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Archive for May, 2012

Here’s to all Airmen who have …

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Here’s to all Airmen who have died in the line of duty. Here’s to pushups on the summit of Everest in your honor. http://t.co/auj6KSGw

Memorial Day 2012

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I was reading about the American Flag and our nation’s great history while enjoying time with family in Seattle, WA this evening… all a part of our Memorial Day extended weekend. ¬†It reminded me of how much I love to see the Stars and Stripes flying from atop flag poles, on the side of buildings, and of course from the rugged mountain peaks we carry it to as part of our 7 Summits Challenge.

I smile to think about the feeling I get when we pull it out of its protective bag and unfurl it on a summit.  The red and blue jump boldly out after what is usually several long days of climbing among snow, ice and rock.  What a beautiful contrast!

In honor of Memorial Day, I wanted to post some quotes/poems that are appropriate for this great day of remembrance.

“Our Flag” Henry Ward Beecher

“Our flag means, then all that our fathers meant in the Revolutionary War; it means all that the Declaration of Independence meant; it means all that the Constitution of our people, organizing for justice, for liberty and for happiness, meant.

Our flag carries American ideas, American history and American feelings … in its glorious insignia, it has gathered and stored chiefly this supreme idea: Divine right of liberty in man.

Every color means liberty; every thread means liberty; every form of star and beam or stripe of light means liberty: not lawlessness, not license; but organized, institutional liberty, – liberty through law, and laws for liberty!”

In grade school we had to memorize ‘Flander’s Field’, a poem written by a Canadian LtCol in 1915. ¬†It’s still one of my favorite, albiet sobering, poems.


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row; 

That mark our place; and in the sky  
The larks, still bravely singing, fly  
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago  
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie  

In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die  
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow  

In Flanders fields

In less than a year from now, we’ll have the American flag on the summit of the world. ¬†We’ll do it to remember and honor those Airmen that have fallen in the line of duty since 9/11 and to rally those still serving. ¬†Once again, I smile to think about how good that beautiful collection of stars and stripes will look flying from above 29,000ft.

Here’s to remembering those that have gone before us in the service of our nation.

“Climb High, Fly Low” ¬†— Maj Marshall


Worst Piece of Safety Gear!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

We saw this online and couldn’t believe our eyes! ¬†The Safety Officer among us had to write a blog on it.


That is a link to an avalanche beacon that is different from all other avy beacons. ¬†How you ask? ¬†It does not receive. ¬†It’s just a transmitter.

That might sound ok if you haven’t used one before, however, it’s missing one important option: the ability to receive the signal from the people in your group that get caught in an avalanche. ¬†Imagine- a group of skiers go into the back country. ¬†Everyone has their “Snow-Be” on and they’re all thinking, “Yay! We have avalanche beacons on. ¬†Let’s go find some fresh powder.” ¬†However, on your way to the mecca of pow, an avalanche wipes out half your group. ¬†The remaining half thinks, don’t worry, we have our “Snow-Bes” on. ¬†You pull out your shovel and probe and get ready to dig your suffocating friends out. ¬†Oh damn. ¬†I have no way of locating them. ¬†Shoot.

Ok, we’ll admit, we laughed at it. ¬†I mean, it’s pretty entertaining, unless your friends are in need of rescue and you don’t have the ability to find them. ¬†We imagine this is going to be marketed for skiers that don’t go into the backcountry and just want a ‘piece of mind’ in case there is an in-bounds avalanche. ¬†That is the only¬†plausible¬†use for this device. ¬†However, you shouldn’t be skiing anywhere there is a chance of avalanche without going through an avalanche course and having the proper equipment (shovel, probe, and transceiver). ¬†But that’s usually not necessary in-bounds.

We agree- it sounds like a way to take money from people uneducated about avalanches and could potentially encourage people to go into avalanche conditions woefully unprepared.

Be Safe- if you want to ski the backcountry, take a course, get quality gear, and go with people who are experienced. ¬†It’s an awesome way to see the outdoors when done correctly!!

“Climb High, Fly Low” -RM

Everest team forming nicely! 8…

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Everest team forming nicely! 8 experienced US Airmen mountaineers so far vying for spots. More to join for trek to Base Camp- want to come?

Red Rock Climbing: 30 April

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

While in Vegas for a short trip on 30 April, two USAF 7 Summits Challenge team members joined up for an easy climb in Red Rocks Nat’l Conservation Area.¬† If you’re not familiar- there are a few thousand climbing routes, many in sight of the Las Vegas Strip.¬† With Nellis Air Force Base near by, Red Rocks sees a good number of Airmen rock climbers.¬† If you are interested in getting in touch with any, feel free to use this site or our Facebook page to find a climbing partner.

Here are some photos and videos from the climb of Cat In The Hat, a 6-pitch trad climb that’s just 5.6.¬† Our climbers highly recommend it.

“Climb High, Fly Low”

4-30 Cat in the Hat¬† <— Click here for short video of climb.

Team member places device into crack to protect from a fall while climbing "Cat in the Hat" at Red Rocks in Las Vegas


A USAF 7 Summits Challenge team member rappels after reaching the top of the climbMescalito- Home to "Cat in the Hat"