Sunday, April 27, 2008

Schooled on Ellinor

Brandon accepts defeat high above Lake Cushman and the Hood Canal

It was somewhere between the three-mile trudge on the snow-covered logging road and the waist-deep powder on the 35 degree slopes that the thought entered my head. What am I doing here? I'm sure that's what Bri and the people I've told this story were wondering as well. The answer is simple: I was snowbound in sub-freezing temperatures 5,000 feet up on Mount Ellinor on a Thursday afternoon because any day on a mountain beats any day at the lab. It was also a chance to climb with my brother's father-in-law Dave and his climbing buddy Matt, who are taking us up Mount Hood this summer.

A peak at Mount Washington from the logging road

Anyway, we didn't make it to the top. The afore mentioned waist-deep powder on the 35 degree slope slowed our pace to body-lengths per minute as we attempted to wade/swim uphill. We had been hoping for conditions like Mount Persis two weeks ago. No such luck. It was still beautiful and a good time. (In case you're wonering this was #15 on my mountains-to-climb list)

Brandon leads the way up the chute. Mid-shin deep snow, no problem.


My turn in the lead, this is about mid-thigh-deep powder. The faint trees directly above me is our goal.

Dave test snow conditions. Waist-deep? Yep.


Matt makes his way up the chute. Note the snow falling in the background.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Meet Violet

Meet Violet our newest member of the Wilson Family. At first she looked a lot like her sister but now I think she looks like her daddy. Her hobbies include eating, sleeping (when held) and pooping. Her other talents are having angry eyebrows and making her lips really little. Virginia really loves to help out with her and always wants to hold her. It can get pretty crazy here with the girls when they both want my help. I look forward to getting Vi on a routine so I don't go gray early. Hee hee. Enjoy these photos of our new edition, Violet Iris, who is one month old today!

Sisters


Snuggling


Striped



Angry Eyebrows

Aunt Lily with Vi and Ginny

Violet in violet


After her first tub

Little Lips

Pretty in Pink



Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ben's Corner: The Confession

Consider this a public confession: I'm addicted to mountains. Since about January I've been dreaming about mountains several times a week. They're just so fun to climb! I've been getting itchy feet to get out there and climb, but avalanches are a big deal in Washington so I've been on the sidelines since November. I resorted to scouring the Internet to compile a list of 30 mountains to climb. The list is pretty extensive in scope and detail, just ask Bri. Anyway, of the mountains on the list, some were chosen because they can be climbed early-season (i.e. before June). One of those was Mount Persis.


Mount Persis Summit from the top of the ridge

April 12th was MY day. The forecast called for sunny skis and 70 degrees. That's nearly unheard of for Seattle in April. Nothing was going to keep me indoors. Leaving Seattle at 6:30am, the ascent party (my brother Brandon and friend Chris) arrived at the mountain around 8:00 to find the road snowed in a mile or two before the trailhead. It was hard going through knee-deep snow and it took 1:30 to get to the "trailhead". The "trailhead" was actually a path left by a group of snowshoers leading straight up into a second growth forest.

Ascending through trees

Brandon and I thought it was easy going but Chris kept falling through the snow to his waist. This is where it helps to only weigh 140 pounds! After going up forever we got to the top of the ridge at 5,000ft, having already gained more than 3,000ft from the car. It was already noon and getting time to turn back. I decided to set out alone to fulfil my summit lust. I made it to within about 100 vertical feet of the summit (5464 ft) before it was just to late to go on. It was so close I could hear those snowshoers talking on the summit! We suffered an ignominious decent.


The summit is right there!

All in all it was a great time. I got a really bad sun burn. The views were phenomenal.

Mount Gunn and Baring from Mount Persis. Highway 2 nearly a mile below us.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Ginny

Ginny finally has a justification for her occational trantrum: the Terrible Twos! Ginny's birthday was Monday, March 31st. Despite the recent birth of Violet, the Wilsons decided to muster an all out Birthday party for Ginny. The entire Wilson clan Seattle chapter showed up plus Grammy from Florida (Ben's mom) and Riley (Ginny's OTHER sister). It was a lot of girl cousins for the Wilson's modest domicile. Girl cousins: Maddie, Hannah, Olivia, Ella, Sophie, Annie, Ginny, Claire, Anika, Violet. Boys: none (there is one more girl and one boy cousin in Utah, Hally and Alec).

Anyway. We ate, played "Kiss the Frog" and enjoyed general merry-making. Enjoy the pics.

Butterfly cupcakes and Ginny's Frog cake

Happy Birthday To You!

Ginny and Riley with cousin Hannah in the back

Ginny playing with her new toys

Here's a video of Ginny with her cousins Hannah, Sophie, Claire, Olivia, Annie and Ella playing ring around the rosie.
video