Thursday, April 26, 2012

Benson Hut! Earth Day Festivities...

Some great shots from Johnny.

Sure was HOT!

Here's the vid from the trip... and pics below.  
@ 1:02 I thought I was gonna pull one of these...

Friday morning, Moses picked us (Kevin & I) at 505 at 5 am.  Drove up to Tahoe, and beat Miley to our Rendez-vous point... here we are sorting supplies... debating which IPA to take to our hut.  

Miley was good enough to spot us a few vouchers for Sugar Bowl, and the snow was already mashed potatoes at 9 am when we got on the lifts.  Kevin had a minor boot problem repaired in the morning, so Miley, Moses and I skied, drank until our beers for lunch break...

After noon, we took off from the top of Mt. Lincoln following the ridge south out to the Benson Hut.  The snow was so sticky we (as in Miley and I) never put on skins.  Tons of broken off cornices and wetslides on the way out... pretty cool... and scary.

Arrival at the hut!  We chilled out in front of the hut for the rest of the day, drinking, talking, throwing snowballs... and mainly giggling.  The snow was quite warm by this point in the day.  Definitely no freezing going on at night, and no corn cycle starting yet... 

A short bootpack from the hut takes you to the top of Anderson.  A pretty good spot for sunrise/sunsets... 

Kevin had a grin on his face the whole first day...

Miley took off to work at 4 am from the hut.  Probably got some decent skiing in.  I took a few runs in the morning... then Kevin, Moses and I skied the north west face of Anderson.  After a few more laps, we saw Metres, Danielle, Sena, Bertram, Jeanie, Jason, and their dog Whiskey come in.  Had another great day of chilin'... goofing off some kickers, and watching the sunsets.  

The next morning, during our morning ski, we heard a loud BOOM!  We thought it might be a huge cornice breaking off... or Squaw or Sugar Bowl bombing... turns out it was a meteor...

After skiing out to Sugar Bowl, we got the best run of our day down the groomer from the top of Lincoln to our car.  Drank a few beers we had stashed in the snow in front of our car... headed down to Donner Lake to a public pier and jumped in.  Stopped by Ikeda's on the way home and made it home just in time to enjoy the foggy bay area sunset...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly Pano: Sunset from Mt. Anderson

Spent 2 nights at the Benson Hut last weekend with a great crew.  More pic, vids, coming up!!!  It was HOT.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BYOBW 2012

After grabbing a beer and food in Sausalito, we headed over to Toro's hood to go watch and participate in the 12th annual BYOBW (Bring Your Own Big Wheel).  

And here's a vid from the event

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hawk Camp in the Headlands....

We took Kai on another camping adventure this past weekend with James, Courtney, Kalani, and Jill.  This was another short hiking trip on a fire road, so I could utilize my bike trailer again... like we did at Pt. Reyes back in Oct.

We started out at the Rodeo Ave trailhead... this exit only services this trailhead, as this was a planned start of the failed "Marincello" development project.  I'm glad those preservation efforts succeeded as we got to venture through beautifully preserved open space, instead of riding through suburbs.

Kimbo carrying Kai and a down jacket in her backpack...

Kai fell asleep during the short hike in, but as soon as we put him down, he was ready to party.  

After setting up the tents, we ventured up to take in some views.  Here's Courtney overlooking Tennessee Cove.  

And the city... in HDR.

Kalani working out his biceps.  

After dinner, it was game time, and we mainly played Liar's Dice...

After waiting for the full moon to rise, we went to bed...

The next morning after breakfast I went on a short ride around the headlands... saw this guy in the distance.  We also heard coyotes howling at the moon at night, and Toro, who happened to be near by saw a bobcat!

And hiking out... the way out was a lot easier (especially if you had a bike)... no help required this time.

 A turkey vulture and a 22 deg halo.  Here's some birding IDs. 

California Poppy - the State Flower of California... 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The last two ski weekends...

Stayed in town this past weekend, and went camping with the fam in the Marin Headlands.

But I had been up the last few weekends... posted on Miley's blog... and found some amazing conditions up there.  Skiing is sooo much fun... 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

Adventure Ski Race!

I participated in my first Adventure Ski Race (basically a Rando Rally) at Bear Valley Ski Area last weekend. Overall, I was quite pleased with the race and had a great time.

Folks at the starting line.  There were about 30 racers. And as you can see, even a splitboarder (my pride told kept me ahead of him!).

Cruising up the first climb... it felt like what I've had cyclocross races described to me as.  Pretty much red-lined it the entire race, and should've got my heart rate going a bit before the start... didn't warm up at all, and my heart rate was all over the place in the beginning.  

Check out this article from ASJ about the race.

It was a beautiful day for the race.  Not too breezy, not warm, great visibility, and cool clouds.

As in all small events, there were some misunderstandings and rules that should've been clarified: At the second check point I was told that I had to put my skins on, although it was basically flat and skating would have been much faster... which is what the two skiers ahead of me were doing.  They gained quite a bit of a lead over me here and I never caught up to them after this point.  

Second, the modified course.  I had signed up for the 11 mile Mt. Reba Classic with 4500 ft of climbing. 
But due to low snow conditions, they changed the route... our modified route was much shorter (maybe 6 miles?), didn't climb Reba (which I was looking forward to), and only had about 2500 ft of climbing.  This made it a much shorter race... a disadvantage for me. Here's the modified course:

Another disappointment was being told that the awards ceremony would take place at 2:30 pm.  I actually rode up the chair with a MAS employee who happened to tell me that I had come in 3rd (I didn't know until he told me), and that they had been looking for me as the awards ceremony already took place and I should go pick up my prize.

So yeah, I'm happy about getting on the podium (a clear winner in the non-Dynafit/non-Spandex category).  But I was hoping to win... and think I could have with an 11 mile course and a clearly marked skin on/skin off/skate section...  The win was good for a T-shirt and 2 free tickets to Bear Valley for next season.  8 min behind the winner.  I know putting on this kind of an event is very difficult, so given their low snow conditions, etc, I was very impressed overall with the folks at Mountain Adventure Seminars.

Also coincidentally, I finished at 2 hours even.  Just like my trail half marathon time at Redwoods Regional park.  What a coinkidink!

Learned a few things from doing this race:
  • Don't carry 100oz of water... (I probably only drank 5oz, as I was out of breath the whole time).
  • Warm up!
  • Start out with less layers on.  I started sweating 15 min into the race, and never had time to take off my jacket.