Saturday, December 15, 2007

Flagstaff -- Days Fork -- Reed Benson Ridge

Tour with the usual suspects this morning. Up to top of Flagstaff, down Days, up to RB ridge, down, up again (to find my lost skins), down again, up out of Days, and down the south face into Alta.

Up Flagstaff:

Main Days:

RB Ridge (look carefully and you can see my boot pack up to find my lost skins):

Technology nowadays is pretty cool. The above was done with my Garmin 305, Motion Based, and Google Earth. Here is a link to the Motion Based file -- kind of fun to play around with it on Google Earth:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Billy Demong Gets a W

Billy, a US Ski Team member, won a world cup event in the nordic combined in Norway last weekend. That's a huge accomplishment. Story here. Billy trains in Park City and dominated the Cat 3 group this summer when he showed up. Nice job and good luck.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Day 2

Good day in the backcountry today. Avalanche danger was high, but we found some "safe" terrain. I nearly froze to death -- again -- waiting at the top of Reynolds for splitboarder Jon to get his stuff together. (Although I must admit that I'm glad to finally have an enthusiastic backcountry partner.) Once he got his board put together, the bindings fastened on the board with micro-pins, his skins off, his boots in his bindings, his poles collapsed, his goggles on and yada yada yada, he did get some nice turns in.

There was some deep snow today. I really really wish I had put the goggles in my pack and not just in the car.

We made it out in a blizzard and the dark.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Don't Make Me Do It

So I broke down this morning and rode the trainer. I had aspirations and instructions from my Secret Weapon to ride a 10 minute time trial. I was able to TT for exactly 4:38, and after 32 minutes I coudn't go any longer. The thing about trainers is that you don't go anywhere. I know, this isn't a very astute observation, but, the only reason I ride a bike is because it takes me places. That is the whole point of bike riding. I'd like to think that my love of bikes is pure and that I simply love my bikes for who/what they are. But the fact is that my love is not unconditional and is quite selective: when the bike doesn't take me places, I have no love for the two-wheeled machine. It's that simple. Riding on a trainer is nearly (and I stress "nearly") as bad as going to a gym. You probably don't want to get me started on the lameness of gyms and gym memberships, e.g., I tend to see a lot of similarities, both physical and mental, between people who go to the gym and hamsters.

I'm working on my issues with the trainer. My therapist tells me my aversion is abnormal and promises me that there is hope for me to one day have a more productive and friendly relationship with my trainer. Until then, however, I have to resort to other alternatives.

I was happy yesterday to see that the upper Millcreek road is groomed. That means, I have the skate skiing alternative.

An alternative that I have been attempting to perfect is the fat tire, singlespeed, snow machine.

It's a 29er single speed, so no snow and mud in gears. It has fat Exiwolfs on it and rolls really well in snow, slush and mud. It has a light on it so I can ride in the dark. I kind of wish it had disc brakes. In any event, it is a good alternative. Monday and Tuesday I rode up the Pipeline on it. There were certain places where I had to push the bike up the hill though, i.e., Rattlesnake Gulch and Church Fork. I simply consider that cross/strength training. And it went really fast down the groomed ski trail. Some of the skiiers were a bit perturbed about me putting a bike track down the middle of the groomed track.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Nice job to all the CXers yesterday who braved the snow. I considered going out to the race, but I just couldn't push myself over the edge -- too unnatural, cold and miserable I thought. After some of the stories being told, I kind of wish I would have taken the plunge.

Maybe I just need to change my wiring because I don't see much unnatural about a 5:30 am dawn patrol in 4 degree weather -- definitely cold, but not miserable. It was nice to be out and see the day break. Did I mention it was cold?

Saw remnants of a slide from yesterday:

And I actually went into the backcountry with a split boarder.

I try not to discriminate. For example, as a cyclist I tolerate people with hairy legs. In fact, I am unshorn right now. Likewise, as a skier, I tolerate people who ride sideways on one ski, i.e. snowboarders, aka knuckledraggers, snurfers, lowriders, potheads. But just because I tolerate them doesn't mean I hang out with them, or like them. So, I consider it a life-moment that I actually went out with a splitboarder. In fact, I feel that was pretty darn big of me (does that not give a way my bias, because it should).

How'd it go? It went fine, which means that I didn't have to carry the split-boarder up or down the mountain. Truthfully, I was pleasantly surprised. Split-boards move decently uphill; and going down they're not bad. It almost looks fun. There still exists a debate as to whether snowboards go faster downhill and whether snowboards can do everything skis can do. And I freely admit that when the splitboarder got marooned on a rock and went arse over tea kettle down the mountain, I snickered to myself while at the same time asking, "man, are you okay"? In the end though, it was a good result. I think I've overcome my snobbery and am glad to know that I can peacefully co-exist and have a splitter as a ski touring . . . , errr, "snow touring partner." Plus, performance-wise, I fully expect the tables to be turned one day . . . but not in this lifetime.

If anyone is interested, I have some miscellaneous backcountry gear for sale:

1 pair of Scarpa T1 telemark boots -- size 9.5-10

1 pair of Rossi Big Bangs, with Hammerhead bindings -- circa 2002 or 2003, 177 cm

1 pair of Atomic rando race skis -- 160 cm

Various skins, mostly on the skinny side.

If interested, let me know.