IMG_0315.jpg

Tragically in January of 2015 Dasan Marshall left this earth in a climbing accident on Mt. Yukla. However, his loving personality and kindness still show through to this day in all of those he met. Dasan was an incredible friend and pushed everyone around him to try harder, love deeper and explore further. His care and support is one of the reasons this magazine ever came to be. Dasan's friendship gave me the courage to undertake a project of this kind and I am eternally grateful to that beautiful soul.

This piece is one that was given to me by his unbelievable parents Bhadra and Glenn. This was a journal entry Dasan had made while doing the Eklutna traverse with friends after he had first moved to Alaska. All of my love goes out to everyone who knew Dasan. Thank you.

-Sean Johnson

Dasan Marshall

THURSDAY

 

Went nowhere today, at least physically; though, we have now spent approximately 96 hours in a small A frame hut, Rosie’s Roost, where we have been pinned down by a strong storm full of light snow that creates high winds and constant whiteout conditions. We are ready to move out, but are happy to learn the lessons that can be learned; patience, stillness, friendship, humility. We’re on a radial mountain (?) between the Eagle (?) and  ________      

Glaciers, playing cards and chess, and drinking tea after short adventures in the raging storm to ski a few turns or boulder on the nearby rocks. Taking our inevitable turn to squat, butt exposed to the elements, is always greeted with laughs, a smile and a “good luck.”

Life here is simple and that’s the way we like it. However, we have 26 miles of travel to reach the far side of Eklutna Lake and the, hopefully, waiting car. Our first two days we spent under beautiful clear conditions First four miles of 4000 vertical feet up to Crow’s Pass where we gained the glacier and camped that night at Raven’s Headwall. Next morning we climbed the headwall, hauling our heavy sleds in two pitches with ropes, pulleys and manpower. The slow heavy work over, we skied powder down the West Fork of the Eagle (?) Glacier to Rosie’s Roost; where we are now.

We got a good lap (?) the day we arrived under Raven’s Peak before retreating from the winds and snow of the advancing storm.

Our spirits are high, despite the confinement and weather, more time to be with each other. However, we all long to move and be from our prison and sanctuary; stretch our legs.

We are content for now to know we will be joyous when the weather finally clears and the glacier and mountains can stand once again before us, glittering in the dawn.

It’s going to be go, go, go from here; no stopping! A  marathon day, a day to remember. The wind is relentless, ruthless you might say; however, the winds only intention is to blow.It will lull for a moment, perhaps 10 seconds, then it will slam you to the ground with the force of a stampeding rhinoceros. Inside our small hut, it feels like we are traveling fast; the constant sound of the wind swirling around us. Then, WHAM, THUMP, WHAM, it beats the walls like a drum; shaking the whole foundation. It’s day 4 of the storm and there are no signs of it stopping.

 

 

FRIDAY

It’s day 5 of the storm and it’s still raging as ever. We’re also now on food rationing so we can, hopefully, if the storm ends, get on our way. However, this meant that this mornings breakfast consisted of a cup of lukewarm water, yesterday’s tea bags and another good game of chess. I’d like to think I’m getting better, but there is little evidence of that yet; though, I am grateful  to the MCA for providing.

Please let the weather clear! Would love to get back to civilization before our friends and loved ones start to worry, for surely they will. We’re due out tomorrow, but it’s unlikely if we will make it out on time.
Nikolai, are you still in there? Or have you become Grubbalai? Hard to distinguish. Anywho I think the storm has been raging for about 5 days now. A huge learning experience of how crazy and unpredictable the weather really is.Very grateful for Aaron and his wisdom and generosity. Without the excess food he brought, we would be mighty sad. All in all, it has been many more good times than bad, as I cannot remember a bad time yet! Even when the wind blows my piss stream onto my chest soaking my DOWN coat in fish oil stench. Simpler to just laugh about it and go back to the bag. I honestly thought the hut was going to blow down last night. Strongest gusts yet. I wonder of Rosie was beautiful? She must have been or maybe still is!
 

Comment