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  1. #1
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    Badwater to Telescope Peak: A Death Valley Death March

    Thursday, March 6, 2008



    Voicemail from my dad.

    (Polish accent) “Hey Bubba, I want you to know that I was so inspired by your upcoming adventure that I went out skiing today for the first time in many years. It was a beautiful sunny day. Good luck with your adventure and we’ll talk when you get back. Love ya.”

    Yep, he ripped the hell out of Big Boulder.

    A second message from a good friend. “So it really is happening after all these years. I just don’t understand you.”

    From my ex. “I bet it’s going to absolutely beautiful up there! I wish I could be joining you guys or at least helping out. Have fun!”

    Well, if she wasn’t my ex before, she probably would be now if she came on this one. This was a relationship ender for sure.

    2005 took me to Fairy Meadows, Argentina, yurt trips all over the west, Southern Utah Slot trips, Idaho and Jackson biking trips, the best year of my life! But I never felt the excitement on any of those trips until I was actually flying in the chopper to Fairy Meadows, walking around Buenas Aires, sledding into the Centennials, or rappelling into our canyon of death.

    This trip, Badwater to Telescope Peak, was different. This trip had emotional ties, longevity, patience, mystery, and elusiveness. The trip came together, dissolved and came back together to dissolve again. The original cast moved away from Utah except for two and one couldn’t come because of timing. He would have enjoyed this one! And the other…

    (Kendall Voice) “Yo, I was talking about Telescope. Is it on?”

    Telescope, my #1 adventure left me. The thoughts and desire were gone. But I still clung to the proposal we had written back in 2002. Emails went out. Emails went out, some unreturned. Schedules are filled, people are busy. Utah is having an epic year, why go south? Dates couldn’t be set. People couldn’t commit. Elusive again. Maybe I should solo it?

    (Kendall) “ Yo, my buddy Jim likes adventuring. He just drove out to the middle of nowhere Nevada to scope a peak. I’m sure he’d be down. Mind if I ask him?”

    Little did we know Telescope would become Jim’s obsession. As far as we know, nobody had ever walked from below sea level up 2 miles to the top and ski. Why would anybody? A connection of like-minded people was made, dates were set! And we don’t even know each other. Now, who’s in?

    After hearing all the typical responses, “I don’t know if I can make those dates.” “I’m out of shape.” “why do you wanna do that?” I still don’t know the answer to that question

    Sometime late January / early February

    Sometimes it amazes me how life works itself out. Destiny I don’t know. Maybe just manifestation.

    One beautiful Utah powder day outside the Canyons boundaries I run into a guy skiing solo, Dave Peck.

    “Mind if I join you guys,” Dave asks.

    “Sure, skiing with anyone else?” I ask.

    “My friends Jim and Tele Dana will be showing up.”

    A few runs later we end up meeting Jim and Dana on the skin track.

    “Jim, what do you do?” I ask because I had a hunch Jim might be the guy Kendall invited.

    “I manage people at Backcountry.com”

    I laugh, “Are you in on the Death Valley Trip?”

    “Yeah, that sounds awesome. Are you?” He replied.

    In my head I’m thinking “Did he just say it would be awesome?” That sounds a little interesting. I mean, I’ve seen the peak in person. I’ve been up to the mine scoping ascents and camping spots and water. Awesome he said. Sweet.

    “Yeah, I’m putting it on. Nice to finally meet you!”

    That beautiful ski day turned out to be one of the coolest ski days of the year. Over the head blower and endless pow lines.

    March 4, 2008

    Park City, UT


    With a little coercing, the idea of playing golf in Death Valley our crew was almost set and we were to leave that upcoming Friday! I’m actually getting excited about this happening. Seven years and I cannot believe what it is about to turn into. But one person was still on the fence. Emails and voicemails. Nothing heard. More emails and finally a phone connection.

    “Man I’ve been sick with the flu. I don’t know if I’m gonna be in shape for this one but I could use an adventure,” Kendall tells me.

    “Have you checked your email?”

    “Yeah, For what?”

    “Dude, Jim got a plane!”

    “A plane?! Dude you serious? Let me talk it over with Cynthia and I’ll get back to you.”

    Kendall’s in! Dave’s in! Joe’s in! Jim’s in! Angie’s in! I’m in and I’m really excited!

    Friday, March 7, 2008

    9:30AM Heber City, Utah


    Paging Red Baron. The crew readying for departure.



    I’m the one to blame for this one.


    Some mountain just outside of Heber that everybody has been skiing this winter.


    PULL UP! PULL UP!
    When we get sick of you, you get left behind.


    Actually, Ang is awesome! She came along for logistical purposes such as waiting for Enterprise to pick her up, in PAHRUMP, NEVADA!

    Got Plane? Why not do a fly-by?


    Telescope Peak. Oh the options!


    11AM Furnace Creek, Death Valley

    “All the instruments agree that DV remains the hottest place on Earth, the driest in North America, the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Of all deathly places the most deadly- and the most beautiful.”

    Dos Amigos! The guy on the left owns a really cool company we all should support! The guy on the left, his brother, flew in from Vermont to join us.


    Permits? Check. Beta? Check. Return time: 3PM Saturday March 8. Check. Freak out time: 8PM Check.

    3:00 PM Badwater Basin, Death Valley

    "According to Death Valley legend the water is poisonous, containing traces of arsenic. I scooped up a handful and sampled it in my mouth, since the testing of desert waterholes has always been one of my chores. I found Badwater lukewarm, salty on the tongue, sickening. I spat it out and rinsed my mouth with fresh water from my canteen."

    He wasn’t joking!



    The Crew happy not having a pack on.
    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 06:07 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  2. #2
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    3:30 PM Shorty Borden’s Well, Death Valley

    Not a misprint!


    The Crew happy to have packs on.


    Our pilot Nadeem said, “If she looks that big from the air, she’s huge!”



    Heavy packs? What heavy packs? I only have a pound salmon, pound of summer sausage, pound of cheese, pound of sour patch kids, gummy bears, a DiGiorno pizza, 4 pounds of potatoes, a bottle of wine, and only a thousand Pro Bars!

    Kendall brought the blueberry cheesecake, lasagna, mac & cheese, veggie pasta, umm good!




    Friday, March 7

    Sometime late in the evening


    Daylight? Who needs daylight?


    Yeah who needs daylight to climb desert scree?


    Or to climb rock escarpments with a heavy ass backpack on?


    Joe, what are those things?
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  3. #3
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    This Trip Report is uber cool. I can't wait for the snow skate pics going down telescope peak!

    Now hurry up, I'm working here & I can't wait around all day.

  4. #4
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    Saturday, March 8

    6AM Somewhere on Charlie's Conundrum Ridge


    Dave enjoying his first Death Valley sunrise


    We there yet? Not even close!


    The man in the middle's expression says it all.


    Mountain Air Vents create a wonderful oasis for ferns, mosses, lichens and crystal formations. The warm, moist air coming out was pretty cool. How many RV'ers ever see these? I'll tell you..ZERO!


    From all the way down to the white stuff and up and down and up and down the ridge. Still no sight of snow!


    11 AM 4000’ from the summit

    Finally! Winter Velvet! It only took about 19 hours to get to the snow line.


    Skinning is so much easier than bushwhacking through sharp, prickly, spiny things and cacti!


    The scenery isn't so bad after 24 hours or maybe I’m hallucinating?


    Out of snow?
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  5. #5
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    warm moist ferns

  6. #6
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    3PM Telescope Summit


    "From here, the lowest point in all the Americas, I gazed across the pale lenses of the valley floor to the brown outwash fan of Hanaupah Canyon opposite, ten miles away, and from the canyon’s mouth up and up and up to the crest of Telescope Peak with its cornices of frozen snow 11,049 feet above sea level. One would like to climb or descend that interval someday, the better to comprehend what it means. Whatever it means."

    After 7 years of wanting to know what it means to stand on top of Telescope Peak....The summit view!


    He's run across the Gobi Desert and Antarctica. Now he's walking up Telescope Peak to...



    SNOWBLADE!


    Joe about to get after it.


    {In a Punani voice} "I'm gonna rip the shit out of this mountain!!" He really did.


    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 01:27 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  7. #7
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    SICBIRD X a brazilian!

  8. #8
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    FKNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    nice sunset. How about that intense natural quiet in the Valley? Kickass TR!!!!!
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  9. #9
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    The man. The myth. The legend. A few more steps buddy!


    If it weren't for Powstash this adventure would not have been so magical! He told me he knew of a few people who might enjoy something like this and I said sure, the more the merrier. I just didn't realize who he had in mind! Glad you made it after two weeks of the flu! You da man!


    Really, this wasn't on purpose!


    Yeah buddy!


    Mt. Whitney somewhere out there. Could be next?


    To the companies who helped make a dream come true.


    Damn straight! I waited 7 years to drink a little Shiraz on top of Telescope Peak!


    Oh baby! Jim getting his Telescope / Death Valley turns on!


    Kendall getting his Telescope / Death Valley ski on!
    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 01:28 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  10. #10
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    Oct 2003
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    Well here is sometning I never thought I would say...

    That is some extreme snowlerblading!

    Way cool guys. Way cool.
    Fresh Tracks are the ultimate graffitti.
    Schmear

    Set forth the pattern to succeed.
    Sam Kavanagh

    Friends of Tuckerman Ravine

  11. #11
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    Oops.doubel post
    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 01:29 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  12. #12
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    Dave getting his Tele-waterski on!


    Sweet Ginger Brown!


    Jim glad to be skiing some soft slushy winter velvet.


    Forgot about him?
    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 01:30 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  13. #13
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    Sep 2006
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    Awesome, well worth the wait for pics. Way to get it done, it would take a lot for me to sign-on to that kind of a march.

    I need to get down to Death Valley pronto!

  14. #14
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    Oh yeah Stoy. Been anticipating this TR since Powstash told me about the grand adventure several weeks ago. What an epic--and great TR.

  15. #15
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    Yes, i could ski after the wine, just not tele.


    Stay tuned for more! Because the true adventure has yet to come...getting off the mountain

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...d.php?t=117817 Finale found here
    Last edited by Stoysluttie1; 03-25-2008 at 06:08 PM.
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

  16. #16
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    This TR reminds me that I need to get a sled.

  17. #17
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    If I would be Sickbird, I would say something along the lines : Caw,Caw.



    An A+ effort,by any standards.
    Especially by the "Drinking from a potentially poisonous well" standard...

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  18. #18
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    Wow... you guys are just plain baddass.
    "Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God."

    My Flickr Photostream

  19. #19
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    Nice work gents. You're all freaks.

  20. #20
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    Sick TR. That is a serious slog...and would have completely kicked my ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoysluttie1 View Post
    “Have you checked your email?”

    “Yeah, For what?”

    “Dude, Jim got a plane!”
    Jim, I'm Right Coaster. Nice to meet you.

  21. #21
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    Friggin nutball tourists.



    There's a road up on the lookers right ridge......you know that right?

    Nice work.
    Besides the comet that killed the dinosaurs nothing has destroyed a species faster than entitled white people.-ajp

  22. #22
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    This is awesome....makes me want to move and change my life.

  23. #23
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    Great, now Telescope peak is going to be totally tracked out.

    Edit - Stoy - nice to meet you on Sunday!
    Last edited by Hutch; 03-25-2008 at 02:32 PM.

  24. #24
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    Amazing, simply amazing. Did you all really hike for 24 hours without stopping to get some zzzz's???

    I mean it's like you took a really hard painfull thing and made it worse on purpose.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen View Post
    Amazing, simply amazing. Did you all really hike for 24 hours without stopping to get some zzzz's???

    I mean it's like you took a really hard painfull thing and made it worse on purpose.
    we slept from about 1:30 am until 5:30 am. Those details will be part of the second half of the TR. I'm waiting for Kendall to chime in. He has some good video, especially of the second half.

    All in all, almost 48 hours car to car, over 15,500 vertical feet, and roughly 40+ miles. But, we saw stuff nobody else ever has!

    Hutch, nice to meet you too! I was on one that day. Totally amped to be out studying the mountain under bluebird skies. I'm gonna have a lot of building to do next year
    There's a world out there full of color, dreams, and imagination. What are you waiting for?

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