Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Shaving Weight

So I finally had wrist surgery - this thing has been killing me.  Old bike injury, led to multiple MRIs with the last one having the word 'severe' mentioned a few times in the radiologists report.  Had to stop biking - have not ridden in over a year and my handwriting turned illegible. Proximal Row Carpectomy is the procedure with a whole row of bones removed to "double up" on the remaining cartilage and rid me of arthritis. Any longer and it would be a total wrist fusion.   Here is the procedure - now it is time to heal up and recover.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Back to the Ridge

Skis placed back in storage, running shoes dusted off.  Back to trails!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Skimo Season

The 2015 season is complete, or at least I think it is.  I took advantage of end-of-the year pricing in addition to historic lows of the Euro vs. the Dollar and bought a new set of race equipment.  6.96 lbs total for the boots, bindings, and skis - that is both pair too.  3.5 lbs per leg.  No kidding!

I raced the Wasatch Powder Keg solo race at Brighton UT and also the USA Skimo National Championships in Crested Butte. 3 days of racing for $150.  If it was MTB racing that would cost 6 times as much.  There I raced the Friday night Vertical Climb race, the solo race on Saturday, and the Duo race with Tim Bishop of Denver on Sunday.  Tim and made the podium (although neither of us were there fore the actual podium - we skipped the awards to both get home to see the family) as we took 3rd place Master's Class.  Both Wasatch and Crested Butte were the same based on this seasons weather - icy and very difficult.  Crested Butte also included a technical climb with 1000 ft of rope requiring a lashed ascender and via ferrata (Italian for fall protection device) mounted to a waist harness.  Fotos here albeit through a bunch of social media links.

All photos by others of course on social media.  I did take a self photo prior to the solo race with the climbing equipment lashed around my waist and the skis on my pack (with shovel, beacon, probes, extra skins, etc).

In short this was a blast and I'll be back next year.  I've biked and run through the winters and been bored the entire time.  This season was just perfect even if the weather did not cooperate.  I hit 51 days of skiing for free, skied for free at Telluride, Brighton, Hesperus, Purgatory (poach), Wolf Creek, Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, Wolf Creek and from races I did Taos, Powderhorn, Santa Fe, Sunlight, Irwin Lodge, Crested Butte, and of course Brighton.  Not one lift ticket was purchased, although a few were given to me via race entry.  The skimo gear pays for itself!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No So Hateful Eight

 Before this recent snowstorm which was needed, I did find time to venture back up to Telluride for another ski day.  4 big laps with ~8k of climbing as I found a route to go uphill higher.  
 Quintin Tarantino is filming a new film up here (The Hateful Eight) and they needed snow so there was a cool photo of Samuel L. Jackson in the local paper burning skis in a bonfire as an offering to Ullr.  Apparently it worked, albeit a few days later.  I'm probably headed back this weekend unless I figure out a way to do the Power of 4.  
I've been running the Trab skins on the Hagans which the skin attachment doesn't quite fit into the notch, but after breaking 4 ski ropes this season I'm liking the Trab metal clip.  Small diameter stretch cord is apparently hard to come by here in Durango.  

We Got Snow!

Friday, February 20, 2015


I headed down to New Mexico for some Ski Mountaineering (skimo) Races at Santa Fe and Taos.  Like most things these days, results and photos are on social media and not on websites so no links - and of course I had no time for photos.  In short the pros were over in Europe for the world championships so pack fodder like me moved up in the finish order substantially.  New Mexico also had a lot of locals show up which is so great - the state is really embracing this.  Not close to where CO or UT is but they have potential.  Both SF and Taos promote uphill skiing.  The highlight was including Kachina Peak in this years race.  Too hard to describe with words, but hands down Taos has the best skimo race course of the COSMIC series in my opinion.  I have NM friends who make the 24HITOP or MTQuad their main winter athletic challenge, but all they need to do is buy some race skis and plan around this Santa Fe / Taos weekend.  Wow, I'll be back again in 2016!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


That is a sigh of relief.  Hesperus was open on Tuesday which means it's closed for uphill access.  I came back on Wednesday and found it closed which is a good sign for me.  Weird to want to see a business closed. but for here that means my usual 6 runs on a 550 ft. climb.  My normal route is straight uphill but this climb is off piste to the east and this cool sign appeared showing uphill.  I assume it was for winding fence strand as it was rusted and appeared quite old.  Who knows though maybe Hesperus as one of CO's oldest ski areas, this was indeed an uphill sign when 13 ft. long boards had deer or elk fur underneath,

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Bowl Season

Not much snow in the La Platas down low, but you can find some good stuff up higher.  Even on skinny skis!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Divine Intervention

Finally got some much needed snow and it came in time for the Divine Incline at Powderhorn Ski area.  Results are here.   Once again I'm happy with the result as the fields are stacked full of the countries top skimo racers and not much in the way of large fields.  You show up give a hard effort and are happy with the finish.  I took no photos fo course, but the next day it was sunshine and time to enjoy the recent snow.  I skied the Maestros, my go to ski during the week and my new fatties, the ZAG UBAC / Millets.  Those things just float over the powder and are light enough to keep up a good climbing cadence.
 The Coltex skins are fast for such a wide ski and worked perfect in the new, heavy and wet snow.
 I brought my race ski pack, also from Millet.  I love this new pack!
 I went up to Ohio Peak and like usual saw tons of cars at the other more well known places and had the area all to myself.
 Bluebird skies.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spring Corn Comes Early

While the N.E. USA got pounded with heavy snow, we got some unseasonably warm weather of late.  Hesperus is holding up well, but the skins get soaked for my mid day skin/skiing.  Maybe I do finally need to move to Montana and become a dental floss farmer.

Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Skins

Lotta action at the local hill.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Huntington Beach

A quick business trip to Southern CA allowed me to spend a few hours at the beach while waiting for my flight home.  I got in my first run of 2015 in short sleeve weather.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Chipping Away

I headed up to Glenwood Springs to this years version of The Heathen Challenge, and had a blast.  Last years race was tough for me, I pulled out the hose from my hydration bladder on the first climb and struggled to not finish last after dehydrating and having no more food.  My time this year improved by only 9 minute per the results, but in actuality we mistakenly put on a couple more miles off route, so in actuality I improved 30+ minutes, so for that I am very happy.  No more looking over my shoulder this year to avoid a DFL.  I did a recovery ski up in the La Platas for ski day # 23 this season, on some familiar terrain and the snow is holding up there.  We could certainly use some cooler temps and more snow though.  
I'll post photos and videos of the race once they are available.  Most of the stuff floating right now is on social media and it's a pain to transfer.  

Update:  Heathen Video is located here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Brighton & Early

Three skin ups at Brighton outside the boundary of the Great Western Chair on some fresh Wasatch powder.  

 A view of the packed powder inside of the boundary.
 Salt Lake City had an inversion from the quickly melting snow down in the valley.  Where it was dark and gloomy down below, up above was all blue skies.
 Solitude in the distance.
We have no immediate plans to move back to an urban area, but if we ever did SLC would be one of the few places we would ever choose.

Monday, January 12, 2015

La Plata Exploring

One day in T-ride for so more laps and then the other closer to home in the La Platas.  I was on the race skis so I stayed mostly on steep jeep roads.  I go to day 20 for the season in skiing which is good considering the late start we had and the warm weather this last week.  

 When I got home the little one wanted to go looking for polar bears.  She apparently saw a bunch of them hiding in the shadows!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Hesperus International Ski Resort

50F temps during the day this week, but the local ski place is holding the snow.  

Good news is that temps are going down and we have some more snow on the way.  I'll probably have to head to Telluride or Wolf Creek this weekend as the local big hill - Durango Mountain Resort does not allow uphill skiing.  The only one in all of southwest Colorado to NOT allow it.  

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Local Hill

Ski Hesperus uphill skiing is back in the rotation.  It's so nice to have something so close and easy to get to.  That little black dot to the right of the red roofed building is my Jeep.  Got in 4 runs, ~700 ft. vertical each of pretty much straight uphill.  

Monday, January 05, 2015

Family Ski Day

 We headed up to Telluride for a family ski day.  The little one got her first day at ski school and her mom skinned up the resort in the morning.  I did a later skin up from Carhenge and found a nice 2750 ft. of vertical going that route.  The normal route is ~1700 ft. with an option for about 300 more.

What a great resort.  I'm impressed.  

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Parrot Peak P-Funk

I've been fighting the flu and then a head cold so the adventures have been stunted in the last week.  I got caught up on work, which strangely enough my ability to get sick and allowed me to spend time catching up on reports.  I was able thought to head up Parrot Peak in the La Platas and follow a near tracked out path.  
 Quick access, insanely steep and a relatively safe ski for someone alone.  
 My skinny Maestros had a lot of room in this track.  When I got home the ZAGs were sitting on the doorstep courtesy of USPS.  Hoping to get some use quickly, but the throat is a bit raw today so maybe I'll do some more work.  Weird how that happens.   
This link is mostly for me, but I also thought I'd share.  This is Parliament-Funadelic in their heydey complete with a James Wesley Jackson standup for the intro.  I vaguely remember his standup bit - can't remember where, but it certainly fit the time period.  The Capitol theater has released a bunch of classic concerts for free on youtube and this one is just perfect if you need 3 hours of background music.