My friend Melissa Lipani (often referenced on my blog as Lil’ Chicka) has started her own full service pet care business, Woof! SLC, where she offers services ranging from Walks, Pet Sitting, Pet Taxi, Bathing, Yard Cleanup, etc. within the Sugarhouse (and surrounding 5 miles) area.
Melissa has three pit bulls of her own, one of which she has nurtured back to good health from his battle with an auto-immune disease. She contributes numerous hours of volunteer work with No More Homeless Pets and Best Friends, being a constant representative for animal rights and adoptions. I highly recommend her for your beloved pet’s needs.
For further information, visit her site, blog, or call her at 801-419-2464.
One of the last blog comments on the Please Help a Climber in Need post inquired about a medical update on Tacos. I emailed two of Tacos’s friends who would be best in the know, but unfortunately they have heard very little (most likely due to Tacos’s inability to check emails without help).
The only update is Tacos has flown back to Japan (her flight was on July 7) and was taken to a Tokyo hospital. There is a chance she might be transferred to a hospital in Osaka soon. When I spoke with her (about a week and a half ago) her medical condition was the same with feeling in her toes but the inability to use her hands. She was real cheerful and thanked everyone for the support.
As mentioned in the previous post, her insurance has kicked in now that she is in Japan, but the cost of her flight home was not covered. If interested in chipping in, you can do so below with all proceeds going directly to her paypal account.
Thanks for your support. It is great to see the climbing community pulling together for one of its fellow climbers.
I met Tacos Satoko in Rocktown as she was one of the few climbers camping at the Sawmill Campground. We climbed together on two days and she spent a handful of evenings hanging out around the camp fire.
Tacos, a very kind, quiet girl, was planning on traveling for a bit through the US prior to heading back up to Canada, where she had been working. But this past week, en route to Alberta, she was in a horrible car accident, resulting in a broken neck. She was flown to Casper Medical Center in Wyoming where she underwent surgery for the broken neck, but currently has little movement from the shoulders down. She has regained some feeling in her toes and fingers and her breathing has become easier over the last few days. She has also gotten help to sit in a chair for a few minutes per day and is remaining positive that she will recover and be able to rock climb again in the future.
Her home is in Japan and though she has health insurance, it does not cover the cost to fly her home. In her current situation she will need help covering the cost of the 3 first class flights (necessary due to the 2 caregivers who must accompany her) plus the wages and expenses for these caregivers. Also, her insurance does not cover physiotherapy, which if not started soon can impact her chance of full recovery.
The exact cost is unknown at this time, but it is estimated that she will need approximately $10,000. Please consider helping out a fellow climber and making a donation to the cause.
To donate, click on the “ChipIn” button above. All donations are directly deposited to her paypal account.
It would also be great if any of you readers could help spread the word. If you are a blogger and want to add this widget to your blog, there is a copy button on the widget or feel free to email me at wasatchgirl at gmail.com for the appropriate code.
My friend Melissa and I volunteering with No More Homeless Pets in Utah.
I am an avid volunteer, but to date have published few blog posts concerning my weekly service. I have decided to start posting where I volunteer each week in hopes of spreading the organization’s mission and encouraging others to get involved. Previously any volunteer entries were put on this blog, but I have decided to transition the majority of my future posts to my Wasatchgirl blog. If interested in these volunteer posts, please stop by and read about this week’s service at No More Homeless Pets in Utah.
I haven’t written on this site for a couple weeks, the longest I have ever gone without posting. My last post, which I removed, was about The Future of Climbing. I wrote it with the intent of creating a discussion about how the climbing industry structure could change and how crag access and other climbing issues could be addressed through climbing professionals. I was amazed at the response of this post. I received numerous positive emails and twitter posts, but also received a good handful of negative blog comments. Negative blog comments always surprise me because in my 5+ years of blog reading I have never had a need or desire to personally attack someone on their own site.
The negative comments made me realize that perhaps I had written the post incorrectly or in a format where my true tone didn’t come across. I was honestly trying to create a discussion, but had posed my thoughts in questions which could have been taking as finger pointing. I realize this now.
I considered re-posting my entry, but have decided against it because I realized that perhaps I don’t need to create these discussions. I also realized through this post that perhaps I don’t want to spend so much time talking about climbing.
I have been writing this blog for 2 years (no, I did NOT start it when I went on my road trip.) I started this site because I work as an analyst for a venture capital firm, with my industry of focus being online technologies. In order to understand these technologies, I must use them. I started the Wasatch Girl blog, but was struggling at first to find my online voice. So I started the Cragbaby blog with the hopes that talking about my hobby, climbing, would be a catalyst for my business posts. This technique truly worked and I continued to write on this site for the sole reason that people seemed to enjoy stopping by. =)
With the response to my last post though, I finally realized that my time would be better spent focusing on the Wasatch Girl and my career, rather than the Crag Baby and my hobby. I think climbing for me is meant to be simply enjoyed. Climbing will never be my life nor do I want to work in the outdoor industry, so I am going to focus on just loving the act of climbing rather than talking about it.
Working the moves on Devoted. Buttermilks, Bishop. (Photo by Dan Brayack).
I plan on continuing to post on this site, but with less frequency. I want the few posts I do upload to be content focused with information that might be useful to you readers. I will still post the occasional photos of my recent destination stops, but want to focus more on trip beta write-ups (like this Rock Town post which many of you readers have emailed and mentioned was useful), problem suggestions for each area and how-to posts on road tripping (for instance this post on Living the Nomadic Life). I might continue to post my gratitude lists on this site, but think I will move my thoughts on volunteering to the Wasatch Girl.
Last week I made the 16 hour trek to my next climbing destination, Hueco Tanks, therefore loading up the iPod with numerous podcasts. I ended up listening to 13 hours of podcasts and learning many interesting facts and enjoying some fabulous interviews. One of my favorite podcasts was this essay by Jim Haynes on NPR’s This I Believe. I particularly liked the segment where he talked about the guidebook not written about sites, but rather people in those destinations who were willing to take in travelers. You can listen to his reading here or read the script below.
“Every week for the past thirty years I host a Sunday dinner in my home in Paris. People, including total strangers, call or email to book a spot. I hold the salon in my atelier, which used to be a sculpture studio. The first 50 or 60 people who call may come, and twice that many when the weather is nice and we can overflow into the garden.
Every Sunday a different friend prepares a feast. Last week it was a philosophy student from Lisbon, and next week a dear friend from London will cook.
People from all corners of the world come to break bread together, to meet, to talk, connect, and often become friends. All ages, nationalities, races, professions gather here, and since there is no organized seating, the opportunity for mingling couldn’t be better. I love the randomness.
I believe in introducing people to people.
I have a good memory, so each week I make a point to remember everyone’s name on the guest list and where they’re from and what they do, so I can introduce them to each other, effortlessly. If I had my way, I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other.
People are the most important thing in my life. Many travelers go to see things like the Tower of London, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and so on. I travel to see friends, even—or especially—those I’ve never met.
In the late ‘80s, I edited a series of guidebooks to nine Eastern European countries and Russia. There were no sights to see, no shops or museum to visit; instead, each book contained about a thousand short biographies of people who would be willing to welcome travelers in their cities. Hundreds of friendships evolved from these encounters, including marriages, and babies, too.
The same can be said for my Sunday salon. At a recent dinner a six-year-old girl from Bosnia spent the entire evening glued to an eight-year-old boy from Estonia. Their parents were surprised, and pleased, by this immediate friendship.
There is always a collection of people from all over the globe. Most of them speak English, at least as a second language. Recently a dinner featured a typical mix: a Dutch political cartoonist, a beautiful painter from Norway, a truck driver from Arizona, a bookseller from Atlanta, a newspaper editor from Sydney, students from all over, and traveling retirees.
I have long believed that it is unnecessary to understand others, individuals, or nationalities; one must, at the very least, simply tolerate others. Tolerance can lead to respect and, finally, to love. No one can ever really understand anyone else, but you can love them or at least accept them.
Like Tom Paine, I am a world citizen. All human history is mine. My roots cover the earth.
I believe we should know each other. After all, our lives are all connected.
Okay, now come and dine.”
Jim Haynes was born in Louisiana, ran a bookstore in Scotland, created a theater company in London, launched a newspaper in Amsterdam, and taught media studies in Paris. Guests to his Sunday dinners have included Allen Ginsberg, R. Crumb, and Molly Ivins. Contact Haynes about his Sunday salons.
As many of your readers know, I am quite passionate about volunteering and being involved with small events that can potentially make a big impact. And today I stumbled upon a great idea organized by a fellow climber.
Laura Fitton, known online as Pistachio, is a social media consultant, mother of 2 plus a climber. She focuses her business efforts on using micro strategies to achieve macro results and over the holidays created the Well Wishes campaign, an effort to raise $25,000 for Charity Water in order to build an entire water project for a school or hospital in Africa through the simple asking of her online audience to contribute $2 each. You can read more about what she is doing here. Or if interested in donating, she is gathering donations mostly through TipJoy (for us Twitterers) or through credit card / paypal on her Charity Water page. If she raises $12,500 by january 21st (her birthday), she will receive a $5,000 match (equivalent to another village).
This week there were many excellent climbing blog posts that I wanted to share with you readers.
Dave (who I often reference as H.I.P. #2) writes on Motivation. I particularly liked this post because I have noticed my thinking of grades and trying hard projects changing since I have been on the road. Previously I wouldn’t even attempt anything that I felt was out of my range. On this road trip I have hopped on numerous lines out of my range including a couple v9s. And funnily enough I have often surprised myself and now have sent lines two grades harder than my best send at home.
I’ve noticed that the Sanuk sandals have gained quite the traction amongst climbers, most likely due to professional athlete promotion. Yet, a great comparable shoe with a social impact is TOMS shoes. TOMS are also slip-ons (perfect for after a boulder problem or route), pricing is similar, but mostly for every pair of TOMS purchased, a child in need receives a pair of shoes. That is right… one for one.
TOMS didn’t carry my size (size 5) until recently. But today I purchased my first pair in support of helping them reach their goal of giving out 30,000 pairs of shoes in 30 days. To date, TOMS has given out 10,000 pairs of shoes to children in Argentina and 50,000 pairs in South Africa. The 2008 goal is 200,000 pairs distributed across the globe. Why NOT join the cause?
I am not a backcountry snowboarder (yet) as I have yet to take my avalanche safety classes nor have I cut my spare board in half. However, this below alert by Save Our Canyons still intrigues me for a couple reasons.
Why would the Powderbirds or any organization be given such a long permit? Why not have a necessary annual renewal measuring impact?
This is the third time within the last 2 weeks that I have received an email along the lines of possible negative environmental impact, but for some odd reason I only have a couple days to respond. WTF? Is this a lack of organization on the non-profit side? A break down in communication between the parties involved? A marketing tactic to try and get people to respond since the deadline is looming? Seriously… why are these issues not thoroughly addressed to the people who will be affected?!
The Forest Service is seeking comments regarding the renewal of Wasatch Powderbird Guides (WPG) permit. The renewal would allow WPG to operate until 2020 without the requirement of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). We feel that there are significant impacts that should be considered in the decision of permit renewal. We are asking for you to submit your comments.
The deadline for comments is this Friday, December 19th. PLEASE let your friends and skiing buddies know that they should send their comments in too! This is a critical decision, and it will affect the future of the central Wasatch for decades. Make sure your friends don’t miss this deadline!
Your comments don’t have to be lengthy or complex – they just need to be written and sent. The suggestions below should help you write an effective comment.
SUGGESTIONS FOR COMMENTING ON WPG’S PROPOSED 10-YEAR PERMIT
The way to make comments more persuasive to a government agency is to clearly address them to the questions the agency must ask itself when considering an action that might affect the environment.These questions mainly revolve around a) whether the agency must analyze the impacts of a proposed action and document these in an environmental impact statement (EIS), and b) what the analysis in an EIS should include, if the agency decides it must prepare one.
The questions the Forest Service (FS) has before it in this case are:
1. Can we use a categorical exclusion?
The FS wants to use a new Bush regulation, called a categorical exclusion (CE), that allows it to avoid doing an environmental impact statement (EIS). But the agency can’t use the CE if a) impacts from WPG’s operation are “significant” or b) impacts have increased significantly since the 1999 EIS, or will increase significantly before the end of the new 10-year permit (2020).So the number one thing anyone could say is to the effect of “based on the growth in BC use I have observed over the last _____ years, the 1999 EIS could not reflect the impacts occurring today, and there is no way that impacts will not increase dramatically before the end of the term of the proposed permit.” Focus on noise and safety impacts, since, arguably competition for ski terrain is not an environmental effect, so not something the FS has to care much about.Remind the FS that it did not do any new analysis of impacts on other backcountry users in the 2004, so the most recent analysis of these impacts is already nine years old and, under the new permit, WPG would be operating TWENTY-ONE YEARS after the last analysis.
2.Should we prepare a new EIS?
Urge them that the backcountry has continued to get more crowded so they need to take another look at noise and safety impacts because, with increased congestion in the BC, these impacts are significantly greater than they were during the 1999, or even 2004, EIS.
3.What should a new EIS analyze?
Suggest what effects of WPG’s operations you think the FS should consider before it decides whether to issue a permit to WPG or what limitations to impose on it.Examples: perform noise measurements/mapping, perform backcountry use measurements/mapping, require WPG to provide number of individuals served, determine presence of and effect on sensitive, threatened, or endangered species.
4.Should we continue to issue these permits to WPG, or tighten restrictions on it?
Argue why heli-skiing is an inappropriate use of public lands, or appropriate only with certain operational restrictions, etc.On this point, regarding claims that WPG’s operations are “elitist,” keep in mind that the FS tends to see non-heli backcountry skiers/riders/snowshoers as just as elitist (“physically endowed” vs. “financially endowed”).Good points to make in favor of eliminating or restricting WPG are that the overall benefit of the permit to the public is disproportionate to the adverse effects, and that the adverse effects to the public are asymmetrical—experienced only by one group, non-motorized forest users.
For information about this issue and commenting, please contact Carl Fisher, Executive Director of Save Our Canyons, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-363-7283.
Since I am not a backcountry snowboarder I have very little to opine on this subject. My initial response is I don’t care if everyone wants to play in the backcountry as long as it can still be safe for everyone and that the terrain isn’t being ruined. I do think that such a long permit is a poor idea as the Powderbirds will know they are locked in and can become complacent about how they treat the environment and locals who bust their butts hiking up the hill.
Is this an ignorant way to think? If so, please comment up and let me know.