View Full Version : NW Kifaru Rondy - 2008...Live

01-18-2009, 06:10 PM

Ed C
01-18-2009, 06:45 PM
SWEET Howd ya do it?

Woods Walker
01-18-2009, 07:19 PM
Looks like a nice pile-o-wood in that tipi. Post more live photos! Yea how was this done? I could take a cell phone pic and post it on-line but that looks way better. Does your phone/camera take the same card?

01-18-2009, 07:36 PM
haha!!...that's pretty slick...Did you get that Apple Bush?...somebody has some wireless net up there.

Have fun!

01-19-2009, 09:14 PM
Well, we're all out safe and sound. Mostly sound, now that I think of it -- or at least everybody was as of around 1 when we left Cascade Lakes Brewery.

I've gotta say that my favorite moment of this year's Rondy was when Jason, the one guy we hadn't met yet, came over the rise into camp. It only took one look at a guy wearing wool whipcord pants tucked into a pair of white's packs, a red and black plaid wool shirt, and an external frame pack to know that he was going to fit right in. We were not disappointed.

Bushcraft's two pulk setup and laptop in a Pelican case was also a touch of class, but no less than we've come to expect from the goat man. Scot told me not to take an empty pulk when I skied out to the parking lot because Bushcraft would fill it. When I got there, I told Bush what Scot had said and he told me no problem, he'd brought an extra one along himself.

I lost the camera lottery with my wife, so no pictures from me this year. The Superbadger brought both a point and shoot and DSLR along with some sort of industrial tripod that looked suitable for mounting a 30 caliber machine gun. I'm guessing he got a few good pictures.

By the way Bushcraft, I'm pretty sure it's 2009.

01-19-2009, 10:21 PM
Here's one....more to come...


01-19-2009, 10:24 PM
That is freakin' awesome! Nice work with the camer there Patrick. More please...

01-20-2009, 12:27 AM
Nice pic! I think that the cover of the next Kifaru catalog just became color!

poi dog
01-20-2009, 02:56 AM
Nice pic! I think that the cover of the next Kifaru catalog just became color!

I think songdog called it about right. That is an incredible picture! Thanks for sharing that:cool::cool:

01-20-2009, 04:13 AM
That pic ROCKS!!! I look forward to seeing more. Thanks for shareing

01-20-2009, 04:46 AM
That pic has got my vote for the 2010 Kifaru catalouge cover.

Wow! Incredible...

01-20-2009, 05:23 AM
Wow! Very nice camera work.


Woods Walker
01-20-2009, 08:23 AM
Here's one....more to come...


Wow! Nice photo.

01-20-2009, 08:44 AM
Hey thanks guys!

Back to school for me today, I'll post some more photos tonight. I had a great time this weekend!

01-20-2009, 11:23 AM
Badger I need a hi res version of that sized for my desktop please. My man got mad crazy skillzzzz.

That photo is just badass. It almost captures being out there.

01-20-2009, 11:25 AM
Ok, to fill in a few more bits and pieces --

This was more of a spring rondy than a winter rondy. It was beautifully clear and sunny the whole time, with temps from 20 ish to 30 ish or so. Snow conditions haven't changed much in the last couple of weeks. 3-4' of base, covered by a really solid 3" crust, covered with about 4" of decently soft snow. The trails themselves were tortuously icy except in the middle of the day, requiring climbing skins or snowshoes or even boot packing to get around on, but off trail was an XC skier's dream.

Some entertainment was to be had in interactions with the rich and varied wildlife at the trailhead, including the snow park pass checking state patrol guy who recounted with glee how he had told a couple of snowmobile towing SUV owners that he'd love to see their hummers ground up and turned into bicycles. They replied "tell us how you really feel", to which he responded "I would, but I'm on duty." He was pleased with my promise that we'd clothesline any snowmobilers who ventured into the huge no-snowmobile zone that we were in.

Once in the actual camp, we would see the occasional lycra clad skier go by (sometimes a closer inspection with binos was warranted), but it was pretty secluded elsewise. The view of broken top and south sister was awfully nice. We had our act together this year and did some nice shovel work inside the 8-man to carve a footwell in the center with a perimeter sleeping ledge / sitting bench. Perhaps this added comfort was why hardly anyone left camp for any real length of time.

Jason spent some time on Karhu Karvers, and Buck tried out a pair of 10th mountains with skins on them. They both seemed pretty pleased with the mobility. The Superbadger and I did a 3 or 4 mile loop out to take a look at a secluded meadow that Allen had on his map that I didn't have on my map and I'd never been to. It looks like a good elk hunting spot. I should have put the meadow on my map before heading out, as we didn't quite make it there. I was loathe to lose elevation without knowing for sure I had to to get to the meadow, and the sun was starting to dip low. The badger is a newbie skier, and he did very well in the challenging hilly terrain.

Food highlights included Buck's homemade elk/venison chili and cornbread, Scot's homemade corned beef hash, Jason's logan bread recipe, and Allen's slow cooked bbq ribs. The by now de rigeur fried steaks, pringles, and mother badger cookies were much appreciated also.

The winter rondys are different than the summer ones. Not nearly as many people show up, but there is a lot to be said for half a dozen like minded guys swapping stories through the long winter darkness in a cozy tipi with a well stoked woodstove. Topics ranged from the impact of the Anasazi civilization to what happened to a coyote that was trying to tease a guy's dog off the front porch -- "I popped out the back door, sliced the pie, and shot the coyote".

Most everyone came away with one or two new pieces of gear to add to the wish list, and an expanded vocabulary with new applications for the term "cull", as well as some new expressions that needn't be repeated here. Buck's appreciation for modern music was greatly expanded with selections from the Chemical Brothers and Kid Rock. We listened to most of C.W. McCall's best songs, and then finished out the second evening with Marty Robbins and Willie Nelson.

The trip out was all downhill, and pretty quick and painless, with one exception. In order to stay off the trail and on the good snow with my skis, I cut down through the forest. The morning was beautiful and I was pretty much feeling like the man as my very heavy pulk and I carved our way sinuously down through the trees. Back and forth we danced, going faster and faster, using the trees like markers on a slalom course. Suddenly I was lifted bodily backwards and dumped on the ground with very little ceremony. Looking back, I discovered that my pulk had chosen to go around the opposite side of a tree as I had gone. I'm happy to report that the PVC traces were undamaged, and one of the grimlocs that the traces were clipped into had released. I thought the 180# breakaway strength meant that the grimloc flat out broke and you had to replace it. Actually, that is just when the gate flips open and releases. I think this is a very handy safety feature for clipping a pulk into, particularly if you are going to tempt the fates with excessive hubris. I do think I'm going to put the grimlocs on upside down so the trace carabiner slips more easily off in the event of a crash.

Back at the trailhead, Scot continued the tradition of a mini service project by pulling out his pulaski to cut out a nice gap through the icy ridge that everyone uses to go from parking lot to trailhead. Bushcraft and the Superbadger pitched in to muck things out with snow shovels, making quick work of the project.

We finished out the weekend with lunch at a local brewpub before everyone parted ways. It was a great Rondy!

01-20-2009, 11:31 AM

As a longtime photography buff and the father of a photographer, all I can say is Wow! That is a definitely a marketable print. Thanks for sharing it with the forum, but if you have an MPIX or other account, I'll bet we could be your first takers. Please PM me or post a link, if your interested in selling full resolution prints to your Kifaru buddies.

Thanks & Congrats on a great photo!


01-20-2009, 01:52 PM
Well I got home safely and have my gear scattered everywhere drying out before storage. As Evan pointed out, this was my very first Rondy and I LOVED it. I already knew that they members of this board were a great bunch of guys, but spending the weekend camping and visiting with some of them really drove home the fact. I'm not really sure where to start, other than to say thank you to the Hill brothers for scouting and preparing the site, and to Allen for playing host with his spacious 8man tipi (and cooking up some very fine steak and ribs). I consider myself one of the lucky ones to now have first hand knowledge of what Buck's chili and Momma Badger's cookies are all about. The flavor of Scot's hash also left a permanent happy memory, and I plan to try my hand at a batch while I remember what's in it.

Often the narrow topics of discussion on the threads here don't give the opportunity for members to fully expose their broad based levels of knowledge. I sat in awe and wonderment for HOURS listening to the other members chat back and forth about anthropology, world history, a few dozen authors and books I still haven't read (several that I hadn't even heard of), and some must-see movies. I'm sure that I learned at least as much this weekend as I did in my 16yrs of education. I was camping among some very smart and experienced men.

I also came away wanting more gear. The cheapest will be Super Badger's snow pegs which are both light and well engineered. A 5ft pulk is next, and I've been on the phone all morning trying to locate a Pelican sled. I was completely content with my Streamlight rechargeable until trying out Scot and Evan's Leatherman LED lights. I want one of each! I've been looking for a new EDC knife, and I'm pretty sure it's now going to be an Emerson now after examining Evan's. I intend to learn back country skiing too. With the Karvers off the market, it'll be easier just to locate some decent longer skis, skins, and back country bindings. I can finish out the list with a couple Kifaru packs, and a larger tipi.

Although not a piece of gear, I did take away the knowledge of how the construct a darn fine latrine. A tip of the hat and a hearty thanks to Evan for the construction of a superb Johnny.

Here are some photos I took. I'm the only new guy, so everyone should be recognizable.

From below camp, looking up hill

Buck tweaking his Super Tarp a bit after the first night

My non-conformist Hilleberg Soulo that I hadn't tested until this trip

Another shot of the "cold camps," due west of the main camp.

(Continued next post)

01-20-2009, 01:55 PM
Half the crew inside Allen's tipi, enjoying good conversation and an "ample" wood supply

Here's Scot and some guy from the '40s holding down the other side of the tipi. (Badger took the photos)

Allen didn't think two pulks were enough, so on the way out he hooked up a third. The guy is a machine!

I'm off to Boise to hunt for a sled and maybe a Leatherman flashlight.

01-20-2009, 01:59 PM
Patrick, can you please send my a high-res copy of your night photo? It's gotta be my new desktop!

Ed C
01-20-2009, 08:51 PM
I'm glad you guys had a good time.
Please tell me you weren't burning the stove cooking drinking and carrying on? What if something bad would have happened? What if a bear woke up? What if the tent melted?

Buck you need an awing for that Super Tarp I got one for mine -para stove too. Ha Ha :)

I am at a loss for words to describe how much I like that photo. Patrick Super Badger You are going to make one available for your Washatonian friends are you not? I would like to have a print for my reloading/ outdoor manly gear room? Please Please

01-21-2009, 05:36 PM
Sorry I missed it!!!! Now that I see what I missed I am going to seek extra compensation from work for being on call this last weekend. What a fine time. Excellent write-up and photos.

01-21-2009, 05:39 PM
You were missed, snakey.

01-21-2009, 09:11 PM
Looks like a good time fellas. Thanks for the report and additional pic's.

01-21-2009, 10:36 PM
Looks like a super trip guys! Nice pics, the Bushcraft cord-o-wood, good eats and great company. Welcome aboard Jason...you had the opportunity to spend time with some of the finest men around...all solid citizens and a virtual walking backcountry guidebook.

Already looking forward to the summer Rondy!

Kevin B
01-22-2009, 12:53 AM
I really do have to make one of these sometime. Going to have to sell a kidney to get the extra time, but I do have 2, so we'll see.

Awesome photo. Put me on the list of those wanting the hi res. Just spectacular. Gotta love a big ole pile of wood, good eats a beverage or two and friends. Sleds and skis look like a ton of fun. I'm sure I "need" them. I just have to figure out why, and where the money comes from. Minor details.

Look forward to the summer edition guys, well done.

01-22-2009, 09:31 AM
Finally I am able to post some photos! I had a great time out there with everyone. Buck and I headed down from Portland (thanks for the ride Buck!) on Friday night. And stayed with Scot and Evan so that we could get a good start in the morning. After a good breakfast we packed up and headed to the trailhead where we ski'd in amongst the lycra-clad skinny ski crowd. I think I heard Scot say "You know it's sad when you're wearing more tight fitting clothes than your wife..." or something to that effect. It was a really great trip, made even more so by the fantastic weather. I'll echo what everyone else has said- it was great hanging out with such a intelligent group of like-minded individuals talking about gear, music, movies, history...you name it. Everyone brought some great eats, which was also very nice. I don't think I've ever once felt hungry at a rondy. I always learn a great deal from everyone just being out there and listening to the conversation.

On Sunday Evan and I did a 4 mile ski loop which was a great time for me to take some pretty hilarious falls and (hopefully) in the process improve my skiing. I am still a novice skier, so I did take a few spills. Evan was patient though and we were both just enjoying what were in essence spring skiing conditions.

Okay, enough from me....here's some photos!

Evan getting ready to head out.

Scot and Buck heading out

Scot taking a rest

Scot didn't want to push the limits too much as he is still recovering from a hernia operation so he attached his sled to mine on the way into camp.

01-22-2009, 09:34 AM



When Evan and I ski'd out to the parking lot, we joked that if we brought one of our pulks that Allen would just fill it up with gear. So we left our pulks behind. Turns out Allen had already brought a second pulk! I think everyone was happy he did though, with the big 8-man and all the good grub...he even brought a half gallon of milk!

01-22-2009, 09:36 AM

Buck made use of his shovel as a dead-man anchor for the guy line on his super tarp



01-22-2009, 09:38 AM
Our source of firewood

Scot hanging out with the climashield blanket that Evan made him

Jason getting to work with his wetterlings hatchet

Evan in the middle of Swampy meadow

01-22-2009, 09:40 AM
On the ski loop tour

Evan on the ski loop

Allen posting our group shot live from camp!

Ribs for dinner....MAN were they good. Followed by steak too!

01-22-2009, 09:41 AM
Jason enjoying ribs

Scot got the stove pipe cherried out

So warm we all retreated outside! The thermometer hanging from the drying line was pegged at 130*

Jason and Evan representing the West Coast

01-22-2009, 09:43 AM

Allen mucking out the snow on our little "service project". This year we made a safe and easy path to the trailhead. Last year they dug the bathrooms out from under the snow.

My paratipi

Looking out over Broken Top. Just beautiful.

01-22-2009, 09:45 AM

The camera rig I brought along

My sled loaded up for the trip out

Running a TG1 on an old mountainsmith hip-belt with some home made shoulder straps. Worked great!

01-22-2009, 09:45 AM

On the way out Allen took over Scots sled.

01-22-2009, 09:47 AM
Is it just me or is Evan wearing a skirt....I mean kilt?

01-22-2009, 09:51 AM
That would be correct. I'll let him comment on the specifics of why, but I have to say they're pretty cool.

01-22-2009, 09:56 AM
You got it right songdog. Let those Colorado guys have their crocs, I'll take my utilikilt with handy dandy 1911 pocket.

btw Patrick, good work on the brokentop pic.

01-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Thanks for documenting the trip with your pictures SuperB. Well done on all accounts.

It's always a great time getting together with like-minded folks in a relaxed backcountry environment - especially so for a Puget Sounder if the location has plenty of sunshine. Much to be said for the therapeutic effect of both.


Buck "The Beast" W. getting the pitch just right for his, shall we say, significantly larger than average frame...

Hey! That's what happened to my Hint of Lime flavored Tostitos!

The Utilikilt with handy dandy 1911 pocket...

Aside from the necessary trade that took place in the rendezvous days of old, one will come away from these gatherings knowing why the old-time mountain men looked forward to doing so. I'd encourage everyone to attend one of these if they are able for there is much to learn from all and lasting friendships to be forged.

I remain convinced that one would be hard pressed to find a better sampling of citizenry than those found amongst our fellow Kifaru brethren. Those north-westerner’s that weren't able to make it were missed, but were there in spirit!

The last weekend in July is on the horizon...best to get the NW Summer Rondy 2009 on your calendars now gentleman!

01-22-2009, 03:24 PM
The Tostitos bag was down to the crumbs and I was getting hungry, but GREAT surveillance photo Allen. :D I'll bring more next time.

You're right, the camaraderie was the best part of the trip---------and it had stiff competition from the scenery, food, and weather.

These photos are great, and really capture the great atmosphere of the trip. They'll also serve as great reminders of the gear I want for next time! I've already purchased a Thermarest lounger, a Leatherman S2 and a Voile shovel. A pulk is next, as soon as I can locate a Snow Trek 60. Haven't decided about the kilt yet. :D

Badger, I don't know how you could still operate your cameras so well after the beating your hands took on the iced-up snow, but my hat is off to both your perseverance, and the superb photos you took.

01-22-2009, 03:29 PM
I remain convinced that one would be hard pressed to find a better sampling of citizenry than those found amongst our fellow Kifaru brethren. Those north-westerner’s that weren't able to make it were missed, but were there in spirit!

I agree 100%. There are definitely no "Culls" in this group! :D

01-22-2009, 03:57 PM
Hey Thanks Jason!

It was great meeting you and talking shop. Sounds like you made some good purchases. Hopefully you can make it this summer! If you're ever in Portland make sure to drop me a line! I wish I had checked out Evan's S2....but maybe it's good I didn't! How many LED flashlights are too many? Just one more...

I'm still working through editing some of the DSLR shots, so those should be posted soon...

William Clunie
01-22-2009, 05:56 PM
In one of them photos I think I seen a pair of them sissy crocs. Okay, whos are they?

01-22-2009, 06:50 PM
Evan do you have a down jock to go under that kilt for the colder weather or are you just tough.

01-22-2009, 07:05 PM
Evan do you have a down jock to go under that kilt for the colder weather or are you just tough.

Ah, the age old question of what a Scotsman has under his kilt. I believe there is only one way to get that answer.

Ed C
01-22-2009, 07:06 PM
evan do you have a down jock to go under that kilt for the colder weather or are you just tough.
Good one!!:D:D:D

01-22-2009, 08:54 PM

The oh-so comfortable and practical footwear you are referring to belong to the likable fellow that they are sitting next to in the picture. ;)


01-22-2009, 09:03 PM
I would be remiss if I did not put out a public notice for anyone that might contemplate sharing a shelter, or attempt to sleep near any shelter, with the Hill brothers.

They are extremely competitive........snorers.

Just when you think one has really outdone himself, the other will shatter the stillness of the night with an answering volley that the wide-awake could only surmise as being uncontestable...and so it goes, and goes and goes….ear plugs are an absolute must if a good night's sleep is to be attempted! That said, it may very well be the safest place to zonk out in country thick with bears, for no creature of the night, be it domesticated, wild or other-worldly, would dare approach the source of such nocturnal rumbling!

Consider yourself warned.


one-eyed Bob
01-24-2009, 07:04 PM
On our elk trip I slept in a horse trailer 40 feet from the sleeping tent. Beta male asked me one morning, " do you know that you snore?" Of course I don't think so.

01-26-2009, 01:32 PM
GREAT photos and reporting! Thanks. It sounds like a large time was had by all.

But...is it just me, or do those pulks look like big Crocs with poles attached?

William Clunie
01-26-2009, 01:46 PM
I never thought about the croc connection, but now it is so clear. I knew it.

01-27-2009, 03:32 PM
Hey Guys, Great pictures. Good to see that someone else uses both skiis and sleds.
Wish I had been there.