Monday, February 27, 2012

Paddling to work!

Finally did it.  After a week of mind bogglingly beautiful weather... the timing was perfect.  No wind, no fog, and warm.

Seal attack!  Off of Yerba Buena Island... there must've been 50 surrounding me in formation.  But they were no match for my ninja skilz.  

Check out that glassy water.... like kayaking through a mirror.

Back at Signal Beach.  A stone's throw away from the toll plaza.  Turns out to be a pretty nice beach... pretty funky location, but convenient for my purposes.

My route on the way there...

And the route back... basically the same... I was thinking about going around Treasure Island on the north, but decided I should get back to replace the half axle on Kimbo's car.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tallac - (Feb 19, 2012)

Had a great day out in the BC with Metres, D, Toro and Kevin.  Hiked up Spring Creek and went up Mt. Tallac.

We had to go up the gully as the ridge looked like it was way too thin... but I think other folks did go up that way.

Summit lover shot.


My first back of the season!

And soon I was back with the fam in our down outfits.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NeMo LaY - March 2011

Last March was an epic powder fest... Squaw reported 241 in of snow during the month of March, and didn't go more than 3 days without more pow.  Just goes to say that I skied a lot.  And Squaw was awesome.  The first weekend we visited my brother Ko in NYC for his B-day, but the other 3 weekends were spent up at the cabin slaying the pow pow... 

March 5 - Visit to NYC

March 12 - Mt. Rose Backcountry with Metres & Moses

March 13, 18, 19 - Squaw

March 20 - Homewood

March 26  - Squaw after an epic drive up to Squaw with Metres...

March 27  - Went to Squaw in the morning... then to Jake's to taper off.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ze great Ostrander! (Feb 3-5th, 2012)

Haven't got to do a big TR in long time, so here's LONG one.  Get your tall boys ready and read on.

Last summer I decided not to get a season pass nor join a Tahoe cabin for the winter.  Instead, I figured I'd get a bunch of vouchers from going to ski movies & find deals like snowbomb... and trek out to as many huts as possible.

So this year, I was fortunate enough to join Johnny & Co for their annual Ostrander Hut trip.  Conditions were looking quite bleak leading up to the trip, and as a result out of the 15 folks that had paid, only 7 of us (including me) ended up hiking in.  There was quite a debate between Kevin and I about weather we should go or not... we could stay in town watch Kai & Riley wrestle, go to a super bowl party, go sample a Pliny the Younger, mountain bike... etc.  But off we went... and it was awesome!

Went on a nice morning ride with Khalid... this is what I call the 504->505 ride.  Starting at Cafe 504, and ending (for me) at Casa 505.

After work, we went to a Polsa dinner at Lar's and Lauren's... former residence of Patty Hearst (seriously... there's still a few bullet holes in the door way)... Kevin and I hit the road a little after 8 pm.  I took over driving after a last minute grocery stop and after I-580, 205, 99, 120, Old Priest, 120... we got to Tunnel View around midnight.  Playing with my Sony NEX-5n is pretty fun for long exposure night shots. All shot under a waxing moon... the second shot is pretty surreal right?  Too bad it's kinda grainy...

We were planning to ski in under the moonlight, but it was almost 1 am... which meant we probably wouldn't get to the hut until 5 am or so... and we'd only get a few hours of sleep (it's a hut after all... not much privacy for naps).  And we thought better of our plan and crashed in the back of Kevin's suby.  The groomer at Badger Pass hard at work...

Check out Orion & the moon...

Kevin woke up in a nightmare at around 5:20 am... so we just started getting ready and took off down the trail and figured we'd enjoy the sunrise while cruising down the perfectly groomed Glacier Point Rd. 

Here's the route... as marked by my forerunner 305.  The first 4 miles on Glacier Point Rd are relatively quick, and takes about an hour.  Do not put skins on.  Just skate.  Well... we thought that was fast, but the skate skiers go out to Glacier Point and BACK in under 1.5 hours.  21 miles = 14 mph.  Now that's fast...

Anyway, once we got off Glacier Point Rd, there were a few dry patches, but we never had to take our skis off...

We followed a decent skin track the rest of the way.  No post holes!  

At the top of Horizon Ridge, taking in the views... Half Dome, Mt. Hoffman, the Sawtooths, Mt. Starr King, the Clark range... on a beautiful, beautiful day.  

And Kevin eating a cold sausage for brekky... hard core.  

Kevin had a minor "field repair" issue...

but resolved her pretty quickly...

And soon enough we were at the hut, where Johnny, Sara, Evan, Kate, & Bernard had cooked up a fat brekky.  

After destroying the yummy brekky of beef bacon and pancakes, Howard let us use some of his ice skates that he as collected over the years, and soon we gliding on the creaking ice, recalling our skating skills from decades ago.    

Howard has been skating everyday that he has been up at the hut this year... vs a whole 1 hours of skating last year due to the differing weather conditions...

An aerial view of the ice skating area on Ostrander...

After lunch, I decided to go check out the snow across the pond... and was delighted to find that the snow was actually good!  Really good!  Good enough to huck a few 360s, and I was tempted to go inverted... but decided against it in the end.  

I did 2 laps, went and grabbed Kevin & Johnny and did 3 more laps with them, while the rest of the crew caught up the latest New Yorker articles, snacked away on yummy hummus, and took in the view... not a bad alternative.

Sundog! Our optical phenomena for the the trip... oh I caught a moondog too... 

Went back out on the ice for a sunset session...

Sara and Johnny trying to shoot the duck...

We skated for a while under the moonlight, and went in for dinner and whiskey.

The next morning, I got up when nature called... but was too stoked to go back to sleep.  So I decided to tour out to the ridge for a sunrise view.  

Watching the sun slowly creep up on Ostrander was a special sight.  The lake is constantly making noise due to temperature fluctuations and causing the ice to expand and contract.  Initially very freaky... and actually I never got used to it.  Skating across the lake in the morning there were many cracks that would propagate under my skis and shoot out in all directions.  No need for coffee when the ice is constantly fracturing.  

The hut...

Getting up to this view required a "technical" skin up for sure.

And finally... the view!

Back side of Half Dome, Mt. Hoffman, and off in the distance....

The Sawtooths

Went in for breakfast and quickly recruited Kevin, Nard dog, Johnny for a few more laps before we took off.

Tracks from yesterday...



Kevin glowing in the morning light.  

Did a pretty good job on the slopes out yonder.

One last chill session before Kevin & I got back to our little tykes.  

On the way out, I didn't want to put on skins.  So I ended up bushwacking through insanity until I finally reached the frozen Bridalveil Creek. The route below?  Straight through the middle.  

Bridalveil Creek was pretty fun as I got to ski on the frozen creek for a few miles down to Glacier Pt Rd where Kevin was waiting... but still not worth it.  

We made pretty good time on our way out, and got to the suby by 3 pm.  Left the parking lot at 3:30, and we were home by 7 pm, about a minute after the final whistle of the Super Bowl.  

The essential view of the Captain on our drive out...