Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lake Fork Peak

Hey Folks !

We did it, last weekend Dan, Paul & Eric headed up to Taos for a little ski mountaineering! We hit the trailhead around lunch Friday. After a nice 3 hour schlog we reached the northwest end of Wheeler Basin and made camp. The snow was plentifull and rock hard. Avalanche danger was pretty much non-existant but we spent the afternoon doing beacon practice and self-arrest drills just to get in the proper frame of mind ;-)

Saturday morning dawned clear and cold. We hit the bottom slopes. After about an hour we started the real climbing with skiis on packs and kick-stepping up the couliors. It stayed cold and semi-cloudy so the Avy danger remained nill. After dropping our skiis on the shoulder we made the summit proper, 12,881 feet! Sweeeeet. We all skiied the steeps through the no-fall zones and had a blast. After a nice lunch we hit more slopes nearer to base camp.

The snow moved in and we retired to the tent. We underestimated our fuel consumption so Paul stepped up, made a fire and cooked dinner for all in the snow under a big overhang. Eric set a new record for staying in the tent with an impressive 18 hour stretch! We woke the next morning to 4 to 6 inches of fresh power for the ski out to the Taos Diner!

Here's a little clip Eric the viking put together:

Another AAS Production!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Keystone CO. - UnOfficial Event!

Just got back from a few days of AWSOME skiing at Kerstone resort in Colorado. We went up with the entire family for the week but of course Paul found time to hike above the area and hit Bergmans Bowl! Here's a shot above treeline taken by a snow-boarder I asked to shoot some video (as I passed them on the climb, and they were young anough to be my sons ;-) Old dudes ROCK again!

I made the 700 ft. climb in about 45 minutes. I wasn't sure where I wanted to ski down, even after checking in with the ski patrol about where it would be safe without a partner. I was called back from a ridge by the snow-cat driver who was worried I was going off on my own over a cliff ;-) Silly snow-cat dude, he didn't know that AAS members never ski dangerous stuff without a partner and proper equipment! Here's my summit clip:

I skiied a perfect bowl down into the woods on some of the best snow of the year according to the ski patrol dudes I spoke to. Here's a final shot of me in the woods, It was soooooo awsome I really wished I had company ;-)

All in all I am VERY impressed with Keystone resort. Great loooong family ski runs and awsome extreme skiing for Papa......... WE'LL BE BACK !

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sweet Mexican Water

Not AAS sanctioned, but an adventure non the less.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Fools & Gold in Taos !

Hey AAS Fans,

Last weekend Eric and Paul hit Taos for a little BC action and winter camping. We were destined for Wheeler Basin at the foot of the states highest mountain, Wheeler Peak. However as we geared up at Dan's house the on-off switch on Dan's beacon BROKE! Rendering Eric beacon-less... Soooooooo, being the responsible mountain explorers we are (another AAS requirement) we changed plans and decided to head up to Bull of the Woods meadow and climb Gold Hill.

We hit the trail in Taos at about 10:30 PM in a snowstorm ;-) We climbed for about an hour and a half and made camp in a smaller meadow just short of Bull of the Woods. Here's home sweeeeet home.

Paul was a bit sick for the big day, so after lots of high-octane tea and asprin we made breakfeast of now mandatory AAS pre-cooked bacon and other treats, we hit the climb. Here's Eric trying to figure out how to eat bacon with mittens on.

During the climb up past Bull O' the Woods, Paul met a woman snow shoe'er and said she and her 40+ year old girlfriends were in a yert just up the trail and to stop by later for tea, we gladly accepted.

Here's Eric on the climb:

As we approached the summit we came across a fantastic cornice. Here's Paul on the way down it:

We bagged the peak in the company of some Rockey Mt. Sheep and high winds:

On the way down we had hard and variable snow that wasn't the best stuff to ski in, so we hiked through the steepest parts of the woods and made it back to the yert for tea after a 6 or 7 hour schlog! After about 10 hours recovering in the tent, we were ready to pack-out for home.

All in all a great little weekend adveture. Next up........ an AAS assult of Lake Fork Peak ! Here' the AAS reconnaissance photo with a possible route selection in red:

Another AAS Production...... NEXT !

Check out Eric's trip report here..

Fool's Gold