I don't get to see my twin nearly enough. But when we do get to see each other and go adventure in the woods like we used to, he seems to make sure that we make up for lack of quantity with extreme quality.
He gets about one week a year to go suffer in the woods, and has taken to calling the annual excursion that he plans simply - "Too Much Fun."
More suitable names might me Too much pain, too much ambition, too much elevation gain, too much danger, too much fear, or my personal favorite - Not nearly enough food or sleep.
That one week is the one trip that I will not miss.
This years trip will take place in Wyoming in July, and the roster of characters has not been finalized yet. It is becoming hard to get in, as the team is always small. I can't help but wonder if I would make the cut if I was not family. Andy - if you read this - don't answer that last question!
My brother just sent me an email with the details of what he has in mind. Below is the unedited message.
Jason - thought we should nail this down. i'm thinking fitting it in this july between the things that are on your schedule - say around the third week of july. The drawbacks will be the massive amounts of mosquitos. But the ice may still be in season, and the river might be higher than it will be later, though not sure if thats good or bad.
here's the tentative schedule
Day 0 - drive in/meet up, pack pack pack.
Day 1 - massive 18 mile hike to base of arrowhead peak
day 2 - Climb S face arrowhead (classic 5.8) with boats, etc, traverse ridge, through saddle to titcomb basin
Day 3 - climb Tower 1 gully on Mt. Helen with gear (ice up to 60 degrees, belays in rock) and/or tower ridge (could split into two groups). Rendezvous at high camp somewhere en route to Gannett.
Day 4 - Summit Gannett peak via standard (easy) gooseneck route, descend to upper Green, inflate and paddle 5+ miles to camp below square top peak.
Day 5 - those with the will can make a quick (boatless!) ascent of the classic ridge (5.10) up squaretop and descend back to river, paddling further as daylight allows.
Day 6 - paddle/float remaining length of green river, taking out and humping it (at least some of us!) 6.5 miles overland to the car.
Day 7 - Drive back to where ever.
It's ambitious, of course. My goal for those who want to participate is to really push - treat it like an adventure race in the sense of maximizing travel time, and at the very least traveling till dark or even several hours into dark - as long as we're making time and rising and packing so that we use every ounce of daylight. when/if we reach our objective early, then we get extra rest. efficiency and simplicity and minimalism will be key as we'll certainly need a bit more food this time around as well as more climbing gear. real pfd's shouldn't be needed, however. My thought is to do the ice climb in inov-8's or possibly slightly stiffer boots, but not mountaineering boots. It'd also be ideal only to have one team in the gully, as there is another classic route that ascends the ridge on rock. alternatively, some sections could be skipped if people wanted to do some but not all of the adventure.
So this is what I have to look forward to. And by the way - he understates everything...
Our first "too much fun" is now referred to as "Four Days, Four ways to Die" for the four close calls we had. Here is a cheesy video from that first year. If you've seen it before, you can watch it again just to listen to the cool song!
For more information on my unassuming badass brother - visit his blog where he writes about how to be an elite athlete on 3 hours of training a week.