Malevolent Cartography

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Drink your coffee black

Sleep on the floor

Burn your rolling luggage




2020 In Review

2021-01-03 by Quinlan Pfifferyear-end-review



  • Broke up. Got back together. Made some mistakes. Lots of feelings this year.
  • Got a therapist
  • Probably almost drowned trying to swim in the Willamette with Jerry
  • Bought a new car
  • Broke the new car
  • Sold the second MR2 I had
  • Sold all of my bikes and got rid of all my stuff and started went full nomad.
  • We had a pretty interesting few weeks at the house back in March: We’d pick a challenge and everyone would see how much of it they could do. I think we did push-ups, pull-ups, bike miles, running miles, etc. It was really cool to see everyone get together and haul ass. A housemate of mine, Lance, really took off and actually started running pretty regularly as a result of the running week.
  • Tried to hand-make a bed and failed. A friend of mine still has all the wood. Probably.
  • Spent a good chunk of time on Duolingo




  • Travelled a LOT, lots of different states. Currently hiding in Flagstaff, Arizona.
    • Oregon
    • Washington
    • Colorado
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Utah
    • New Mexico
    • Arizona
    • Wyoming
  • Did a weird triathlon thing in Montana:
  • Finally did a solo lap up and ski’d down part of Mt. Hood.




It was a really good year for paddling: I got revenge on lines that I didn’t get clean last year, and I did a lot of new, weird, manky stuff. Quite a few days on the water. In addition:


I finally completed the DIY packraft! You can see this in goals from WAY BACK IN 2018!


Not real strength goals accomplished this year, although I did do a lot of pull-ups. Fastest mile ever is a nice one but I didn’t really train for it, it just kind of happened. More technical progression this year than fitness.


A good handful! I wish I’d read more, but I’m happy with this list. Also a shitton of Pocket articles- I cranked through them on a hut trip at the end of the year. I really enjoyed Mark Twight’s writing this year. Kiss or kill was really good, again. It kind of fit the mood.

I still haven’t read Henry Miller’s Black Spring, which annoys me greatly. It puts me to sleep or makes me mad, which I think is a pretty wonderful effect.


  • Setup a spurcehut account, which I like a lot.
  • Symlink chaff
  • Fucked around a lot with Gentoo this year and made a personal overlay
  • A lot of work was done on 38-Moths
  • logproj had a bunch of work done on it. It still doesn’t work but it’s all server-side now, on top of 38-Moths.
  • I let pdxburritoreview expire.
  • Did a ton of work on Voidcrash in a random couple-week sprint. I’ll wait til next year to roll more on that.
  • There was an attempt to build a better alternative to my ~/scratch file, but I ended up just building a really shitty text editor and gave up. It’s in C + ncurses, though!


Goals from Last Year

  • UnsureSTAY HYPE
  • FailedRetry the bivy-a-month challenge. I’m getting pretty good at sleeping on the ground.
    • January: Wallowas, 1/31 - 2/1: Slept outside in a snow pit outside the yurt.
    • February: 2/22 - 2/23: Slept outside at the smith rock state bivy area. Fantastic night but the SOL emergency bivy was very damp. Ended up just sleeping on top of it.
    • March: Nope
    • April: Nope
    • May: Nope
    • June: Bivvied outside on the coast, near the Nestucca river. Very wet.
    • July: Bivvied near Slab Daddy approach in Darrington. Very wet. Lots of mosquitos. Very funny. Also in Index, near river.
    • August: Through the packrafting class, I slept at the hot springs campsite and again across from it on the river.
    • September: Slept in my car a lot, and next to it all over. Mostly in Joe’s Valley, though.
    • October: Ran westwater canyon and slept in my boat. Slept on the side of the road on the way to New Mexico, as well. Slept on BLM land next to the Rio Grande. Started to get cold!
    • November: Bivvied overnight once and went for a run super early the next morning. Somewhere along the Rio Hondo near the Taos Ski Valley. Also slept along the gila river, when we went to check out the hot springs.
    • December: Banks of San Francisco River.
  • FailedBe more proactive about body maintenance: Stretching, Rolling, Yoga, etc. I’m getting older and I need to mobility.
  • UnsureOne book a month, at least. Read through all the stuff on the shelf.
    • I’m happy with the amount I read, but I didn’t do a book-a-month.
  • SuccessMore Ice Climbing
  • SuccessGet better at skiing
    • The end of the year really grabbed these two, I spent a week in the Ouray Ice Park and then a week skiing huts in the San Juans. I’m more confident in both now.
  • FailedClimb Rainier, Helens
  • SuccessTake more classes! First-aid, Crevasse rescue, Rock safety, Swiftwater, etc. (This one is cheating because I already signed up to a bunch of them)
    • Took mountaineering first-aid, my AIARE avy-1 course and my swiftwater safety course. The swiftwater course was kinda lame though.
  • UnsureMove every day.
  • FailedWork on making new and varied friends: Human relationships are valuable.
    • Covid kind of fucked this one up.
  • UnsureCross some items off the BS Adventure calendar
  • SuccessDo one of these runs
  • SuccessMore sewing projects!
    • The only thing I made (I think?) is a bag for my climbing rope.

Goals for 2021

  • Improve my Skiing

  • Lead legit 5.10 Trad

  • One-armed Pull-up

  • Do a 50-miler

  • Do an adventure race

  • Complete Strava Running/Climbing challenges every month

  • Max out Roth, 401k, HSA

  • Figure out how to manage time apart from my Other

  • Avoid being distracted so much

  • Continue Therapy

  • Learn to roll a kayak and/or Packraft

  • Cultivate excitement, wonder

  • Visit my brother and mom

  • Be more vocal about appreciation

  • Detox on Coffee


Actually not too bad this year, except that I can’t really deadlift anymore. I pulled my left spinal erector twice doing it in the driveway earlier in the year and I’m cautious now. Feels like it’s a chronic thing and probably related to the sciatica.

  • Fun infection stuff that took forever to clear up
  • There was a pretty vicious quad-pull that took forever to heal. That was no fun. It happened as a result of this run where I went around in a circle 20 times or something.
  • Random sciatica from working in the back of my car, on stools, sitting on the floor, etc.
  • Lots of new scrapes and bumps and gouges. I took a big chunk of skin out of my shin after climbing one day in Moab.