Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Hi and welcome back!

We've been getting a lot of snow lately. The other day I went all the way up with my mom and skied down.  It was tough getting started in the woods, because the trail is so narrow that it was hard to turn.  I only fell one time when I waited too long to turn and wound up going off the trail.

It was much easier once I got down to the field and the trail got wider.

Carrying my Skis up

My mom took a picture of me going through one of the flat parts in the Christmas tree field, and we emailed it to Mark Smiley.  He said it reminded him of this poster of someone skiing in a cornfield in Nebraska.

Ski Nebraska!

I'm still training for our climbs on Mount Washington (February 15-16) and Mount Marcy (February 28 - March 2).  One of the things I've been doing is swinging from rafter to rafter in my dad's office.  Mark Hudon's sister told us that's how he used to train, so I thought it might work for me, too!

Training Mark Hudon Style

On Monday we had a delay before school because of some new snow, so dad and I went for an extra long hike.  On the way home we found a stretch where the snow was frozen into thick blocks.  It would break when we walked on it, and you could pick up big chunks of it like it was styrofoam.

Snow Chunk

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Hi and welcome back!

Today is the first anniversary of my blog!

In all I had 204 posts, 257 comments, 38,790 pageviews, and visits from 47 different countries.

In case I didn't say this before, thanks a lot for reading.  I hope you keep stopping by now and then.  From now on I'm going to try to post at least once a week, and I'll be telling you all about Endeavor 50 Highest as we start making more climbs.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Highpoint #1/50 - Delaware

Hi and welcome back!

Yesterday my dad and I climbed to the highest point in Delaware, which is called Ebright Azimuth.

High Point 1/50

Ebright Azimuth, Delaware - 447.85'
There is actually a little bit of controversy about which is the highest point in Delaware, because down the road from Ebright Azimuth is a small bump that is two feet higher.  They don't know if this ground was built up, or if it is actually the highest point.

Ebright Azimuth is marked with a bench and a sign next to the road, and the other place is about 100 yards away behind someone's house, but the geological marker for the Azimuth is about 50' down the road from the sign.

It was hard to tell which was the highest point, so just to be sure, we went to all three places.  

We have at least two other high point climbs coming up in the next two months--Mount Washington (New Hampshire) in mid-February and Mount Marcy (New York) in early March.

450' - hoping we don't get yelled at!

We've decided that we're going to get a bit of dirt/snow/rock from each high point.  I also plan to take a piece of my tent fly to each point, but I forgot to take it with me yesterday.

My boots are on the left

My mountaineering boots came this week, and my dad ordered a pair of the same boots from eBay for himself.  We will have to use them in New Hampshire and New York, so it made sense to buy them now rather than rent them.  Besides, you can find some great deals on eBay!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Snow's All Gone

Hi and welcome back!

Thanks to a few warm days, the snow is all melted, and the ice on the pond is all gone.  It's hard to believe the ice was still almost 5 inches thick just a few days ago.

Mount Washington in Winter
Now that I'm back in the house I have been training for and thinking about the Mt. Washington climb. We're going over President's day weekend so my dad and I will have 2 days to climb in case we have to turn around on the first day.

I'm hoping to go to the high point in Delaware next weekend, so Mt. Washington will be our second of the 50 highest points.

I forgot to say that the other day my mom and dad each gave me something for finishing my year in the tent.  I got a Black Diamond Venom ice axe from my dad and the My Side of the Mountain trilogy and movie from my mom, because a couple of people recommended it.

I also just got a pair Asolo mountaineering boots on ebay so now I'm almost ready for Mt. Washington!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's Nice to be Inside!

Hi and welcome back!

Today the ambient high temperature here was 9 degrees and the low temperature was 0!  With the windchill, the temperature was about -25.  We had the day off from school because of the cold, so I hiked early in the day to check out the ice on the pond (it was 4+ inches thick).

Dad and I also hiked on the hill at about 5:30.  For both hikes I wore fleece long johns and trail pants on the bottom, liner socks and alpaca wool socks under my boots, and on top I wore a fleece, down jacket, and shell.  On my head I had a neck gaiter, a microfleece band over my ears, and then a hat.  I was fine with all of that clothing, and both hikes were actually a lot of fun.

The Huffington Post had another blog post about me yesterday!  You should definitely
check it out when you have a chance. 

Mark Hudon
The other day, Mark Hudon emailed my dad some pictures from when he slept out on December 31. Here they are!

Mark's Tent
Mark is actually a pretty famous climber, although I didn't know that when he started following my blog.  I think he actually has the record for the most climbs of El Capitan!  You can read about some of his climbs in Yosemite and other places on this website.

He lives near Mt. Hood, which is the highest point in Oregon, and he said he would climb Mt. Hood and King's Peak in Utah with me when I get out there!

Being Interviewed Today
This afternoon someone from the local TV station came out to interview me about my year in a tent.  I was pretty nervous, but it wasn't bad.

They talked to me and my dad inside for a few minutes, then he took some video of me out in the tent.  I think it will be on the news tonight.  I'll let you know!

That's about everything.  Wherever you are, I hope it's not too cold!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Back Inside

Wednesday night: 62 degrees
Thursday morning: 62 degrees

Hi and welcome back!

Wednesday night I slept on my bottom bunk bed underneath a fleece blanket and a quilt that my grandmother made me.

I had trouble sleeping at first because of how comfortable the mattress was. After I got over the mattress I started hearing all of the unnatural sounds that you hear in a house.

It took awhile, but I eventually fell asleep. Thankfully, after that I stayed asleep.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Nights 363-365 - Post 200 - I did it!

Hi and Happy New Year!

Sunday night: 36 degrees
Monday morning: 38 degrees
Monday night: 27 degrees
Tuesday morning: 18 degrees
Tuesday night: 22 degrees
Wednesday morning: 24 degrees

A year in a tent!
I have so much to tell you about. 

On Monday we had an end-of-the-year-in-a-tent party, and a bunch of our friends came over to watch the Royal Arches video, go for a group hike up on the hill, and celebrate the end of my year.

We had a fire pit out on our patio, we put lights up on the back of the house, and we got Tibetan prayer flags to hang over the patio.  Prayer flags are a Bhuddist tradition, and there are lot of them at Everest base camp.  They say that when the wind blows over the flags, it takes the prayers written on the flags up to the mountain so they have a safe climb.

Prayer Flags in front of Everest
We got a projector and watched the video on a huge screen in the back yard.  I was really proud and excited to see the video on such a big screen in front of a bunch of people.

After the video, we went for a hike all the way up the hill out back.  On the way up, the hill is divided into two parts.  There's a normal hill, and then a switchback trail through the woods. When we were on the first part, some of my friends and I went into the Christmas trees and were scaring the others when they would go by.

Eventually, the rest of my friends and I were chasing each other through the trees.  After that, we joined forces and hid along the trail until everyone else came down along the switchback trail from the top.  When they came down, we jumped out and scared them.  It was really cool seeing the lights going through the dark woods when everyone was hiking up and down.

After the hike, most of the adults went inside, and my friends and I sat around the fire.
I have to thank everybody who came to the party.  It was really nice of you to come, and thanks for the cards and gifts you gave me!

Two of my friends, C.S. and G.S., slept out with me and my dad on Monday night.  We stayed up pretty late, and even though it was pretty cold, we slept well.  In the morning, we went for a long hike out back.

Last night was night 365, and I waited until just after midnight to go out to bed.  I pitched the Alps earlier in the day, but even though it was really windy, I couldn't use the fly.  I just set up the tent body hoping there would be no wind at night, because it didn't protect us from it.  My mom decided to sleep out since it was my last night, but she only lasted about an hour and a half.

Mom and Me on New Years Eve
When she went in, my dad came out to finish the night with me.  Thankfully, the wind did die down, so it wasn't a problem.  I slept in the 5 degree bag I borrowed from my friend S.F., and I actually got a little hot in it, even though the tent wasn't trapping any warm air for us.

I know Mark Hudon slept out last night, and he said he was going to try to get other people to sleep out too.  I think he's going to send a picture, so I'll post that when I get it.  And if you slept out, let me know!

Since I'm done with my year in a tent, a lot of people have been asking what I want to do next. I'm going to reveal my next project now!  I'm calling it "Endeavor 50 Highest," which means I'm going to try to climb the highest point in every state in the U.S.A.!

I don't even know if anyone has done this before, but it would definitely test my skills and make me a better climber.  I would be doing everything from finding a point in the road with a GPS (in Delaware) to maybe even climbing Mt. Denali in Alaska.  This project would include Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which I'm going to do this winter, so that's a bonus.

My dad told Mark Smiley about it, and he said that we should think about doing it in the order that the states joined the union.  That means I'll start with Delaware, and if I make it, end with Alaska and Hawaii.

I'm planning to keep posting about these climbs, and also the other hikes and stuff we do in the future.  I hope you'll subscribe so you'll know when I post.

Thanks for reading!  It means a lot to me that you were interested in my year in the tent!

- Lyle