Ron Penner

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The Devil Tree and Me

The Devil Tree and Me

There is a climb in Ferguson Canyon named Devil Tree. It clocks in at 5.10a although Kurt Ottmann, one of the first ascent team, told me that while not sandbagged at that rating, some might find it particularly challenging for that rating. Stuart and Bret Ruckman describe it in their guidebook Rock Climbing the Wasatch […]

Powder, Corn and Champagne- A Sawtooth Ski Traverse

Powder, Corn and Champagne- A Sawtooth Ski Traverse

  Question: What is the Monolith, also known as the Rotten Monolith? Answer: It is a cone of “unbelievably rotten” granitic rock similar to compressed kitty litter located in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. According to Louis Stur’s 1962 first ascent description with Fred Beckey in the American Alpine Journal, the (Rotten) Monolith “presents a […]

Revisiting Ghosts

Revisiting Ghosts

  In my youth (read pre-thirties) I endured a traumatic event that neatly divides my past into before and after. You may have heard about it due to its improbable nature. My girlfriend and I were hit by rockfall as we slept in Grand Gulch in 1995, many miles from a trailhead. She suffered compound […]

Haute Times on the High Route

Haute Times on the High Route

The skin track quietly disappeared.  Wind and new snow combined to erase our defined path up the intimidating slope. The Route ascended a smooth ramp defined by two boundaries, one the edge of a large iceshelf, the other a tumultuous portion of the glacier filled with house-sized seracs and yawning crevasses. The clouds swirled around […]