Since the start of the season here in Moab, I have been getting after it. It’s been some time since I wrote my last blog and am getting caught up. I have been super busy this year with my guide service, Windgate Adventures based here in Moab which is taking off, and I am loving every second of it. This year so far I have met so many great people from all walks of life, from all over the world and have shared my passion for the desert with them. Guiding people up desert sandstone towers, or into narrow canyons… rappelling off of arches and into the sacred area of the Fiery Furnace in Arches for photography tours is the dream that I’m living.
On every tour I supply all of the gear for the trips, helmet, harness, rappelling gear and even backpacks. The backpacks that I supply are by Deuter packs, called the ACT Trail 32. After every trip each person is psyched about the amazing adventure we have just been on, and always has something great to say about the Deuter pack they have carried through out the trip. Comfortable, supportive, roomy are just a few of the many adjectives used. Ohh… If you were wondering how much fun we have on these trips, click here and read the reviews on Trip Advisor.
This year has been a bit warmer than most years. The Colorado river is at an all time low, since the snow pack in the Rockies was not as it should have been. No worries though, it’s still flowing and the river is always incredible. A few weeks back I was the photographer on a trip with the Wounded Warriors on Cataract… a four day river trip through the center of Canyonlands. This past year I was on the same trip and it was a different experience at high water (holding on for dear life, 40 foot waves), but each experience is special in its own way.
Hope you all are out making it happen this summer on your adventures. Keep ticking those trips off of that list and keep adding to it.
Take a look at some of the trips I guide on a daily basis and some guest and packs in action.
This coming weekend 3/30-4/1 is the 9th year of one of the greatest introductory climbing festivals in the states. I have worked with Mountain Gear at this event for the past 9 years. In the early years I was working with the climbing company 5.10 doing demos, then later on began teaching clinics such as “over coming your fears,” “trad climbing for the chicken hearted” and “high angle photography” which of course happen to be my favorite.
The past few years I have become the event photographer, giving me the chance to meet amazing people from all over the country, watching them learn more about climbing and watching their excitement grow each moment they are in the red rocks. The area of red rocks is one of the many areas where I grew up climbing and every time I see it, it brings me back to those great times.
If you haven’t been to Red Rocks, you need to visit. This area is so close to the Strip, but has the most remote feel to it.
Take a look at the Mountain Gear Event page: Red Rock Rendezvous
Take a look at past images and info on this great festival. I’ll get some images from this years event on my blog in a few weeks. Enjoy your weekend and go have some fun.
The creation of art comes in many shapes and forms. I’m alway keeping my eyes open on my trips to see what people are creating. On my drive through Lake Arrowhead, California this past January, I was making a turn onto the highway and glanced to the side to see a giant eagle being carved out of a giant tree. By far it was the largest wooden sculpture I had ever seen. This eagle was being carved by William Tower with a 50″ chainsaw. He was in the middle of a huge cut that was taking all of his concentration. People were flooding the yard where he was cutting to see this piece he was working on, and to purchase smaller pieces for their homes. I kept thinking, How would you move this thing?
William said he had contacted the Guinness book of World Records to enter this piece, as it is the largest wood carving to date. As we were standing in the talking a red tailed hawk was hovering above. He said that since he has been working on this piece, hawks and eagles have been flying by on a daily basis. The piece has an incredible look to it. Hope William gets into the Guinness book and continues creating great works of art. Take a look at his website. www.towerartwilliam.com.
It’s time to say goodbye to the great year of 2011 and hello to the much awaited 2012. Many great things have happened in 2011, so many I can’t write about them all. In the spring I started my own guide service, Windgate Adventures. A year full of incredible guiding in the desert, showing people from all over the world my home. (canyoneering, rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, and teaching photography to many enthusiasts). It doesn’t get any better then that.
Not only was the guide service the main focus of my year, I also had a chance to enjoy an incredible trip down Cataract Canyon during high water with the Wounded Warriors on Cataract organization. I met a group of incredible war veterans that have been in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I documented the trip with photos and had a chance to put together a great photo book thanks to the generosity of the people at Ibook.
This winter has lead me to the Southern US, (Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia) for a climbing road trip with some friends to see new areas and meet many great people. I look forward to every day, to what I’ll see, who I will meet and the experiences that take place. Open your doors each day, enjoy it all because it goes by pretty quickly.
The photo below was taken last night as I was leaving Joshua Tree. I had heard of these highlines going up and happened to see them while I was on my drive, following the sun. I grabbed my camera, which I always have near and charged up a rock outcrop to get to the summit before this person began to walk. It shows a number of rock outcrops, which makes up the beauty of the Joshua Tree scenery. He walked the highline in both directions without falling, staying incredibly focused the entire time.
Stay focused on your adventures and stay focused to accomplish your goals in 2012!
I had the chance to shoot photos of the Wabisabi fashion show which happened in March. Designer Annie Dalton has added some shots to her blog and written how her creative process works.
Take a look.
Each year, Wabisabi collaborates with artists and designers from Moab to create incredible pieces all from recycled material. This was my first time to the event which was held south of town at the Spanish Valley Arena. An intricate light show took place as music blasted from the speakers. The house was packed and people were dressed up with the alien theme in mind. Glow sticks were being whipped around by the dark crowd as the lit stage showed off the work of many designers. A great time was had by all. The fashion show is the biggest Moab event, bringing people out from the cold winter, bringing great energy to town just in time for spring.
Just getting back to Moab after a visit to Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer trade show. It’s a great place to catch up with friends see new product and talk business. I came into Salt Lake after a drive through torrential rains and traffic on the second day of the show. I was hoping to make it to the 25th Anniversary party for 5.10, but did not make it in time. The next day I had a chance to catch up with Charles Cole, Laura Sanders and the rest of the 5.10 crew.
Charles showed me his new designs, one that blew me away, called the WARHAWK. “Souped up Daescent with padded tongue and nubuck leather upper. Ultra-light shoe with stirrup straps for extra support. Supportive EVA heel wedge for stability.” Great job Charles… can’t wait to try a pair out. www.fiveten.com
I had a great meeting with Casey and Ryan at Trango Extraordinary Climbing Gear. I have been working with them for many years now as an ambassador for their gear. They have some of the lightest gear on the market, making it exceptional for the mountains. Keep it up guys! http://trango.com/
Beer, food, music and movies were happening all over after each show day. It seemed good and busy for everyone there. The storms had slowed down, and I’m now back in Moab getting ready for my next adventure.
I’m rigging for a climbing trip, heading throughout Wyoming, South Dakota and Colorado. It’s time to get to the mountains!!
Just to let you know, if you’ve received an email from me yesterday via the email account firstname.lastname@example.org, it is false. My account has been hacked, along with my facebook account.
I’m doing fine, I’m not in Scotland… I’m in Moab, guiding and trying to figure out this issue. Thanks for your concerns and I hope to have it all figured out soon.
What I’ve learned… change your passwords… make them impenatrable… change them often… use characters to keep these thieves out.
Keep on keepin’ on,
Eric, EO, Brodenthal, Odenthrutch, Jedi