Dec 31, 2011

Year End Video

Here is my 2011 Year End Compilation Video.

verde river float

Here's a short little vid of the New Years Eve float down the Verde.

Dec 24, 2011

Another Daily Double - Mountain Biking and Skiing

Inspiration hit, as Chollaball mentioned, for Christmas Eve, he was heading down to Tuscon to pedal.

I thought to myself, heck I wanna ride down in Tuscon, but I also wanna ski. But wait, Ski Valley, the dinky resort at the top of Mt. Lemmon was up and running. A plan formulated that I would ride the lower trails in the Catalina Mountains (the trails not covered in snow), and then following the ride, I could head up to Ski Valley for an afternoon session of skiing. So I posted up a Tuscon MTB, that I wanted to find somebody who wanted to do a quick shuttle run on La Milagrosa. Luck would have it, Miracle (Chris) replied that he was in. Stoke was high, and I knew my plan would now come to fruition.

I met up with Chris at Le Buzz at 8:00. We then dropped my car off at the end of the Millie, and then we took his truck up to Prison Camp. We hit the trail at about 8:45 and man was it cold, but I had the perfect amount of layers for the whole ride. I didn't freeze in the shadows and didn't roast by the we time we finished up at 11:15. We the shuttled back up to his truck, and the lap was completed in 3 hours. Just as planned.

From there I head up the highway to Mt. Lemmon, got my ski boots on and grabbed my skis, and paid for my lift ticket just as they were discounting them at 12:30 (afternoon skiing is 32 clams).

The mountain biking was pure awesomness, and the skiing conditions were ...

...well, just okay, but hey it was still a day on the slopes (day 5 for the season).

Here's a Vid of the Day:

Dec 18, 2011

Skiing White Pass - Cascades

Here is a little video of my weekend up at White Pass with the old krew.

Man, I miss that place.

I just wish they had some freshies.

When I get a chance, I will fill in a few more details of my trip. In the meantime, here is a video I put together:

Dec 15, 2011

Squaxin Island and Hope Island Paddle - Boston Harbor, WA

I showed up at the marina a little before 9:00 am under typical December dreary skies. It was cool (about 40 degrees), and was expected to warm up more than that. The water was calm. The makings for a small epic day on the water in the on Puget Sound.
I did a full days rental of Eddyline Typhoon for about 33 clams, which was bad. In the past I had paddle the Eddyline Fathom, which is a tad bit longer and little less beamy. I think the Fathom paddled a little bit faster and easier, but I really don’t have any complaints about the Typhoon. For todays paddle, where it had long stretches on going straight, and not much tucking into tight spots, I would have preferred the Fathom. Both boats are really-really good, and I would certainly consider buying one.

Anycow, I split from the dock about 9:30 after getting my foot pegs all Feng Sui, and the my cameras all set up. It was a dreamy crossing of Dana Passage as the tide was still in slack mode. The outgoing flood wasn’t supposed to be all that big, which is good because I couldn’t remember what which way the current was going to flow around Squaxin Island. My counterclockwise loop around Squaxin took me up through Peale Passage. I like this island and Hope Island because there is barely any development on them, so it is a nearly perfect outdoor experience.

I didn’t look at my watch at what time I got up to the top of the Island, but I think it was around 11:30 or 12:00??? I still had about 3 more hours of tides, and it was nearly reaching its zenith. Just my luck, it seemed to be going against me. Rats, but it was all that bad. I honestly couldn’t tell the tide was hitting me until into a tight point about of the Island on my southbound leg.
I did spot a pair of bald eagles on Squaxin; just hanging out giving a screetch or two as I approach their shallow little harbor. I think the video I shot of them came out pretty good. Other than that, the only other really neato wildlife I saw was a stinking seal or two.

Todays trip wasn’t very demanding, so I opted to loop around Hope Island too. This also allowed me to get of the boat and stretch my legs out. Squaxin Island is covered with no trespassing signs, as it is part of the Squaxin Island Indian Reservation.

I noshed on some turkey-cheese-crackers at damp picnic table, and took in the sights and sounds of the sound.

I road the last little trailings of the outgoing tide back to Dana Passage, and by the time I got to the point of the doing the open water crossing the tide was slackening.

I pulled back into the marina about 2:30, and was purely satisfied with my little excursion.

Thumbs up to the mild tides, mild temps, and keeping dry under dry skies.

Here is a vid of the day:

When I make it back home, it is always a goal to get some paddling time in. For my third Boston Harbor Marina rental, I paddled around Squaxin and Hope Island (about 14.2 miles). Here are couple other trip reports from my Boston Harbor trips.

Dec 4, 2011

Snowbowl - Preseason

I did a little preseason skiing up at Snowbowl, as I work on getting 'the sickness' back.

Actually it was pretty good day.

Pretty good snow on the groomers, but beware the off piste stuff has NO BASE.

It was really cold up there. Shoot, my camelback (with insulated hose) froze within 5 minutes of leaving my car. I had to tuck it into my shirt in order for it to thaw out.

I moved pretty slowly, as I started at the Sunset Chair and topped out at Agassiz Chair (11,500 vf). Both laps took about 2 hours.

The first lap, I came down Upper Ridge, and the second I came down the Spur Catwalk.

There were plenty of people up there doing what I was doing, and there was plenty of talk up on top of hitting the ungroomed stuff on the new runs. I didn't interject, but I did object, cuz I knew there was nothing in between the fluff and the rocks under it. I pretty much stuck to the groomers, and when I did flow threw the freshies on the side, I hit rocks. I actually hit ate it kinda hard when my ski hit a rock, smashing my knuckle on a boulder. That smarts. At the bottom, I heard over and over how the off piste skiing the utters had done was so not worth it.

I fear for the fools who try to get good turns in backcountry on terrain that has no base.