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Showing posts from 2007

A newer, cleaner, more web 2.0-ish downclimb

A couple nights ago I uploaded a fresh look for downclimb.com, the first I think I've had since January of 2005. I really wanted the front page to be a portal to my growing homes on the web, such as Panoramio, Flickr, and del.icio.us. I think I've accomplished that, although people not familiar with the logos for the various services might think I've sold out to corporate advertisers. (If you're one of those services, feel free to send me cash.)

I've also grown fond of Tumblr, the host that provides my tumblog tumbledown. I really like that it catches all my RSS feeds from my other sites. If you don't want to miss any of my web activity, that is the single feed to subscribe to.

HOBO (Hoosier to Boreas) Traverse

My colleague, Peter Lubin, and I got this idea of traversing Hoosier Ridge from Hoosier Pass to Boreas Pass. It looked great on the map - not too long, lots of time above timberline, and easy slopes from peak to peak. It's harder than it looks, but certainly worth the effort.



Routefinding was pretty straightforward, and the whole trip can be broken into three basic parts. The first part is west-to-east from Hoosier Pass up the ridge. The ridge then turns north to Red Peak for the second leg. The third and final part is west to Boreas Pass. The first stretch of the third leg is probably the best - you cross bands of sandstone and nice wildflowers while gently losing elevation. The worst part of the climb is at the end. You have to drop down to treeline and then regain 700 feet over the last hill before Boreas Pass. If there had been an easy way around it, we certainly would have considered taking it. But no, the easy way is to go right over the top, no matter how steep it …

Mt. Sheridan (and home in time for the Cubs game)

Okay, time for a real climb! Mt. Sheridan, Sherman, and Gemini sit right out my front window, so it seemed natural to head up one of them. Having climbed Sherman before, I chose Sheridan. I knew the way up there and reports of conditions on Sherman were good. Sunday I left town about 5:40 am and hit the trail at 6:25, stopping only briefly to take pictures of the weirdest (and only) 3-legged elk I'd ever seen.

The first part of the climb follows the old mining road and I turned off the road near a small mine ruin south of the Hilltop Mine. There were a number of people already headed across a large snowfield towards Sherman's south ridge. I postholed across a 25-foot stretch of snow and then scrambled up some scree until I met a faint trail headed south across Sheridan's face. Ahead of me I could see the top of Horseshoe. At a small rock shelter I headed up the scree to the summit. Both ridges (south and north) had soft snow and the rock between wasn't very sta…

North Star Mountain

Last Thursday I headed out early for Hoosier Pass with the goal of climbing North Star Mountain. North Star Mountain is a 13er that sits between Mt. Lincoln to the south and Quandary Peak to the north. Routefinding should have been easy on North Star as there is a road that you can follow most of the way.

I hadn't even hiked an hour before coming to this:



Bummer. Sure, I could have just gone around the gate and gone on my way, but I didn't feel like being a rule-breaker at that particular moment. I'm assuming that the closure is related to the same land ownership issues currently plaguing Lincoln, Bross, and Democrat to the south.

This was my first real hike of the season and the first with my new digital camera. I've been doing a lot of work to geotag my pictures and get them in various places on the web. (Flickr, Panoramio, gallery@downclimb) It's a lot of work, especially when there are so many decisions to make (and remake) and so many cool features to take …

downclimb everywhere!

I'm really getting into the spirit of web 2.0. What does that mean? It means I'm embracing the use of the web as a social tool, using it more than ever to establish my character, personality, and presence on the web. It also means I'm as big of a geek as ever, although now I'm a more up-to-date geek. There are so many web 2.0 options out there that it's hard to decide which ones to use, and sometimes even harder to figure out exactly what you should do with the ones you have. For example, I steer clear of the major social networking sites; don't bother looking for me on MySpace, Facebook, or Virb. But what about Flickr? I already have a place for all my photography on the web. Should I duplicate that effort on Flickr just for the exposure? Or should I use Flickr for something else, like uploads from my cameraphone? I'd like an organized presence on the web, so let me explain how I see all these web 2.0 pieces fitting together.

downclimb.com: This s…

Springtime in South Park

I first saw snowflakes fall here at the end of last August. We got our first accumulation at the end of September. On this fine may morning we have about 6 inches of snow, so that's pretty much a 9-month winter. You've gotta love this place!

Fairplay Factor

People tend to be curious about day-to-day weather at 10,000 feet. Not too many people live up here, and I was a little curious myself about the winters in South Park. I'm happy to report that the weather is generally cold, windy, sunny, and we don't get as much snow as you'd think. See, people usually think we get a ton of snow, but a lot of it stays on the Breckenridge side of the pass. It's definitely not the defining feature of winter in Fairplay. That prize belongs to the wind.

My apartment sits on top of a hill overlooking the Platte River, and the wind howls straight down from Hoosier Pass at speeds that shake the building. It's intense. Here's where the mathematician/scientist in me gets to wondering. How does the daily peak wind gust compare to the daily peak temperature? Many days I think the wind gust is by far the higher number, and a comparison of the two measures could be used to determine the truly lousy weather days we sometimes have.

I&#…

0 for 3

Weekend Plan #1: Drive to Iowa and back to watch the national duals wrestling tournament. Trip canceled due to weather.

Weekend Plan #2: Drive to Florence to help out with the Husky Invitational wrestling tournament. Trip canceled due to weather.

Weekend Plan #3: Walk to school to help out with concessions during basketball games. The walk to school was successful, but the games were canceled due to weather.

So here I am, 0 for 3, but you know what? This isn't all that bad. Short of actually making it to national duals, having a weekend to myself is probably the next best thing. I'll have time to catch up on grading papers and I can watch all the football games. Not bad at all.

New Year, New Post

I'm finally catching onto this Web 2.0 stuff. I created a Google account and started poking around at all the new tools. First I started playing with Google Docs and Spreadsheets and even using a spreadsheet collaboratively with a fellow teacher. Cool stuff. I setup a Gmail account, although I'll be sticking with my regular account for my primary email. Maybe the best find was Google Reader, an RSS feed reader. I had been using the Sage extension for Firefox, but Google Reader is much nicer. As a news junkie with dialupinternet access, feed readers are a necessity. (I'm currently off dialup...more on that later, along with other news on where I'm at and what I'm doing.) I've also started using Google Notebook and Google Calendar, although neither with much frequency.

Eventually this all had to lead back to what was probably my first Web 2.0 tool, Blogger. I've been a Blogger user since the end of 2001 (sparingly, I admit, but I was a Blogger Pro us…