Chimborazo Part 1: Why do you do these things, Grayson?

I looked over at Raul, the snow blasting my face, and saw him shifting his jacket to better protect his eyes. He was constantly shifting, looking down the mountain at the train of headlamps below us piercing the bitter darkness. The snow and spindrift split through seams between my jackets and pants. It bombarded my neck and ripped at my exposed cheeks. But I wanted this summit. I’d never summited a mountain over 14,500 feet and here we were at 18,500 feet, just 2,000 feet shy of the summit. We could roll and be back down before dawn at the pace we were hitting. The snow would let up and I’d hope for a moment, and then it would return and crush any prospect of continuing up the mountain. We needed to go down. And we needed to make that decision while we still had time.

Chimborazo Ecuador Andean Adventures Continue reading Chimborazo Part 1: Why do you do these things, Grayson?

My granddad, Donald Cobb

A few days ago, as I sat watching my granddad take some of his last breaths, I couldn’t help but want to fight and resist the reality that was quickly transpiring. He had developed pneumonia over the last few days and it was progressing quickly. As he reached for each breath with every muscle in his body, I thought of all the medical measures they could do to save him. But he wouldn’t want to be saved at all costs and despite my desire to have him around for eternity, I respected that. But it was so hard for me, as someone who has been learning about all the ways to interfere in the process to just sit back and accept what was happening. Continue reading My granddad, Donald Cobb

Update on Betty the dog

So a couple months ago the gf and I went on a road trip to Eastern Kentucky to visit the largest cave system in the world and the sport climbing capital east of the Mississippi. “Go on a 10 hour road trip with your new girlfriend, Grayson,” they said. “It’ll be fun and totally stress free,” they said. Actually no one said that.

It actually ended up being a pretty awesome trip. But on the second night at Red River Gorge we had just finished an awful day of climbing and were driving back to our campsite and came upon a stray dog in the middle of the road. A stray, limping, seriously pregnant stray dog. Mind you, Erin and I are sleeping in my car, my little car, with my two dogs and we know no one and hardly know where we even are. Well you can read more about that here, but I’ll get to the point. Continue reading Update on Betty the dog

Midnight rants of a concerned med student

Every morning, usually during my morning poo, I check my Facebook “On This Day” tab. Partially it’s to see the cool photos from past adventures, and pictures with friends and family. But another part is the masochistic craving to see what dumb shit I used to post on social media. But yesterday I saw some political commentary I posted a year ago that didn’t make me retch with embarrassment.

I posted this analysis of Bernie Sanders and expressed my support for him: Continue reading Midnight rants of a concerned med student

The worst journey in the world. Lol not really but it was pretty bad.

It was four in the morning. My arms hurt, my car reeked, my dogs were restless, my girlfriend was frustrated, and we had picked up a smelly stray dog on the side of the road in rural middle-of-nowhere Kentucky. We were 500 miles from home, exhausted, with three dogs and two people trying to sleep in a muggy Subaru Outback. I thought taking my girlfriend on a road trip would be a good idea. I thought it’d be fun. I had made a sleeping platform, tried to think through all the potential hiccups, bought a memory foam mattress for my car, and planned the adventure far beyond the details I usually attend to on my solo endeavors.

Later that morning I called my dad to vent. I told him the trip was going disastrously and that Erin wanted to go home. He assumed that the quarrels were between the relatively new couple but I told him, “No, we’re not fighting each other. The world is fighting us.” But it did get better, and now that I’m home writing this, with a couple days to process, I can confidently say that it was one of the most fun adventures I’ve had yet.

We started our trip with a quick hop up to Northern Virginia to celebrate St. Patty’s day with Erin’s family in Fairfax. On Friday, while Erin and her mom were getting some last minute cooking done for the party, I got out of their way and hit up Carderock for a couple hours on top rope soloing on the slabby rocks. With a solid layer of snow on the ground from a storm a couple days earlier all my gear came home soaking wet and muddy. But it was a good time and it was nice to get outside on one of the warmer days of my spring break.

Rope soloing at Carderock
Rope soloing at Carderock

Continue reading The worst journey in the world. Lol not really but it was pretty bad.

Pulling anchors

I’m noticing a trend, and I’m not really sure how I feel about it. The second I lose obligations, the minute nothing is holding me to a certain place or a certain timeframe, I pack up, move into my car, and peace out. It’s not that I’m concerned with my love for epic adventures; it’s just that, who the hell in the right mind leaves a comfortable apartment with heat and AC and full kitchen for a cramped hatchback?? Continue reading Pulling anchors

Trump BINGO, apologist edition

I have a confession. I have an unhealthy addiction. I read comments sections. I know, I know, the bane of humanity is in the comments. But my goodness when you’re feeling down about yourself, there’s no better place to get a confidence booster. What’s worse is that I deliberately hop on Fox News Facebook page and scroll through the comments. I guess after the election I was gaslighted that this was our fault so much that I actually tried to listen to the opposing arguments. But what I realized is that the circle jerk of Fox News has nothing to offer that I haven’t heard before. In fact, they’re so stuck on repeat that they continue to mention Colin Kaepernick. I’d forgotten that guy even existed but that really seemed to get their undies in a bunch. Continue reading Trump BINGO, apologist edition

Winter 14ers for Beginner Mountaineers: Top 10

If you’re looking to bag some winter 14ers but don’t want to risk your life to do so, hopefully this list list can help steer you to some solid safer climbs. Whether you’re looking for a more intense climb than the summer hikes or love the solitude of the off-season, winter 14ers can be an amazing experience that you can’t get during the summer.

However, before even considering attempting any of these winter 14ers, I would recommend that you have experience with climbing 14ers or at least 13ers in the warmer months, or at minimum go with someone who is familiar with the mountain and the cold. For nearly all of these climbs, I recommend having at minimum microspikes and trekking poles. It was a very rare day that these aren’t essential pieces of gear. In addition to that, most of the climbs call for snowshoes, especially after a storm or on the less travelled routes, and many of them necessitate an ice axe and the experience with using one. 10 point crampons are rarely if ever necessary on most of these routes.

This is not meant to be an all inclusive guide to each climb, just merely an introduction to help you decide which climbs to do. Always check weather and route conditions beforehand. I’ve linked to some helpful resources at the bottom.

The short and sweet winter 14ers:

1. Quandary Peak (East ridge)

Quandary peak winter
The route up Quandary follows that ridge and kicks up there in the last third.
Continue reading Winter 14ers for Beginner Mountaineers: Top 10

10 actions that should’ve ended Trump’s candidacy

Remember that time Howard Dean got really excited and shouted “YYEAAAHHHHHH!!” at a campaign rally. Remember how we all looked at him and were like, “well, that was friggin weird,” and collectively decided to not talk about him anymore. Remember when Mitt Romney talked about his binders full of women and we were all like, “okay, that’s different and maybe mildly sexist,” and he lost the presidential race.

Remember when Trump’s opponent, the most heavily scrutinized, over-qualified person to ever run for president was a woman? And we were all like, “well she shouldn’t lose just cuz she’s a chick, right?” and then she did. She lost because she was a chick. And when someone is breaking through a racial or gender barrier, they need to be perfect. And Hillary Clinton wasn’t quite perfect.

Donald Trump on the other hand didn’t even make an attempt at being presidential or representing the American population. He thrived on racism, xenophobia, and bigotry and an antiquated concept of what a ‘man’ is. And collectively a large portion of the American population looked at him and was like, “BLAEEAHHH LOCK ‘ER UP. THEY TOOK ‘ER JOBS. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN YOU LOOSERS,” while entirely ignoring the more unjustifiable characteristics of the juvenile they were supporting.

1. Drumpf mocking a disabled reporter

Like what. Fuggin really? Continue reading 10 actions that should’ve ended Trump’s candidacy

Free will and its impact on our political views

The last few weeks I’ve been trying to pinpoint the difference between liberals and conservatives in the United States and kept coming back to the idea of free will. I want to get at the fundamentals of where we differ, not superficial policy debates, not fiscal arguments, but basic fundamentals of how we see the world. And the first thing that stood out to me is how we see equal opportunity. How do we view our ability to succeed in this world as compared to someone of a different race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc? While conservatives, for the most part, believe that we can ‘pull ourselves up by the bootstraps’ and believe in equal opportunity to the top, liberals fundamentally disagree. Liberals believe that we are staggered from the gun and some people are given a head start. What we are disagreeing on, fundamentally, is the impact of free will and politics. Continue reading Free will and its impact on our political views

Adventures of a medical student