Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wolf Creek Ski Mountaineering Race

The first COSMIC Ski race of the season was also the only local race of the series as the rest will require an overnight stay for me.  This one was at Wolf Creek and I'll post more photos when they become available.  The cool news is that this year they have Veterans Category (old man, over 45 years of age) so it gives me something to shoot for.  I finished well, 24rth overall, with 54 entrants, and I finished on the podium in 3rd place in the Veterans Category.  I feel like if had I been able to descend better, I could have contended for the overall.  Descents were really my problem as I climbed and raced well.  A few minor mistakes, a skin issue, and one misstep into turn that had me slide down on my back on Alberta Peak (also losing a ski, which I was fortunately able to catch!).  The back slide down the icy Alberta Peak was not all that costly - a few minutes or so.  But they all add up in a short race like this.
A little blood on the face too, but no injuries.  Either from the slide or perhaps one of the times I downhilled/slammed through tree branches.

No prize money in these races but I did score some cool Julbo goggles (my only other pair of goggles are 15+ years old), a Dynafit hat, and a La Sportiva coffee cup.

  Jeni took a photo of me getting near the finish line below (finish at the white popup).  I skipped the typical lycra body suit and went with the more comfortable two piece Millet Pierra Menta - I loved it.  Each front jacket pocket could capably hold 2 skins each.  My Millet pack looks large but besides the usual beacon, shovel, probes, and water bladder, I carry my down jacket from CAMP.  Call it a security blanket, but if you get injured out there it may be a long wait until you have a chance to warm up.  It's pretty light anyway. One racer broke his leg out there, but fortunately he was near the base area.  I was right behind him when it happened.  Brutal scene.  

Results are here.

Course Map below.

After the race we took the little one over to the Wolf Pup beginner hill.  She did several runs and just loved it, with Jeni holding her from behind using the trainer ropes.
 All smiles!
I love Wolf Creek!  I taught Jeni to ski here ~25 years ago.  And now she is here teaching our daughter.  Wow, time flies!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015


 I've been getting free turns in at the local hill.  Day 6 for the season and it's not yet Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Early Season

2 skins up Purgatory today.  Deep enough powder over that grass that it was over my boots at times.  Tips up!  

Monday, November 09, 2015

Tilt at the Windmill

And the season begins!  3 skins up at Wolf Creek this weekend.  I am lucky enough to live close enough to Wolf Creek Pass as they allow up hill skiing with few restrictions.  I mostly climb in the trees though given that the ski area has down-hill-skiers of all skill levels so I find tree protection to be desirable.  The ski area boasts the most snow in Colorado and that is generally true, but the backcountry of course has plenty of areas with ample snow.  It's early season and there are rock hazards, but it's snow, it's free and it's fun!

Saturday, November 07, 2015


I had some work out east in Northern PA and Southern NY.  The first day I was working at a little ski area and was able to grab a trail run on the mountain and had the trails to myself mostly, except for a few dog walkers just a few hundred yards into the trails.  Nice enough area to enjoy the outdoors a bit.  Temps were excellent  - in the mid 70's.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Not much on the adventure front right now as I've been running up Skyline almost daily and hitting the gym.  

Friday, October 09, 2015

Santa Cruzing

Work brought me out to Santa Cruz, CA with the customer providing a nice cabin near the beach.  I fly into San Jose and was on the beach within 90 minutes, taking a 13 mile run.  This was my first visit to the area and the beach here is so much cleaner than the ones I have recreated on for years in Southern California.  I was able to run alongside a school of porpoises for a while and then later on I saw some whales, only visible by their blow hole exhale and the birds circling over them.  Several large sea pelicans were among several types of birds making this was a really scenic run.
 I saw this beached old ship alongside a pier that I presume they are using a barrier reef.  It was covered with birds.
 After the run I hit up a coastal trail for some better views.

 The cabin was really cool.  Very nice accommodations considering I'm used to staying at Marriott Brands for work travel.  A bit outside of the box, but I might stay in these in other places if available.
Avis thought they were doing me a favor and gave me an free upgrade to a Mustang.  Nice red sports car given to someone who lives in the mountains and is 3.5 hours from the nearest interstate.  The poor interior visibility (by my standards at least) and the tight, twisty, and tall tree-lined CA roads made sure I never even considered going over the speed limit.  I get these Mustangs from Avis time to time, and it's usually at busy airports when they run out of 4 door cars.  At the counter they asked if I was travelling alone, which my first clue.  I would have preferred a SUV upgrade just to see better.  But with the iPhone having the Sirius Radio and a killer sound package in the Mustang at least I got some great tunes with the windows down in the CA sunshine.    
Santa Cruz is a nice area.  Too many people for me however, the roads were bumper to bumper in both lanes everywhere and this time of year is not their busy tourist season.  This planet is getting too populated.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Fall Colors

Hit up the local trails this weekend at lower elevation to see some of the great fall colors.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mt. Marathon - Seward AK

My last trip to Alaska one of my customers clued me into the most popular running race in Alaska.  It's called Mt. Marathon and the local TV stations have live race TV coverage.  They call it their Olympics.  The race started out as a bet from some town residents in the 1800s to see if someone could hit the 3002 ft. peak from town and back in less than an hour.  The first racers work boots, wool pants, and their Sunday best white shirts and the winner did it in 62 mins.  This year, international superstar Killian Journet won it in 41 minutes without much effort as he high fived the crowd on the way back knowing he had the record in the bag.  The course is straight uphill and straight downhill on 38 degree slopes.  There is a former contestants body up there somewhere on the mountain as he got lost in 2013 and they never found him.  I was a bit scared at first, but it was much milder than all of the race warnings.  I got lucky at the local grocery store and met a local who told me it was "easy."  Not exactly easy, but nothing steeper than a day in the San Juans.  The uphill technique is called "Golluming" in that you literally do use all fours while going uphill.
I took the uphill "roots" course.

 The strip below is the downill course.  Killian was 10 or 11 minutes on the downhill.  Crazy.
 You circle the rock in the photo below for the race.
 The actual mountain in the photo below - and above the race high point.  I sat here and watched an eagle circle around looking for food.

 On the descent above, and the peak from town - the apex is the point that you race to.
I love Seward, AK!