Kahiltna Glacier 2009 Scrabble Tournament

| June 22, 2009

 I can’t play Hearts or Poker to save my life and have yet to make it through a single crossword or Soduko puzzle, but I do like playing Scrabble and Cribbage.  For the sake of our marriage, I hardly ever get to play Scrabble as my main partner is my wife, Polly, who views it as a blood-sport and locks the board up with high scoring two letter words that not only dwarfs my score, but makes it impossible to play anything.  Fortunately, Kip is into Scrabble and brought a board, so we played endless rounds will waiting for the weather to clear on Foraker.

Courtney & Kip after game #374.

 Courtney claims he was a rank novice, but he says that about a lot of things before instantly picking them up (like skiing).  While Kip was the most consistent winner, Courtney had two of the bigger plays, including triples like JESTER with the J on a triple tile and BUXOM which were worth something like 75 points.  Noah Howell was also a stellar Scrabble player and probably would have been the glacier champ, except he was only around for a few games.

The video below sums up the Kahiltna Glacier Subterranean Scrabble Championships. Fred, who is Swedish, plays a mean game of Scrab, although having English as a second language can be a distinct, but humorous, disadvantage.

(Caution – strong language)

Help support StraightChuter.com and stay warm while playing Scrabble in a Mountain Sub Zero Hooded Jacket on sale now at Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…


Category: Trip Reports

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (6)

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  1. dug says:

    scrabble, as designed, is a great “i’m stuck in a tent for two weeks” game, because the length of the game of the interminable delays while your cousin eddie takes 10 minutes to come up with “loser” isn’t a problem. cuz, you know, where ya gonna go?

    but at my house we have revolutionized scrabble, making it a great “i’m not gonna wait for cousin eddie anymore” game. we call it speed scrabble.

    throw away the board, you don’t need it anymore. put all the pieces face down in the middle. everybody take 6 pieces. someone say “go.”

    now, everybody makes their OWN board, right in front of them. same rules, words go left to right, and top to bottom. when you have used up all six letters, say “done,” and everybody takes two more pieces.

    repeat until all the pieces are gone. once they’re all gone, the first one to use up all their pieces says “done.” unused pieces count against you. add up your score, first across, then down. or, if you’re weird, first down, then across. high score wins.

    you’ll never play scrabble the old way again. not even in a two week tent exile.

  2. Brad Barlage says:

    Speed Scrabble is the way. I also have a Scrabble shark wife who can beat me even if I take 9 letters and use the dictionary. Speed Scrabble evens out the playing field. Also playing in ebonics or spanglish are options for amusement if you are involving drinking or just plain really bored out of your skull.

  3. Tony Z says:

    What about travel battleship? Fun game ,but my daughter is learning to secretly move her ships around. It is just a secret to her!!

  4. Lou says:

    Andrew, you are cruel, making us wait for the trip report photos! Sounds like you guys did an amazing job. Congrats. Can’t believe you tented for 2 weeks waiting for that one day. You are either inhuman or had a generous doctor for the necessary meds. Or perhaps both?

  5. KatieC says:

    Yes, I second my husband’s suggestion of alternative language Scrabble. Just imagine the scoring potential of “shizzle” (only possible in Super Scrabble, which has 2 zees), were it placed on a triple word score with the h and a zee on a high letter score.

    Also fun: couple-slang Scrabble, in which you and your spouse or partner are allowed to use the shorthand and nicknames you’ve folded into your vernacular. To spare Brad’s reputation, I won’t give examples.

    GLAD YOU’RE HOME, Andrew, and hope to wipe the floor with your guys in a Scrabble game soon.

  6. d3 says:

    Sounds like Polly is no FOB !
    (Friend of the Board)

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