Saturday, December 09, 2006

Real AAS members do more runs before 10AM than Paulie does all days long!!

Matt and Dan did a little early season recon at Wolf Creek. We hiked the ridge and Dan went up Alberta Peak, until the rocks started to be hard to ignore.

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 know what usually happens next.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Latir Peak 10-12 Nov 06

It was the first winter trip of the season for the A.A.S. The goal, Latir (12,708) and Venado (12,680) Peaks. Macaca (James Wedekind) joined Eric the Viking, St Paulie Boy and Dan on his first AAS adventure.
The weather was cold and dry. There was just enough broken ice on Heart Lake for up to punp water from. It was a bit colder than we thought. It was 16 Friday night at beddy-bye time and 25 Saturday night. We woke to 2 inches of new snow in camp Sunday morning and it snowed till we hiked out.

Big Horn sheep managing not to get blown away in the 40-50 mph wind.

The summit day was spent wrapped up in wind proofing; each hiker deep in their own heads, fighting the physical and mental beating the unrelenting wind delivered. We found comfort on the ridges leaning against each other in a huddle like water buffalo, to rest and get a break from the wind! How sweet ;-)

Wind on the summit, wind on the ridges, wind on the plateau, wind on the slopes...and bad wind in the tents. There was snow on all of the lee slopes and we wished we had skis with ski-crampons to take advantage of it!

Paul facing East, performing his prayers to the mountain gods for safe passage ;-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Pre Season Training!


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 !)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

You forgot the picture of us and Simon...

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Taos Mountain Film Festival 2006

Eric, Kirk, Christina, and I (dan) made the trek to the 6th annual Taos Mountain Film Festival. Paul, Erika, and family made their annual pilgrimage to Taos Ski Valley to see fall colors and hike to Williams Lake. The weather was perfect for the film festival (i.e. it rained Saturday and Sunday -- and snowed in the higher altitude), so Paul and his son Karl joined us for a film or two.

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

Angelfire to Taos - Fall 2006 Cold & Muddy

Well, we did it again! Our now-annual ride of the South Boundry Trail between Taos and Angelfire, NM.

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

Truchas Take 3 - U.E. (unofficial event, Erika's not a member yet!)

Were not done with Truchas yet!
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!

Weird Creatures: Paul found a cool Pterodactyl eggshell on the way up... and you thought Dino's were all gone.

(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)

Wildelife: Along the hike we saw these elk, some deer, marmots and the usual cast of chipmunks squirrels and all the rest of the usual suspects.

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.

Camp 1 However, the mountain weather had other plans. We woke to steady rain and lost 3 hours waiting for it to stop, fooling around in the tent and cooking under the poncho-tarp.

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.

Mountain Beauty: Yup, as usual in the end, the beauty of the mountains, accessed by Human Powered Adventure, is reason enough to do it all over again.

Next, in September, my annual Angelfire to Taos Mt. Bike Death Ride !

Monday, August 14, 2006

Truchas Take Two

The A.A.S. was back to the best mountains in New Mexico, the Truchas. This time, the plan was a ridge run from base camp atop Quemado falls. Matt, Dan and Eric braved stinging hail stormes, munched plump, wild raspberries and dodged Smurf sized mushrooms on the way to our goal.
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

Mt. Conness - Yosemite Nat'l Park

Another unofficial event from Lizrdboy... I spent birthday #33 in Tuolumne Meadows, climbing with friends. The goal was the West Ridge of Mt. Conness.

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

Truchas Bagged...Done....That's One Peak in the Bank...Next! NEXT!

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

Truchas Peak - Dark & Scary !

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

Skiing in Summer...anyone

Anyone interested in a ski mountaineering trip June 16-18th, or June 30th-July 2nd? Or biking?

AAS Laws

As per lizrdboy's last comment, I suggest we discuss bi-laws and such. With respect to how one becomes a member, I think a new member needs sponsorship from an existing member, and must participate in two AAS events, and then must be accepted by a majority of the members involved. With respect to what represents an AAS event, I think we should have at least two existing AAS members in the event, and the event should involve some sort of outdoor sporting event that includes the risk of serious injury or death. Climbing, skiing, and biking seem like a great list of specific acceptable sporting events. I am not sure we need an acceptable beer list...or maybe we need a beer blacklist. I vote that the beer black list include coors and bud or bud-like beers.

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

Sundance Mt. X-Treme Ski !

Hey Team,
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 !