Montana is a special place, and there is a reason that the autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I wasn’t expecting it, but taking the opportunities at hand landed me a triple header of my favorite adventure sports- all in the same week.
I was in Bozeman all week for work. I had hoped to find a ride on craigslist so I could stay the weekend while my co-worker Mark headed home on Friday afternoon. The rides didn’t work out, but I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity. Wednesday night we picked up some awesome fried chicken and headed up to Genesis I for a night-time session getting back into ice climbing. With a full set of borrowed gear from Ari and Marko (thanks!), Mark came along to swing tools for his very first time. Getting my first leads, and sharing the experience with fine friends made for a perfect night despite some cold temps (6F when we left the car).
After 20+ meetings in Bozeman, I was ready to head home Friday night, but my new friend Molly was eager to ski on Saturday. I was pretty eager too, and Anna was from Bozeman and feeling behind on her season already. We headed for St. Mary’s at 830am, got the car stuck around 10, and topped out around 2pm. The snow was fun, but there still wasn’t very much of it so I was glad to be on my older telemark skis (the new dynafit setup is waiting for a few more storm cycles).
With another day of splitter weather in the forecast, there was no reason not to try for all three sports. Even with the cold temps, there were about a dozen people headed to Mill Creek and I was happy to join in the fun.
Molly and I ended up teaming up again, and I was psyched to nail my hardest on-sight yet: “No Drama Obama” (5.11b, 30m). Many thanks to Michael Moore for the photos, and Molly for the stellar belay. I raced the sun out of the canyon, and made it home in time for some non-profit work, laundry, and a solid meal.
I can’t think of many places to combine sports like this. With the long weekend coming up, I’m sure there is more trouble on the way. These are the kinds of adventures I want to make sure I have more often this winter.