Outsiders: Will Ryan

Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2006

Age: 23

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Occupation: Bartender

Favorite outdoor activity: I don't ever have any more fun than jumping off cliffs into water. I also enjoy hiking. One time a buddy of mine and I were messing around in Cope Park and we found the remnants of an avalanche on the flume side of the mountain. We started climbing up the rocks, and were about an hour into it when we looked down and realized that we couldn't descend the steep grade. We had to keep climbing. It got to the point to where we were hanging vertically with only clumps of grass to cling to. Eventually we reached the top and conquered Mt. Juneau. We found the trail head at the top and followed it back down. I like the mental challenge of a hard hike, when it really tests me.

Favorite outdoor memory: Walking across the frozen Mendenhall Lake to the caves, I decided to go exploring. I found caves inside of caves inside of caves. It was like a labyrinth. There shouldn't have been any light inside of the cavern but it was glowing a gorgeous blue. I saw some amazing stalactites and stalagmites that made a giant pillar of ice. I'll never forget that. It took like two hours to get out.

Favorite outdoor spot: I love the waterhole a mile and a half from the visitors' center at the glacier. You walk down the path next to the parking lot and take a right at the fork and walk about 50 paces up a little rock path. There is a deep quarry hole with three different size cliffs to jump off of, one that's about 10 feet, one that's around 25 feet and another that's about 30 feet high. You have to jump out far enough to clear the rock face, so it can be a bit dicey.

Favorite season: Winter. I just love the look of the season. The colors are indescribably beautiful, especially the blues and greens that shimmer inside of icicles.

Favorite outdoors music: When I hike, I like listening to the scores of movies. I'm a big cinema buff. Recently I've been listening to the soundtracks from "The Life Aquatic" and the "The Rock." The parallel I always find myself drawing between the outdoors and movies is in the surrealism. It's like being outside of yourself, a departure from reality. I guess it's the escapism in both pursuits that I find so attractive.

•Outsiders is a weekly profile in the Outdoors section.

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