Aug 28, 2010

Sunrise Park Resort: Greer, AZ

SurfnDav met up at his house at 6:00 am and split from there via the Payson route for a little downhilling at Sunrise Park Resort.

I'm not sure what took us so long, as traffic was pretty mild, but we didn't get to the Sunrise Parking Lot till about 10:00. It was nice to be back in comfy temps again. A few puffy clouds were floating by, as threw on the armor and crash helmets. The lift tickets for a the day were still $20, which is pretty much a bargain in my opinion.

The trails were in super great shape, it didn't take us long to figure out that Chutes and Ladders was pretty much our favorite run of the day.

I was riding my Kona Stinky, and the travel was sufficient for these trails, but the handling (weight and brakes) were a struggle all day. I was reluctant to roll the really big boulders and drops with this thing, cuz once it starts toppling over, it is hard to stop. It is that heavy.

We didn't beat ourselves up to much, and managed to get 6 laps in.

Our last run, we had short rain shower that made the trails tackicious.

Great day up there. We each had a couple small spills, but not carnage and no painful landings.

Here is a link to my last trip to up there: Sunrise 2009

Here is a short vid of the day:

Here is another video of just helmet cam footage:

And here is a higher quality (Quicktime) version (note: it will take a few minutes to download):

Aug 15, 2010

Goat Cirque - Mt Rainier

Big Brotha Steve and I split from his house near Olympia, around 5:30 and ended up to the Summerland Trailhead inside Mt. Rainier National Park a little after 7:00. We also picked up our backcountry overnight permits at the park entrance. Parking is at a premium, hence an early start.

There we met up with Kurt and Matt. Eric joined us around dinner time up at our bivy spot.

Our beginning elevation was about 3,600 vf, and I think the approach to Summerland was about 4.5 miles. The elevation at Summerland was about 5,800 vf, and the snowfield we marched up into Goat Cirque was about half mile up the trail from Summerland.

We marched up to the top of Goat Cirque, but avoided the steep headwalls. We had a primo bivy site, that sat around 7,000 vf. We arrived at our bivy site around 1:30, and it was pretty comfy and sunny. Here, we drank some beers, and just enjoyed the scenery.
Itching to get some turns I strapped on the skis for couple before dinner runs on the short patch of snow near out site.

From here we just waited for the sun to go down, and have the meteors rain down on us. I woke up several times during the night and each time I fixed my gaze on the shooting stars ripping across the clear and star speckled sky.

I'd say that I packed exactly the right amount of food and clothing for this trip, but still my pack remained light. And even when I woke up in the morning I wasn't cold.

We all pretty much rolled out of bivy sacks around 7:00 were marching up the Frying Pan Glacier at around 8:30. The 2,100 vf climb up the glacier to Whitman Crest (9,100 vf) was easy, and only took about an hour and a half.

The five us kicked it on the prow for about an hour, while we gazed the massiveness of Mt. Rainier and all the points of interest. Lil Tahoma sat immediately in front of us, and across the glacier (miles away), we could see climbers returning from summit climbs back to camp muir, Sherman Camp wasn't far away either. The panoramic view was one off the most terrific sights ever scene.

We strapped the skis on, and ripped down the Frying Pan Glacier, and then back to our camp to grab our overnight gear for the our return back down the mountain.

What an amazing trip, and I truly miss this mountain.

Here's a vid of the weekend:

And here is a high res version:

If you happen to have Google Earth, here is a link to interactive tour of our trip (once the link is open, hit the "Play Tour" button on the upper right hand side):

Here are a few pics:

Big Brotha Steve at Summerland with Rainier in the background:

Kurt at Summerland with Rainier in the background:

Me at Summerland with Rainier in the background:

Climbing Goat Cirque:

Chilling at the bivouac:

Panaromic view at dusk:

Perched at Whitman Crest:

Woodard Bay - Puget Sound: Olympia, WA 08/13/10

I flew up to Olympia from the desert, and I headed out to Boston Harbor for little paddle out on Puget Sound. I made a reservation a couple days before for the Eddyline Fathom kayak, by calling the number on the Boston Harbor Marina website. I got to the marina a little before they opened at 8:00 am, and did a full day boat rental.

My plans were to paddle NE out of Boston Harbor and ride the tide out of Dana Passage to Henderson Inlet then paddle into Henderson to Woodard Bay. I timed the tides just right, as high tide was at 8:30 am, just as I was heading out. And then I killed enough time in Woodard Bay to let the tide ebb, and then slack reverse to push me back to Boston Harbor. Low tide was about 2:45, which means I had plenty of time to take it all in at Woodard Bay.

My first stop on my way out was Fishtrap Loop, as I wanted to hit this up before the bay emptied. The water out at in Dana Passage was calm, when I left, but this little cove in Fishtrap was even more peaceful.

I continued on with my journey, and Dana Passage was in full on flood mode, and aided me as it pushed me out. The rip tides were actually pretty mellow; double bonus.

Once I approached Henderson Inlet, the temp change was creating rather breezy conditions. No worries though, as breeze actually worked for me; itt pushed me into the inlet which had tide I was slightly bucking against. The chop in the water built up a bit, but the Eddyline Fathom, took it very well.

As I approached the long train pier used to bring logs out to the ships back in the day, I could see plenty of seals sunning themselves on the log booms. I tried to keep my distance, so I wouldn't disturb 'em.

I really took my time getting to the facilities of the Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area. Here is Wikipedia description of the area: Woodard Bay Natural Resource Conservation Area.

I ate lunch napped for a little bit on the bench of the picnic table located on the Chapman Bay side (northern bay of the conservation area). This was very peaceful, and necessary as I was exhausted from a very late night flight into Washington from Arizona, and I wanted to kill some time, as I waited for the tide to change.

Rested and fed, I jumped back into the boat and headed around the spit of land, where the massive train trestle crossing over Woodard Bay came into view. I picked my line and stuck to it as paddled my boat through the pylons of the trestle. Once I passed under the bridge, a big phat bald eagle came into view of the atop big fir tree located on the western shore of the bay.

I paddled up to the bridge where Woodard Bay Rd passes over. The water was still flowing out, especially under the bridge. This is where I turned around. The was midway point, which was about 7.5 miles from Boston Harbor Marina.

I dinked around the bay for a little bit, and decided that I had killed enough time that I would finish the last little ebbing tide of Henderson Inlet, and by the time I got back out to Dana Passage it the tide would be slacking and changing into my direction.

I don't recall exactly what time I got back to the marina, but it was a little after 3:00. I really moved at a snails pace, but my paddling was less than strenuous as I road the tide in and out of the bay.

I was great to be back on Puget Sound again. Here is a link to my last paddle on Puget Sound - Hope Island

And here is a vid of the day:

And here is a higher quality (Quicktime) version (note: it will take a few minutes to download):

If you happen to have Google Earth, here is a link to interactive tour of my trip

Here are a few pics:

View from Boston Harbor Marina:

Eddyline Fathom sitting in Fishtrap:

Dana Passage:

Pylon's of Henderson Inlet:

Aug 7, 2010

Geronimo - South Mountain: Phoenix, AZ

Today was Chongoman's Annual roaster ride, and guess what? The weather was actually tolerable. The were a few thunder clouds floating around the valley as we met at 5:30 am at Chongoman's house. I saw a couple of flashes of lightening, up on the hill, but it looked like things were moving off.

It was dry where were at in but as we started climbing up Javelina trail, I counted 23 raindrops, and that was it. We were left with big phat cool clouds.

Once we had climbed up to the resting spot on Mormon Loop trail, we could see a ferociously dark cloud dumping big time on the sky scrapers of downtown Phoenix, but we could see this storm moving away from where were at. Spared!

The 18 or so of us made it up to Buena Vista lot, and prepped ourselves for a most delicious drop down Geronimo trail. The torrential monsoon rains were not kind to the trail, as it left it a little rutted and chunky. Was it fun? SURE WAS!

Aug 1, 2010

National - South Mountain: Phoenix, AZ

Did another ride another ride SoMo today with a crew of MTBR riders. The temps have dropped, and the cloud cover was a savior, but the humidity was OH-pressive.

Pretty nice crew this morning. You can read about how this ride materialized, wrapped up here MTBR Thread.

Here is a little vid of the day with a very special ending: