So many things have happened and I haven't managed to get any of them written down.

Hans at the summit of Mt. Shasta

Hans finished his California 14ers challenge in great style. You can read all about that on his site, or click on the link above.

On October 7 I started working at the medical clinic in Yosemite Valley. The people are really nice, and so far I'm really enjoying my work here. The next question people always ask is whether I'm continuing my 'other' job hunt as well. The short answer is, yes. However, I have to admit that I haven't been as diligent about it as I should be. I am however involved is quite a few other projects that keep my head busy. I'm still working on the ASCA database for the new website. I have gotten to the point where I can add all the route information that we need, but I don't have the pages set up to edit information or delete it yet.

I've also started helping one of the doctors at the clinic find funding for an AED/CPR education program. AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillator. It is a small device that recognizes dangerous heart rhythms associated with heart attacks and then gives a shock. Because each minute that a person is in ventricular fibrillation the chance of survival decreases by something like 10%, it is important to get help immediately, and the park is trying to put these AEDs in areas all around the Valley (like restaurants and stores) where trained staff can respond immediately without having to even wait for an ambulance to arrive. Apparently airplanes and airports now have AEDs stationed everywhere, just like fire extinguishers, and one company has made an 'in home' model for people who are at risk to keep in their homes.

On October 19 our housemate, Yuji Hirayama, finished his project of free climbing El Nino, a route on El Capitan. His ascent is completely remarkable in that of 30 pitches he onsighted all but two of them (first-try, no falls), and he red-pointed those two quickly. Our housemate, Hans, put up a great web site on his achievements in the Valley this fall on There are also several other Japanese sites with pictures done by the rest of his climbing team.

It's been great having the crew from Japan living with us, and it's sad now that they are gone. On October 21, Kenji and Kosuke left early for SF airport, and we drove Yuji, his family, Tamotsu and Katsu to Fresno for them to catch the plane. We had a lot of fun. This is a picture during Nick's birthday (L to R back row: Tom, Theresa, Kenji, Tamotsu, Yuji, Kosuke, front row: Nick, Devon) and another dinner party after Yuji's family arrived (L to R: Kenji, Kosuke, Katsu, Tamotsu, Shie, Hikaru, Yuta, Yuji).