Saturday, July 18, 2009

I know, I am worthless

Well, one of the signs of a good blogger has surely has to be consistency. I this regard, I have failed. My little digi-cam is no longer operational so I have been reluctant to post without photos. But the sun is bright an a new day is shining, so... here we go. Last thursday morning Dalt and I headed up Alexander Basin in Millcreek. The climb to Gobblers knob was very direct, yet quite pleasant. Dalt was good enough to get a few shots of some flowers. We were up and back in 3 hrs. 3,200 ft and 2.2 miles one way. The shock absorbers are a little sore still after the decent. We ran into a trio of golden girls on our way down.

As for the rest of the summer we have been really busy. I'll give a run down and try to post some photos later.
  • May. Memorial weekend: Anderson Cove at Pineview. Mangrums (including Alli's boyfriend-in-law and nephews) and Flandros. We took Gary and Sue's boat, bikes and tents. The highlight of the weekend was the drunken red-neck family riot next to our camp at 1:00 am. Goodthing Flandro didn't have it loaded.

  • June. Mindy's B-day weekend: Westgate Resort at the Canyons. Just our little family and a fun weekend of hangin out at the pool and playing a bit of tennis.

  • June. Dunyon Family camp-out: Dunyon Property in Big Cottonwood. Well no other Dunyons but Janis and my family came (shame shame) but it was great fun nonetheless. We hiked around, cooked dinner and enjoyed our surroundings. Mindy, mom, and Ava went home around 9:30 pm. Talin and Elle fell asleep out in front of the fire. We were up early and down to play 7s by 9:00 am.

  • June. Troop 1068 back-pack trip: Big Cotonwood Canyon-Millcreek divide. Desolation Lake via Bear Trap Fork, Dog Lake, Circle-All peak and out via Butlers Fork. We then went up canyon to the Dunyon property and scoured the plat for signs of natural springs. It was a fun trip for the boys. We hiked over 15 miles and endured sporatic rain throughout the trip. I joined the party late Thursday night. Dispite intermitten showers throughout the day I just put my tarp beneath me and went to sleep without a tent. When the rain started I thought it would be short, so I just wrapped up in my tarp taco style. Big mistake. The rain didn't stop and after about 2 hours my feet were wet. I endured, after a few more hours I was completely wet. It turned out to be a real tough night. As hypothermia set in I tried to monitor my physio. Soon the shaking become uncontrollable and I flet my self getting stupid. So in the dark of night, soaking wet, I crawled out of my bag, emptied the water out of my shoes and started to move. For awhile I was in a real bad place. Then after I was able to get moving a bit faster and get my wits about me. A few minutes later I heard a birds song, which meant two things (1) the rain was stopping and (2) morning was on the way. With renewed mental ability, I was finally able to find some tinder and get a fire going. I hadn't felt such joy in awhile. It took me the whole day to dry out my gear. However, we still had one night to go and the skys threatened all day. We hiked most of the day and got to our next camp spot around 4:00 pm. I spent the next 6 hours constructing a tarp shelter and sleeping area, complete with a water drainage system and pine bow sleeping pad, in preparation for another rainy night. Around 9:00 pm we got a call from the valley that the storm was raging in. For about 30 minutes it rained hard and blew 20-30 mph. The shelter stood, the clouds cleared and I enjoyed an undisturbed 10 hour slumber. A great experience.

  • July. 4th weekend: Ryan Morgan's Cabin at Flaming Gorge. Morgan's family (including Judy, Rich, Diane, Chandler, Rachael, Ryan and Shanna). Great weekend. Boating on the lake, cruising around on the four-wheeler, and hangin out at the cabin. Tons of wild-life and great scenery. The highlight of the trip was either the fun night of fire-works in Dutch John or the fun family time on the boat. I think the kids are FINALLY getting over me dumping them off the SUPER-MABLE last year.

  • July. Iverson Family trip: Sweetwater at Bear Lake. All Iversons. This is about the fifth straight year of this trip and it is always fun. Bike rides, beach trips, boating, and condo life. It was all very fun and great to see the kids gaining confidence. On Saturday I got the hall-pass and headed up to Jackson Hole for the Teton 10's. (shout out to Clint for letting me score his FJ for the drive). The tournament was great, Haggis downed all that came before us. 35-0, 31-7, and 35-5. Pretty consistent performance.

  • The rest of the summer has been filled with swim lessons, bike and long-board rides in the neighborhood, and boating trips to the dam. Couldn't ask for much more.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Has anyone seen this man?

Last seen on the pitch wandering around somewhere in Rhode Island.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Future Backcountry Efficianado

The other day Morgan called and asked "now that it almost summer, when are we going to start doing our morning hikes?" Well, Morg doesn't really like the cold, so he hasn't been coming along on our morning skis. But I know he would love it if he just got a good first experience skiing in the backcountry. So I tricked him. I said "sure thing Morg, lets go to a little hike called Patsey Marley"... hehehe. We got there and it actually took him awhile to figure out that he had been had. We loaded the skis on our backs and headed up Grizzly Gulch. We put the skis and skins on once we passed the cabins and Morg got his first lesson in skinning. The snow was still rock hard from the refreeze so it wasn't the best learning conditions. We nailed the approach without too much trouble and got to the bottom of the run when Morg asked "ok we are not going to climb that are we?" I just laughed and headed up the hill. Morg was a quick learner of the art of the kick-turn. As we switched up the run I was hoping that the sun would soften the snow, to my disappointment there was only about 2 inches of corn snow on top of rock-hard. Again, not the best conditions to be re-learning to down-hill ski (Morg is a boarder and hadn't been on skis in about 20 years.) However, between my excellent coaching (uhem) and Morg's natural ability we enjoyed not only the run down, but made the transition and had a second go. I think I may have done just enough to plant the good seed into another future backcountry efficianado.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Patsy Marley

There are a couple of a stories floating around out there as to how the Patsy Marley Peak got its name. Some say Patsy was a well-known madame amongst the early Alta miners. Others say Patsy was an Irish bare-knuck brawler who owned a pub in Grizzly Gulch. Either way its fun to think about how crazy those old mining days must have been when the town of Alta's population swelled to more than 8,000 mountain hardened souls.

Dalt, Dustin and I met at the LCC p.a.r. around 5:00. We were looking for high elevation, north facing with a short approach. Enter the mistress. The climb was very nice. We had some fun steep skinning at the top near the cornices. We had enough time for two runs. Dalt on his second run.
Then follwed by me. Nice high-speed floaters. Thanks to Dustin for the shots.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fly on My Zephyr

I once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. This time I went to play rugby. The rugby was forgettable, with a few splashes of brilliant desperation. We took Corbie's (Lopes' wife) four runner, which included Lopez's camera. On her blog Corbie was surpisingly accurate in her description of the proceedings (and I appreciate your discreation on the post Cobie). So if you are interested there you go.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pink Pine Pink Snow

Went up LCC, shooting for Patsey Marley. We got rejected by udot avalanche folks at the upper Alta lot so we went back down canyon to the White Pine parking lot. We (Dalt, Dustin, Jason and myself) skinned up to the ridge that divided White Pine canyon and Red Pine canyon (Pink Pine) It was a pleasant climb.
The snow was deep and surprisingly fluffy. The crazy circular pattern storminess we experienced carried red sand from So. Utah so the snow was pink (Pink Snow). You'd have to see it to believe it. Thanks to Dustin for the photos.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hello LCC - Scotties Bowl

A huge morning. Most of the morning tours Dalt and I have made this year have been in Big Cottonwood Canyon and were in the 1,200 vertical ft range. The approach usually consists of some mellow angles up a drainage and then a steeper climb to the ridge or peak. This morning we hit Scotties Bowl in LCC. For those of you that have been there you know that you get out of the car and within 2 minutes you are on a 35 degree + slope for about 2500 vertical feet. Add to that, we were with the fast as, super-steep trail-breaking freak Dustin. Rolling into work at 8:30 I was spent.

We we gained the ridge, negotiated some enormous cornices, and hit the peak. The top was very steep. The new snow did not bond well with the base and caused some pretty significant sluffing. I had an equipment malfunction (I'm sticking to that story since once I got my ski back, it had released with out the binding popping. Still a rookie mistake, I admit, but I would rather be a rookie binding adjuster than a rookie skier). I took a little ride down a chute of sorts and completely lost one ski. After about 15 minutes of digging around Dalt honed in and saved the day. The mini-regrowth pines provided and bit of depth perception in the middle of the run for some the best turns of the day. A great morning. Shout out to Dustin for the top photo.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Super-Sledge 2.0

With spring popping up, I decided to get the Super-Sledge 2.0 out for one last run before it returns to its bike trailer origin. Last January we took the 2.0 to Bryce Canyon and toured that country. It also made it up Millcreek Canyon a few times this year.

Super-Sledge 1.0 - 2008 was made out of a three wheeled jogging stroller that I scored from Peme. I basically tied three ski-blades (mini trick skis) to the bottom of the tires. To make the skis-to-tires link more rigid, I connected the ski-blades with an old broom stick by bolting front of the rear two skis to the back of the front ski. I then rigged a hauling device with an old water ski rope and two 6 foot copper pipes that I found in my mom's garage. The design had some limitations. Mainly, the broom stick that connected the skis lacked enough clearance. So when there was loose snow, it would create drag.

This year, with a new vision, I started 2.0 with a bike trailer. I then built a frame and connected it to my '91 K2s. The key to its rigidity was the thread-all reinforcements (just high enough to clear any reasonable amount of snow).

I then bolted the trailer to the frame.

Limitations: Due to the large metal edge skis it took too much force to turn the unit at speed. Coming down Millcreek Canyon when I tried to turn, the copper pipe towing device failed. I ended up flipping the device so that the 2.0 was in front, and I was guiding it down the canyon from behind, like I was driving a stage coach or something.

For 3.0 I plan on using the same bike trailer and ski frame. I am going to buzz the metal edges off the skis on a table saw and find some aluminum tubes or rods for the pulling device.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Early morning April 4 shots ring out..."

What an amazing year. Mindy, Elle, Talin, Ava, and I went to Solitude. It had snowed about 2 inches in the valley overnight, but I was surprised at how much had accumulated at 8000 ft, maybe another 10-12 inches. We started up the canyon and the flakes started to fall again. We have gotten really quite proficient at skiing with three little ones. Its all about preparation. The key is to get bibs, coats, and even ski boots on the kids at home before we leave. That way when we get to the mountain its just gloves, helmets, and goggles. Mindy jumps out (with the car still moving) to get the kiddie day passes; I go move the cones at the end of the premium parking spaces to fit just one more in; I jump out, get my boots on, finish kitting up the kids and carry the skis to the bottom of the lift; Mindy brings Ava to me and we are on the lift within 10 minutes of pulling into the parking lot... I take Elle and Ava and Mindy takes T-Dog (This photo was actually taken in 2008, but you get the idea. Talin looks so little.)

We took a couple warm up runs on link and then moved to Moonbeam. There was quite a bit of loose powder all over the mountain and Elle was eating it up. It was very satisfying to see her go off to the side of the run to get in the deep snow. The density was amazingly light. However, with all the snow falling, the kids wore out quickly. We made about three runs on Moonbeam and headed to the lodge. Mindy said "do you want to go and take a quick run while I watch the kids?" which I translate to "I want to take a run by myself!" So I said "why don't you go ahead." So when we were in the car on the way home I asked "How was your run?" She said "Honeycomb was awesome." Which meant that she had taken like three runs. I responded "Well played babe, well played." She replied "Naturally."

That night we met the Mangrums, Morgans, Jensens, and Flandros at Rodizio for wonderful b-day dinner. A very good day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Emi GREAT ion

When a dawn patrol is in order a PING goes out either via text message or direct call. When I am the PINGer I like to chant "DAWN PATROL DAWN PATROL". For those of you who know Giles, you know that he is very much like a large bear and this particular bear dislikes waking up too early. So when I got a message that read "DUSK PATROL DUSK PATROL SCREW DAWN PATROL!" I figured fine whatever, we'll have a go, I even agreed to this crazy sounding notion to try out Emigration. Due to Giles 6 degrees of separation we scored yet another premium undisclosed parking spot. The crew for the outing included Beez, Fletch, Giles, and Dalt (not pictured).

We met at the Dog park and piled in Dalt's truck. It was fun to be in new terrain. We passed 'the Hotel' on our right and turned left up the first drainage, then climbed the ridge to the first peak. It was a fun ascent b/c you could scout your upcoming lines so well. Giles punched up the zig zags like there was a 12er on top. We got to the top, paid our taxes, and dropped in.

Beez, on one of his first backcountry outings, was so ovewhelmed at the untouched 12 inches he nearly straight lined the whole thing. The rest of us however were a bit more discerning with our turns. And what turns they were...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What a Change 48 hrs Can Make

Dalt and I tried to recreate the magic of last Tuesday up USA bowl, this time with Fletcher. We were originally going to hit it for the second time on Wednesday but decided to push it back a day, this turned out to be a mistake. We met at the BCC park and ride at 4:30 am, picked up Fletch at 4:52. We would have been right on time for the Fletch pickup but-for "the twins". Apparently there is a moose that has twins every year that lives near Fletch's cabin. As we came around the bend near Butler Fork we got boxed in by the two youngsters and it took some time to navigate safe passage. We were skinning by 6:10. The ascent was once again very pleasant. The downhill was a different story. The snow got baked on wednesday and had re-frozen over-night to produce some challenging turning conditions. We made it out alright and to work by 8:15. A fun morning.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just When I Thought I Was Out...

They sucked me back in. Can you believe all this late year dump? Crazy. Tuesday morning Dalt and I met up at 4:30 am. We were skinning up USA bowl by 5:05. About 25 degrees (f). The skinning was effortless, for some reason my heart never really got pumping for the whole ascent. (happy to be back on the dawn patrol I guess)

*sidenote* Mindy emencely dislikes the term Dawn Patrol, so now whenever I want to go I have to say something like "I'm thinking about a morning ski tomorrow". It sucks, I love the term dawn patrol. Kindof like my sister Amy emencely dislikes the words "moist" and "nugget" get over it. *sidenote over*

The first signs of day-light came around 6:50. We started our transition around 7:10. The descent was a game changer for me. The Zealots are from heaven. I love them, they love to float on powder, and we are all edified. Dalt made some perfect figure 8s of my track on the way down. Even the mildly steep tree lines were amazing with that combination of snow and float. It was cool. The sun never really came out so we didn't get any good shots so I'll include some file footage for good form.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Super-Saturday Run and Gun

Well, another super-saturday run and gun style. We slept at Gary and Sue's on Friday night so we could be at the Basin when the lifts opened. Since I have been burning hall passes at an exceptional rate, Mindy got all rights on the day. So Gary, Jed, Reilly, and Mindy set out to conquer the mountain while I had the pleasure of skiing with Talin, Aiden, Elle, and Presley. It was very fun. Elle and Talin used their ski poles for the first time. Elle took right to it. However for Talin the poles were too much of a distraction. Maybe next year. As we were approaching the lift I was sorting out Talin and before I knew it, Aiden (5 yrs) had gone right ahead and jumped on the lift. I was very surprised as I didn't know if he had ever gone alone before. Elle and Presley got on the next chair and were frantically yelling instructions. Aiden took it like a real pro. He never let on if he was alarmed in the least. As it turns out Presley and Aiden are exceptional skiers.

They took us on some bob-sled style runs that were pretty hairy. After about 8 runs on Wild Cat we broke for lunch.

I had to leave the resort around 12:30 to get to a 2:00 rugby game in Sandy. So I took the kids to Sue's (thanks Sue) and changed in the car as I drove south. As for the rugby, well if you can't say anything nice...

We all got home around 7:00 and had a nice dinner with our neighbors, Jim and Ireland. Shout-out to Ammon for all the great rugby photos.

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Friends on a Powder Day

Crazy the snow storms eh? A real beaut of a storm series dumped like 60 inches over 60 hours. Well guess who go the hall pass at the 60th hour? And guess who go a new pair of BD Zealots for his pre-b-day? That's right.

Dalt and I headed to Fletch's cabin around 10:30 pm. The storm was howling the whole way. Originally we were going to do a dawn patrol then hit the resort at 9:00am. However, with the avy danger characterized as "spiking" and "extreme", we reconsidered the DP. The Cabin provided a good night sleep and a breakfast fit for royalty (thanks Fletch). We arrived at Solitude's lower lot at 8:30. The crew included Shorty, Beez, Ben Beez, Micha, Fletch, Dalt, and myself. Unfortunately, LCC road was closed so we got all the hounds from Alta and the Bird mucking us up. Nevertheless, we joined them in gobbling up 27 inches of pow for about 6 runs on the quad. We then moved to the back side of the mountain, and not a minute too soon. As we came down Milk Run off Powderhorn we saw about 15 people waiting in the Summit lift line as the chairs began to move for the first time of the day. I think only about half our crew realized at that moment we were in for something special. The other half figured it out about 5 minutes later. We blazed untracked runs down Summit for about 5 runs until at just the right moment, what could be better...they opened Honeycomb. We hiked the north ridge and had the best run of the year.

Highlights of the day include a couple of bomb-crater style wipe-outs, Shorty always one run ahead or behind, and blasting through white-out rooster tails behind Dalt at super speeds on the new skis. It was great. To my crew, if I ever left you behind or didn't include you in the pictures, I dont have much to say, because as the saying goes...there are no friends on a powder day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Hybrid Season

Due to the crazy early day light savings switch the dawn patrols have been a off for a wee while, maybe in a few weeks.

For the last ten years or so I always hoped for an early winter and an early spring. Early winter for skiing and an early spring for rugby. This year I just want winter to hang around a little longer. I guess that's where the ski in the morning, rugby in the afternoon hybrid day enters.

We got everything ready friday night: boots (x5), skis (x4), edgy-wedgy, harness, baby bjorn, helmets (x3), parkas (x5), bibs (x5), gloves (x8), goggles (x5), base layers (x5), breakfast, snacks... check. Its never easy is it? Mind, Elle, Talin, Ava and I loaded into the car and miraculously made it to Solitude before the lifts opened. We made a 8 runs from 9:00 to 11:00, a good pace considering the party. Ava strapped to my front, Talin dragging Mindy down the hill like he is a Husky in the Iditarod, and Elle making perfect little turns and looking for steep chop. I love my crew.

It was a windy day so T and Elle made a fortress out of the Haggis's kit bags and took a little nap, very resourceful. The game didn't go so well as we gave up a try in the final minutes to lose 15-12. We all came home and enjoyed the warm weather in the neighborhood.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Oh Well

Tough to not go skiing on Saturdays. I had a rugby game in Provo so Mindy took the kids to Snowbasin to have a go. She is very capable. Apparently Ava never really made it out of her jammies. As for the rugby... not so good. A tough loss 31-10. Never fun to play, let alone lose to Provo.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rugby in St. George

Fletch and Flandro were at my house by 8:00 pm on Friday night. We had the distinct pleasure of traveling in the VANTASTIC. Near Nephi the VAN started to feel as if it was not getting gas. Much to Fletch's annoyance, the surge didn't bother me too much as I slept from Fillmore to St George. (apparently we barely made it)
We pulled into the Crystal Inn parking lot around 2:00 am, rolled out the sleeping bags and crashed. The Crystal had a beautiful swimming pool and continental breakfast to boot. We dropped the VAN at the mechanic and made it to the rugby field by 10:00 am. We watched a few rugby games, greeted the Haggis as they rolled into town and played a pretty physical match v. St George. It was a very fun game, a lot of running and broken play. In the end we won out 45-5. While we waited for the VAN to get ready we enjoyed a well cooked meal by Hoke at Morgan's brothers house. Fun little George trip.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Daylight Savings Came Too Early

Day light savings came very early this year. This morning it caught me off guard. Our tour started in the dark and ended in the dark. Weird, I might as well have just done the trip from midnight to 3Am. It was cold, around 9 degrees (f) when we got to our premium parking location. We exited Dalt's truck in full stealth and were skinning by 5:20. By most measurements the storm dumped about 24 inches. We took turns breaking trail straight up the guts of USA. Once we were out of the trees the wind was about 30-50 constant pound. It turned the snow into real heavy type powder. It had to be sub-zero at that point. About 300 ft from the summit, I started having trouble with one of my skins so we transitioned in behind a lone little pine. There was no light of day yet. Skiing with head-lights, in a head-wind, on thick deep snow, down an open face with no trees makes depth perception tricky. It was hard to gauge my speed. With the first signs of dawn setting in, we reached the car and cranked the heat.

(Since we didn't get any light, I didn't take any pictures. So I will include shots from the week earlier. btw we met the strangest two South Africans who had been lost for like 28 hours straight)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Adventures of Cobus and Jaq-Lui

Hello, we are stuuudents traveling through the states. We are fruoom New Doornfontein, Gauteng, SA. As we were touring thru Moawb we ran across nice fellows that told us abouuut The Wasatch. So we drove up and have been touring around The Wasatch for days. We were told that wearing helmets at dawn was a good sign in the Wasatch. We love German food, so where ever we tour we must have Schnitzel. (Cobus is so opinionated about certain things). We are huge Lions fans are are hooping to meet Todd Clever's mother. The snow surface today was quite like the windward side of Kilimanjaro. However our tour was fruitful as we meet two fine blokes from the valley that showed us the way in the deep wiles of The Wasatch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

Another packed Saturday Ski-day for my crew. I met Dalt at barbecoa at 4:40, we were to Fletch's gate by 4:58, at 5:00 we decided to call. Alarm failure was the claim. Good thing Dalt had distributed the unwritten rules of dawn patrol, ( so upon waking from our call at 5:00, Fletch was only minutes from being ready. Nice recovery. Warm morning, about 25 degrees (f). We got to our undisclosed premium parking location and were skinning by about 5:25. We decided to ascend the east face of USA bowl. The snow condition was about 5 inches of dust on crust. We made good time through the trees and traversed around the mountain under the radio towers. The dust was scoured from the crust on the upper south facing slopes, so we had a little lesson in edge purchase. In the areas were the wind-blown snow was deposited into 1-2 ft drifts was quite challenging as well. We made our transition, snapped and few photos and dropped in. We made some super turns at mach speeds through the untracked open bowl. Felt like flying. About 14oo ft. vert and 1.6 miles one way.

I was home by 8:30, I made some quick breakfast for the sleepy eyes and loaded up the kids and off to rugby practice by 9:15. The kids played on the jungle gym and the Haggis and I had a good run. We were home by 11:15, quick lunch, load up the car and back up Big Cottonwood Canyon to ski at Solitude by 1:00.

The 2 pictures below are taken with the other in the background. Notice the mountain peak on the top center of the photo with my Crew, that is where the other picture was taken from. Vise
versa, notice the slopes of Solitude on the middle left of the top photo.

Mindy, Elle, Talin, Ava and I had a great afternoon skiing. For the most part, I had Ava strapped to my front, Mindy sorted out "I go super-fast" Talin, Elle just floated down the mountain like a princess. Both Elle and Talin are skiing increasingly varied terrain and are both testing the limits. I told them "if you are not wrecking (every once in a while) you are not pushing hard enough." They improved a lot this week. To finish off the day we played some tunes and took in some sun on the deck of the Argenta Pub.

We were home by 4:30, quick bath-time, and made it to a fun dinner at Jess, Monica, Jaden, and Haper Jensen's house in Jeremy by 6:15. We ate, the kids played, I conquered the world of Catan, and we were out by 10:00. Needless to say, we were all wiped out after a day of full-speed-ahead. A man couldn't ask for a more fulfilling day of skiing. This is what it is all about.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Days are Getting Longer.

Had a hard time getting DPs this week. Nevertheless, it was a good week for trekking. I managed five for five days in the foothills above Centerville. Some days with Dalt and some days with Babs and some with both. We usually get a pretty good climb (1000 ft) and get the heart rate up with jog and lunge combo. At the top we get a good stretch, then we descend through grass and scrub slopes around 20-25 percent grade. At that slope its fun to get a good "fast-feet" work-out, good for the coordination and mental stimulation. We usually get down the mountain in about 1/3 the time it takes us to get up. This week we took in some good views of the Bald Eagles that have been feeding out in Farmington Bay. At one point we saw 14 at once, all circling in a vortex type fashion. We also came across a little coyote lair with some deer bones. We explored a little cave where we had seen some cougar tracks earlier this winter, nothing found. On the final fifty yards of the last slope of the day on Friday, I rolled my right ankle. I got down to the river straight-away to get the deep freeze on early. Four advils, elevation, and a compression bandage did the trick. A great week of fitness. Three rugby practices, and in the foothills, about 4500 ft. vert and 12 miles.

Rugby practice has moved outside, so the transition to spring has begun. First game next week in St. George. Makes me feel like I need to get as many DPs in as possible whilst the snow lasts.

On that note the Haggis Traveling squad for the St. George trip was named today:
Adam Ullrich
Nate Herrshcer
Brad Anderson
Ryan Babinksi
Dave Shelledy
Andrew Jewkes
Ryan Dunyon
Jon Dalton
Mike Griffee
Garreth Long
Robert Lopez
Jason Pye
Ryan Fletcher
Pablo Oleiro
Joe Lomu
Chet Blasucci
Preston Miller
Alex Moore
Trevor Williams/ Pete Levave
Johnny Sione
Nate Hardman
Iose Tafaoiali

Well done. Its good to have the pre-season done with, now down to business.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

From Rookie to Sophomore

Saturday Skiday. I knew that we needed to start this one early if everybody was going to get theirs in. I met Dalt at bbcoa at 4:40, Butlers by 5:02. Forgot to check the temp, but not too anything. Our goals were to be on top of Circleawl before dawn, take one or two runs in the trees, and be home by 8:30. Skinning up the gully was a little hairball, steep icy sections and narrow river crossing, but very nice. Where the canyon opens, we went left up to the saddle (the whole time eyeing the soft pow tree runs for the decent). From the saddle we skinned up the ridge to Circleawl Peak. When we got there, I noticed the slope headed south. It was baked, wind-blown concrete. I took one ski off, stripped the skin and put the ski back on the ground. (some may not have noticed, but I just made a rookie mistake). Before I knew it, I nudged the ski (which was still in uphill mode, so the break doesn't engage) and down it went. To our horror, we watched it go on down, make a few turns, pickup some speed and disappear over the ridge. Once it was gone from sight we could still hear it skipping over the ice 500-600 ft below. We stood there in shock as the sun came up over 10,420.

I booted down to the ridge it had gone over, but did not see where the ski had gone. I went back up, got my other ski, and we descended to the south in search mode. About 500 ft down, there it was intact.

So I snagged it, we traversed around the mountain to the north side, saw how nice the trees were going to be, checked our time, switched to uphill, skinned up to take every bit of vert we could, and had some great tree skiing.

We were buzzing as we got down to the home-run. So as we came down across the 18 inch wide river crossing I was no worries, full jedi (Dalt as well) . But as we came to the second crossing I snagged a tip and went head on into the river. I was hanging by my skis. I looked up to see the urgency in Dalt's demeanor, which then caused me great alarm. After a long 10 seconds or so, I was able to get my skis off and Dalt hauled me out of the river (no photos provided) . Full-soak, the truck wasn't far. We were home by 8:30. Mission accomplished.

The kiddos had cousin night at in Ogden, so we were off to pick them up and go for a day at Snowbasin by 9:30. Blue-bird full parking lot type of day. Got a great table with Jed, O-Dog, Mr. Miles, (see video at Gary, and Reilly. We chatted with the usual Ogden/Basin suspects, and got some unbelievable runs from Elle and Talin. Notice the princess pose.

We were able to get Ava on with us for a few runs as well. The first time we took her on the lift, as we gained elevation Ava took a deep breath and held on like a spider monkey. But once we started to ski she was all about it. Mindy looks like a James Bond girl.

At the start of the day I was still harnessing Talin and we were sporting the edgy-wedgy. (see video at By the end of the day he was definatly a Sophomore. I however remain a Rookie.

Listen for the Whoa-hoo at 39 secs.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

USA (Filet) Mignon. February 19, 2009

An early and somewhat miraculous pick-up of Giles at 5:15, then Fletch at 5:40. We were to our undisclosed and very appreciated parking spot by 5:55. About 19 degree (f) and clear skies. The moon was a slight fingernail. Our goal was to skin to the radio towers in USA bowl and partake of the good turns on the way down. As you can see from my drawering (sic) there, we started off too far east and then corrected back too far west. By the time we came out of the trees we were no longer on an uphill skin track, but following up someones descent path. No worries, only about 500 ft. of vert. to go. We assessed our path options and bee-lined southwest to the ridge. It was at this time we enjoyed the most beautiful view of the dawn sun reflecting off the Honey Comb cliffs and Wolverine Cirque. "Stay golden Jonny." (I would have taken a picture but... see Toe-Side Bounce post below) As we appraoched to the ridge, the established skin-track was a nice sight. We skirted up the USA/Little Willow ridge to the BCC/Park City ridge, carefully avoiding the heavy wind-blown cornices on the north. We finally summited the 9930 ft. peak just to the west of Scotts Hill, ate some cinnamon buttery biscuits, (that I got a killer deal on at Alby's) made the transition, and dropped in. Fletch, on his inaugural split-board tour, set his board up goofy (or what ever the snowboard term is) so he was having a bit of a time keeping his tip up in the deep virgin snow. We floated down the settled, but very deep powder to the tree-line. Once in the trees, the grade mellowed a bit which made for some nice turns. Overall, a great morning. Despite the early rise, you couldn't pry the grin off Giles face. To work by 9:45.

Vert. 16oo ft. and 1.9 miles one way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

12-Point Skin Track. February 18, 2009

With all the new snow (about 12 inches at around 4,700 ft) Mount Parrish (or 12-Point as I call it) was ready for the taking. I left the office around 12:30 pm (35 degrees (f)). Hit the switch-backs and never looked back. With the goal of increasing efficiency on my kick-turns, I looked for the steepest deepest lines. On top, around 6,200 ft., the snow was deep (24 inches) and soft. I made my transition as quick as possible (sub 1 minute), took a deep breath and started my descent. Snow conditions were as good as they have been all year for that location. I was back to the car, changed and at the office by 2:10. Nothing like bagging foothill pow half a mile from your office chair.

Vert. 1,500 ft., 1.7 miles one way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jazz v Grizz. February 17, 2009

Tuesday night Talin and I went to the Jazz v. Grizzlies game. RIP Larry. (Shout-out to Beez and Millcreek Plumbing for the tickets) We had a great time. Talin commented on the Bear, the Dancers and the tasty snacks. By half-time he was on my lap and fading fast. We had a real problem when we saw the cotton candy on the way out. Luckily, I had Batman waiting on the dvd in the car. Its fun to do things with just one kid. I think its good for them to have all the attention once in a while too.

Little A

Little A