Thursday, January 31, 2013

TR: Schnieder Hut

After hitting up Lassen and the Warner Mtns on our seemingly neverending drive out to Halfway, OR (formerly, OR)... which included two wrong turns (I blame Funk & Toro... as I was passed out in the back) and an epic Mexican meal at the Aguila Real in Lakeview, Oregon (my 3&4th burritos of the trip).  We made it to the Halfway motel at 2 am.... where we proceeded to sort gear...  Lou-doo knew that he wouldn't get much sleep in the hotel, so he was snoring away in the back of his Volvo in -10 deg weather.

Some of our provisions... missing are two other plastic bottles of whiskey and 3 bottles of wine... and a case of Rolling Rock.

The "Miley Method" of carrying 18 eggs.  

The next morning we met up with our guides, who towed us in 6 miles on the back of the snowmo to the town of Cornucopia.  

From there we slowly made our way up the "ridge of insanity" led by our guide Kip, quite the badass.  Didn't use heel risers at all so that he'd set a nice low angle skin track for us.  

And after a few hours of skinning, we arrived at our home for the next 3 nights... the Schneider Cabin!  

After we got settled in, Kip led us in some beacon drills... here's the Miley Bros demonstrating the strategic digging.  

And soon we made our way up to the shoulder of Cornucopia peak to ski a short lap with Kip and to enjoy the sunset.  

After skinning back in the dark for the 2nd time in 3 outings, we had a nice happy hour outside the cabin.... and the drinking began.  Actually... we had a policy of taking a sip of whiskey for every skin transition so we were pretty lit already, but this was when we actually focusing our attention to drinking... 

The hut was quite cozy... and we shared the space with a mouse, but we really grew to love the cabin.  It's definitely rustic, but everything works quite nicely.  

Later that night, we tried to engineer a mortar barrel, which basically failed (you can see in red how high it reached...) Thanx to Chris for bringing the entertainment.  

The next morning everyone woke up with a hangover... where did the 5 bottles of whiskey & 3 bottles of wine go?  Mainly out into the pee pole... and to our head.  Our heads felt as foggy as the valley below, so I took a morning lap with the Miley Bros and Lou-Doo to start sweating out the toxins.  Funk, who was a top contender for the most drunk ended up in the crow's nest... and woke up soaked.  Not from urine... that'd be his brother... but from sleeping on the bite valve to his camel back.  So not only did he wake up drunk with a full bladder, he had to negotiate the technical descent off the crow's nest in the dark while shivering.  We all thought it was pretty funny.  

After a big ole' kale and egg scramble, most of us felt human again and got ready to explore the area.  Here we are up on the other shoulder of Cornucopia Peak... looking down into the Pine Lakes area... 

And Funk sending it!  This landing happened to not be as soft as it looks...

Awww... sharing is caring...

Skining up the backside of Cornucopia... the snow on this day was pretty scoured... which we had suspected, it was really a day to explore the area's potential.  This place has an amazing amount of terrain... 

After skinning back up to the shoulder of Cornucopia, we did a nice lap in the sunset on crusty corn... some of us kept skiing below the cabin to end the day once again skinning in the moonlight.  

mmmmm.... din din is served.  

My ski boots had a catastrophic failure at this point... and took 3 engineers, a doctor, and the remainder of the whiskey to fix the problem.  I'm glad these guys stocked the cabin with some basic tools... such as the hand cranked drill...

Soon, we ran out of whiskey... and it was time to start blowing things up... 

There was a huge temperature inversion during our whole trip and turned out the mountains were much warmer than the towns down below.  We heard that on this particular morning it was -10 deg F in town... Here's the doctor getting some much needed rays.  

After the usual routine of getting in a pre-brekky lap, eating some scrambled eggs + dehydrated veggies, we decided to stay low and harvest some turns.  Here's Chris with a clean huck.

And Nick about to stomp the first heli of the season.

Around 3 pm... on our 4th or 5th lap on a near by slope, we were all talking about what we were gonna do tonight.  And Funk suggested we call them about a keg.  So Nick called... and a few hours later we had a delivery from the amazing, god-like folks from the Wallowa Alpine Huts.  

On the drive up we had just listed to a "This American Life" episode on bliss... and it was too bad that none of us recorded the moment we all saw the keg in front of the hut... but our reaction was very similar to this guy and his cheeze doodles...

Chris contributed to killing the keg waay too early on this our last night with his cup he couldn't set down... 

HAFS (High Altitude Farting Syndrome)... was in full effect.  I got thrown out of the cabin soon after this pic was taken...

Our final day.  After a morning lap, the doctor booting, and cleaning up the cabin... we were soon on our way down. Check out this hoar!

The biggest hoar I've ever licked!

Soon we were back in the ghost town of Cornucopia... where there hasn't been an earthquake since this building was built... and ready to ski/skate back on the groomed road for 6 miles back to our cars.  

That night, we ate a fat meal at Stockman's... then caravaned to Boise... bunked, and were on the road all day on Tues back to the bay.  My neck was sore...  another really, really fun trip.  

Here's the vid in case y'all missed it:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

TR: Warner Mtns!

The Warners?  Let me guess.... never heard of em?... neither had I until 3 weeks ago.  And I grew up pretty damn close to that 85 mile long mountain range tucked away in the NE corner of California.  The area is pleading to be explored... with peaks that almost reach 10,000 ft; has numerous primitive hot springs near by, and with no visitors to the area.

Although the Warners are in California, it's a bit of a drive for us Bay Area weekend warriors... but you can stop on the way in Lassen to get a short lap in (like we did)... or in Chico to sample some Sierra Nevada Brew straight from the source... wherever your priorities lie...

A few weeks ago, we were on our way up to the Wallow Huts in Oregon.  We could go through Nevada, hit up the Ruby's... maybe go see how Terminal Cancer has filled in... But when the time came, we were told to go somewhere else.  So we made our way north up to Cedarville, where our friend Dozier moved a while back.

So we left Oakland around 10 am, arrived at Lassen NP around 2 pm, skied in the moonlight off the shoulder of Brokeoff Peak around 6 pm, and arrived at Dosier's place around 2 am.  After trying to soak in his wood heated hot tub, which was hovering at around 211 deg F... we bunked for the night.

On our way to the ski resort, Dosier's car battery died at the gas station... here's a brocken spectre from the exhaust of Nick's car...

Turns out there is decent terrain right from the Cedar Pass Ski Area (rope tow & T-bar... open weekends).  Since we only had a half day to explore (we had to leave by 2 pm to get to Oregon by midnight), we did a few laps off of Payne peak and the ridge that runs north from there.  

Skinning up... you can see the road below.  The "ski area" is just on the other side of this ridge.

Who's that good looking guy skiing in his jeans?

Summit pic on Payne Peak.  Dozier had left us to go get his car fixed by this point.  So we skied down to the "ski resort"... and took the groomer back to the car.  Funky decided to do a final run in his B-day suit.

For the next 10 hours we took turns, driving, sleeping, and getting some work done on the interwebs using Toro's wifi-tethered phone.  That came in quite handy...

The Miley Bros had an extra day to explore the range and turned their attention to the Southern Warners, where the bigger peaks can be found.  Here's Nick's pics... with some of the Southern Warner's pictured.  And be warned, there is a pic of the G-funk junk... LINK

And here's what he had to say...
Below is the link to the pics from the Warner Range section of the road trip I just got back from. This place is not huge, but is worth the drive from tahoe as the terrain is packed w chutes, hits, cliffs, glades and steeps. There's a little ski hill on cedar pass that splits the range giving easy access to some goods. However, the real gems are in the southern range. However, access is an issue in the range... With the help of my buddy Ryan Dozier we did a day figuring out one access point. We'll definitely be back this season when they get more snow! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Pano: from Lassen to the Werners to the the Wallowas...

On Brokeoff Peak in Lassen NP... getting ready to skin off and ski in moonlight.
In the Werner Mountains near Cederville.  Fun terrain with easy access in the north at the Cedar Pass Ski Area.
Dosier, Toro, Nick, and Funk getting ready to slay some fun snow.
At the summit of Payne Peak
Skinning up in the Wallowas
Fun snow down low
Skinning up the "Ridge of Insanity"
At the Schneider Cabin with Kip (our guide).
Messy testing out his skins...
Sunset near the hut...
Chris ready to wake up with a pre-brekky morning session...
Ton's of terrain...
Sunset on day 2.
Getting used to ski by moonlight by now...
Chris on another pre-brekky session, nursing a hangover. 
Some more from Nick here:!i=2334396890&k=76hzfBJ&lb=1&s=A