SFW Fundraiser at Suttrees Tavern, Thursday May 16 from 6-close:

We will be having a raffle of gift cards to Little River Trading Company, New Belgium will be providing many, many items, and much more is in the works.  This is a great way to eat and drink for a cause.  Suttrees has graciously agreed to donate %10 of the proceeds for all sales Thursday.  If you have never tried their food, it is delicious!  Come say hello, purchase a brand new SFW bumper sticker (these are the high quality ones that won't melt on your vehicle) and party down with the cool kids in town.  It will be a blast.


On to other items.  It appears as if the Muir Faction will be at Mt. Rogers on May 28th and a couple of us are planning to meet our brothers in arms up there and cavort on the trail.

Also, the trip to climb Broak Peak looks like a go.  All systems are in place, I have my visa in hand, plane tickets and our name is on the expedition list to the Karakoram.  Our departure date is scheduled for June 8 and that is coming up super soon.  It is a very exciting and somewhat detail oriented expedition in that we will be hiking for almost two weeks just to reach base camp.  So many items required ironing out.  Thus the negligence in keeping up with Highlander photos etc.  I will keep you posted about a dispatch page where you may follow our progress into the remote mountains of Pakistan in the shadow of K2.  Broad Peak is the 12th highest mountain on earth and here is a link to our logistical folks.  It gives a good idea of what we will expect for almost 60 days of sleeping on the ground.  A full 8 months of intense training, meticulous preparation and the usual procedural events will culminate in my drive to JFK (that's right, drive) because I couldn't book out of Knoxville.  Our airport is very lacking in many respects.  It is a sad state of affairs when it is cheaper to rent a car and drive to NYC than fly our of our backyard.  I will be going first to Kuwait City, then Islamabad.  Brian will be departing from Atlanta and we will not see each other until in country.

Pakistan just completed their first democratically held elections yesterday and the violence that marked this heralded event will, hopefully, cease by the time we arrive.  I am not concerned about that as we will be out of the big city in short order.  It just hope that it doesn't delay our transfers to Skardu etc.  We will have a small team of 6 climbers and a huge base camp operation.  Closing up shop for two months is somewhat a leap of faith.  My school stuff will not be affected as this was the primary driving force behind Karakoram climbing instead of Nepali peaks.  Their climbing season coincides with the summer break.

So that is a personal recap.  I hope that everyone is enjoying this protracted spring weather.  As I type, the temp is in the fifties and expected frost is nipping at the valley for the next evening or two before returning to the 80 by end of the week.  That is my idea of perfect Spring backpacking conditions.  I hope to be back out in the woods next weekend.    I hope that many of you are as well.