Great snow at Hesperus this winter. Regular laps being performed near daily.
Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Monday, January 11, 2016
I've skied nearly every day for the last 4 weeks. Crazy. We've received a lot of snow in town, so I started to Nordic ski on my ski mountaineering skis. It takes a good bit of wax, but the wide ski makes form really easy. The reason for this is because the Hillcrest golf course is near out home and that is used for Nordic skiing in the winter - fully groomed trails. This is also adjacent to Chapman Hill an in-town ski hill with a tow rope that allows uphill skiing for free. So I can do a couple laps of HillCrest, a few laps at Chapman and it makes for a 15-mile, 2500-ft of climbing route. I've thrown in Powerline and Raider's ridge at times for skimo type skinning.
But the go-to has been Parrot Peak, which is the closest peak to town, and a bit under 12k. From La Plata Canyon it's a 3k climb to the towers and a bit more if you crest the peak, which I do not always do as it is windy up there. Peak summit view is below.
The descent ends in the trees and near the canton it's gets pretty thick. I always leave with some sort of mark. But with cold weather and adrenaline, I don't always realize I have been cut until the finish!
Skimo racing starts up again soon. My last race was in Crested Butte - where they had an impromptu race called the Sunday Salvage as the Irwin Lodge race had been cancelled. Good times and a nice course, but it weird to go to Crested Butte and see their low snow pack levels while we are having an excellent year. I read that Santa Fe already has a 92 inch base, so the snows are definitely going south this year and in Durango we usually get part of those storms.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Whew what a week, 7 straight days of skiing and not a penny spent on a lift ticket. The first two photos are before a 4 day long snow dump, but there was still plenty up on Parrot Peak, a ~3k climb in 3 miles.
I then hit up Hesperus before it opened right in the middle of a snowstorm.
X-mas day we had so much snow in town, I skinned up Raiders Ridge, skied the ridge went through Hill Crest Nordic Trails to get over to Chapman Hill, our neighborhood ski area. Skinned up Chapman a few times and then skied in the dark back through Hill Crest with my Ayup lights just in time for our big dinner. What a great day.
The last 2 days I took advantage of the new snow and cut new tracks back up to Parrot Peak for the epic ski down Snow Slide. Whew.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
The first COSMIC Ski race of the season was also the only local race of the series as the rest will require an overnight stay for me. This one was at Wolf Creek and I'll post more photos when they become available. The cool news is that this year they have Veterans Category (old man, over 45 years of age) so it gives me something to shoot for. I finished well, 24rth overall, with 54 entrants, and I finished on the podium in 3rd place in the Veterans Category. Descents were really my problem as I climbed and raced well. A few minor mistakes, a skin issue, and one misstep into turn that had me slide down on my back on Alberta Peak (also losing a ski, which I was fortunately able to catch!). The back slide down the icy Alberta Peak was not all that costly - a few minutes or so. But they all add up in a short race like this.
A little blood on the face too, but no injuries. Either from the slide or perhaps one of the times I downhilled/slammed through tree branches.
No prize money in these races but I did score some cool Julbo goggles (my only other pair of goggles are 15+ years old), a Dynafit hat, and a La Sportiva coffee cup.
Jeni took a photo of me getting near the finish line below (finish at the white popup). I skipped the typical lycra body suit and went with the more comfortable two piece Millet Pierra Menta - I loved it. Each front jacket pocket could capably hold 2 skins each. My Millet pack looks large but besides the usual beacon, shovel, probes, and water bladder, I carry my down jacket from CAMP. Call it a security blanket, but if you get injured out there it may be a long wait until you have a chance to warm up. It's pretty light anyway. One racer broke his leg out there, but fortunately he was near the base area. I was right behind him when it happened. Brutal scene.
Course Map below.
After the race we took the little one over to the Wolf Pup beginner hill. She did several runs and just loved it, with Jeni holding her from behind using the trainer ropes.
I love Wolf Creek! I taught Jeni to ski here ~25 years ago. And now she is here teaching our daughter. Wow, time flies!
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Monday, November 09, 2015
And the season begins! 3 skins up at Wolf Creek this weekend. I am lucky enough to live close enough to Wolf Creek Pass as they allow up hill skiing with few restrictions. I mostly climb in the trees though given that the ski area has down-hill-skiers of all skill levels so I find tree protection to be desirable. The ski area boasts the most snow in Colorado and that is generally true, but the backcountry of course has plenty of areas with ample snow. It's early season and there are rock hazards, but it's snow, it's free and it's fun!
Saturday, November 07, 2015
I had some work out east in Northern PA and Southern NY. The first day I was working at a little ski area and was able to grab a trail run on the mountain and had the trails to myself mostly, except for a few dog walkers just a few hundred yards into the trails. Nice enough area to enjoy the outdoors a bit. Temps were excellent - in the mid 70's.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Friday, October 09, 2015
Work brought me out to Santa Cruz, CA with the customer providing a nice cabin near the beach. I fly into San Jose and was on the beach within 90 minutes, taking a 13 mile run. This was my first visit to the area and the beach here is so much cleaner than the ones I have recreated on for years in Southern California. I was able to run alongside a school of porpoises for a while and then later on I saw some whales, only visible by their blow hole exhale and the birds circling over them. Several large sea pelicans were among several types of birds making this was a really scenic run.
I saw this beached old ship alongside a pier that I presume they are using a barrier reef. It was covered with birds.
After the run I hit up a coastal trail for some better views.
The cabin was really cool. Very nice accommodations considering I'm used to staying at Marriott Brands for work travel. A bit outside of the box, but I might stay in these in other places if available.
Avis thought they were doing me a favor and gave me an free upgrade to a Mustang. Nice red sports car given to someone who lives in the mountains and is 3.5 hours from the nearest interstate. The poor interior visibility (by my standards at least) and the tight, twisty, and tall tree-lined CA roads made sure I never even considered going over the speed limit. I get these Mustangs from Avis time to time, and it's usually at busy airports when they run out of 4 door cars. At the counter they asked if I was travelling alone, which my first clue. I would have preferred a SUV upgrade just to see better. But with the iPhone having the Sirius Radio and a killer sound package in the Mustang at least I got some great tunes with the windows down in the CA sunshine.
Santa Cruz is a nice area. Too many people for me however, the roads were bumper to bumper in both lanes everywhere and this time of year is not their busy tourist season. This planet is getting too populated.