Twelve

My Year in Review.

2012 began with a wonderful trip up to Snyder lake. The ice cave below Six Pack, a massive ice fall on Mt. Edwards, was certainly the highlight of the trip. Snyder lake remains on my list of favorite winter hikes.

January - Snyder Lake

February was a month devoted to my VW. During this month I removed the body from the pans in order to repair a bent frame head. I enjoyed fantastic skiing during this month, but the VW certainly occupied most of my time.

February - Month of the VW

March saw me spending a lot of time in our cabin. I still worked on my car, still spent time skiing, but the cabin was the centerpiece of the month. There’s nothing like reading by candlelight in a quiet haven free from electricity, phones and internet, and other modern distractions.

March - Cabin Time

Winter officially ended in April, but my fascination with skiing didn’t wane at all. I did a lot of hiking up the ski hill after it closed. When I couldn’t ski, I made wooden charilifts out of kindling.

April - Chairlifts

In May, my job at a greenhouse consumed most of my time, but I also attended a video making class put on by an experienced cinematographer I call “dad.”

May - Tomatoes!

June afforded opportunities to ski, car camp, and backpack. The canoe trips from our camp at lake Alva were some of the most relaxing and surreal moments of the summer.

June - On the Water

Filmwork ramped up in July, when I spent a week shooting and transferring 80+ hours of HD footage onto 30TB worth of storage. I was in geek heaven, surrounded by cameras, literal piles of hard drives, and tech gear galore.

July - Filmwork and Production

I spent August shooting drugs. National Geographic hired my dad and me to work on their “Drugs Inc.” TV series, and we spent two weeks on the road filming police chases, drug busts, and drug dealers telling their stories.

August - Shooting Drugs

By September, 17 credits worth of college classes and a part time editing job kept me tied down. Despite this, I managed to sneak out for a day of skiing at Comeau Pass.

September - Comeau Pass

October was consumed by school. I took opportunities to take short drives in the country and photograph whatever appealed to my eye.

October - Photo Outings

In November I was desperate for snow. Initially, warm temperatures disappointed me, but on a hike to Avalanche lake in Glacier, I was overcome by the green beauty around me.

November - Green

December brought real snow, and I was able to get out and carve with my new backcountry touring setup. Once school ended, I promptly put in 9 days hiking. I’m going without a ski pass for the 2012-13 season, and learning to love hiking rather than riding lifts.

December - Skiing Again!

Aside from these twelve memories, there were two things which characterized my 2012: my VW and skiing.

At the beginning of the year, I was underneath my VW pulling the pan bolts, preparing to tear the car apart for repairs. In May I finally got the car put back together so I could enjoy a thousand or so miles of fun travel around the Flathead Valley and Glacier Park. In June a new VW, a parts car, joined my collection. A few days before the year ended, the red car came back in the garage and I pulled the engine with Dane’s help. The common thread running through another year of adventure fixing a classic VW is my brother Dane. He’s been there helping me all the way, and if not for his knack with all things mechanical, I’d be the depressed owner of a busted old car.

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Lastly, I set a goal to ski at least one day every month for a year. I ski bummed my way through January and February, while work at the greenhouse was slow. The resort closed in April, just about the time my job ramped up. Long days in the hot, humid greenhouse left me too tired to want to climb up a mountain… so I didn’t ski in May. I quit the greenhouse job in June and promptly got in some turns at Logan Pass. July and August were fairly easy, since snow patches in the Logan Pass area were still around and close to a parking lot. In September I had to work for my turns, but a friend and I hiked to Comeau Pass. The 20 mile day packing heavy ski gear caught me by surprise, leaving me sore for a few days. In October 8 inches of fluff fell on big mountain. Dane and I crashed down, skiing more on beargrass and sticks than on the snow, but had a fantastic time, nonetheless. Real snow arrived in November. By this time, the challenge was practically over. Twenty minutes from my doorstep, I could now get on snow. Conditions would only get better for the next 5 months. I skied over 16,000 vertical feet in december – without the assistance of chairlifts, hiking up every slope I skied down.

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