Going Local

It’s the title of the book currently sitting next to my bed, and a pretty good description of my weekend.  I haven’t been out for climbing or skiing adventure in almost a month, but as “going local” has been the theme of many things about my move to Missoula, this weekend was about going local for some of my favorite activities.

Love your local goods. The Graineater (WI4, 200') at Finley Creek.

New fact: I live 24.6 miles by car (or bike), and 75 minutes of walking from a 200′ WI4, now in conditions for ice climbing.  WOOT.  Finley Creek should be an excellent training ground for the season.  Even after the fact that last weekend ended in an enormous pool of turkey blood, Hannah was game to play with more sharp implements and try ice climbing for the first time.  We did not climb the aforementioned route, but I did enjoy sharing some basic knowledge of ice climbing with an enthusiastic friend, as well as get a little practice in myself and check out what I found were some fantastic local ice lines.  We had a blast, and I look forward to heading back soon.

Studying the route before swinging the tools saves energy.

Hips in, arms straight, trust the feet- Hannah getting the moves together.

Sunday morning my housemate (and landlord) invited me out with a few folks to explore what early season backcountry skiing might look like.

The positive: we got up and out in the morning, the weather was perfect, and I connected with some new potential ski partners.

Gearing up for a long road slog. (Photo: Rachel Gooen)

The negative: there wasn’t actually enough snow to ski, but enough to get the truck stuck, and have to skin a really long way up the road.  As a sign of the first ski day of the season, I have no clue where my pole baskets are- these are the problems that pop up after a major move (I packed them strategically, somewhere…).  So I improvised:

$2.50 in duct tape and some cardboard at the gas station.

They make funny prints, but they do work! (Photo: Rachel Gooen)

It was at least a workout, and a good look at some backcountry terrain near St. Mary’s peak.

Lots of slogging. (Photo: Rachel Gooen)

Hopefully there will be more snow next time.

2 thoughts on “Going Local

  1. Perry Fisher

    Greetings, Skander

    I am very much enjoying your blogs. I read them very soon after they are issued. I love the pictures, and especially your honesty in conveying your inmost thoughts and feelings. You may remember that I love learning new words. Since reading your blogs, I have picked up a number of rock climbing and skiing terms which I did not know. Usually, I can find the definition through Google, but the latest, re skiing, has stumped me. It is the word “skin” as in :”skin a really long way up the road.” Would you mind sending me a definiion. It will be incorporated in my Sesquipedalian word program of which Michael is one of the recipients.

    Thanks very much,



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