Saturday, November 30, 2013

Timelapse 2013

Made a short clip of the best timelapses from the first half of 2013...

Monday, November 25, 2013

CCK: Rock Garden Class!

Keith and Tammy are not only excellent neighbors, but they also happen to own California Canoe & Kayak... an awesome place to rent, buy, or take classes for kayaking, SUP, or canoeing.  They offer a whole suite of kayaking classes to challenge you at every level.  I've previously taken the Open Coast; Tides, Currents & Rough water class as well as the Surf Zone class.  All have been great classes where I've taken away tons of lessons from experienced paddlers.   I like to dedicate at least one day a year to a challenging paddle, and this year I decided to take the Rock Garden Class.  The Thursday before, I went to the Richmond Plunge before my soccer game to practice my rolls... and met up at Horseshoe Cove for the class on Sat morning.  

Once we got on the water Bill & Greg, members of the Neptunes Rangers & BASK, led the class.  Both amazing paddlers with tons of experience.  
Double-crested Cormorants!  They have solid bones & don't oil their feathers like other birds so they can dive deeper... but they have to dry out their feathers after every dive to fly... 
A BASK trip on their way out to Rodeo Beach.  
Practicing some pour overs.
And Bill showing us some rescues...
And showing us how to land & launch from a rock garden...

The boat I got to use for the class.  The HAMMER!  This boat was designed for rock gardens.  
This looks like a fun trip... I'd like to go on in the future...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Types of Fun!

Nick and I about to spend a few cozy nights snuggling with Watkins... 
This was a post I had forgotten about and had just left as a draft... but after a radiolab episode and reading another blog, I decided to come back to it.  Written back in May...

My second summit of Shasta in day... 
The past two weekends were really, really fun.  The trans-Yosemite tour (SLAY) with Alexis & Stefan was amazing.  We just lucked out on the weather, conditions, and everything just seemed to come together for us to provide a beautiful experience.

This past weekend... I got to ride my bike.  Which is always fun.  But after 16 hours on the saddle, things were getting a bit uncomfortable.  And while you are riding 16+ hours with a friend (Sigman), you start asking yourself... "why are we doing this?"  Granted, it was Sigman who was doing more of the questioning... but it was definitely on my mind too...

... and it's a good question.  I told him, "it's FUN.  Everything is fun... it just depends on what type of fun..." and here's are the basics.

Type 1: Fun planning it, fun while doing it, fun looking back on it, and would probably do it again.
e.g. skiing pow, canyoneering, unicycling, mountain biking, playing soccer... most of my activities are Type I to me. 

Type 2: On the border of fun while doing it... but after a night of rest, recovery, eating, and drinking... you realize it was actually pretty fun, and you'd probably go back and do it or something similar again.
e.g. Big wall climbing, a hard 300k+ ride, a long trail run, skiing Shasta twice,   

Type 3: No fun, a complete sufferfest... you'd never do it again... unless you are an uber masochist, you never plan for a Type 3 adventure.  A Type 1 or 2 adventure morphs into a Type 3 adventure when things go wrong or when the unexpected happens.  BUT... these are the adventures that get retold and have the longest lasting impressions.  Just ask Aaron Ralston or Krakauer.
e.g. running a marathon w/o any training, getting flipped on a double kayak in the gulf of California, fully committed on a chossy run-out climb with a dark cumulous cloud rapidly approaching..., or from what I've witnessed labor would probably qualify as Type 3.

Activities requiring abundant gear... like kayaking, rock climbing (especially aid or bigwall), skiing, mountain biking... have a greater risk of going from Type 1 to Type 3 fun with a quick mistake, gear failure, or accident.

In all honesty, most of my adventures are Type 1 or Type 2.  I haven't had a Type 3 adventure in a loooong time... but I sure do miss em.  There were times on my 400k that I wasn't having much fun.  My stomach was churning a bit towards the end, my legs felt like rubber, and my wrists hurt from riding... but riding 250 miles in one go was fun.  I had a good time... and I'm glad to know that I can do it, so I can look back to that experience when I decide to do longer rides like a 600k, 1000k or 1200k.  Some folks say that the 400k is the toughest distance as it's too short to catnap during the ride.  I'm not sure about that, but I'd like to find out.

I forget who actually taught me this concept of types of fun... but I'm guessing whoever it was listened to Fitz.
Speaking of Type III fun... holy moly... really?

And here's a blogger that can actually write, describing her motivation to do Type II/III adventures, in a more poetic fashion.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Del Puerto 200k (Nov 2, 2013)

Participated in my 3rd brevet of the season with Sigman.  This time, a fast 200k out in the far far east bay.... the route below.

the start was at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.  We had a rather jolly ride out there.  
Rob doing his thing.

Check out the size of that disc!  
A very comfortable, flat ride in the beginning.
You know you have gone far enough east when.... you see a confederate flag.  
90% of the vehicles that passed us were monster trucks towing dirt bikes for this convention... check out that hill climb!
Joining in on the pace line... that was fun.
Love seeing this bike. 
Second control... at the Subway
Saw these guys getting choppered out of their repair job on the power line.
Entering Del Puerto Canyon.  Moonscape. 
After a hellacious climb out of Del Puerto Canyon to get to the junction bar,  this was my view for the rest of the ride.  Following Sigman and Bryan, eavesdropping on their complaints about their students.  
And the end... at the Starbucks!
Check out the fixed gear Volagi!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekly Pano: Mt. Diablo

Went on a quick solo ride up Diablo the other day.  Beautiful Day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Expoloring SE Yosemite! - Mt. Lyell, Maclure, Florence trail run.

Went on another solo alpine scrambling adventure... most likely the last one of the season!  I was on a mission to go place the cache for the Tuolumne Meadows Hut, so we can go back this year to SLAY it again.  I didn't know what I should do while I was up there, but I've had Mt. Lyell on my list forever... so I decided to look into the logistics a bit more.  Mt. Lyell is the highest peak in Yosemite NP at 13,120 feet.  It's also quite a significant peak as it's the headwaters of the Tuolumne River and an SPS section Emblem peak... for those that care.  As soon as I started looking into Lyell, I found Leor's TRs which has him doing Maclure and Lyell in 9 hours RT, so I figured I should give myself 12 hours and decided I'd want to leave by 6 am.  

I also noticed that Florence is pretty close (as the crow flies) and figured I could do a loop if I did Florence after Maclure.  According to my rough calculation, if I could do 4 mph (15 min miles for 6 hours = 24 miles) on trail, and I could manage 2 mph X-country (4 hours), that would be 10 hours of moving... then add 3 hours for some lunch breaks, water stops, summit selfies, etc.... so if I started at 5 am, I should be back by 6 pm to catch the sunset on Cathedral range...  

Enough banter... I'll let the pics portray the rest of the day... 
placing the cache... it's the red bin in the back.  Looks quite empty this year... due to the Gov't Shutdown?
This is what I looked like for the day (summit shot on MacLure with Lyell behind).  I tested out my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s (I like the colors, but they failed... so I sent them back).  The hat and gloves were key... it was cold.  
Loving my ultimate directions Jurek bag.  Inside, I carried a headlamp, an external battery for my phone, headphones (I was listening to Aaron Ralston narrate "Between a rock and a hard place"... not recommended when going solo scrambling), emergency blanket, aqua mira (which I never used), a bunch of food, camera, sunscreen, mini-leatherman (to cut my arm off just in case...), map, and a bunch of food...
Bear tracks... pretty much the only sign of life other than bugs, fish and birds I saw all day.  

yeah, it was cold... ice floating down the Lyell fork of the Tuolumne River.  The trails are perfect for running here.  Unlike other parts of the Sierra these trails are made for running.  Tuolumne Meadows might just be my new favorite trail running location.  Next year, I'd like to check out the Northern side... Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, etc...   
My first view of Mt. Lyell (just left of the tree), and Mt. Maclure (to the right).  
Start of the X-country.  That's the Lyell - Maclure notch in the middle.  
Mt. Lyell with Maclure in the middle.  
Mt. Lyell and the Lyell Glacier.  Biggest glacier in YNP.  I was about to follow the rocks around the Lyell Glacier, but then I saw these fresh (a few days old) snowshoe tracks across the snow, so I decided to follow it.  Which was a bad mistake as I'd posthole every other step and my feet were frozen, wet, and numb by the time I was done.  
Must be a stake from this survey?
Mt. Maclure's scramble. .. coming up next 
For some reason there were a ton of dead bugs on the Lyell Glacier.  
The scramble up Lyell.  I was sick of the postholing... so this was a pleasant change.  
at this point my camera died.... it was quite windy on the ridge... and I was cold.  And I had to choose between scrambling up wearing gloves or  with numb hands.  I chose gloves.  
Lyell!  Top of Yosemite!
Looking SW towards Banner, Ritter and Rodgers peak.  
Thanx Anne for making those tracks on the Lyell Glacier for me to follow... kinda...
Looks like there is a route on the S. Face of Lyell.  Definitely much steeper than the West Ridge... couldn't see much from the ridge, but it definitely looked like a trail. 
The overhanging block on the west ridge of Lyell
A good shot of the X-country portion of my route... that's Mt. Florence to the left, and Mt. Maclure to the right.  I wasn't sure if there was going to be a straightforward route between Maclure and Florence at this point...
Pano with Mt. Maclure in the middle
Looking down the class 2 scramble down the west ridge of Mt. Lyell
Pano with Mt. Lyell in the middle
Looking back at Mt. Lyell from Maclure.  Just follow that Western Ridge
Looking down the Maclure Glacier and Maclure lake and the half frozen lakes above.
Mt. Maclure!  
Sean O'Rouke... the 14ers speed record holder.
Vern! A Sierra Legend!
The first of my 2 rice balls.  I also had 4 boiled potatoes, a bunch of cliff shots, gu, and a variety of bars to fuel me for the day.  Didn't have to resort to my Perpetuem blocks... ugh  
Looking back at the W. Ridge of Maclure.  I wasn't sure if there was a route here...
a quick 3rd class scramble takes you to the top of the ridge between Maclure and Florence.  
When I saw this at the top of the ridge instead of a sheer cliff... which I was expecting, I hollered out loud!  Very stoked.  
Lake between Maclure and Florence.  A nice spot with a beach on the eastern shore.  Mt. Florence straight ahead... 
didn't bother treating water on this day... especially at this lake.  
Check out this couloir on Florence...  Yowza!
There are some fun overhanging blocks near the summit of Florence to hang out on.  
Summit shot!  
Nicki Bluhm!  I can't go for that.... 
The north face of Florence
Another summit pano.
The easy portion of the scrambling off of Florence.  Looking back up where I just came... actually quite runnable.  
And the tricky scrambling coming up.  These rocks were just the right size that it made everything difficult.  Not big enough to be too stable, and not small enough to just slide down.  Plus there was lots of snow.  So this was a tricky descent... this type of terrain really slowed down my progress X-country, and I was averaging more like 1.5 mph.  So I knew I'd be running in the dark.  
the lake above Florence Lake.  Gets my thumbs up as a place to bunk for the night...
I was quite stoked to be here...
Half Dome in the middle...
I  was quite happy to see the trail by this point.  It's mentally tough to be X-country in the dark... solo... 
Beautiful sunset... too bad I couldn't enjoy it a bit more... 
a few min til sunset... from Vogelsang Pass.  Vogelsang Peak just right of middle... Florence peak to the left.  I was dreaming about adding on Vogelsang peak to make this a 4 peak day if things were going better than planned.  Alas...
bye bye sun... 
At Vogelsang High Sierra Camp... now if these places didn't cost $175 a head, I'd stay there... 
For my next trail run from this area, I'd like to do Vogelsang, Parsons... and the ridge between Amelia Earhard and Simmons Peak looks fun...

7:55 pm - put Kai down after giving him a bath, brushing teeth, changing diaper...
8 pm - frantically packed the cache for the Tuolumne Meadows hut
9 pm - found out that the battery in the car is dead.... jumped it...
10 pm - left my house
2 am - found a place to pull over to nap...
4 am - my alarm went off...
6 am - arrived at the TM hut... placed the cache
6:30 am - after a morning poo, started running down the trail...
7:26 am - mile 5, sunrise
9:30 am - mile 12... start of X-country...
11:30 am - top of Lyell
12:30 pm - top of Maclure
2:45 pm - top of Florence
5 pm - mile 20, finally back on the trail... those 8 miles took 7.5 hours!
6:21 pm - mile 24, sunset
8 pm - back at the car... 31.4 miles.
12 am - back home...
1 am - asleep.
7 am - awake...
8 am - dropped off Kai at daycare
9 am - back at work.

Here's the strava link: