11/20/2013

A Day In "The Office"

Liberty Mountain’s Marketing Director, Nathan Smith illustrates what it’s like to work a day in "the office” when employed in the outdoor industry. Photos by Liberty Mountain's Photo Editor, Aaron Schwendiman. Click on the photos to view them larger in the Lightbox Photo Gallery.

It's catalog season here at Liberty Mountain and we have deadlines looming over us for lots of projects. One of those projects has been the recent addition of Outdoor Designs to our collection of in-house brands.

With our recent acquisition of Outdoor Designs and the November deadline for good winter images, we had to scramble to get some shots and quickly. Luckily the 2013 winter has already begun in Utah and we knew of just the spot to go to get some ice climbing photos for the workbook.

The only hitch is that it would be a four-mile hike up Mt. Timpanogos to reach the ice. Meeting at 5:00am at Liberty's Salt Lake headquarters was a small group, two climbers and our newest in-house photographer and photo editor, Aaron.

We drove the 45 min to the Aspen Grove trailhead in sleepy darkness, psyched to be going out on work time but still somewhat wishing we were still in bed. After gearing up at the trailhead, we set off on the trail by headlamp. The cold concentrated into a small circle of blue light in front of us.

Gradually the sky lightened, replacing our lamps as we passed the 1st and 2nd waterfalls and numerous switchbacks. Finally the sun's early morning rays broke through, painting the hillside orange in beautiful light.


Shortly after sunrise, we surprised two young bull moose just feet off the trail. We hesitated for a few min, not wanting to anger them and finally attempted to pass. Luckily they did not charge and we were again on our way.





The trail switches back through aspens and pines, finally entering the Primrose Cirque and traversing along the base of Robert's Horn before switching back again towards our destination. Our original plan was to climb the center gully on Robert's Horn, an alpine ice line that can meander to the summit for more than 1200'. Unfortunately, too many days of sun had melted out the line.



Our backup plan was to then head higher and hit Picture Window WI3/4, a small amphitheater of sheltered single pitch ice. Reaching the amphitheater we were happy to see the line in great shape with multiple options.


While racking up, the sound of rock fall on Robert's Horn led us to discover a few mountain goats traversing the cliffs, traversing the ice lines we had hoped would be in.


Simon took the first lead, opting for a right leaning WI3 ramp perfect for a warm-up and his first ice of the season. Quickly dispatching the line, Simon cruised to the anchors.





Up next was the direct line, steeper but with great ice.


Unfortunately, one of us had to get back for a work meeting so we packed up and raced out to make it back just in time for the meeting. Eight miles round trip and four laps on the ice. Oh, the benefits of working for an outdoor company!







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