Posts Tagged ‘Dexter Randy Richards’

The Christchurch Earthquake


When the Earth Shakes, and We Humans on it.
Make a *donation directly to NZ Red Cross Christchurch Fund

Epicenter: Lyttelton from above our house, a day before the quake

Amanda and I escaped. We were in Christchurch about 19 hours before the earthquake hit, just in front of the main church , which is now collapsed,  in the square dropping off my passport and work visa application at New Zealand immigration, We also ran some errands, and split up in the afternoon, Amanda stopping by a store, and I picking up our van at the bus depot.

When the earthquake did hit we were both at home. I was in the hallway, and all of sudden, I was being thrown about. I was disoriented for a few seconds, then ran down the hallway to grab my pregnant wife’s hand. She looked as confused as I, as we ran for the door. We had just experienced the earthquake 1km from the epicenter. Our rental home is just across the Lyttelton Inlet in Diamond Harbor’s Charteris Bay.  As I grabbed Amanda’s hand and we ran out of the back door of  the steel-framed house, I thought, “This isn’t good for Christchurch.”

Little did I know how bad it was.  Just over the crest of Port Hills, 20 min away, it was Hell. (more…)

MS Names New Board Member



Amanda Richards, MSI Board Member

Amanda Richards was named to the board of Directors of Mountain Spirit Institute, at the organization’s recent annual retreat held in Sunapee, NH. She was also elected treasurer.

Amanda brings a wealth of marketing and business background plus great energy and ideas to MSI.  She has also been a backcountry hut Ranger for the Department Conservation in New Zealand’s Mt. Aspiring National Park.  Amanda has trekked extensively in the Himalaya,  climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa, and done extensive adventures in New Zealand, Australia and other parts of the world.  She is a classically trained Homeopath and has a degree in science. She speaks conversational Spanish and English.
Says Richards of her new appointment, ” I’m thrilled to be part of the Mountain Spirit team, and look forward to contributing.”

Remembering the Route

Near The Sunshine Route-Bergshrund Mt. Hood

Near The Sunshine Route-Bergshrund Mt. Hood

I was a senior staff trainer at Outward Bound for their Instructor’s Alpine Courses on Mt. Hood. We were finalising a week of training with a successful summit climb. But on the ascent, there was one of those moments, when learning from experience could have been painful but wasn’t, because the outcome was positive. We were climbing the Snow Dome, on Mt. Hood’s northwest side, on the final approach to the Sunshine Route. I had been leading and training staff on this route for a few years prior, so was relatively familiar with the route, crevasses and bivy sites.

Site not far from snowbridge collapse

Site not far from snowbridge collapse

We set out from high camp on the snow dome early on a cloudless sunny day, a crisp snap in the spring air, crampons crunched the snow underfoot. I decided to let the trainees lead out  on ropes of four, with one trainer per rope team. There were three rope teams, and my team was in the back, with taking up the final position. It was easy ground, and once we got to the base of the steeper terrain at the start of the Sunshine route, we’d rearrange the order.

Before setting off, we first decided who would lead out. I then briefed him on the route, which generally followed the crest of the snow dome, but (more…)