Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reasons for Blogging...

I think a lot of folks assume that people keep adventure blogs, or online journals as I prefer, to brag about their escapades in the mountains or in whatever venue they recreate.  This is exactly the reason I started one, but it was to brag to an audience of TWO.  My brother was living in Indiana and my great friend, Lars, lives in Denver and doesn't get out too much.  I wanted to make them jealous, inspire them to train, and get them interested in my newfound passion at the time: ski mountaineering.

It worked.  Jason has been my main partner for the last few years, made the US Skimo team and keeps his own blog at jasondorais.blogspot.com.  Lars has been also been doing his best to come off the couch and go as big as he possibly can every chance he gets.  He's skied classics like the Pfeiff, Timp, and Mount Moran, run the Grand Canyon, and climbed all around the West.

Quickly, my posts matured somewhat as I realized that everything I typed was available for all to see.  I quit making fun of my brother and friend and tried to document my training and adventures for my own sake.  The circle of friends who followed along grew and quickly, an occasional stranger would stop me at work or on the street to chat about random stuff like gear choices, approaches to particular peaks, etc.

That was really cool to in a way provide a resource for friends, beginners, and "colleagues" in the mountains.  I had scoured the internet for years, feasting on and receiving inspiration from tetonat.com, slc-samurai.blogspot.com, noahhowell.com, straightchuter.com, and many many more sites.

Also through keeping this journal of sorts, I've met many partners and developed new friendships which have certainly enriched my mountain experiences over the last few years.  This is a great thing for a guy who works odd hours and has random Tuesday mornings to ski.  It seems I always have strong available partners.

Yet another reason to blog is to provide a creative outlet.  Designing a site and practicing writing and photography have all been challenging and thoroughly enjoyable.  I obviously have a lot to learn about these disciplines but I'll hopefully improve throughout the coming years.

The last thing I'd like to mention is the ability to keep personal records.   Memories fade, no matter how brilliant the outing.  So perhaps one of the main reasons I keep doing this, is to create a hard bound copy of everything I publish as a journal for both myself and my family.  I use www.blurb.com to create an annual 15x15 coffee table book, complete with all text and pictures from the preceding academic year (this calender seems to be the only one that matters).  It might be quite narcissistic to print a book like this, but it sure beats scribbling on paper and it really is a priceless resource to help jog my memory and smile and laugh, recalling great days in the mountains.

The latest edition
That was a great day in the Tetons 

It's also fun to go back and read some of the rubbish I type out...
A little Lion King
Blurb allows one to customize the layout of both text and photos.  Some of my favorites end up as full page spreads.
There are many downsides to blogging too but I'll leave that discussion for another day.  As for this one, it's snowing outside and the air has finally been swept clean after nearly a month of high pressure.  Maybe it's time to go make some new memories...

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post Andy, really hit the nail on the head. The (relative) anonymity of the weblog can easily be misconstrued as self-aggrandizing, when in reality it's born from more of an urge to inspire and have a creative outlet. I'm a strong believer that creativity in print and prose is directly related to creativity in the mountains and life. Sharing with others what you think is possible and what you've accomplished opens minds and is a catalyst for others to push their own limits and creativity, and create a community of folks who are inspired to do better, in every aspects of life. While I feel like I've found a purpose, or more accurately, a cause that inspires me to act, write, and share, I can't help but admit my love for blogging, sharing it with my friends and family, and that I can't imagine not continuing it. I love the idea of putting your adventures into hard-back, I've used shutterfly a few times to make calendars and cards for family. Keep up the good work and spraying about it! Hit me up if you're in upper LCC some random Tuesday morning.

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  2. I enjoy your blog and the advice you pass on. I was able to cross paths with you recently and am grateful for your advice you gave me.

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  3. Your blog and others like it have inspired me to get out more and train harder this last year. I appreciate your willingness to share your adventures. Good luck in the coming year.

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  4. I've been "blogging/recording" Wasatch stuff for a while because I'm a geek, and it's fun to look at old photos both for future beta, and just for memories. It's also fun to read other blogs, like this one, to get new ideas, or see new places. Yeah, one could argue it makes the Wasatch more crowded, but I doubt it has any significant effect.

    Keep it up. I look forward to the "light and fast" stuff, and the general adventuring.

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  5. Stoked on this! I have been doing the same thing for the past few years. Every day in the mountains is worth documenting. Thanks for the post. Made me want to be better about documenting stuff for my future family.

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  6. Hi,
    Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Skiing Community? Our members will love it.
    It's free and easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Photos, Videos, Classifieds and News Articles if you like.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    Please feel free to share as often and as much as you like.
    The Skiing Community: http://www.vorts.com/skiing
    I hope you consider sharing with us.
    Thank you,
    James Kaufman, Editor

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