May 25, 2009

Pinal Mt - Globe, AZ: Six Shooter 5/24/09

Paul B. and I split from Tempe around 5:30, and meet up with Mr. and Mrs. Chollaball, Liteandfast, and Maadjurguer in Globe, AZ at 7:00 for a little pedal up to the top of Pinal Mt. and ride down Six Shooter.

A sign on the way into town said 65 degrees, heck yeah! So that meant as we climb the 4,000 vf up to the top, the temps would remain pretty steady even as the temps back in town went up for the day. We actually had a few light rain drops on the way up, but they soon passed.

The six of us organically split up into pairs according to pace,and we managed 17 mile pedal up in around 3 hours. We were only passed by one car on the way, which amazed me for a holiday weekend.

We split from the top of Six Shooter around 10:30, and bombed down some sweet, sweet trail. The recent rains left the trails in primo condition. And thanks to the trail maintenance to the doods on MTBR, we only had one downed tree to deal with.

We took our time heading down, as we played on sessioned on some of features this trail has to offer. No major mechanicals, other than a flat, and no major crashes, just a few minor spills.

We managed to get back to the car around 12:30, and the temps down there were beginning to get a little toasty. Not bad!

Great day on the trail.

Here are some past entries on rides in this area: Pinal Mt. - Six Shooter

Here's a vid of the day:

A high Res Quicktime Version can be found here: Pinal Mt. - Six Shooter 05/24/09

May 23, 2009

GoPro Wide Format Comparison 4:3 verses 16:9

My go to camcorder is the Canon FS100. It has worked out as an great standard definition trip documentary camera. But I just added a GoPro Wide helmet mount edition to my footage grabber options.

Again it is standard definition, but it only records in the square 4:3 aspect ratio, and I like to post in a wider 16:9 aspect ratio.

Currently, I use Adobe Premiere Elements 4 to edit my videos, and they have an option to interpret 4:3 footage into 16:9 wide. It looks like they stretch the footage a little bit, so the it kinda get some distortion.

I'm not sure which aspect ratio to go with???

Here is a quick video comparison of the two aspect ratios:

May 20, 2009

Blue Ridge Reservoir - 5/19/09

Seeking a little solitude, I did a little paddle on Blue Ridge Reservoir in the Coconino National Forest
yesterday. I wasn’t the only person on the lake, but I went a long time without seeing another soul. When it gets hot, this is kinda rare on an Arizona lake.

My trip started with me leaving my Phoenix home a little before 4:30 am, and three short hours later I was paddling on the lake. The lake was calm, and skies were overcast. It actually sprinkled a few times, before the clouds burned off around 12:00. I had to pull my sweatshirt out a couple times, but at 6,700 feet, the temperatures were far more comfy than Phoenix. For the most part, the water was like glass. The lake was super green today.

I began paddling at 7:30, and my six hour tour took me around every bend this lake has to offer. I began my first leg of the paddle, by heading east from the boat ramp. From the boat ramp to the end of the lake, I only passed 3 other boats. On my return, I saw a few more. Beyond the beauty of this lake, the highlight for me was when I came to end of the first major cove, I spotted three turkeys. The Tom, was super big. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any usable footage. The water level was still pretty high, so I was able to go deep into all three of the major coves.

On my return, I paddled right past the boat ramp, and decided to explore the portion of the lake west of the ramp. It doesn’t have the hairpin curves like the other side, but the shore is just as terrific. I’m easily amused, and can certainly appreciate a good set of boulders and cliffs. I was pretty shot, by the time I got down to this end of the lake, and my legs were tired of being cramped up, so I pretty much just turned the boat around headed back. I did a spot duck with a troop babies trailing behind. I got a little footage, but I pretty much left them alone, as they scurried across the narrow section of lake. Obviously I saw the obligatory osprey and heron.

Here’s a write up from my previous excursion to Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Here’s a vid of the Day:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Blue Ridge Reservoir

May 17, 2009

Old Man - South Mountain: Phoenix, AZ

My father passed away this past week, so I've pretty much been under a rock the past few days. I jumped on the opportunity to hang out with friends for a ride up a familiar trail, and then eat up some gnar on the way down. Durtgurl was also doing her shakedown ride on her new Lenz Lunchbox 29r. We met up at Durtgurl's house at 6:00 and road over to the Pima Canyon via Desert Classic to meetup at 6:30 with some more peeps.

Our plan was to ride up National, and then make a decision for a decent. I hadn't put much thought about how to get down; I just wanted to ride. Somebody mentioned 'Old Man', and it just seemed particularly fitting my current situation.

I hadn't been on 'Old Man' yet, but knew it was uber sketchy. And yes it was super technical and loose, but it was really fun. It is similar to Corona De Loma, because of the trail composition and pitch. To me, I think there are few more big drops on this trail though.

We had a nice breeze that kept us from overheating most of the day, but nearing the bottom we began to roast. Of the three flats our group had today, I was responsible for one of 'em. I had small side wall tear, that forced me to drop a tube in.

Big time fun.

Here's a vid of the day:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Old Man - South Mountain

May 3, 2009

Abineau Canyon - Crossfire Chutes - Flagstaff, AZ

When I left Phoenix at 4:30 am, it was 77 degrees, when I came back it was 95, and yes I did ski. The snow pack on the north facing slopes in Flag are in great shape.

The FS Road (418) just opened up for the season, so I thought I get some turns in. The parking lot is at about 8,500 vf. Actually there was a big tree that recently feel across the road about 100 yards before the parking lot - no biggy.

At 8:00 I started the hike up. The approach is about 3.5 miles to the base of the chutes, and consistent snow started at about 9,000 vf. Nobody was available to join me, but just as I was pulling into the parking are, I ran into a Flagstaff local who had the same plan in mind. I chatted with him up until we came to the avi debris from 2005(9,500 foot level). He was skinning up and I was boot-packing, but I started punching through here, so I had to put my skis on here. He continued on at a blistering pace, so I wasn't able to catch up.

He actually made it to the top of the ridge (about 12,000 vf). He boot-packed up the last 1,000 feet, but once I got to his steps the snow was to soft to follow. I ended up skinning up the face, and I hung to the skiers right of the chute, in the trees. The snow here was in better condition, and the pitch was a little more tame. As with most hills in the San Francisco peaks, the pitch gets stepper as you near the top, and by 11:30 I made it to the 11,500 foot level. I wasn't making much headway, so I ripped off my skins and skied the nice heavenly corn down.

The Flag local did a much better job on route finding through the avi debris, as I struggled to picking my way there all the down trees. I think the next time I will aim for a much higher line to avoid this section.

I was happy to be able to string together the strips of snow for, so I could ski most of the way out.

Here's a vid of the day:

A high res Quicktime version can be found here: Abineau Canyon - Crossfire Chutes