Monday, April 14, 2014

4 days, 4 airports, two trips to LA, April 9-12

I did a presentation at work on Monday, traveling OAK to BUR, then SFO to LAX on Friday!  Lotsa flyin'

Monday, April 7, 2014

Three Days of Skiing, April 5-6

This could be the last of the year.  I hit the middle of a big storm earlier in the week at Squaw, which had the worst visibility I've ever experienced along with patches of good and bad snow.  This weekend, we had two spring days at Alpine with warm temperatures and fun conditions in the morning before the snow turned to crap later in the day.

Last run of the year at Alpine Meadows?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Big Sky, March 4-9

Day 1: We gawked at the massive mountain and wonderful simplicity of ski in/ski out accommodations.  I prereleased once on Marx (45+ degree slope), and Brett caught my ski.  Later in the same run after the Gullies, I prereleased on hardpack, bend my pole and severely knocked the wind out of myself.

Day 2: I picked up my fixed binding, and got my confidence back on a great powder day of 6 inches of fresh.  Awesome untracked and lightly tracked runs, including a foggy run down Liberty Bowl late in the day.  Great runs down Headwaters, including my favorite in that area, Cold Springs.  I gouged my ski pretty bad there.

Day 3:  Got my ski fixed yet again, and then enjoyed an amazing powder day.  I had one of my best runs ever down the bowl near Lone Peak Triple where I dropped a 15 foot cliff.  More untracked powder than I can remember...surreal and beautiful.

Day 4:  Bluebird and a weekend day - more crowds than the empty past three days.  My friends living in Bozeman came and visited, and we all had a great time in warm conditions.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

South Lake Tahoe Skiing, Feb 21-23

Ben, Cori and I went to South Lake for a long weekend.  Ben lives in New Jersey, and was out for a conference, so it was a natural choice that we had to get some time in the mountains.  Ben and I skied Heavenly the first day while Cori worked.  I hadn't been at the mountain since 2008, and I wasn't a huge fan.  The runs aren't that interesting, and the lift/layout is crappy.  Cori also couldn't find a nice place with wifi to do work that looked at the mountain since the ski village is tucked away at a lower elevation.  Never the less, Ben and I got good turns in, and we all got tipsy at altitude off a few drinks afterward.

The second day, the three of us went to Kirkwood.  Again, it was warm and sunny, and the skiing was best in the morning.  Cori hadn't been skiing since last year, but by the end of the day, she was doing great.  That night, we cooked a feast of veggies and fish.

We skied Kirkwood again on Sunday, spending a good chunk of time on Cornice Express.  Cori got more comfortable with the steeper terrain, and we did a bunch of laps on Sentinel Bowl, which isn't as sidecountry feeling as it used to be since I believe they are thinking of putting a lift in.  We had to leave mid afternoon so we could get back to the city for Ben to make his red eye back to the East Coast.  We had a quick stop in Jackson, a small and sleepy old mining town, to get some dinner.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Road Trip South, Jan 18-20

Cori and I drove down to surf at 38th Ave on Saturday.  The waves were nice, and we saw a sea otter right next to us.  There were literally hundreds of people in the water as the sun set.  It was fun to finally catch some good waves on my 7'2".  Afterward, we drove to Big Sur where we stayed at a river-side campsite with a rowdy bar up on the hill.  We listened to the crappy music before going to sleep and tossing and turning to the sound of all night partying.

On Sunday we explored some Big Sur beaches and did some hikes at Pfeiffer State Beach where there is a beautiful arch and tall rocks.  It reminded me somewhat of Lover's Beach in Cabo.  Then, we went for an evening walk to Andrew Molera State Beach where we watched the fog-covered surfers.  We ate dinner at a fun little Japanese place in Monterey, and then worked our way north to our standard Santa Cruz camping spot, New Brighton Beach.

We headed to the beach on Monday morning, eating our breakfast burritos while watching Pleasure Point firing off double overhead sets.  We decided to head a bit south and check out The Hook, which had perfect overhead peeling rights stacking up to the horizon.  It looked doable, so we headed in, only to be yelled by by ornery locals for riding boards longer than theirs'.  It was a pretty awful experience, so we headed in after Cori caught a wave.  She studied while I tried to get redemption at 38th Ave.  I caught a few nice waves, but was totally tapped out at sunset, so we drove home after getting some quick food at Whole Foods.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Winter Break, December 20 to January 5

Haiku is kind of an obnoxious cat, but every now and then he is cute.  Don't be fooled, as fat as he is, this box is way too small for him.
Chris, Meg, and I went to Sunday River, and had two days of ice followed by a powder day with a foot of new snow.
While in Bethel, we got bored of playing Life and Chess, and thus embarked on a grand adventure to New Hampshire for a better game.  This brought us to a thrift/gun shop that was selling some funky stuff.

We somehow found ourselves in a limo in Boston on New Years after hanging out at the Harpoon Brewery.  Will and I won the cornhole competition despite it being my first time playing.   I tried to psyche out the frat boys by telling them this over and over.
A big storm came in on the day I was leaving, so I got to the airport at 6:30am, and won the standby lottery at 11:30am with whiteout conditions outside.  To top things off, it was an economy plus seat!  Legroom!
California felt very different, and Cori and I went on a hike to Fort Funston on my first day back.  It was gorgeous at sunset, and I wasn't wearing a jacket.
We got two days of surfing in.   The outside bars at Bolinas weren't working, so we caught knee high rights off the groin.  On the last day of my computer-less vacation, we caught a beautiful sunset session at Ocean Beach in clean, but hard to catch waist to chest waves.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Long Awaited Outdoor Climb at The Grotto, Nov 30

It has been since early August since I last climbed outdoors, so I was very excited as we made the drive out to Table Mountain early in the morning.  It was a nice big crew joining along as we greeted the horses at the parking lot and made the long approach to the cliffs.  We climbed a bunch of trad routes I had done before, and I finally lead a climb on Ort Wall across the way.  It felt very gym like and easy for a 10b.  Best of all, I finally got a burn on AC Devil Dog after years of wanting to try it.  First, I belayed Cori up it, who finished it, making it her hardest outdoor climb yet.  I didn't feel up to leading it given the insecure nature, so I went for it on top rope, having 1 fall, and slapping a lot of arete edges.

After a while at the cliffs, Chris and I headed up to Welcome Wall to setup an 11b, Uncle Remus.  Chris was rock solid on lead until the last move, where he took several short lead falls.  Upon finish it, he was sketched out by the anchor, which was fine for top roping, but would prove to be sketchy for rappelling due to the very rusted lap links.  As it got dark, I went past lichen covered holds, piles of bird shit, and surprisingly interesting moves before struggling through the crux.  The anchor proved to be as bad as Chris had said, and as I fiddled with leaving a biner and sling to backup the bad chain, I got several face fulls of rust dust.  Needless to say, I was happy to be back on the ground after my rappel.

We hiked out in the dark, admiring the clear skies and stars that we normally don't see in the Bay Area.  We stopped in Oakdale for dinner at a Mexican restaurant that served portions 2-3 times larger than expected.  Needless to say, we had leftovers.