Back in action!


Testing how well my knee is healing on a 5.9 at Revenue Flats.

The doctor gave me the good news last week that my patella has healed and now I just need to concentrate on strength and flexibility. I figure besides hitting the gym and physical therapy, I should focus on activities I enjoy doing as part of my rehabilitation routine. I have been fishing mostly, because it is causes the least strain on my knee, but I have also tried some climbing (top rope only) and biking around town.

My fiance, Sarah, fly fishing the Yellowstone River below Emigrant Peak.

I also made it to Yellowstone National Park for an afternoon of spring wildlife viewing. Saw a couple bears, a bison giving birth (pretty gross), as well as your usual assortment of Lamar Valley wildlife.

Prairie goats (aka antelope) in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park.

Mammoth Hot Springs in late afternoon lighting.

Last weekend it was nice to finally get on some rock and test the knee, and as always, cragging with friends is about as good as it gets. Sarah and I camped for a night up at Revenue Flats, west of Norris, and spent some time getting our rock climbing muscles warmed up with some friends.

Bridger Mountains on a short hike in Bozeman.

My older brother Zack, belayed by his wife Sara, on lead at Revenue Flats.

Zack silhouetted while leading a 5.9.

Sarah fitting in with the Revenue Flats locals, lining up her shot with a .38 special.

Eric Newman on his first lead after a 60 foot whipper that broke his foot last autumn.

Myself, slowly working my way up.

Nearing the top, I was able to climb 3 routes each day, a 5.8, 5.9, and two 5.10a’s. Not bad for having a weak, sore knee.

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Autumn Rock Climbing Season


In the past few weeks I have stumbled across a wide range of really good climbing in the area. I may have missed these spots over the summer because it was 118 degrees out and too hot to even think about rock climbing. But with temps in the 70s and 80s in the fall I have been climbing almost every weekend.

Endless climbing to explore at Castle Crags State Park

I had the chance to go to nearby Castle Crags State Park and check out some really awesome and uncrowded granite climbing. The approach takes about an hour and climbs pretty steeply, but has some great views of Mt. Shasta.

Yet another Shasta photo... I think it is now the most photographed mountain on my site.

One of my new climbing partners, Jason, led our crew of mostly beginners to Super Crack Spire. This spire had a nice variety of climbs from a great 5.9 crack to a really exposed 5.6.

Nick on the 5.9 "Super Crack"

Nick checking out the views while on belay.

Apparently there are a lot of first ascents possible in area. I wouldn't doubt it, there was hardly anyone here and climbing as far as the eye could see.

Unfortunately, Castle Crags is on the chopping block to be one of the 70 California State Parks that is being closed due to budgetary constraints. I try to avoid politics in general, but I find it very frustrating that I lose access to public land that my taxes are supposed to pay for, but due to mismanagement and poor legislation I am forced to be crowded into less open space. Hopefully these politicians will come to their senses and realize how valuable recreation and wild lands really are… then again this is California and the politicians would have to get out of their cars to realize this.

While on this rant… I also have been up climbing in Lassen National Park, which has a whole different set of access issues.

The day started out with a brisk hike to help Nick get his turns in for October. He has been on a mission to ski one day every month this year and was cutting it close at the end of October. I helped him out and went and skied a few icey turns with him.

Nick enjoying the view before changing into ski boots.

A nice Halloween Eve

Does this look like October 30th to you? Maybe if you were on the East Coast...

After an icey but fun run. We made the quick hike to the “Rock Band” a fun crag at the base of Lassen Peak.

Mount Diller and Brokeoff Mountain, looks like good skiing.

The forbidden Lassen Peak

Nick and I set up a top rope on a nice 5.9 crack. It was a unique experience skiing and rock climbing without even stopping at the car.

Nick at the crux.

Nick on the way out

A day on Handies Peak (14,048′)


After a summer of hiking for a living, I finally got out for a nice pleasure hike up the mellow 14er, Handies Peak, located south of Lake City and right off of Cinnamon Pass. The hike starts around the 12,000 foot mark and climbs out of American Basin mellowly. After passing a beautiful alpine lake, you begin the climb switchbacks several times before gaining the summit ridge. There is a nice trail all the way to the summit making this a nice easy mountain to climb, but it was fun to hike without all my work equipment. My younger brother Jon and his girlfriend, Sarah, rallied from Denver to take on this enjoyable fall hike.

Sloan Lake, at the base of American Peak (13,806).

Sarah Brown hiking with Handies Peak behind her.

Sarah Brown begins the climb up Handies Peak, with the ominous face of American Peak looming behind her.

Quickly gaining elevation.

Jon Jay and Sarah Brown, approach the summit ridge of Handies Peak.

Jon nears the top with Jones Mountain (13,860') behind.

The Wetterhorn (14,015') and Uncompahgre (14,363') Peaks from the summit of Handies Peak.

Stoked on the summit.

Also, a couple weeks ago Jon came down for another visit where we did some climbing and rode the Monarch Divide Trail. The trail is pretty awesome as you ride nearly 10 miles above treeline. It is certainly a unique experience.

Jon enjoys the view of Mount Aetna (13,746') from the Monarch Divide Trail.

Jon riding on the Monarch Crest.

Summer in Gunnison and the surrounding mountains


Fall is in the air here in Gunnison, and it feels like a good time to go back and look at how I spent my summer in Colorado. Enjoy these photos from around Colorado.

Sarah explores great Great Sand Dunes National Park

San Miguel Peak in the San Juans.

The Elk Mountains from Redwell Basin, near Crested Butte.

The San Juans south of Lake San Cristobal

The Ruby Range in June.

Elephant's Head

Red Mountain in the San Juan Mountains

The Castles in the West Elk Mountains

A misty morning in the Ruby Range

The Wetterhorn on the left the Matterhorn on the right (not quite Europe, but close)

The Wetterhorn

The Matterhorn and Uncompaghre Peaks

The Sunshine Group near Telluride.

Climbing at Hartman's Rocks outside of Gunnison

Some summer, some winter. Ah, springtime in Montana


Classic springtime in Southwest Montana this year, a little bit of sun, a little bit of snow and a whole bunch of fun. When the sun has been shining I’ve been getting out on the rock and starting to do a bit of climbing. This has been nice especially since we’ve been in the 60s a couple times this year.

Scotty Davidson climbing in Bear Canyon


Scotty being lowered after a nice lead.


Sarah Eshback going vertical in Bear Canyon.


Then it snowed… a lot. A dawn patrol up Bridger surprised all of us with nearly 2 feet of fresh having fallen, and us breaking trail up the mountain to get first tracks. Needless to say, it was a pleasant late April surprise.

Shawtann Whitson showing that even April can bring face shots.


Shawtann getting his powder pants on


Breakfast on April 29, 2010. Skier-Shawtann Whitson


Still gettin' the goods nearly a month after the ski area closed. Skier-Shawtann Whitson


We took a few laps, smiling the entire time about the great snow. Skier-Shawtan


The storm total was somewhere around 3 feet. Skier-Shawtan


And people complain about spring snow... weird. Skier-Shawtan

Back in the States


I’ve been back home for the last couple weeks. Haven’t been skiing much other than a quick dawn patrol up Mt. Ellis. I have however been doing a fair amount of rock climbing as the temperatures have been warming up a bit.

Enjoy these European Panorama’s and climbing pictures!

View from the Brevent Ski Area

Chamonix...what else can I say?

Aguille Verte

Steve Gilson photoing the Swiss Alps

The view from Chappelsiberg

The Wetterhorn Massif and the rest of the valley below Haslital Ski Area

Sunset on the Italian Riviera

Patrick Lawrence slashes on Mt. Ellis... my first day skiing back in the good ol' USofA

Sara Jay, rock climbing at Revenue Flats, west of Bozeman

Cool fire effect, camping at Revenue Flats

Sarah Eshback makes her way up a 5.7 on her first day ever climbing.

Myself, looking for holds. Photo: Sarah Eshback

Climbing at the end of the day. Photo: Sarah Eshback

One more night of camping in beautiful Revenue Flats...

Finally, be sure to check out Steve Gilson Photography for more (and better) pictures of my recent Europe trip as well as other great pictures from around the west!