lake. Today’s goal: Summit Middle Sister. A, a 10,000 foot peak in the cCentral Oregon Cascades.
After breakfast and tending to our battered blistered feet, we were off. Two and half hours later we were on the summit; . Dogdog and all! We sat on top of the mountain and just soaked in the solitude;, unlike my past three or so summits this summer. Ben made a comment that I will not soon forget - “I just love being on top of mountains.” If you do not know why one would enjoy the top of a mountain then I suggest you rally on up one. The view will surely delight.
That evening we rested heavilyslept soundly. After close to 45 miles in two and half days for me and 55 for Ben, Jon and Henry one could honestly say we were beat.
Our final day brought the usual anticipation to get back into the reality of our busy day to day. Each passing mile meant we were closer to our car at the Pole Creek Trailhead, cell phone service and the noise that life off the trail brings.
I will always appreciate the time I get to spend in the mountains. This trip reminded me that the greatest things in life are in fact not things at all. They are experiences and the people you meet along the journey. They are freedom to choose your own destiny. They are happiness.
On to the next adventure :)
Summit as friends!
The north side of South Sister Mountain in the Three Sisters Wilderness is downright dangerous. It does however offer some incredible views of the Three Sisters, cascade range and one angry looking mountainside. To put it lightly the mountain looks like a pile of loose rocks that magically stay in place.
My friend Blair and I camped at Green Lakes Saturday with the intention of an adventure on Sunday.
Sunday morning we awoke around 730, took our time packing up, enjoying breakfast and then set off. We dropped our packs at 1030 near the Green Lakes and Moraine Lake trail junction. Our goal was to summit South Sister, climb off the northside and trek back over Prouty glacier to where we camped the night before and run back to our backpacks.
The next few hours were hard, but rewarding. We were crushing almost 2000 feet per hour.
I had an incredibly inspiring conversation with a guy named Willy from Portland, OR whom is training for the Lake Tahoe 200. A 200 mile foot race. Not inspiring, because I have personal aspirations to do that, but inspiring because he is running his own business Animal Athletics and living his passion. Rock on bro!
4000 feet of climbing later we summited, but the hardest part was yet to begin.
Do not forget to prepare for the decent. This is when most climbing accidents happen. People do not bring enough food, water, clothes or they use all their energy on the way up. This results in forfeited mental stamina for the way down. Remember with each step up you are one step further from where you started.
After spending 10 minutes on top enjoying a root beer that I found on the way up we began walking west on the summit ridge in hopes of finding someone elses foot tracks heading down the northside. Within minutes we found what looked to be the safest route down that few had braved prior.
There was a six foot vertical down climb before stepping on to a very steep slope of loose rock. The next 500 vertical were kind of fun. The rock was loose and granular so it felt much like skiing down a snow field in your shoes.
The 1500 vertical that followed were treacherous. Loose rock, tumbling boulders and rope lines help paint the picture.
Yes! We scrambled down the mountain with zero scratches.
I am not using this experience as a confidence builder, but rather an opportunity to remain humbled by the mountains. They are so big, so powerful and can change without warning.
I do not believe we were lucky, but do believe we made all the right decisions on the way down. At no time were we climbing on top of each other and creating the chance for boulders to come tumbling down on one another and each step was taken with caution. We remained aware of our surroundings and communicated frequently.
It felt good to be back on ground that was not moving, but we still had a crevasse littered glacier to travel around and in some cases over. It was incredible to stand within five feet of some rather large openings in the snow. I thought I could see the bottom, but it was likely just a ledge.
At one point Blair commented on how he really appreciated my communication and willingness to hear my partners opinion. A new character quality I have been working on. My girlfriend would probably say I still have work. I would agree. This did make me feel good and brought to mind another very IMPORTANT thing to be conscious of in the mountains and life. Group communication. Be open. Be heard.
There were times in which we were headed in one direction across and around Prouty Glacier and we simply decided to go another direction after mear moments of discussion. These moments may have saved our lives, but definitely made for a less gut wrenching travel home.
The view from the final ridge before dropping back down into the Green Lakes basin was incredible. We saw Green Lakes with Broken Top in the background and THE TRAIL :)
We celebrated with some hoots and hollers once stepping foot on the trail, sat on a rock very close to our campsite the night before and dumped our dirt / gravel filled shoes back onto the earth. After a few minutes of rehydrating and pounding more energy gel / bars we headed down the trail. We were finally covering ground.
The final few miles with our backpacks were hard, but enjoyable. We made it.
A creek bath, dinner and good night of rest were a few things to be grateful for. Amazing how my gratitude for these things truly changes after challenging experiences like this in the mountains.
Summit as friends!
When most people were driving down the mountain I was headed up. Maybe this story will explain why my crowd of friends have always been a little bit crazy, rebellious, trouble making, rule breaking bad asses.
At 4 o'clock PM I headed toward the Tumalo Mountain Trailhead. My gear was packed and mind was ready for a new adventure. I would be sleeping on top of Tumalo Mountain in Central Oregon, at 8000 feet with no shelter. I camped in the back bowl last year while filming a backcountry ski video with REI, but never on the summit during early spring.
I started skinning up Tumalo around 5 o’clock at which time the trail was still slushy from a warm afternoon. I took the hike one slow step at time. My body was still a bit fatigued from a ten mile trail run only hours prior. Over the course of the last 500 feet the wind started to really pick up. On the summit I would meet a consistent breeze of 20 MPH. This was enough for me to know that without a wind block I would have a miserable night. I got to work!
On the summit I found a place to build my shelter that would provide me with a view of the mountains and sunset from my sleeping bag. (see photos below) I built a wall that would protect my body from the wind, which was becoming more fierce. After the wall was complete I crawled into the protection of my sleeping bag. Aww! What a beautiful view and amazing place to relax. I thought!
I enjoyed a pre-made dinner, read some pages from my book “The Passion Test” and the sun began to set.
As the sun set on the snow capped mountain tops my mind drifted into a meditative state. I was reflecting on life in general. It is really incredible to see how much my relationships, happiness health, physical fitness and passion has changed over the last year. I asked myself some deep and rather personal questions on the mountain top that evening.
And, today I think I found the answers. It is amazing what you can find if you just look inside yourself. Calm your mind, listen and stop looking around. The answers will come.
I spent the night sleeping under a star filled sky with moon lit mountains in the back drop. Each time I awoke the mountains were there. Peacefully sitting still in the vast wilderness. The wind never died down during the night and I wrestled with getting good sleep, but one poor night of sleep was worth the experience.
It is amazing where our feet can take us with a little willingness to do things outside of what others would perceive as a normal adventure. My friends and I have always been those swho seek an extraordinary adventure that creates stories of amazement. That will never change!
Now, I am off for another ten mile trail run in Shevlin Park. Let this wonderful adventure of life continue..........
Summit as friends!
Powder skiing for breakfast……. What the heck is that you may ask?
I did not literally have powder snow for breakfast, but while most people in America were sitting at the breakfast table I was busy hiking up the Cinder Cone at Mt Bachelor with my skis.
My co workers / friends Garrett, Ernie and Rex joined me for a little sunrise powder skiing today. We woke up at 530am, drove the 30 whopping minutes up the ski resort and hiked to the powder stashes before the lifts were open.
Sure. I was really tired and had to push through the challenging voices in my head telling me to sleep in. Well my bed will be here when I get home after work tonight. I told myself! I made my breakfast smoothie, packed up my rig and drove into the darkness.
When we arrived at the resort the sun had still not peaked over the horizon, but we could see a clear silhouette of the mountains in the backdrop. The sunrise is going to be beautiful this morning. Rex said!
We enjoyed a smooth 45 minute skin to the top of the Cinder Cone. During the hike I was reminded of why I woke up so early. I LOVE THE MOUNTAINS!
The mountains are peaceful, crisp and bring a sense of serenity to my life that I find no where else in this vast world. It is really amazing to get the opportunity to experience a sunrise with the kind of view we get in the Central Oregon Cascades. Nothing short from marvelous. I really did get an overwhelming sense of gratitude today upon realizing how amazing this places is.
As we hiked higher the sun began to peak out over the city of Bend, OR and the Sisters Wilderness was painted in a pink sunrise glow that words cannot describe (see photo below). My mind began to drift into envisioning the smooth blower powder turns the next hour would bring to my life.
After taking in the cold, crisp early moments of the day we collected our gear and prepared for an awesome decent. The moments that followed were filled with hoots, hollers, smiles and some of the best powder turns I have ever had before 730 in the morning. We even took a few photos of powder skiing during this sunrise.
We hiked the Cone two more times this morning and each one got better. The sun continued to rise and so did our spirits. Each turn I felt like my mind was nowhere except present, which is really where it should be during all moments of life.
There was really no best run today. They were all amazing and we had created the perfect atmosphere for a great time. Friends, cold blower powder and one beautiful sunrise.
We shared some words of positivity and laughter during a regroup at the parking lot, hopped into the car and made it to the office by 900am. Just in time for Pancake Tuesday at G5. :)
I thrive off adventure in the outdoors. There is something about it that makes me feel more alive, at peace, full of positive energy and connected with myself. I feel as though the outdoors are where I belong. Adventures bring passion to my life and a light in my eyes that no other aspect of my life delivers.
For me to feel as though I am getting my regular dose of adventure I need to experience at least one new journey outside per week. This can be a short hike in the woods or a multi day backpacking trip through a peaceful lake basin. I just know that without regular adventure something is missing.
My adventures vary is size and type. If you and I were to meet I would tell you that I am a skier, backpacker, hiker, rock climber, mountain climber and trail runner amongst other things. My life is nothing short from adventurous and I am grateful for that.
My winter months are filled with skiing in the back country, side country and resorts of Central Oregon. My family and friends have made skiing more than just a recreational activity. It is a way of life. We thrive in the mountains and love the relationships that we get to strengthen while having fun in the winter wonderland. Skiing has taught me a lot about the importance of relationships and respect for the outdoors. I am looking forward to skiing other parts of the world.
Spring, summer and fall are filled with trail running, mountain climbing and rock climbing. Rock climbing is a sport that allows me to experience adventure while strengthening my mind and body. It forces you to become ever more present, put trust in other individuals and walk lightly. I currently live 45 minutes from Smith Rock State Park where I enjoy adventures regularly.
Trail running is another individual sport that I have come to absolutely love. Often I find myself going on runs alone that are upwards of twenty miles. I have seen some of the most beautiful areas of Central Oregon as a result of taking on these challenging adventures and I only look forward to running trails in other parts of the country and world. This past fall I had the pleasure of running my first 50K and this summer I will complete my first 50 miler at Mt Hood.
One might say I am already living an adventurous life and there is no need for me to put more focus on this aspect. Well I can tell you the adventure has just begun. I am going to take all of my sports to the next level in the years to come. What does that mean? To me it is simple! I am going to ski more technical terrain, climb higher grade routes and run faster and longer.
I hope you enjoy adventure. It has provided me with so much knowledge and experience that ripples into other areas of my life and I am truly looking forward to the rest of this adventure.
It is only in adventure that some people succeed in finding themselves - in knowing themselves. - Andre Gide
Welcome to Scott's Adventure Blog!