Tag Archives | climb

Lightening, Hail, and Extraordinary Journeys: An Attempt to Climb Mt. Whitney

At 13,700 feet, we had a tough decision to make: Continue our ascent of Mount Whitney—the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.—or abandon the climb only 900 feet below the summit.


Lisa and I stood on the edge of a large cliff overlooking a vast valley and giant walls of granite.  Suddenly, a short, intense burst of hail began pelting us, blanketing the trail in a coat of white.  Purple clouds hung over the opposing mountain range and the rumble of thunder was audible.  The occasional bolt of lightening lit that mountain range, which appeared to be miles away. Continue Reading →


Following the Footsteps of the Incas

I'm sitting in the Atlanta aiport and in a few minutes I'll be boarding a flight to Peru.  I talked my father into another adventure–an trip that has been on my list for a while–trekking the Inca Trail.  We get into Lima late tonight, then head to Cuzco tomorrow, starting the four-day trek to Machu Picchu early on Monday morning.  I'll be far away from email the entire time, so I'll look forward to posting about it as soon as possible.

Hopefully the altitude doesn't get us–Cuzco is high and we'll be going up over 14,000 feet very quickly!


One Man’s Treasure: Part 3 – History of the Grain Silo

We have received early encouragement with the Worthington grain elevator project.  The concept of a renovating the facility for a regional climbing center is appealing to many, but not without reservations.  The grain elevator is, in a word, embattled.  Legal battles over the elevator proceeded all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court (which did not grant cert).  I alluded to this checkered history in my first post, but chose to reveal little and allow the process to unfold on its own.  Many stories and viewpoints surround the history of the site and I did not want to share any inaccuracies.  This week I came across an article originally printed in the Worthington Daily Globe, which I wanted to share beause it summarizes the history as was made known to the general public. 

View from Diagonal

I anticipate that this will be my last post about the grain elevator for a while.  I look forward to making the next round of presentations to the city in about 2 1/2 weeks.   Also, see my photos from the top of the grain elevator in my previous post.

Appellate Decision Issued 

January 04, 2010

WORTHINGTON, MN — A decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals disappointed city leaders last week when appellate judges affirmed the decision made by Judge Jeffrey Flynn to grant summary judgment to New Vision Cooperative, dismissing the city’s claim regarding the grain elevator on 10th Street.


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One Man’s Treasure: Part 1

Today, I made the first in what I hope will be a series of presentations about this structure:

Wgtn Grain Elevator - Low Res

It's an abandoned grain elevator built, we think, in the early 1940s.  The 65' tall grain elevator, located in downtown Worthington, Minnesota, has been mired in a sea of controversey.  "It should be torn down, it's an eye-sore," some say.  The city wants it demolished, but the ownership and responsibility has bounced around.

Like the adage, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," this is a treasure that I hope the city does not lose.  Rather, I see holding the potential to become one of the city's main attractions.  As a rock climber, tall cement structures look like gold to me.  And, there has been a trend among throughout the U.S. to convert abandoned grain silos into climbing gyms.  Upperlimits in Bloomington, Illinois, and Oklahoma City Rocks are two that have set the bar high.  Not only are their facilities amazing, but they attract tourism from around the country.  The experience of climbing a grain silo is unique.

For me, this endeavor is a new adventure–seeing how we can leverage the city process to hopefully preserve this site and make it an attraction for the city of Worthing.  Relatively few of these single-pour cement silos still exist around the U.S, so the opportunity is rare as it is unique.  I look forward to updating my blog with progress as we (hopefully) make it.  For now, the plan I wrote I wrote and specifics of the proposal are getting into the right hands in the city.  To allow the integrity of the process and proper channels to proceed, I'll spare those details for now.  

Hopefully, if my vision is caught and championed by the right people, we will all be able to celebrate a great achievement in rennovation and redevelopment.


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