Saturday, April 26, 2014

Japan: Back to Kawagoe! Nikko meets my folks!

Kai in front of Tenkai at Kita-in temple.  A head priest of the temple back in 1590.  
Back in Nippon!  It's always a shock.  Soooo many people, so much infrastructure, so many buttons on your toilet seat, and everyone riding bikes without helmets on.  It's good to be back.  The food here is amazing... now only if I could get a decent IPA in Japan... after our flight it took a few days of adjusting (... as in Kai would wake up at 4 am), but overall the jetlag wasn't that bad.  And with my folks around to help when the kids need to be helped, we adjusted rather quickly.  Here are some pics from the first few days of our trip.

Ojiichan teaching Nikko to dance
Nikko made Obaachan happy with no effort.

Thomas!  Turns out he's big here in Japan too!
Kai eating Ramen.  He's gotta learn to slurp... 
Our makeshift Bumbo for the first 2 days...
then we found this one!  Booya!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Skiing Trifecta: BC, Resort, Skate....

Well, I didn't have high hopes, but considering I've only gone on 1 dawn patrol this year, I decided I'd get out no matter what.  So at 5 am I got up, drove 5 min, skinned for 15 min, skied for 5 min, and waited for Mingus for 20 min.  The snow was quite crusty, and it was really cold out, but I got some great views of the sunrise and was glad I went.  Still haven't had a "bad" dawn patrol experience.

And lo and behold, the dawn patrol turned out to be the start of a skiing trifecta day.  Backcountry skiing in the morning.  Resort ski in the afternoon, and skate skiing during naptime.  I only got in 2 real runs in at Alpine, but spent a good 2 hours with Kai on the lifts at Alpine.  He is starting to cruise on his own at the resort... although his lack of fear is a concern.  After we made it home, I put Kai down and went skate skiing for my 7th day of the season, and 10th time in my life.  I think I'm getting the hang of it now.

Here are some more pics.  I've posted them on instagram too, if you wanna follow me @ snowymonk.  I mostly post for the sake of having the geotags on Strava link up.
Check out White Wolf after this storm...
vs 2 weeks ago.  

Skate Skiing.  This halo was very prominent all day long.  
High Plains Drifter! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sugar Bowl.... again!

So for my last resort day of the season (sigh), I returned to Sugar Bowl.... which is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  This was a really fun day as Kevin's folks were in town and utilizing their help Kevin & Laura watched our kids as well as the little Hoefts so we could all go skiing together.  Amazing.  Thank you, awesome friends.  Around lunch time Kimbo & Elena went back do put our older boys to sleep, and traded off kiddie duties with Kevin & Laura who joined Matt & I for the rest of the day.

It's great not being anxious at a resort knowing that there'll be plenty of untracked snow to huck on to vs the race to make bomb holes at Alpine or Squaw.  4 pm and still plenty of snow for me!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Silver Peak

On the second storm day, Scott & I were both itching to get some skinning in, so we were thinking about going down to Jake's/Rubicon area after dropping Melissa off at Squaw.  But we decided to do something closer to Squaw.

Silver Peak is the peak just to the north of Olympic Village.  Accessed from Pole Creek, it's a mellow slog on a fire road for the first 2 miles or so, then you follow a gentle ridge for another mile or two to the top.  The top 500' - 1000' of vert were pretty amazing.  Deep, fluffy pow.  I'd only recommend this tour if you have enough time to do a few laps.  We only had time for one lap, and although it was worth it, I'd have loved to do like 20 more laps on the top...

Here's the strava link until it pooped out...

Silver Peak from TeleK on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sugar Bowl!

So... I had been planning this whole winter to come up with dates & partners to re-do the SLAY trip from last year.  I had a few dates open, and shot some e-mails out... and we had finally settled on March 29-April 1st.  And I would go with Scott & Barrett... two of the strongest partners I know.  I was STOKED.  And given the fact that the trip is more of a tour through one of the most beautiful place in the world I wasn't too concerned about the weak snowpack.

Then THE storm rolled in.... honestly, I think it's the only significant storm of the season and it happens to roll in the day we were planning to fly to Mammoth.  Suffice to say, we talked quite a bit, discussed our plans and we bailed the morning of the flight.  The flight hadn't been cancelled yet, but we figured the avy conditions could be high or extreme and going up to Tioga Pass in those conditions could mean we wouldn't be coming back down again.  

So.... looks like I'm not going on a hut trip this season.  I think it's the first season (other than 2009 when we were in Australia), since I've been out in California. I'll have to make up  for that next year.  

Anyway... with the storm of the season rolling in, Scott and I decided to drive up Sunday morning to Sugar Bowl with his lady Melissa.  Really fun day.  But since my gear was at the cabin, I was on my old 4FRNTs that Funk gave me for 40$ five years ago... with G3 binders on them (which suck), no helmet, no back protector, etc.  So I took her easy.  But it was fun skiing from 9 am to 2 pm (when we decided to call it quits).  Definitely doubled the amount of resort skiing I've done this year.  Here's a quick vid.  After about 5 runs of shooting footage I decided I'd like to use my poles, so not too much action.