Highlights of 2012 (The Year of the Dragon):
- 30 Nights of Camping over 13 trips (18 nights in Utah!)
- Camped at least one night in each month from February to December
- ~8,500 miles driven on the above camping trips
- 110 days of photo taking
- 10,500 photos made it onto my computer
- 3 Major Parties (Wild West Whiskey B-Day, Backyard Bouldering Competition, Halloween Apocalypse)
- Lots of climbing, disc-golfing, ball-sweating (it was the hottest year on record)
- Finished it off in Japan (with just a few days in 2012, I am calling that one a 2013 trip)
It is always good to reflect on what you have accomplished in order to figure out the future. This last year seems as if it was a whirlwind of adventure as we made sure that there was at least one camping trip a month plus all the other craziness of life. We truly lived the Weekend Warrior lifestyle this year and it was well worth the effort.
Here is a recap of the previous year: 2011 Trip Highlights
2012 Trip Reports:
- 30 Nights of Camping:
- Top Adventures of the Year (these are my favorites and feature the best trip reports):
- Skiing Trips
- Hahaha…sniffle…crying: It was one of the worst snow years on record, so no trips worth writing about
- Climbing/Camping/Rafting/Hiking Adventures:
- Parties and Random:
Looking forward to another year of fun and adventure!
Thanks for checking out my site. Here I am enjoying Chaco Canyon a little too much:
Camped or slept under the stars at least once a month for 11 month’s straight (Feb-Dec). Drove ~8,500 miles during this time over 13 different trips. Spent 30 nights in places as far as Zion National Park in Utah and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico to as near as Devil’s Head, one hour from Denver. To say the least, 2012 was a great year.
Initially, this wasn’t a planned goal; it just happened that after a few consecutive months it was decided to maintain this good momentum and continue to explore a small chunk of this world. 30 nights just ended up being a lucky number that was hit during this adventure.
The below are pictures of almost every campground or a picture signifying something major near that campground. These are not meant to represent my best photography skills, but to just document a small achievement in 2012.
#1 and #2: Moab, Utah. Feb 25th and 26th. Goal: Climb at the Big Bend Boulders. Trip Report Link.
#3 and #4: Zion National Park, Utah. March 28th-29th. Goal: Angel’s Landing and The Narrows. Trip Report
#5: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. March 30th. (part of Zion trip above). (Tent just behind camera)Read More»
Of course it is three months into 2012 before I start writing a post about finishing up 2011. That is just my normal production schedule!
2011 was a great year full of many adventures with a lot of different people. From a photography view I almost took twice as many photos in 2011 then any previous year. Also the time spent shooting was amazing and I spent more then 95 days taking photos. Additionally I have posted more on my blog than any other year as well (17 posts!). Needless to say I had a lot of fun in 2011 and hope to continue that streak into 2012.
First check out this Facebook Photo Gallery of all of the major events I did this year: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.653867921483.2158881.20202675&type=3&l=e994e1f691
Here is a summary of a few of the major adventures that I had in 2011 and some of the highlights:
- Skiing Trips:
- Riding Silverthorne Hill (w/video!)
- A-Basin Sidecountry
- 4th of July Skiing at A-Basin (bikini skiing!)
- Cabo San Lucas:
- Rock and Ice-Climbing Adventures:
- Ouray Ice Climbing
- Castlewood Springtime
- Independence Pass
- Backyard Bouldering Comp Invite
- Backyard Bouldering Comp Results
- Camping/Backpacking/Other Adventures:
Lastly going to leave you with the photo that my family and I took this year for our Christmas Cards:
The Year of the Dragon is going to kick ass!
Synopsis: We secured funding through a variety of grants to complete a quest that was so epic that the likes of Powder, Outside and other magazines were too scared to even cover this ground-breaking trek into the unknown.
Date of Ascent: February 19th, 2011
Expedition Team: Gathered from around the world each specialized in specific skills:
- Trent from Oklahoma. Specialty is eating spicy foods.
- Tweak from Virginia. Specialty is not picking up girls at the bar.
- Caitlin from Minnesota. Specialty is pretending to be blond.
- Bethany from lots of places. Specialty is dog handler.
- Arthur from England. Specialty is being English.
- Danielle pretending to be from England. Specialty is withstanding English humor.
- Mike from an unknown location. Specialty is surprising people.
- Andy from Colorado. Specialty is talking about how awesome he is.
Expedition Map (click for Larger): Below is the specialized satellite photo that we received from NASA of the basecamp. They were our only sponsors and provided us with instantaneous views of the changing weather, erupting volcanoes, and movements of the native (and extremely hostile!) tribes.
Interactive Expedition Map (click for Larger): http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=203858300141676234019.00049e9d29873c006d6dd&ll=39.628045,-106.077688&spn=0.006445,0.013733&t=e&z=17&ecpose=39.63537586,-106.07009034,3258.7,-141.401,61.105,0
Expedition Video: Brain Farm Cinema was on hand filming the expedition using a number of their highly specialized (and retardly expensive) cameras including the CineFlex. One of the crew members had to hike nearly 28,000 vertical feet with a 27 lb camera attached to their helmet to get this awesome POV footage.
Select Photos from the Expedition:
Skiing the Icy 70+degree couilor:
View of the vast untamed wilderness that surrounds this 45,000 ft peak:
On the twelfth day this Ferocious Beast (which I believe is a Yeti?) nearly killed every expedition member and managed to eat most of our dwindling supplies:
I hope all of you take this serious…
Link to Original Post: http://andylibrande.com/news/2011/05/sick-gnar-hidden-backcountry-spot/
Updates have been slow as I have been trying to fix my main computer over the last month or so…luckily I am getting close!!!
This doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a hell of a busy winter. Plenty of days out riding great snow, ice-climbing, and other shenanigans has made the time go by quick.
Here is some eye candy to hold you over:
Caitlin in the side-country at A-Basin:
More to come….
Below is a slideshow showing some of my favorite photos from 2010. 2010 was a pretty good year with a number of really cool trips to new locations and old favorites. Hope you enjoy:
If you are following from a feed please follow this link for the full post: http://andylibrande.com/news/2011/01/some-favorites-from-2010/
Teva Mountain Games
Spent a weekend hanging out at the Teva Mountain Games up in Vail June 5-6th with Caitlin and ran into a bunch of friends that were up there as well so it was a lot of fun (Andrew, Whitney, Ben, Beth, Terra). This is the second time I have been to the games (first time documented here), so it was good to be back to check out some of the fun events with highlights being the in-town Kayak events and the Bouldering competition; compared to the last time I went there the events were good but the timing of certain events overlapped while at other times there was a huge space of time where nothing was really going on. Regardless it is still an awesome event which everyone should check out.
The coolest part about the games was the water-levels on the Gore Creek running through town were just insane with the CFS nearing doubling during the day on Saturday (what I heard from 1700 CFS in the morning to nearly 3000 that night!). The water was so high on Sunday that they had to cancel the events mainly due to the huge amount of debris floating down-river. Anyways we were lucky to witness some pros hitting the creek that night at some of its highest flows on Sat night.
We literally watched full trees come down the river as it hit 20 year highs:
Here is a picture of how crazy flooded it was that afternoon (seriously up 3ft from the morning):
Watched the 3rd Annual World Bouldering Cup held in the US. Always fun to watch top climbers hitting a wall that is nice and tall. Also really cool to see how many people come and watch this event, easily the most watched event at the games.
Really cool features that they mounted to the climbing wall:
Bouldering at the Kluttergarden
On Sunday of that weekend hit up the beautiful Kluttergarden up near Red Cliff, CO. I had only been there once before (awesome trip documented here), so I was really excited to get back-up there again to play on these beautiful boulders.
We meet up with Terra and her roommate and the four of us enjoyed several different problems on just one boulder. The place was also insanely busy but everyone we ran into was pretty laid-back and we still had this boulder to ourselves for most of the day.
Here Caitlin sends a fun little variation that she found:
This climb I am working is on the same boulder and is a cool traverse with a hard lip to try to top-out on.
Then we headed back to vail for a late lunch and to clean-up all of the give-aways at all of the booths
If you are following from some sort of feed all of my posts can be found here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
Date: March 20th, 2010
Accomplice: Caitlin (and the furry animals)
Location: The Denver Zoo
We decided to hit up the Denver Zoo the day after a 8-10″ snowstorm as in the morning the weather was absolutely beautiful. We arrived in the early afternoon and had a great time as it had been a long while since either of us had been there.
Let’s just say the weather was perfect, the animals were insanely active and the crowds were non-existent.
Numerous times throughout the day, Caitlin and I found ourselves in exhibits with only us and the animals (which may or may not be legal…). It much more enjoyable to see animals when they want to be outside instead of hiding in the corner from the hot sun and screaming kids.
The Male Brown Bear was Playing around and Real Happy:
And then we found out why he was so happy – Apparently licking the Urine of the Female Bear brings him much pleasure:
The Cheetahs were out running in their snow-covered pen:
Caitlin near the Monkey Area. Due to the Large amount of snow the monkeys were the only animals inside. But you can see how much snow there was in the early afternoon which was quickly melting off:
The Birds were Dive-bombing each other in Bird World as they fought for fish. We sat here for at least 15-20 mins watching them with only two other people coming through in that time.
Penguins were enjoying the cooler weather:
Amazingly the Red Panda was out and about running throughout his cage. Don’t believe I ever really seen him like this:
The Caged Beast: The Snow Leopard eying some tasty morsels:
Myself and Caitlin with the Polar Bears head just peeking through:
Obligatory Peacock Shot:
By the end of the day most of the snow had melted off and the Lions were out enjoying the last of the warm winter afternoon sun:
If you are following from a feed all updates can be found here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
To make up for my lameness in not posting any stoke all winter long, this post is all about the random days out and about with my camera. I also came-up with one of the most ridiculous names I could think of for a post just to commemorate this historic period in our lives.
Detailed trip reports of the more insane activities will follow, right now this is just the side-activities.
Roxborough State Park with Caitlin and Whitney (Jan 9th, 2010):
Ben Thought there was Something Funny Tasting in the Water (Jan 16th, 2010):
Scenics from the Biggest and Brightest Full-Moon of the Year (January 30th, 2010)(Summit County, CO):
Hiking Around Eldorado State Park with Caitlin and the Sister (Jan 18th, 2010):
Storm Blowing over Red Mountain – Awesome Time-lapse photos to follow – March 7th, 2010, 4:57pm:
Storm 30 mins later 5:33pm:
The Trees on the Side of My House After some Wet Snow- For some reason when they get the smallest amount of snow on them they can completely bend over and touch the ground (March 24th, 2010):
Anyways we had to find other activities to focus in on throughout the winter since the snow was so spotty. The only thing that I never got around to was climbing days out on the rock; I hit up the backyard wall a number of times but never got around to climbing in the snow (as in previous years).
More updates on there way including a Denver Zoo and the real report on Winter!!!
If you are following on a feed, all full updates can be found on my website here: http://andylibrande.com/news/
Optimus Prime is the awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces. On the battlefield, there are few who rival Optimus Prime’s prowess. He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and what he lacks in raw firepower he easily compensates with guts. He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care.
In the eyes of Transformer fans, this is God.
Could not resist the above description of Optimus Prime when I was looking for good photos to base my newest addition to the climbing wall.
A couple weeks ago Caitlin and I set-out to add a new feature to the climbing wall and messed around with a couple of designs. Caitlin suggested the Triangle type shape in the corner of the wall and then we started building.
Once we had all of the pieces cut-out we somehow came to the conclusion that the shape kind of looked like an Optimus Prime face and thus the rest of the project we were focused on making the best volume that I have ever seen.
Materials and Construction for the Optimus Prime Climbing Volume:
- 1 4×8′ of plywood (the stuff that is ~$25-30 sheet not the $40-50 stuff) (Plenty left-over as well)
- 4 Metal Angles
- Black/White/Red/Blue Spray Paint
- Tools: Circular Saw, Jig-saw, Screw-gun, straight-edge, triangle, big-ass hammer
Started by cutting the shape based upon the angle to the wall. Due to the complexities of the angle we did a couple sample cuts in some shitty wood I had laying around until it was pretty close. Once we started the front panel was the first piece and we tacked it to the wall to measure the side-pieces. Measuring the side pieces was all about precision with the lengths and the angle to the wall. Once we had the main angles all we had to do was cut the edges at an angle where they would fit together. Then I bent the metal angles until they were at the correct angle and screwed them onto the main board after we had put T-nuts into each piece.The last step was painting with multiple black layers first, taping out the design, then white, red, and blue. Hang-up and enjoy.
Here are a few pictures of the design process and the final product:
Caitlin holding the Optimus to give you an understanding of its size:
Optimus during construction. The wood 2×4 pieces never got used.
Optimus after receiving numerous Black Paint coats, then being taped-off for the face features, and with a little white:
Taking Optimus for a Test spin:
It’s so beautiful I have a hard time putting holds onto it right now:
If you are following via a feed, here is the permalink: http://andylibrande.com/news/2010/04/optimus-prime-owns-my-climbing-wall/