Saturday, October 28, 2006

First of the Season

This morning was the first dawn patrol of the season. Matt and I met at 5:00 AM and headed up to Alta to do a bit of preseason skiing. While we were driving up we were both questioning why we had gotten up so early to go and ski what could possibly be meager conditions.

The morning was very clear and dark. There was no moon, only the stars lit the sky. After booting up we hit the skin track in blue-ish glow of our headlamps. Neither of us really knew where we were heading. We starting heading up what would normally be a groomed run during the open season. After a short while we hit a fork in the track. We headed right and up towards a bald knoll not too far off. The skin track was steep and icy. It was hard to get purchase with the skins. We reached the top right as the greenish glow of dawn was creeping up over the surrounding mountains. We pulled off our skins in the pre-sunrise light. We dug a couple of snow pits to look at the profile of the snow. We had about 12 inches of fluff on top of about 2 inches of suncrust that was the "base" before you hit bare ground.

Matt rolled off the knoll first punching out smooth tele turns on skiers right. After stopping partway down, it was my turn to go. I headed skiers left to a short steeper shot about 3 turns long before turning onto the gentler slope and carving easy turns in the smooth snow. We found the shallow snowpack somewhat painful and you feel small granite rocks grind into the base of our skis. With a few whoops and some more good turns we were down the flat and a small creek crossing. We popped the skis off and made a few slick steps across the creek to the other side. We both ended up putting a foot in the water. It was far better to have a foot then the whole body.

It may have been a very short tour, an even shorter run, but it was definitely a good time. The snow, although shallow, made for some excellent turns. It definitely fueled the fire for winter to come.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The First Snow of the Year!

Okay, so perhaps it isn't the first, first snow of the year. It is, however, the first snow of the year where it has stuck to the ground around our apartment.

It wasn't much snow, but it was snow nonetheless. The ski bug has definitely hit me hard. I can't wait to go out for the first hike of the year. I can't wait to dawn patrol, to wait a couple days for recent storm snow to settle, to hit knee deep pow turns. Winter is coming and it is hopefully coming soon. It is time to get the gear out of the closet, wax up the sticks, and pray for snow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun, Fun, Fun

In case you haven't read Jessi + 1 lately, you should. We had a great time making Halloween ginger bread houses. I couldn't believe how much fun it turned out to be. It was also quite delicious.

So work finally gave me a salaried position. There was an opening in the head count which meant open funds in the budget and whamo-kablamo I finally have a salaried position. They would have given me one sooner but the hiring budget was maxed out for the year so they couldn't. It has been kind of funny because I will continue to do exactly what I have been doing for the past few months but now I will just get paid more. I didn't mind the lower pay because I was gaining extremely valuable experience. I put in my time and it paid off. That is way it seems to go in the outdoor industry. To celebrate Jess and I went to Cafe Madrid which is in the Black Diamond factory complex. It was quite delicious and a very nice evening out.

Today was a pretty good day. We had a bouldering lunch up Echo Canyon. This evening I checked out an extremely rad slideshow presentation by Chris Davenport about his quest to ski the 14ers of Colorado in one year. Check out the website and read about his quest. So far there has been one other person to have skied all 54 of the 14ers in Colorado and it took him 12 years! Chris is trying to do it in one season! So far he has knocked out 45 of them so he only has 9 more to go. The slideshow was followed by a boulder session at an apartment complex where our friends used to live.

We got Jess' ski stuff today. Well not all of it but a good chunk of it. We got her skis, skins, and poles. We are very excited for her to pick up skiing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Cannot Do It Good Enough

So here we sit on our couch. Jess is crocheting a baby blanket and I am blogging. She just had a huge knot in the yarn. I offered to untie the knot and was promptly told "no you cannot do it good enough"! I love my wife and her sometimes weird ways and quirkiness. So as I am writing this I am saying aloud the words I am typing and we are having a good laugh about it. My wife rules and is the greatest wife EVER!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Adventure Party

Saturday was my work's famous Adventure Party. For the past few summers to encourage employees to live up to our company motto, "We use the gear we sell", the owners came up with the idea of the "adventure contest". The premise of the contest is you get points for every outdoor activity that you do over summer. For each activity to qualify you have to use at least two pieces of gear that we sell. Over the course of the summer you keep track of your points and at the end they host a big party where you get a raffle ticket for each point you earned. Then they raffle off a TON of gear! This year they gave away $75,000 in gear!

The party is held at the Cliff Lodge at Snowbird. This year's theme was "Pray4Snow". A very fitting theme for our company at this time of year. (As a side note it snowed today). It was a good time. They had good food, a not so good band, people in costumes, old school ski movies playing in the lobby, rad new ski movies in the main area, and of course, tons of free gear! I came away from the party with an MSR Pocket Rocket stove, Nixon Unity Backpack, and a Trango Piranha Knife. I also got a t-shirt, a couple of mugs, and other small things. I didn't win a big package like I wanted (like the 5 day trip to Jackson Hole, a day heli skiing in the Wasatch, or a ski package) but I was still stoked to win what I got.

So here is what I did this summer: 3 nights camping (would have done more, but pregnant wifes aren't necessarily comfortable camping), 12 hikes, 4 days paddling (kayaks), 28 days rock climbing, 40 trail runs, picked up 615 pieces of trash, and ascended 32,410 vertical feet (1900 on a bike, 4200 hiking, 5270 climbing, and 21,040 trail running). It is weird to look at the summers activities broken down like that, it seems like I didn't do that much.

We did a ton as a company overall we had about: about 380 nights camping, 972 hikes, 628 trail runs, picked up about 8700 pieces of trash, 117 ski days, 114 paddle trips, ascended almost 2 million vertical feet, and I don't really remember the rest but I will update it after I get the info from work.

[Updated with correct totals]

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Want To Know Something Interesting?

So would I, so if you know something, please share it! I am bored. It seems that most of my evenings are taken up with various items and now that I have an open evening I am bored. I swear there are projects that I have been wanting to do but now that I have spare time I cannot think of any of them. I am sure I will remember something as soon as I decide to go to bed. Oh well, I should start writing stuff down. Tomorrow is Friday, which is always exciting. I really enjoy weekends. I get to hang out with Jess for two whole days straight! It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I Think It May Officially Be Fall

We have had a very rainy week. This past week it rained almost everyday. The week before was absolutely beautiful. Temperatures were very moderate, it was sunny, it was perfect fall weather. Sitting inside at work was hard. Whenever I'd go outside I would have to battle with myself to go back in and work. All I wanted to do was be outside. This past week was a little different with all of the rain. I love it. I can't say when the last time was that I enjoyed fall so much.

I finally ran on Friday. For work we had an offsite where we played a little adventure game my manager came up with. It was sort of like the Amazing Race in that we were in teams, had to run around the mountains behind her house, find clue, solve puzzles, etc. It was a good time. The total game time lasted about 4 hours. During that time we ran, hiked, walked. I was nervous the whole time that my knee would start hurting. It actually didn't hurt at all. After the game my legs did ache a little because it was the most I have ran since the marathon. I have only ran once since the marathon so my legs definitely weren't use to it. Yesterday my knee didn't hurt at all so I am very excited. I plan on starting to run again on Monday. I will be taking it easy to avoid any overuse injuries. I found it interesting during the game on Friday that my ankles were sort of weak. I semi-rolled my right (the "bad") ankle twice and the left once. It was intriguing to see how quickly the body loses it shape. I haven't had to worry about rolled ankles for months and now I will have be mindful of that for the next week or so until I am back into it.

It is hard to believe that Jess is due in 8 weeks. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think that we are having a baby, but other times it is completely normal. Needless to say, we are both very excited and can't wait for our baby to come and see us!