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Peter Juhl of Urban Plastix

Peter Juhl is the owner and head shaper of Urban Plastix holds based out of Brooklyn, NY. His work is inspired by the art and culture in urban environments and his time spent climbing hard boulders outside shows in the details of his holds. Juhl has been spending the summer in Boulder, CO shaping in the Kilter Grips studio and in just a few weeks has shaped a few hundred new holds for the company. 

Shooting with Juhl was a nice departure from the social media content I have been creating lately and is more in-line with the type of documentary work that original inspired me in photography. 

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By The Numbers: The PNW via California

Sunset at Dead Horse Point outside Moab, UT

Sunset at Dead Horse Point outside Moab, UT

Starting a Rainier ski trip in Moab is weird. But I was there to shoot with Mountain Standard for catalog, social media and partnership content. A quick 3 day trip in the desert had me looping towards the PNW via California. 

It had been a few months since I had last visited my Mom and friends so a quick stop in the Bay Area was called for. After a week of dealing with hard drive issues and visiting family, I pointed Bertha north towards the PNW. 

Day one on the drive had me staying outside Eugene, OR with my brother Chris and his wife. The next day I made my way towards Seattle where I was to pickup a buddy at the airport, meet another, then give an attempt at Rainier and skiing the Fuherer Finger. 

Two weeks in Seattle and a second attempt on Rainier saw my good friend Cory Fleagle and myself standing on the summit with over 10K' of skiing below us. It was wild. 

After leaving Seattle, I was en-route to North Idado to visit with my Father. But a sleepy little Bavaria styled town called Leavenworth is on the way and hosts hundreds of perfect granite boulders. While researching parking and beta, I came upon two moderate multi-pitch routes stacked on top of eachother. Keen for an adventure, I set off to Leavenworth with the idea to on-sight solo these routes and boulder as a back-up. 

I did not boulder and I sent the routes. Climbing these two routes was an awesome personal experience and a huge step up in term of getting my head straight o the rock. 

After a few days spent in North Idaho, it was time to finish the trip up and head back to Boulder, CO. Where the very next day I met friends at 4am to ski, again, 

Dates - 4/21 - 6/1, 2017

Days on the road - 31 + days at "home" in California 

Days spent driving - 8

National Parks Visited/Driven thru - 2, Death Valley, CA, Mt. Rainier, WA

Vertical Gain Skiing - 21,524'

Ski Descent - 22,749'

Days spent climbing or trying to climb - 3

Days spent skiing - 6

States visited - 7

Miles Driven - ~3,962

Miles Ridden - 15.3 (979' vertical gain)

Pitches Climbed - 7, onsight free solo

Boulders Climbed - 3

Hours of Video Captured - ~12hrs

Images taken - ~ 9,000

The coolest boulder in Moe's Valley, UT. 

The coolest boulder in Moe's Valley, UT. 

Milky Way over the Alabama Hills, CA. 

Milky Way over the Alabama Hills, CA. 

Pre-long haul drive soak outside Mammoth, CA. 

Pre-long haul drive soak outside Mammoth, CA. 

Jason Mauer feeling the stoke in the Fuhrer Finger, Mt. Rainier, WA.

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By The Numbers: The West

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By The Numbers: The West

Stop 1: Vedauwoo, WY - Coffee/Selfie break. My check engine light came on not long after leaving. Less then 3 hours after leaving Boulder...  

Stop 1: Vedauwoo, WY - Coffee/Selfie break. My check engine light came on not long after leaving. Less then 3 hours after leaving Boulder...  

Road trips are a damn good time. Whether solo or with friends/loved ones it’s an amazing way to connect; with one other, yourself, the land, a new community, something else. Ask anyone who has spent at least a few weeks on the road how it was and more times then not, no matter what happened or how much money they spent the answer will be something along the lines of “It was a damn good time!” 

The garage. Bend, OR

The garage. Bend, OR

But what most aspiring road trippers or vanlifers don’t realize is how much goes into and comes out, of time spent on the road. I’ve compiled a rough idea of the stats involving my last big trip touring from Colorado out to Oregon, back east across to Wyoming, North to Montana and back down to ol’ Colorado. Certainly I could have done this slightly cheaper, but I also like to treat myself every now and then to keep spirits happy and it’s a really good idea to always come handy with beer. Whether it’s for the owner of the house you’re parked outside of or after a long day of climbing and filming. Either way you slice it, gas is expensive and staying located in one area for more then just a few days helps to cut that cost. No matter what, it’s not always cheap, but do we want cheap memories anyways?

Self-shot on Waxie Pants (V7), Castle Rocks, ID

Self-shot on Waxie Pants (V7), Castle Rocks, ID

Dates - 9/7 - 10/1

Days on the road - 25

Days spent driving - 8

Deer/Elk Avoided - ~20+

National Parks Visited/Driven thru - 2

Auto Shops Visited - 2

Days spent climbing - 10

States visited - 5

Miles Driven - 4,600

Miles Ridden - 36.1 (2,320’ gain, 4,070’ descent) 

Miles Hiked - 25 miles

Trails Rode - 3

Pitches Climbed - 22

Boulders Climbed - 4, 2 3x’s

Wood Chopped - 1/2 cord

Beers Drank - ~ 70

Coffee Beans Consumed - ~ 35oz

Showers taken - 3

Images taken - ~ 4,000

Ben Hoiness somewhere mid route on the Northwest Ice Couloir, Middle Teton, GTNP, WY. 

Ben Hoiness somewhere mid route on the Northwest Ice Couloir, Middle Teton, GTNP, WY. 

Hanging in Hyalite Canyon, MT. 

Hanging in Hyalite Canyon, MT. 

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Save East Rosebud

Overlooking East Rosebud Lake from the main trail. A true mountain paradise. Photo by Alton Richardson

Although it had taken about 30 minutes of intricate bush whacking following what really wanted to be a trail, the small 50m dome we were climbing on was still considered to be “road side” for this area of Montana’s Beartooth Mountains. You could in fact still see the car; when it wasn’t raining, or sleeting, or groppling, or hailing, or snowing or some combination thereof. In fact if you don’t like the weather here, wait 5 minutes and it will likely be sunny. 5 more, snowing again. We were in a ping pong ball of wind and everything wet that could fall from the sky, trying to rappel off the top the dome, now with with small cascades running down the face. 

All at once, the wind pulled back the curtain of white, giving us a glimpse of East Rosebud Lake, just a few miles up valley, surrounded by dozens of tiny cabins, most of which have been passed down through the generations of each different family. Above that lay some of the gnarliest alpine terrain I’ve personally laid eyes on. There were still large formations of potentially climbable ice high on the valley rim, even in May. Not to mention the awe inducing First Wall or more commonly known as the “Bear’s Foot.” (Alex Lowe only got one pitch off the ground on this formations.) Down the valley lay the East Rosebud campground, with no services and only requiring fee’s from Memorial Day - Labor Day, this is a PRIME campground that most locals would rather you not know about and would immediately go directly to the top of any avid campers list. We eventually made it back down, leaving our now stuck ropes for later and scurried back to the cabin to resume drinking and watching the “Alpine TV” off the front porch.

Fading light on the Bear’s Foot, an unclimbed big wall deep in East Rosebud. Photo by Alton Richardson

The East Rosebud area is absolutely pristine, heralded as one of the most beautiful valley’s in the Beartooth Mountains and appearing as if it was transplanted directly from the high alps. With it’s small but breathtaking network of trails, mostly intentially un-documented rock climbing, a plethora of truly wild animals and fly fishing that I can only assume is completely off the charts, it only takes about one minute after stepping out of the car to realize how important and how natural this land is. To think that there is real potential for this land to be fracked is scary. It’s already occurred nearby in the Red Lodge area, against the plea of many of the local landowners. After drilling began there, local famers and members of the community filed a complaint against the drilling company for allegedly stealing their water. 

The road leading to East Rosebud lake is long, dotted with farms and pasture. The snow melt up high feeds the mile long lake, which flows down the valley, bringing water and life to these farms. Further down, the river eventually splits where it flows into dozens of lower elevation lakes and water ways in South Western Montana and eventually into the Yellowstone River. A quick look at a map and one can only imagine the impact that a contaminated East Rosebud Creek would have. 

Alton Richardson begins following an unknown route on Double Book Dome, in the rain. Photo by Karissa Frye

Alton Richardson begins following an unknown route on Double Book Dome, in the rain. Photo by Karissa Frye

Formed by the local community, Friends of East Rosebud is a small organization aiming to protect East Rosebud under the “East Rosebud Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.” What would this do? It would permanently protect East Rosebud from drilling and daming operations and ensure the area’s economic success, which is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism. The East Rosebud Wild & Scenic River’s Act passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in July of this year. Now, the group is attempting to get the act added to a larger bill for full senate vote this fall. The chances of this being successful would significantly increase if it were to pass the Committee on the House side first, however the chairman of the house hasn’t included the act on the agenda yet. Pressure from Congressman to do so is needed. 

Alton Richardson pulls into the steep hands crux on The Ramp (5.8, 5 pitches), one of the few “documented” routes in the area. Photo by Julie Ellison

Two members from Friends of East Rosebud have traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with congressman from different states to argue for the “East Rosebud Wild & Scenic River’s Act.” However, as is common in these situations, strength in numbers is needed. By following the links below to their webpage, you can sign the petition to designate the area as “Wild & Scenic as well as find information on how to contact your local congressman and help argue for the act. They have made it easy by providing a list of the members of the House Committee on Natural Resources as well as drafting a sample letter that you can copy & paste and send out. We ask for you help with this on September 7th. However, continuing through the remainder of the week is only going to help. 

Help this community survive. Help keep this land free of visible industrialization and help make the East Rosebud an official “Wild & Scenic” place. And then when you’re ready, find it on a map and go there. Camp, hike, climb, skinny dip in the lake. Because other then electricity, fiber glass canoe’s and modern climbing gear, this place hasn’t changed in over 100 years and it deserves to stay that way. 

Viva la East Rosebud! Power on Compadre! 

Friends of East Rosebud: www.saveeastrosebud.org

For more about East Rosebud climbing: www.climbing.com/places/a-bit-of-heaven-in-montanas-beartooth-mountains/

 

Ben Hoiness and Alton Richardson explore some boulders off the East Rosebud Lake trail. Photo by Karissa Frye

 

Ben Hoiness onsights an unknown bolted route on Double Book Dome. Photo by Julie Ellison

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