Dog days of summer

A few highlights from the last few weeks from the world of 5.8 Alpine Mountain Fun Institute.

On July 28th, I co-led a Cascade Mountaineers climb of Mt. Thielsen. It had been just over 4 weeks since spraining my ankle descending from this peak and I was a bit nervous about navigating the scree slopes on the way down. Our group of 9 had an excellent time on the route, I got some good experience setting up a fixed line on the 4thclass summit block, we all made it back to the trailhead healthy, and got out of there before smoke completely obscured the views up top. 


Back on Top

Mt. Thielsen, OR

August 4th was a big exercise day as I tested my ankle with a morning trail run at Shevlin Park and then went for a long MTB ride. I combined the bike ride with some errands in town so it ended up being about 50/50 dirt and road. A tiring day but very happy with the effort and how the ankle held up!

The next day it was time for some Sunday Funday at Elk Lake with Karis, Mateo, Megan, and Adam. It was a beautiful day and we took full advantage playing frisbee, SUPing, and playing cribbage on the beach. 


trying to live my best life

Elk Lake, OR

August 11th saw my annual South Sister summer summit attempt. I left the Devil’s Lake TH at 630am and immediately joined a conga line heading up toward the Moraine Lake fork. I was pleasantly surprised with my level of run fitness considering how little I have been able to train since spraining my ankle back in June. Made it to the summit in 1:45, got very cold due to strong winds out of the west, stumbled down (but didn’t fall) in an hour or so, for a total round trip of sub-3 hours. Also today, 5.8 AMFI patriarch Gene completed the mega-classic La Luz Trail Race in Albuquerque, NM. He took home some hardware for his effort! Nice work Dad.


Too bashful to wear his medal 

Sandia Peak, NM 


The next day, April 12th, Andreas and I climbed “First Kiss” at Smith Rock State Park. This 5 pitch sport route has been on our radar for a while and it proved to be a super enjoyable morning romp. We went car-to-car in 4 hours with 2 of those on the route itself. The pitches go 5.7, 5.6, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 and we swung leads. May go back again soon and lead the pitches I followed. 


5 pitches of fun 

Smith Rock, OR

September will have more climbing in store! Looking forward to the AAC Craggin’ Classic at Smith Rock and the final Cascades Mountaineers training weekend on the north side of Mt. Hood. 

I am now in New York State for the next 9 days and will be exploring the Adirondacks upstate and hopefully hitting the White Mountains in New Hampshire as well. Excited to see some new country and explore these mountain ranges. 

5.8 AMFI stickers are now available. Send me an email through the site and I’ll get one to you! 

Have Fun and Stay Safe, 


Andrew Kersh