Robert Danger Byrd’s 2014 Mt. Rainier Expedition Begins

Hello Friends,

This is my first post using the new “Danger Network” blog broadcast system. (see the bottom if you are a geek for the technical explanation) I will be making periodic posts to my adventure blog during the Rainier expedition via satellite beacon and these short (160 character or less) updates will also be sent to your inbox.

Rob on Rainier, WA


Why Are You Getting This?
You are on this list either because of my fame (isn’t everybody famous on the internet?) in which case you subscribed or because I consider you a freind and thought you might be interested. Maybe I’m wrong and you don’t even like me. In that case, visit the link at the bottom to unsubscribe. Don’t worry, I grew up when geeks were not cool so I handle rejection well.

The Expedition:
So I’m in Seattle now to begin staging for my second Mt Rainier expedition. Last time was a successful summit bid in perfect summer weather (only slightly below freezing), and it is to date the hardest thing I have ever done. Here is the story of that climb:

The purpose is not to make the summit this time, but to gain some experience and skills. This is an Alpine Ascents advanced mountaineering course designed specifically as preparation for the month long Denali climb which is scheduled for late May – June. There are 8 of us on this trip and we will be carrying heavy packs through deep snow while dragging loaded sleds up the leg and lung burning 1000ft per mile elevation gain that is Rainier. We will also be jumping into crevasses and pulling each other out with ropes and pulleys and the like. Hopefully some vertical ice climbing (very fun), and generally learning how to survive in some of natures most challenging conditions by building snow caves and other cool stuff like that. There is a link at the bottom with more details.

With measured temps of -118 degrees at the 18,000ft weather station (colder still at the summit), Denali is the coldest place on the planet outside of Antarctica so I really need to get some serious cold weather experience under my fur lined belt. The Mt Rainier forecast calls for snow and temps in the low teens down in the state park. It should be much colder higher on the mountain. I’m hoping for sub zero temps which would be perfect weather for my purposes!

Real TimeTracking Map:
The tracking map we will begin populating when we start climbing on the 8th. We will come back down on the 15th and I’ll be back in the office on the 18th. We will be working hard, but I’ll send send you some updates time permitting.

Sponsor Shout Out!
A big thanks to my sponsors, (yes I really have sponsors, all famous people do) Platinum sponsor whose delicious and all natural snack bars provide fuel to help replace the 5,000 calories burned while climbing. Did I mention they taste great? And silver sponsors for protecting my beak from sunburn, and who’s solar charging solutions keep my tech running on the mountain. Of course without the competent team of IT professionals at none of this would be possible. It’s great to have such amazing people, running the business. They are so good at their jobs that nobody notices when I leave, so I added them to this mail list to remind them.

What is “The Danger Network”?
The Delorme inReach satellite beacon I carry allows my friends to track my progress real time, but it also allows me to send 160 character emails from the mountain. I thought it would be cool if I could update my adventure blog via the satellite beacon? And so for the past few months in my spare time I’ve been tinkering with it and here is the formula. First I setup a WordPress website hosted by Truewater at then used a graphics template to jazz it up and a variety of plugins to add the functionality required. The first one is Postie which allows me to update my Blog remotely via a simple email. Since my satellite beacon allows me to send email, the blog problem was solved. Postie also does some automatic parsing to remove all the junk text that Delorme adds into the message and most people find confusing. I simply bracket my text with some special characters and Postie ignores everything but the bracketed text. Then I wanted to send updates to friends when the blog was updated, so I used another Plugin called Subscribe2 which notifies subscribers (like you) when the blog gets updated. This plugin the. Adds the signature and links that show up at the bottom of the message as well as predefined formatting of the text (notice the different styles). Then there is the Social plugin that mirrors the blog posts to Facebook for my friends who are too lazy to sign up for the blog. I have the blog set to only send expedition updates as I make other types of posts like gear reviews and such that most of my friends would likely not find useful. With a few exceptions, most of you are not interested in the nuances of ice axes. There are half a dozen other plugins on the site, but those are the ones that comprise “The Danger Network”. Stay tuned, there is more adventure to come