Five Years

Exactly five years ago this blog saw its first blog post.

Hello World

Hey look! A website! Time to run off to school, but nice to see this guy is up.

11 October 2011

Although actually, it wasn't this blog, but a Wordpress blog (I'm running on software I helped build called "Ghost" now), and back then the website was novaugust.net/blog, rather than blog.novaugust.net.

Year One: Japan

The blog got its start as a way to chronicle my time studying abroad in Japan for my family. As such, there are posts on academics (nerd!) and language and linguistics. There's also quite a few on the everyday minutiae of the life I was living.

Something that just doesn't happen anymore is posts of videos and articles from around the internet. Anymore, the only people who get promoted on this blog are Martin and Andrea...

And, of course, there were posts on skiing and climbing, which is what this site has become entirely about.

suzuki san Suzuki-san, my first climbing partner in 日本.

fall leaves Yamadera, Yamagata, Japan

ubagatake, first round Ubagatake

japan night street Zhao

hakkouda Hakkouda

The year also put on display my penchant for travel, running all over Japan on multiple occasions - with my visiting family, with friends from Sendai, and to see friends in the Kansai region - and even jetsetting to Korea and Thailand.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

My father at the Golden Pavillion, Kyoto

Miyajima

Fireworks in Korea

The penis beach of Railay

Nearly 100 posts came from that year in Japan, including ones that kept rolling out after I came back in August 2012.

Year Two: Settling Down

Once I had said all I was going to about Japan, the blog slowed down a lot.

In the next year I put my much-improved backcountry skills (thanks Japan!) to use in Colorado and Wyoming, and made a few trips up to Lander for rock climbing. My habit of taking a camera with me on these adventures was set, but I was still more likely to put them on Facebook than the blog.

So the second year of life for my blog saw a magnitude fewer posts. The ones that made it were mostly skiing, although slice of life still made it in.

Ken and I spent ten days back in Thailand almost exactly a year after I was last there. That trip never did get written up, really.

Back in Thailand almost exactly a year after the first trip

Late in the spring I met Andrea, a friendship I would later take advantage of on two trips to Europe in the coming years.

Oh, and it looks like I started letting my hair grow out.

Year Three: Life, man.

A few weekends of the summer of 2013 were spent in Lander, refocusing on climbing. That was the year that started my tradition of being in Wild Iris on July 4th.

The climbing blog posts from that year were the first ones to intricately describe each route I had done. I was becoming more and more of a climber...

Reading the guidebook at the campsite by the shitter.

It seems like I started playing with editing software around this time, probably just experimenting with sliders in Google's defunct Picasa software.

That summer I graduated from my six-and-a-half-year-long undergraduate program and went to Europe for the first time to climb (a little) and visit all the friends I had made while in Japan and Thailand. I only ever managed to write up the part of my trip in England, though I also spent time in France (climbing) and Sweden (friends).

Guess where

Maybe for the first time, I tried to be a photographer.

My first grass photo!??!

When I came back, I made Lander home. In the fall and winter I wrote climbing and ski posts that for the first time look like the ones I do now. In other words, photography posts. Being "the guy with the camera" seemed to be shifting to "being the photographer".

Playing with sliders in Sinks Canyon paid off when I came back from a trip to Utah's deserts - my first to Indian Creek, where I now spend at least two weeks a year.

Holy god an artistically cropped photo!

Atop Easter Island

Generic Crack

When Winter came, Andrea was back in the states, along with her boyfriend Martin. They spent the cold months skiing in Jackson, WY, and I managed to get in on some of the action. I now chat with Martin on a weekly frequency across the ocean, although our friendship probably didn't really mature until I went back to Europe again the next year.

Life in Lander had started optimistically, but workplace friction, my failure to make local friends, the end of a relationship, injury, and finally surgery put a new perspective on life. Early in the summer I went to Jackson for work on a two month stint. In my last week there, with my knee finally recovered enough to to go mountain biking, I did.

And promptly shattered my collarbone on my first ride.

At the end of my tenure in Jackson I went back to Lander, gave my two weeks, and moved to Jackson.

Year Four: Jackson

Fall picked up speed fast in 2014. The collarbone healed surprisingly quickly, and for the first time in nearly a year I was a rock climber again!

The Tetons from Blacktail Butte

Top. Rope. Hero.

It was my season of alpine. Dave Goldman and I hiked into the cirque - and right back out again when we got snow dumped on us.

New friends in Jackson helped me see the best side of the Tetons.

Baxter's Pinnacle with Hunter and Suzanne

Symmetry Spire with Matt Ward

Best of all, I reunited with Ken in Vedauwoo that fall after a hiatus in our friendship.

On October 11th (holy shit that's today! The blogiversary!) I got an email from one Christopher Trudeau.

Sorry if this is a repeat request, but do you wan [sic] to get out and climb this fall?

Thus began a friendship that has, in the two ensuing years, totally ruined changed my life.

Speaking of friendships made that year, the first Creeksgiving happened.

The creeksgiving crew

The blog really picked up steam that year, with tons and tons of ski posts rolling in as I did tons and tons of skiing. Trudeau became my number one ski partner and gave me the grand tour of Teton Pass. Meanwhile, my work had bought me a season pass to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

You'll get pretty good at skiing living in Jackson.

In summary of my first year in Jackson:

Europe

The spring of 2015 I was back in Europe, this time for two months. I took thousands of photos, which means I got at least two good ones.

Unlike my previous trip to Europe, I did a great job of writing up each and every part of the trip, so I don't need to do that here do I? The quick summary: I have great friends.

Year Four: The Nomad

I didn't have a home when I came back from Europe. That was fine though, because I also didn't have a job.

The summer of 2015 was the finest that could be imagined. For the first time, three international friends - Disa, Disa, and Erik - came and visited me in my homeland. It was summarized with the video post A Month In Wyoming. Ken and Trudeau were big parts of the summer as well, cementing two strong friendships.

I climbed endlessly that year. Ten Sleep, Spearfish, Devil's Tower, Wild Iris, City of Rocks, the Tetons, Sinks Canyon, Indian Creek, Shelf Road. All of that practice and Trudeau's mentoring took my sport climbing from 10+ to 12-, and my trad from 9 to 11+.

Horay.

In its fourth year of life, slice-of-life posts disappeared from my blog. This is probably because my life was climbing, skiing and photography. There wasn't anything else. I was in so many beautiful places for so long that every post was sure to have some great shots in it. My photography obviously improved that year.

As money began to run out in late November I once again became a working man, but minimally so. I worked with my friend Jeremy as a consulting team, and didn't personally bill more than ten hours a week in the first two months.

I had a short but great ski season. January's trip to Roger's Pass was so good that I didn't feel like I needed to do any more.

In February, house sitting my friends' parent's place in Jackson, I dove into work, programming from before the sun was up to well after it was down. The money I made that month later became a down payment on a sprinter van.

Two weekend trips took me to Sinks Canyon; the first was with Trudeau, the second with Hilton. While Ken and I were there I met Shane and Shaleas, who became fixtures of my summer later.

At the end of February I had shoulder surgery in an attempt to fix my (rebroken a year before) clavicle. I went to Laramie to recuperate, but didn't give it much time before I was hanging off ropes again in Fremont Canyon.

Something rather unique in adult life happened there: I met a large group of folks from Laramie and immediately felt like they were all friends. They are called "the Gypses", and were a pivotal part of my spring and summer in Laramie.

Laramie

Sixteen posts tell the story from there. Living on couches, Laramie became home. Doubly so when I started dating and realized I had been in town for the better part of half a year.

When I had recovered from surgery I immediately got back on the rocks and started climbing stronger than ever before, feeling comfortable on 12s. I doubled down on photography, launching a site in the hopes that someone will buy my photos and thereby justify the fact that I'm now writing-off all my photography equipment on my taxes.

Then, more and more, I felt like I had to leave Laramie. There's still nomad in me. I'm not done traveling just yet.

Year Five

Stay tuned.