Saturday, December 09, 2006
Yes Paul, Alberta Peak is Ski-able right now.
The powder was hard to find, but we did find it. We explored the Alberta Lift area thoroughly, and found some great steeps and some good powder stashes.
Matt was up to his usual antics jumping....
and uh...you know what usually happens next.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I was training up in the Sasquash Mt's last weekend and hooked up with these sweeties for a climb up to the ridge and some SERIOUS shredding into the bowl... They were serious Back-Country nuts, no Avy gear and minimal cold weather equipment... don't know how they do it.
These chicks kicked my ass on the climb, I got to get crackin' on the pre season training... I barely got ahead of them at the top for this shot! (however climbing behind them on the way up wasn't by any means un-pleasant !)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
We decided that this did qualify as an AAS event in that there were several AAS members present, we got to see a lot of outdoor adventure film footage, and I almost fell off a curb into a large truck so we had the appropriate level of danger requiste in an AAS event. I think we will categorize this type of event as an educational seminar/conference event.
Anyway, the films were great and we saw some really good rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and kayaking. I think by the end we had gotten our fill of films for the year. Really, how many times can you see some 20 year old kid rip down a 2000 foot 50 degree slope and only make 4 turns the whole way? I think 100 is my limit. I must say the tribute to Doug Coombs was nice and really showed a big mountain skier with style and grace. In the footage he carved turn after turn down the steep slopes.
One of the highlights was having beers with Simon Yates Saturday evening. Eric and I purchased signed books before his slideshow. Later that evening we ran into him at a local bar and bought him a few beers. He was really quite down to earth and interesting to talk to. He definitely had some interesting commentary on Joe Simpson and Touching the Void.
There were many other highlights to the films and events, but I am not going to rattle on about it anymore. This local film festival could make for an annual event.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Dan, Ian & Paul hammered out this little juant. Last year in early October it was still hot, this year in September is was 25 degrees in the morning and we were greeted with 2 to 3 inches of awsome snow! Gotta love the weather at 10,000 ft.
This year our route started at the F.R. 76 Trailhead in Angelfire and we took the main trail (except for one bad turn and a nice job of "Route Finding" with map and compass) to Taos. It was 24 miles and took us 6 hours ;-)
It was considerably more effort than normal, riding in the snow which turned to slush, which in turn, turned to MUD ! Downhilling in the snow added a real nice extra bit of danger to whole affair ;-) But by the end of the ride in Taos, it was 70 and dry as a bone! We also made great use of some duct tape and chain lube for Ians split shifter cable at the start of the ride... McGiver has NOTHING on us!
Success ! Yea ! It was an AWSOME ride. We were quite muddy and stinkey at the end of it all... but not too stinkey to proceed directly to a pub for beers and eats. The waitress tried un-successfully to seat us AWAY from the other patrons ;-)
This has to be one of the greatest rides in the world, especially in the fall with the golden Aspens and snow capped peaks. We made it with no injuries, without getting lost and had a blast. Truly an AAS event!
Monday, August 28, 2006
My wife Erika and I set out on a questionable-weather weekend because we got Gramps to watch the kids, to bag Truchas, again!
Erika has blister problems right from the start ;-( She was psyched but I guess those boots are OK for 2 milers with no backpack only... We took the usual long route up through Jacks creek, which was more like Jacks River after all this rain!
(ok, it was actually half of the biggest puff-ball muchroom I have ever seen! There were more mushrooms in the forest after all of this rain than I have ever seen in ANY forest)
Awsome Views: We made it to Jacks river and Camp 1 by 19:00 Friday evening planning to hike up to East Pecos Baldy lake early Saturday morning. Once there we'd setup camp and go fast-and-light up to the peak, to save Erika's feet the weight of a full pack on the attempt.
The Assault: We arrived at the lake by noon, setup Camp 2 and headed off with questionable skies for the shortcut over the saddle to Trailriders wall. But alas here as you can see, the clouds moved in and a few loud claps of thunder and a wall of rain to the north sent us scrambling back down to camp 2. We did 90% of the work and were only 1.5 miles from the summit slopes! As luck would have it it cleared 2 hours after we got back ;-(
Lounging back at Camp 2: Well, summit fever didn't keep us from pulling the plug when we needed to... But the weather wasn't done with us yet! After a nice afternoon around the fire, we were chased into our tent at 21:00 by a WALL OF RAIN. Now I have been in a lot of weather in my time, but never, that much rain and lightning and thunder... My little (really really really small) tent really IS bulletproof! We awoke dry and with at least 3 hours of sleep... after a long night.
Next, in September, my annual Angelfire to Taos Mt. Bike Death Ride !
Monday, August 14, 2006
On Saturday we slogged up the grassy slopes of Middle Truchas (13,066) then continued on to Truchas (13,102).
With storm clouds rolling in, we pushed on towards North Truchas (13,024). A nice exciting ridge provided some fun 3rd class traversing until we reached the pass just below our final peak.
At that point, we realized the steep descent back to our camp was all we had energy left for. We stumbled down to the streams, ponds and meadows below and politely passed some high altitude grazing cows. Beef at 11,000 feet? Matt, who had spilled his mountain meal down his pants the night before (trying to keep warm while cooking...), seriously considered his chances of landing a steak dinner that night.
Back at camp, Dan and Eric wandered down the trail to find Quemado Falls. The rain fall in the area had the falls running at high volume. Very cool.
The rest of the trip was spent playing hack sack, debating ultra-lightweight backpacking strategies (waxing body hair... every ounce counts), napping and making new AAS laws. It was a very successful AAS outing.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Yucky looking storms convinced us to forego the 12 pitch 5.6 route and instead we scrambled up the 3rd class ridge to the summit.
The storm met us at the summit with loud thunder claps, but Justin, made time for an Extreme Dew pose before we scurried down to the tents
At the safety of the tents, we watched the storm blow by.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Eric, Paul, and Dan successfully bagged Truchas Peak this past Sunday morning. The trip was great and the scenery was spectacular. We hit the trail Friday evening and hiked in four miles to Jacks Creek. We arrived at the first camp around 10:30PM.
The next day we hiked to Pecos Baldy Lake for a quick lunch and to fill up with water. We climbed up to a saddle and down Trail Rider ridge line toward Truchas. We had to move fast to get off the ridge as the thunder and lightening ushered us down the trail. We got rained on Saturday afternoon, but the rain did not last too long.
The wild flowers were also in full bloom and we saw many columbine, california corn lily, paint brush, and dozens of other species of alpine wild flowers. Eric really liked the columbine.
Sunday morning we were up early and climbed straight up the side to the knife edge on the north side of Truchas, then along the edge and into a couloir and right up to the peak.
On the way back we saw dozens of Big Horn Sheep (don't tell Paul they aren't mountain goats). We also saw a deer and many marmots during the trip.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Ok, here's the Pre-Trip post. Dan, Eric & Paul will attempt a summit dash of New Mexico's 2nd highest peak. It'll be tough, because Eric has to WORK late, and we will do a reverse-Alpine Start........
What ?!? Oh, normally you start out on peak day really, really really early in the dark morning, but we will start out really really late on pre-peak night. Hike in as far as we can in the SCARY darkness, camp (in the scary darkness) then up early for the establishment of camp 2, and a dash to the summit (if the thunderstorms hold off).
So, that's the plan but we'll see what REALLY happens this weekend! Hasta!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I also nominate Paul as AAS President, as he is the biggest AAS in the group ;-), however, I don't think any person in the AAS should hold more than one office.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Just got back from a quick Ski-Mountaineering adventure in Rockey Mt. National Pk. CO.
The entire family was camping there, so Dad brought his equipment in hopes of a sneek-peak-bag and some spring snow! The back-country gods were with me, as I met one of the few back-country skiing rangers (Tyson) in the park within ONE minute of checking into our campground! When I asked one of his co-workers of he was the kind of guy that's stupid enough to wake up at 05:00 am to ski and she said yes, I knew I had a partner!
Here we are at 06:00 ready to shread! My wife Erika was glad I didn't end up doing it alone, and the fact that Tyson was an EMT and said he could "Postpone Death" was very comforting!
Here's an awsome set of cliffs we skied the side of. Our high-point is the red dot (Tyson fell into a small bergschrund here ;-) No worries...
There was some nice exposure climbing up the side of the cliffs. The jump off the lip and the steep ascent back up are the pic's below...
(I can't get the Pic's to line up with the words below here so...)
1) The ascent back up the side of the cliff
2) Me jumping the lip on the left, after launching from the side of the cliff... I was supposed to yell as I jumped so we could get me in the air, but I was kinda concentrating and forgot!
3) Tyson climbed and skiied well all morning then I got him about to bite it at full speed after jumping the lip at the left... I shot late and got the whipe instead of the pretty jump... I think he's now officially in the AAS !
All in all, it was a GREAT morning of skiing and climbing. There were MANY more places to ski and I think we all need to go back there next year for a little spring ski action !