GoPro Fly Fishing

Backpacking and fly fishing in the high Uintas.

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Zion Day One

My little brother is awesome. He really is. The kid climbs, skis, fly fishes, and can hike 24 miles with a 30 pound pack in the Southern Utah desert faster than me. I must be getting old…. And watch out ladies! He gets his license this year!

So why do I bring up his awesomeness? We went to Zion National Park over Memorial day to backpack, scramble, go without showers, sleep on rocky ground, and carry way too much gear… He thought it was a blast. So did I.

 

My flight out is at 5:00 pm on Friday last week, and it is monsooning in Austin, so my flight gets delayed several hours. I end up getting into SLC at 10:00 pm mountain time. I pick Brett up and we drove straight down to Zion. Arrival at 3:00 am.

After 3 hours of sleep we go straight to the visitor center. You are required to register for backcountry permits in Zion if you plan on backpacking/camping/climbing/anythingreallyfun in the camp. We grab our permits and are off.

In the first day we wanted to hit more iconic landmarks, Angels Landing and the Virgin Narrows. It’s super beautiful there. Kind of an alien planet. There isn’t anywhere else like it. I was super stoked and giddy. Hence, I took a lot of pictures. My brother was kinda mad I took so many, but he got to eat Clif bars when I stopped, so whatever.

 

After checking everything off the list we set up camp for the night in the desert. Filtering questionable desert water, we gorged on cup noodles, hot chocolate, and chex mix. The next day we were going to head to Kolob Canyon and do more walking around the desert carrying heavy stuff… We couldn’t be more pumped.

Main Chute

I just got back from a quick weekend trip to Alta, Utah. Conditions were good enough to ski Main Chute off the top of Baldy. It was a good weekend!

2013

This January marks the third year that I have been blogging. Since graduating school and starting a career, I have found myself posting less content. Moving forward, I plan on making more time to travel, write, and compete.

After completing my first marathon in 2012 I have found the goals I set have drastically changed. My passions have always been the outdoors, traveling, photography, and sharing these experiences with family and friends. Climbing, skiing, fishing, and golf have a new addition. Competition. After leaving high school and going to college my competitive athletic drive was channeled into mainly golf. While golf will remain a lifetime passion and love of mine, I have found that really and truly pushing your own limits can be the most rewarding experience on many levels. I continue to run after 26.2, and don’t believe that I will ever stop. Physically, I think I am starting 2013 in the best shape of my life, I have to wonder what the year will bring. I plan on running in an assortment of 5k and 10k races, but my goals are set towards moving into triathlon. Specifically events like: Capital of Texas Triathlon, Tri Rock Austin, and the culmination of 2013 Ironman 70.3 Austin.

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I couldn’t be happier living in Austin, the city offers an ideal balance for what I love about life. Climbing, running, and training keep me busy when I need my outdoors fix. The thing I am most grateful for after such a great 2012 are the friendships that I have made after moving. I have good old friends, and met the new ones who I can tell will remain a rock for me here in Austin. After a year I couldn’t be more thankful for these amazing people to share experiences with, and learn from. I’m very blessed.

Capitol Lomo

Professionally, I am blessed with the flexibility to travel and there are several trips that I have planned for 2013. Most notably, I am hoping to travel to Yosemite to climb Half Dome, and then back to the Tetons to bag the Grand. During 2012 I wasn’t able to spend as much time in the mountains as I’d hoped, and this year I am going to dust of the pack and get back. Surprisingly, while I was in Utah my climbing experience was limited to scrambling, and the Greenbelt (Pics) has really helped me improve my knowledge of true technical climbing. Climbing at my limit currently is around 5.10b and I hope to move into the 5.11 range in 2013.

The Grand Teton.

The Grand Teton.

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My next adventure in the short term will be a trip back home to see my family in Utah. Storm cycles have been sweeping through the Wasatch, and I need to get some turns in! I will have to try out the new GoPro 3 and see if I can get any footy worthy of blogging about. Little Cottonwood anyone? Speaking of family, I have to include this picture of my brother, sister, and I at Stephanie’s wedding! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013 for my family.

steph's wedding

I’m gonna wrap this post up with a video that really helps me set the tone for how I want to approach this year.

 

 

Back to Utah

Every time that I go back to Utah I am reminded just how beautiful the state is. I traveled back for the wedding of Mary Rose and Jonathan. The Flanagan’s put on the most beautiful wedding that I have ever been to.

I was also lucky enough to do some fly fishing, and spend quality time with my family. I can’t wait to go back this winter and do some skiing.

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A Plane Ride Away

The last several weeks have been going non-stop. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Since I had settled back down in Texas, I really wanted to get back on the road. It has been incredible. The last three weeks have taken me to New York City for work, Park City to see my family, and North Carolina to be in my best friend Brian’s wedding. I have also been blessed with a great streak of success at work, a nice new place to live, and more fantastic new friends.

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I am not the biggest fan of the northeast, but the trip back to NYC was successful for business as well as seeing a great old friend. My number was elevated because I would have the opportunity to get more accounts in person. I was able to do so, meet some great existing clients, and exceed my numbers for May. Some leisure also fit into our trip. My colleagues and I went to the Daily Show, Little Italy, Times Square, Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, and several great restaurants.

Going back to Park City was an unexpected blessing. Work makes the days roll by, and up until Memorial Day weekend, I had completely forgotten about the extra days off. Spur the minute decision? No problem! I was on the next flight back home to see my family in Utah. This was exactly what I needed to re-charge my mind. Family always comes first. I don’t know where this quote came from but I am stealing it from a friend. I thought it very relevant to my life. Always moving, and traveling, but my loved ones are always there.

After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away.
Brian and Nicole’s wedding brought me back to North Carolina for the first time since wrapping up my PGA in October. This extended weekend was perfect and I am sure that all in attendance would agree. I was able to enjoy time with my best friends in the world. The rehearsals, dinners, parties, drinks, and dances reminded just how lucky I was to spend my college days with Brian, Nicole, Dan, Ashley, Brokaw, Barrows, and Zach.

The Wasatch

Summer hiking and climbing is one of my greatest passions. From the moment that you begin to make up your pack for that days mission, anticipation starts to build.  Each peak has its own personality. Different pitches, ridges, faces, and prominence result in a challenge unique to each mountain.

Mount Timpanogos: 11,749 feet

Mount Olympus: 9,026 feet

Mount Superior: 11,132 feet

Bald Mountain (Uintas): 11,943 feet

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