Oregon summer life

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Oregon summer life

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I moved to Bend, Oregon in May and have been exploring quite a bit. Why Oregon people asked. I considered Colorado, Utah and Oregon as three states I would live in the US and Oregon is the only state I haven’t lived in yet. I only have one year VISA to stay in the US (unless I got H1B VISA lottery) so I guess now or never!

Trout Creek

Trout Creek

Recently got a flyfishing photoshoot project. I’ve never really gone fishing or fly-fishing because I’m not very patient…. Doing photography is way more fun - constantly worried if I’m gonna drop my camera.

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Crooked river

Crooked river

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As a climber, Smith Rock is definitely a destination. I usually don’t carry my camera if I just go climbing. Somehow there were some guests visiting and I brought my camera out while hiking with them.

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A thunderstorm was approaching and the sky turned so dark and red. No filter!!

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I’m notoriously known for obsessed with cats. Now I got a chance to take a cat out - not my cat. I can’t have that responsibility yet.

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It’s definitely the cutest thing ever. I think she has potential to be an adventure cat like doing some big mountain hiking and climbing with me in the future.

Maybe not.

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The best place to be - Indian Creek

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The best place to be - Indian Creek

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Since I went there the first time couple months ago, I’ve always wanted to go back. This winter was long and snowy. I finally got a chance going down south with my friends twice. My left hand skin was torn at the first day and it only became worse after days. I’m not going to say what I climbed in this article. I hope the photos will tell the story itself.

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Spring in Bend, Oregon

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Spring in Bend, Oregon

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My roommate and his friend were planning to go to Mt. Bachelor touring (backcountry snowboarding) for a week so I voluntarily tagged along. Due to the weather I toured zero days. It’s actually desert climate in Bend but it did rain 3 out of 5 days when we were there.

Dan insisted his old school way winding. (We still used google map navigating.)

Dan insisted his old school way winding. (We still used google map navigating.)

The place I stayed has the cutest black cat - Jeans.

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My host is a very good cook. I barely cooked that week thanks to him.

My host is a very good cook. I barely cooked that week thanks to him.

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At the rainy day we couldn’t go out, we had a dumpling contest. He made the gluten free ones for his roommate.

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His.

His.

Mine.

Mine.

The weather was actually great at the first day I was there. We took an advantage going to ride at Mt. Bachelor.

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Cone-shape volcano terrain is very interesting… once you reach the summit you can go down anywhere. Wind blow snow makes the wave-like structure which is way fun. But there are some natural heat-venting holes somewhere… I almost fell into one.

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I was super stoked to climb at Smith Rock one day. I came here the first time in Aug last year which was too hot. I haven’t climbed outdoor since December so I was a bit too scared to lead. I only led a few easy ones after the multi-pitch route.

I took this photo last year. This time we were planning to do multi-pitches so I didn’t bring my NIKON.

I took this photo last year. This time we were planning to do multi-pitches so I didn’t bring my NIKON.

Smith Rock is truly beautiful. It’s one of the earliest sport climb area in the US.

Smith Rock is truly beautiful. It’s one of the earliest sport climb area in the US.

I don’t know why I never blog about my amazing road trip last year climbing from Salt Lake City-Idaho-Oregon. I guess I spent too much time climbing than taking photos… DSLR is definitely too much sometimes when you have gears and rope in your backpack.

3 pitches 10a Thin Air.

3 pitches 10a Thin Air.

Then it started to rain 3 days in a row… also on the mountain… We climbed in the gym sometimes. At the last day they went to skate park I tagged along (no I don’t skate) just for taking photos.

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I honestly never had so many rest days in a week for the whole winter. I’ve always been snowboarding, climbing or touring. My body will be lucky if I have 3 rest days in a month. (It’s usually when I have lower back pain that I really need some rest.) I’m glad to slow down a bit in this week and take my camera out again.

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First time at crack climb mecca - Indian Creek

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First time at crack climb mecca - Indian Creek

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I don’t post every climbing trip here because sometimes I focus too much on climbing itself and forgot to take pictures. Or I don’t want to post the same locations three times in a row. Or I was just too busy(lazy) to post. I actually climb every week, and mostly sport climbing. I’ve always wanted to go to Indian Creek but I know I can only follow since I have no crack climbing skills. It was raining quite often in October and finally found friends to climb with last week.

Sean got to Creek two months ago and he’s addicted to it.

Sean got to Creek two months ago and he’s addicted to it.

The first day I was literally pulled up every route like I expected. I had been to Vedauwoo before and my friend Ben nicely and patiently taught me a few techniques. Crack climbing technique is still different based on the size of crack.

Bring your TC pro (La Sportiva climbing shoes) and tons of tape to the Creek!

Bring your TC pro (La Sportiva climbing shoes) and tons of tape to the Creek!

At Indian Creek it’s rare to see anything below 5.10. My friend Sean put up some 5.8, 5.9 for me to practice and I still struggled big time. But after time, my body gradually learned. I thought the next day I probably will struggle more because I’ll be sore. But I actually did better. Same thing on the third day, and got even better on the fourth day.

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I also unexpectedly met Art Center alumni, Kelly Halpin, at the creek.
3 years ago, I reached out to her for my snowboarding project and have been following her ig since then. I've been hugely inspired by her - she's a trail runner sponsored by La Sportiva and all sorts of outdoor brands; climbers, snowboarders, and illustrator. She's also the artist who did the latest creek guidebook cover. Not many people from my school are that active (stress, caffeine and maybe tobacco are everyone’s best friends) . It's really rare to see someone thrive in outdoor space. Watching her cruising up a crack route is so inspiring. One day I’ll be cruising too right?

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Scarface 11b

Scarface 11b

Meagan gears up for Cave route 10d

Meagan gears up for Cave route 10d

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I didn’t know I’ll get addicted to crack climbing. In the middle of the night I woke up (bc the night was too long) and thought I could lead that 5.9. Then I did it! I freaked out at the thinner part and took on my gears but I’m really stoked I finished it. Thanks my friends put up some 11s and even 12s that I had a chance to try how hard it was for higher grade routes. I honestly feel I’ll lead finger crack 11s earlier than off-width 5.9….

I’m pretty sure I’ll go back soon and will have another post about Indian Creek again, again and again.

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Bouldering in flurry - Joe's Valley

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Bouldering in flurry - Joe's Valley

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I’m getting closer to my dirtbag dream - I quitted my job!

It was not a hard decision. I just didn’t like working there. I never felt clicked to anything anyone. I’ve been debating just quitting and doing something I like such as photography, hiking and climbing. Climbing gives me a sense of progression, satisfaction and a venue to understand myself. It also allows me to expand my friendship circle. I honestly have so many climbing friends that I wouldn’t imagine before.

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I’ve been mostly sport climbing and didn’t do much bouldering. I was really scared of outdoor bouldering last year because of top-out and down-climbing. But I can’t avoid it forever and I also need get stronger! Recruited my friends and we headed down to Joe’s Valley on a weekend.

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Saturday was a beautiful day. There were lots of people as we expected. Also met people from the same climbing gym, The Front Climbing Club. I actually had been climbing for 3 days so I took my camera, snacks and sketchbook as a backup plan.

Jamie on a V3.

Jamie on a V3.

Jamie: “I don’t know what I’m doing”
Andrew: “Climbing… bouldering.”
Me: “People quit their jobs doing this.”
Dan: “There are two examples here (himself and me.)”

Black Sea V8

Black Sea V8

Black Sea V8

Black Sea V8

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Hapa

Hapa

V5

V5

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Sunday when we woke up it was like 20 degree. Wind was blowing and surprisingly it was snowing! I didn’t wear my socks at night so it was kinda miserable. I wrapped myself with sleeping bag just sitting there didn’t have the courage to go out of the tent.
I’m going back home I think.
It’s too cold. TOO COLD!

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We tried to cook breakfast in the tent. My friend Andrew’s stove somehow was not connecting to propane properly and propane diffused. It reached to the fire of my JetBoil and suddenly it was all on fire for a second! No one got hurt but my hair was burnt. We did have tent door open but still not a good idea cooking inside. It was really scary.
After breakfast, we made fire trying to get a bit warmer. That day highest was 40 degree FML.
I really want to go home.
Until 10 o’clock the sun finally came out. The wind gradually calmed down. It was still cold but bearable.

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For Emily it was perfect sending temp!

Steal my beaf jerky.

Steal my beaf jerky.

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In this trip I didn’t do much only V0, V2, V3 and struggled on V4. (V5 is above the level of struggle.)

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The whole day I was just thinking “this is so cold.” Sometimes it was snowing; sometimes it was sunny. Everyone was wearing puffy and only took it off when they bouldered. Put it on right after they fell.

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Anyway, it was a good time. I honestly just enjoyed hanging out with friends.

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Wild Iris (Wyoming)

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Wild Iris (Wyoming)

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If you’re not a climber, you won’t come here. There’s no reason to. And yes I came here for climbing, and only sport climbing. It was a labor day weekend and I took two days off so it became a long weekend. I literally invited every climber friend (well it’s like EVERYONE I know in Salt Lake City), friends invited friends and it became a super fun weekend.

As a photographer, of course I’ll never be in the scene. But basically everyone is here.

As a photographer, of course I’ll never be in the scene. But basically everyone is here.

We’re a group ranging from 5.10 climbers to 5.12/13a climbers. We had campfire every night, mainly talked about climbing, where to climb, funny climbing experience, and something not so important.

Replenish energy and clipping nails are essential for climbers.

Replenish energy and clipping nails are essential for climbers.

This guy planned on sustain for 3 days on a box of cliff bars (and soup.) During the meantime, I was cooking full meal. I was really minimalist and I gradually transformed to luxury car camping. Why not?

This guy planned on sustain for 3 days on a box of cliff bars (and soup.) During the meantime, I was cooking full meal. I was really minimalist and I gradually transformed to luxury car camping. Why not?

Our crag dog Riley. You’ll see him in my previous article (The Finds, Idaho.)

Our crag dog Riley. You’ll see him in my previous article (The Finds, Idaho.)

Surprisingly Riley loved this guy while hating other male human beings.

Surprisingly Riley loved this guy while hating other male human beings.

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Emily on Lone Pilgrim 12a.

Emily on Lone Pilgrim 12a.

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Greg worked on Poker Face Alice 12b

Greg worked on Poker Face Alice 12b

Spectator

Spectator

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Behind the scene - I bought an ascender before this trip for photography. But I didn’t get a ladder and it made pulling up a big nightmare. It was more tiring than climbing…. It was really fun getting some photos from the top. I also noticed that it got painful after sitting in my harness for a while. I definitely want to do more climbing photography but I also want to climb… it’s a hard choice!

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Climbing at the Fins - Idaho

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Climbing at the Fins - Idaho

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Took a 5-day climbing trip around July 4th holiday with friends - two of them only stayed for a weekend and Emily and I stayed for longer.

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Emily's crag dog, Reily, imagined the Fins was his farm and climbers were his sheeps.... he barked at whoever in his sight - he was doing his job! (Emily: you're fired!)

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I need to step up my camping meal game. Emily was so well-prepared making delicious healthy dinner. Meantime I was eating dry food or can food.

The Fins- it's the area that you won't find on Google Map. People come here only for climbing. I came to the lower part (Mortal Earth) last year. This time we came to the Head Wall and Discovery Wall.

Head wall- the first wall you'll see when you approach from the top.

Head wall- the first wall you'll see when you approach from the top.

Only 4WD can access upper part - it was a steep gravel road. It was pretty chilly at night and in the morning.

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I slept in my van and would grab my sleeping pad out of the van lying down under the sun in the morning.

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I currently work at Klymit as a designer and upgraded my sleep outside game. I used to use yoga mat which is bigger and heavier. Klymit sleeping pad is super lightweight and can be deflated in a sec. During those night I was sleeping in Klymit 20 sleeping bag which was a bit overkill (I was sweating haha...)

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I used Klymit Splash 25 to carry rope and gears - it's actually not designed for climbing; it's for canyoneering. So it is not easy to stuff the rope in and take it out (I still think it's much more than 25L...)

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Thanks to Emily, I got a chance to top-tope some hard routes 11a/b, 12a and even 13a. I've only climbed for almost a year now (onsight level- easy 10s) so those are really hard for me! (Emily: grab the right hand-hold there! Me: It's not a hold for me...) 
It was really inspiring to see all the good climbers here projecting 12s or 13s. 

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My attempt of 13a... only did a few moves and gave up

My attempt of 13a... only did a few moves and gave up

After 4 days of being dirt-bag, we were tired and sore like old ladies. So we decided to check out the Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve.

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It's a place looks like the moon surface, lots of lava, very bare. It was also much hotter than the Fins. Pets are not allowed at most of the trails so we didn't hike much or stay long.

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Those caves are still worth checking out if you have a headlamp or flashlight. They are not big but they let you taste a bit sense of adventure.

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In this trip most of the time we were just chilling and enjoying the nature. Watching the sunset and the sky became blue and pink before it got dark. I only wish I could live that like everyday.

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Nevada - Lake Tahoe and Virginia City

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Nevada - Lake Tahoe and Virginia City

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2018 the end of February I went to Lake Tahoe few days for snowboarding. I couchsurfed at Carson City in Nevada and got a chance to check out the old miner town, Virginia City.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

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The first day I went to Northstar ski resort. This season didn't get much snow so the condition was alright. I was surprised to see many families during weekday though.

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At the next day, I went to Kirkwood and it was snowing all day. I didn't bring my camera just fully enjoyed the powder. Going down the mountain with snow chain on my tires was a nightmare. It took me double amount of time to get back...

The third day I went to Heavenly. Got there a bit late and joined the tourist crowd. The lift lines were insane. I didn't have much patience only took few runs and went back to Carson City. My couchsurfing host offering me showing around.

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Virginia City is 20 min away from Carson City. Prostitution is still legal there. My couchsurfing host's roommate had a book about the history of prostitution in Virginia City. It reminded me the HBO series I got really addicted to, Westworld. I don't really watch TV shows and usually don't have patience to keep watching it. But the Westworld, the story is so good. 

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It will be more touristic and vivid in summer time. Winter is just cold and dismal.

Old mining site

Old mining site

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The old bar in Virginia City.

The old bar in Virginia City.

Wild horses around Virginia City.

Wild horses around Virginia City.

Didn't plan on visiting this old mining town but it ended up the most interesting thing to see in this trip. Thanks for couchsurfing, I always had a blast with the hosts and learned things from them.

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Escalante

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Escalante

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This is my second time visiting Escalante, Utah. Last time I checked out this place by myself in July, 2017 and got lost in the desert... I was lucky to find the way back to my car and didn't need any rescue. Here is my instagram story.

I also smashed my camera at the last trip (because of my stupidity.) In the past few months, I've tried to save money and get a new (it's actually used) NIKON D610 - my first full-frame camera. I'm also stoked to get a new lens works on full-frame DSLR (oh god why is it so expensive?) I contacted the park ranger I met last time and headed down to Escalante before Donald Trump destroys this place.

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Swing by Bryce National Park. I had been here 3 years ago so I didn't stay long. Plus I had incredible pain from my period that day I was seriously dying in my car...

The park ranger Mike took me to some non-touristic spots with his 4WD (my Honda Civic wouldn't make it.) Thanks his guide and knowledge, I was able to explore this amazing place SAFELY!

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Please don't doodle on the rock... it's illegal and you'll get a ticket!

Please don't doodle on the rock... it's illegal and you'll get a ticket!

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It was pretty cold in December. But like any other park in Utah, it didn't get snow this year... It's usually covered by couple feet of snow in winter - which means you can go backcountry skiing!

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The next day morning we had a nice breakfast in this (only?) restaurant/trading post in Boulder. 

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Ohhhhhh I love cats! This cat looks like my cat, piupiu. He audaciously walked up to my shoulder when I petted him. 

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Then we went hiking at Harris Wash heading to Cosmic Eye (or Cosmic Ashtray.)

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There's no obvious trail. GPS is recommended. I can't remember how I got there. I don't suggest venturing by yourself if you have no experience hiking in desert. 

Cosmic eye

Cosmic eye

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It's pretty sad that Donald Tump wants to exploit this place for coal mining and such. Patagonia filed a lawsuit against his action. To see more details, visit Patagonia site here.

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Thanksgiving climbing trip

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Thanksgiving climbing trip

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Since last time the climbing trip to Wyoming with the climbing buddies from Boulder, we met again in Moab! This was not the first time I went to Moab - 2 years ago I had a road trip with friends and scoped around the National Parks there (tourist mode).

2015 Aug

2015 Aug

Few months ago I went climbing (mostly slab) with my friend for my birthday. 

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2017 Sep

This time we were planning to climb Castleton Tower in Castle Valley, Utah. I've never done trad climb, neither crack climb. My friend Ryan would be the one on lead and Alex and I would just top-roping. I was pretty excited but also nervous - the whole climb is 4 pitches more than 400'!

The route we climbed was North Chimney 5.9 (I didn't know the route until I got there. Ryan told me we were going to climb Kor-Ingalls 5.9+

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We were debating if we wanted to hike in at night and sleep at the base of the tower because it was a very popular climbing spot. The climbers who just came down from the tower convinced us to have a good sleep at the trailhead since the trail was not easy to find. 

We woke up at 5 hiking in dark and planned to start the climb when the first light appears. 

Dawn, ready for the climb.

Dawn, ready for the climb.

We were the first group arriving the tower even though I was out of breath dragging the speed. (The trail was quite steep.) There was another group of two young guys running up (Connor and Jonny) going to climb the same route, and a family from Jackson Holes who didn't end up climbing because of the long wait. 

The first part you can either go on a big boulder or hand jam at the right side of the crack. I was trying to jam myself up since it would be a far reach on big boulder. But I couldn't. After two attempt, Connor suggested me to go on big boulder and he even pushed me up. Hahaha it was a little bit aid here.

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After the first pitch 130' 5.9 I was very exhausted and my arms were pumped. I thought I couldn't make it to the top. Ryan asked if I wanted to keep going or lower down. I decided to give second pitch a try - off-width climbing. It was lots of struggle and swear.

Calcite is a bitch. It really is.
No one likes it. It's slippery as hell. It's against the rule and our hope - enough friction.

The start of third pitch required hand-jam - I just couldn't pull myself up. I was so frustrated and both my friends were out of my sight. I tried again and slipped. Saw blood on the rock and realized my finger was cut. Wrapped it, told myself to calm down and figured the other way to climb up. There was one part that you would step from one side of the chimney to the other side - if you look down, you would see how high you've climbed. I didn't. I think I would just freak out.

The final pitch was a piece of cake compared to the previous pitches.

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Can't believe I made it to the top!! Even it was only top-roping!

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400' drop! Woooohooooo!!

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We were chilling at the top enjoying our success and rest for a while.

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Rappel down was so scary but also fun. It was 2 rappel with two ropes. We passed by English climbers who were climbing 5.11 route. It looked really difficult and terrifying.

I'm not gonna lie I was so scared the whole climb. It was not easy for me even though it was only 5.9 and I had previously led 5.10 outdoor (indoor climbing 5.11). My body was sore for 2 days and my calves were all bruises. 

After the climb, we headed to Joe's Valley.

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Outdoor boulder is not my cup of tea because I was too scared to fall. I also didn't have enough strength after climbing that tower. I mainly took photos that day.

Give your climbing shoes some love <3

Give your climbing shoes some love <3

It was pretty cold in the morning. After trying one boulder problem, my hands were freezing.

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We met some climbers from Colorado. They all wanted to do the same problem V6 so it became a crashpad party.

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People kept trying alternatively. Ryan was the first and only one who finished the problem.

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I did try but I couldn't do any move hahaha.... (My level was about V4 indoor boulder.)

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My friends moved to other spots trying V4-V6 problems.

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At night, we made fire at the campground. They read stories and I fell asleep. This was probably my favorite time of a day.

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The next day was cloudy and made me feel even colder. They wanted to keep bouldering. I said goodbye to them and headed to Colorado. Can't do any upper body workout but I still can snowboard!

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