Climbed: 6,360′ (22 days so far)

Injected: I was down to HALF of my insulin intake due to increased sensitivity about a week ago as we were living in the backcountry–now, having a break from that, my sugar has returned to near normal doses from the outset–6u of Lantus 2x daily, and 3-5u of Humalog 2-3 times daily. The trickiest bit is working through the transitional periods where my insulin sensitivity is increasing or decreasing, because there is a lot of guess-work involved while you wait for it to settle out. It’s pretty nerve racking.

We left San Diego and arrived in Joshua Tree National Park at night on Monday. We were meeting our friends Nick and AJ who have been filming with us–they had arrived earlier in the afternoon and had established a base camp in the backcountry, so immediately upon arrival we had to pack up all of our gear (literally over 100 lbs each) and take on a night-time, cold, windy death march–just to get our camp set up. Without gear this hike isn’t so bad–only a couple of miles on easy terrain but the quantity of gear we had with us made it really stout. If you watch the video we will be posting shortly, that can help give a bit of scale to the enormity of that task, right out of the gate–but the video only shows 1 trip, so double what you see!

Living in camp was the crux of this stop–Joshua Tree is certainly sunnier and warmer than a lot of places in the world, but when the sun goes down, the wind comes up and dust is everywhere, its COLD and cooking, reading, cleaning, injecting insulin, taking a crap, taking notes on the days activities etc, all become a significant expenditure of energy. It was really hard for us–but we learned a lot.

  • Dust is everywhere–it seeks expensive camera gear specifically
  • Injecting yourself with 17 layers of clothing on is both frustrating and demoralizing–and still 100% essential to survival
  • Filming is an ENORMOUS amount of work–to say nothing of editing
  • There is merit to minimalism–moving fast and light. Perfectionism is punished harshly in climbing
  • Cold REALLY depletes batteries (this was the best test of our GoalZero products, full review to come!).
  • Being realistic about what we can accomplish and why we are out here in the first place is paramount
  • Don’t compare your climbing or your artistic projects to others
  • Suffering is a big part of making something incredible

We packed up after climbing for 4 days and hit the road–out to Las Vegas where our cameraman Nick lives. His family have graciously taken us in here, giving us respite from primitive camping for a few days before we continue on. We are climbing daily at the local crags here which are beautiful and entirely unlike what most people associate with Las Vegas.

More climbing and updates to follow as we move along…