Extreme ChaXi: Rocky Mountain Mountaineering

Not content to leave our adventures to the hot and dry desert, we exchanged our crashpads and climbing chalk for crampons and ice axes.

A walk in the park.

Starting the team off with a mid-level alpine route, we hit the trailhead around 6am. Our objective – to summit the ridge-line above Emerald Lake via a couloir. We hiked past the main trail, onto the snow fields, fitted our crampons, and put our axes in hand.

A few hours of climbing, and warm from the exertion, I stripped down to a t-shirt and gloves, even in the deep year-round snow. We roped up near the top, and made it to the ridge before the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in.

A momentary break on the ridge.

We pulled out a thermos of high-roast HongShui Oolong in celebration.

Extreme ChaXi!

The team enjoyed the view while sipping our tea, before gearing up for the descent.

Congrats to Ryan and Nancy for their first Mountaineering Objective!

Extreme ChaXi: Moab Desert

Hiking into the desert

We marched into the hot and dry desert surrounding Moab, Utah. A dry wind blew dust around us. Lizards fled from our path.

So Strong, much wow!

The boulders were hard, smooth sandstone marked with pockets and smooth ledges, leading to high top outs.

We found a shady spot, protected from the sun, under one of the climbs. We brewed an easy drinking young Sheng Pu’er to match the intensity of the environment and the heat.