Monday, December 29, 2008
While Lance, Wickenhauser, and Benoit might need to do micro-calibrated Lactate Endurance burns in order to gain an extra 0.1% against other elite competitors, you and I can achieve huge gains by focusing on some broader categories. I'll keep the number of training foci to three: speed skills, sport-specific workouts, and weaknesses/limiters. Over the next four posts, let's focus on each of these areas and then, on putting it all together in order to increase number of runs in a day or go faster than your buddies at the local rando race.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The first Rando Races of the season are almost upon us:
If you're in CO, here is a bulletin from series sponsor, CAMP USA, about some clinics that help you "get up to speed" on rando racing:
GEAR UP FOR RANDO RACING
Bryan Wickenhauser, in conjunction with Boulder Performance Network (physical training professionals in Boulder, CO), will be leading a series of presentations and clinics on the rising sport of randonee ski racing throughout Colorado. Catch up with the tour at one of the following scheduled events.
-12/11/08: Rock & Roll Sports, Gunnison - 6:00p
-12/16/08: Boulder Rock Club, Boulder - 7:30p
-12/18/08: Boulder Nordic Sports, Boulder - 7:00p
-12/20/08: On-Snow Demo, Loveland Ski Resort - 7:30a
-12/27/08: Thin Air Sports, Mount Crested Butte - 5:30p
-1/23/09: REI, Boulder - 7:00p
-January 2008 (date to be determined): The Alpineer, Crested Butte
The COSMIC (Colorado Ski Mountaineering Cup) Race Series schedule is also online at www.cosmicski.com
This is one of my own adventures when high on Rando Race Crack: COSMIC race-director Pete Swenson and I climbed and skied the Dead Dog Couloir on Torreys Pk in under 3 hours round trip from the bridge -on Rando Racing gear! This isn't a record, I'm sure, as we didn't have perfect conditions, but I bet it could be done under two hours...some day it will! I wasn't trying to prove a point, but just wanted to have more fun with my backcountry adventures. The benefits of racing are: getting fit, getting your system dialed, and having fun with other backcountry crackheads! I'd encourage everyone to try at least one race this winter, amongst all your backcountry touring, and I'm going to post a simple-but-effective training guide for the every-weekend-backcountry skier to get ready for faster racing that adds up to more backcountry runs. Coming in a few days...
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Just saw that some of the good mates from Boulder (see blog links at left) entered their own trip report in the same contest as my Earnslaw adventure over at TetonAT. Check it out and leave comments there! Good luck Goonies!
Made it another time around the sun! Housemates made a steak dinner, call from Dad and friends, and we got a little snow...pretty much all I could ask for, but then I got the note from TGR:
Awww Thanks Tetons! I haven't seen you for like, a week. Let's go skiing or something!
Monday, December 1, 2008
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It's me and 5 other jolly souls in that split-level, plus at least one dog. You can see Snow King (the town ski hill) at the right edge of the pic, Cache Creek is directly behind the house, and that old, silver Toyota in the driveway will soon be replaced by an even-older one:
|From Driving to SFO|
Image hosted by Elevation Imaging
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I just talked to Steve Romeo of Teton AT. Steve's a long-time local and avid backcountry skier, so of course we chatted about what to do around here this winter. The place is full of rippers and I still want to beef up parts of my own skiing repertoire so I just feel like putting in a lot of vert, testing myself on some of the classics (E Face of Buck, mabye the Grand). Steve sounded a little nonplussed at this, or so I thought. Maybe living in this isolated community you look to newcomers for fresh influences and I think he is particularly looking to keep pushing backcountry skiing further. I mean, have you checked out his trip reports? Skiing is vital to me, and I do want to improve, but I'm pretty sure I'd like to get my snow-legs under me before I try to pick up the torch. This winter I will land a 360 and also take lessons on steep skiing.
Today, I am thankful for a fully-functioning body, my family who loves me, my dear friends who push -and support- me, and good people everywhere. Thanks for good people like the generous owners of the Teton Steakhouse who put out a free Thanksgiving spread for over 400 people in Jackson today (they've been doing it for 21 years!):
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
|From Fun Daze at Hospital High -SF Oct 21-24|
I had a common infection, it needed immediate attention, and I didn't have a regular doctor anyway. Nevermind that I was in a different state too, but I just got back from New Zealand where, for health care at least, that doesn't matter. I noticed the infection less than 48 hours after returning from down under and was wishing I had gotten sick down there because it would have all been paid for. Well, we don't get to choose when medical calamity strikes, do we? Maybe some of us are more accident-prone...talking to you MTBers, snowriders, and sword swallowers out there, but even though I do a lot of adventurous outdoor activities, it was something completely normal and commonplace that led to this. Two things actually: riding my bike to the store and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Yeehaw! Fun name for a bacteria that is absolutely everywhere including living on your skin right now.
So I rode down the street, took a digger, skinned up my knee and that was how the MRSA got from outside my skin to inside my leg. This really could have happened anywhere, to anyone, but it happened to me and here I am, in the ER cuz I have to, but wondering how I'm going to afford it. Getting sick and hurt (hopefully not too bad, but sometimes seriously), is a part of life. As a society, we have our head in the sand if we expect all the injuries to happen to those with insurance that covers it. Instead of paying more than any other industrialized nation for less-effective health care, we should accept that our nation's health is a public good like national defense. If we are healthy as a nation, we are more productive...or we'll get to use more sick days as "sick" days ;-) like this one:
|From Utah, Jan 08, Day 5, 6, 7, 8|
Besides, the numbers are pretty simple: single-payer national health insurance (i.e. Medicare for all) would cost less than we currently spend on health care while covering all Americans, preserving consumer choice among physicians and freeing employers from providing health care. That's why I'm supporting (and calling on my elected representatives to support) HR 676, The US National Health Insurance Act and I urge you to do the same. Take a look at the article below for some recent findings from a study done in Colorado showing that only single-payer would reduce costs and also cover all residents
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Back from the hospital, looking at my leg to see if the swelling is going away and looking at my watch to see if it's time for another pill, I'm at least glad that, when I came down with acute bacterial cellulitis, I was in the care and company of an excellent nurse: my very good friend Naomi. When she said I needed to get to the ER, I didn't question her, besides she works there!
I didn't really expect to see her work under these circumstances (had hoped to be climbing with her and her husband in Yosemite), but she gives excellent care and I'm glad I got to see her in action. She wheels and deals between four patients in her section and they could be sick and elderly, drunk and crazy, or cut and bleeding. It's always something new and that's what she says she loves about it. Otherwise, it's pretty fun at the hospital -NOT! I was bored stiff most of the time, waiting two hours for the bags of antibiotics to drain through the IV. Luckily, I thought ahead and brought my ipod, a book, and my phone. That's how I survived 18 hours at the hospital, and got the upper hand on the infection.
So now you're asking: what infection? How did this happen anyway?
Well, the answer is short and sweet; I did not take care of my open wounds carefully enough.
Granted, the road rash I had from the bike wreck a month ago in New Zealand was pretty big (three areas larger than a quarter on my knee and plenty of other scrapes), but it was fine for four weeks without any problems. The pronounced swelling
I discovered the day after I returned from NZ probably means that the lone shower I took during my last week on the North Island -amongst much skiing, hiking and camping out all wearing the same clothes- was probably not enough.
When I took my Wilderness First Responder course from WMI, they told us to aggressively irrigate abrasions and change the dressing regularly or else it could get infected. When I heard that, I always thought "What? Like a little bit of pus draining out of there? Big deal!" Now I know what you should too: open wounds are a potential entry site for infections that can rage out of control in no time and threaten your limbs or even your life! Scared? I was definitely perturbed.
Here's what happened first: I noticed my knee was swollen on Wed. and took some ibuprofen. The next day, my whole lower leg was swollen, red, warm to the touch, and achey. That sort of rapid spread of symptoms shows that the infection was overwhelming my immune system with a quickness.
Imagine being a days' walk from a trailhead or medical attention with this condition. This would be a serious problem, especially since it will start to limit mobility in short order, increasing the amount of time it takes to self-evacuate, but also making the infection harder to treat.
So remember to thoroughly clean your open wounds -and keep them protected from dirt, water, and any other contaminants until they are healed. Don't pay attention when someone tells you it just needs to get some air. Sure, you can let it dry after washing, but it needs to be covered (preferably by antibiotic ointment and bandage) whenever it could come in contact with bacteria-carrying surfaces or environments.
It's your body. It's OK to take care of it. You treat it well, and it will do the same for you. I gaurantee.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
I did it 2x in as many days! Wonderful what you can do with a nice sunny day once the mountain sheds its shroud of cloud. I'm still getting the pics together into a slideshow, but in the meantime, go over to TetonAT and have a squizz (Kiwi for take a look) at the trip report I put together about our Earnslaw mission. If you have any comments, feedback, general thoughts, please let me know by leaving a comment there. Cheers!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I’m sitting in the Mountain House, a lodge at the entrance to
It’s a good chance to relax and reflect on the Kiwi peculiarities that I’ve experienced in the last few days. Just noticing the obvious things like driving on the left and light switches upside down leads to appreciating the other parts of Kiwi-land. New Zealanders are a friendly sort. I thought the smiling, happy attendants on the flight over just might be that way because they are paid to, but it’s really a stereotype that holds true for the most part. Everywhere there’s a friendly face and a quick smile. I have had no problem hitching around and even got invited into a ski club at Mt Ruapehu for the last couple days. This group of friendly folks shared their beer and wine, took me four-wheeling and on a hike to a great waterfall.
The weather wouldn’t let up there so I came to Taranaki and the Mountain House. The chef gave me a ride to a sweet little hostel set up by some surfers called Wave Haven. Still crappy weather, but I went and dipped my toe in the Pacific, which is only 15 Miles from Taranaki’s 2500m summit.Socked in weather for days on end is a non-Colorado difference I could do without, but the clouds should clear tomorrow and the mountain man can get back to what he does best. Update soon…
Monday, October 13, 2008
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Road Trip Slideshow
Like most roadtrips, there's a lot of windshield time -and that's where I took most of the pictures. Take a look at the slideshow; it tells the story in the captions.
For best viewing, go to my Picasa site, but it also plays here:
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It's been busy with adventures around here so I have missed posting for a few days, but I'm working on catching up right now. Trip reports and updates coming soon: we skied a very big peak called Mt Earnslaw, I went on a road trip and met a bunch of new people, and took more general pictures of NZ. I'm about to go on a long hike near Aspiring so look for that post in a few days!
Today was quite nice. First stop as the frosty edge of the morning gives way to a fine, sunny day: Patagonia Chocolates.
Great view, Wi-Fi, and Spicy Chili Hot Chocolate.
Then over to the town soccer field where paragliders are landing and I work on my action photography. Here's a slideshow of things flying around, and some more of the scenic area around Queenstown:
Friday, October 3, 2008
I enjoyed a special opportunity today and tagged along with patrol on an avalanche control route at Remarkables. First thing was to get up wicked early and drive the just-plowed road in the dark, while talking about conditions, sharing the forecast, and planning what routes are likely to need avalanche mitigation. We suited up in the patrol HQ, then got a boost up near our targets from the snowmobile and skinned up from there. We found definite loading in a couple chutes. The slabs of snow built up from all the blowing snow had to be cut loose before they got too big and could run down into the base area, possibly hitting buildings and a lift tower. This is just a part of ski patrol's main duty: making the hill safe for punters to go out and huck their meat. They're not cops on skis. They mitigate hazards that the mountain presents to the public and educate guests how to be safe and courteous to others on the slope. Check out this video of a friend who patrols at Copper, extolling the benefits (and challenges) of his job:
Many Thanks to Remarkables Ski Patrol for showing me around! Here are a couple more pics from that morning:
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
There are some other posts I just published below this one. They'll catch you up on the first three days here. I am getting ready for a big peak mission up Mount Earnslaw 2819 metres (Pikirakatahi):
There's also a slideshow to show you the condo where I'm crashing and the incredible views outside:
Friday, September 26, 2008
Then on Wed., I tried to ride a bike. Remember that everything is upside down here: September is the beginning of SPRING; North is the sunny, warm direction; light switches are on when they are flicked down, and -the best one- you drive on the left. So I tried to ride on the left and had a good little crash, but at least I was obeying the mandatory helmet law. Everything's OK, except for a coupla scrapes and a broken spoke on the bike. Here's some more gory details, if you want:
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Flew in at 10 in the morning Monday, the 22nd and met Sheena just as I walked outside. Events fit together like clockwork from that point on. She drove me to their place while I gawked at the peaks that loom at least 2000m (6000') above the valley, which is filled with an enormous lake covering the bottom of the glacial valley. I was completely disoriented by the 18-hour flight and time/date change. So when Jonathan wanted to go up on Deer Park Hill, I just followed along. It's a reserve slash petting zoo on this old glacier knob that stands almost in the lake between Queenstown and Remarkables, where they did some filming for Lord of the Rings. Here are the pics:
See the trip from Colorado to California here:
and then to New Zealand:
Sunday, September 21, 2008
All I know is I boarded a plane in San Fran and we flew for a long time, but it was kinda disorienting so I don't know if I should fully trust my instincts. It was still dark when we landed, even though my clock said 1100 hours and people were speaking English but in funny accents all around me, plus the parallel-universe Today show on the tube says it's 800 Monday morning. So I'm pretty sure I got on the right plane and am now in New Zealand. Should get more confirmation in just a couple hours as I catch a flight south to Queenstown (MAP) and look for the big peaks of the Southern Alps out the window: Mt Cook, Mt Aspiring, Mt Tasman...
The thing I was struck by just after disembarking here in Auckland is how bike- and pedestrian-friendly the airport and city seem. This bike stand was right outside the int'l terminal:
|From Flying to New Zealand Sept 08|
I guess if you are living a car-free, but not plane-free, lifestyle, you will need to reassemble your bike on arrival at the airport so you can bike home.
Also, for you committed bike commuters, look at the cruisers being used on the ramp to move from gate to gate by the ground crew (I think they could use some handlebar tassles, don't you?):
|From Flying to New Zealand Sept 08|
Upcoming plans: well, I arrive to Queenstown later today (middle of the night, Sunday in the US). The immediate plans include settling, getting bearings, and getting to know the town they call "the adventure capital of New Zealand". Apres` la, there will be some skiing, a hitchiking visit to a brewpub in Wanaka and then a moment to plan our big peak trip...stay tuned!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Here are some other ways you can join me on the trip:
1. Comment on the pictures and stories at my blog. Would love your feedback and suggestions. Say I take a picture of myself out skiing one day and there is a peak in the background that you think I should go check out. Tell me about it and I'll plan a mission. Some of you are accomplished photogs and seasoned bloggers and I would love your input.
2. Be my tour guide: If you have been to New Zealand, or know anyone there, tell me your favorite spots and experiences. If you have contacts, family, or know of any other ways to truly experience the country, let me know so I can build it in to my itinerary.
3. Friend me on Facebook. There should also be regular status updates and photos posted there, plus you can contact me or write on my wall.
So, a long flight for skiing in September...an unspoiled land full of scenery and wildlife...fun adventures with friends new and old. I hope you can tune in for part or all of the trip and look forward to making you jealous :)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
pics are up at my Picasa
This weekend was great with a ton of people
for a great couloir
with a tight, 53-degree entry.
Sunday was also awesome with no one except me and Evan on the E face of James.
We descended Starlight while still pretty firm
and then boogied up the Shooting Star couloir.
It was already baking at 8:15 so we hustled up the 1000' couly in under an hour.
We discussed the couloir briefly while quickly getting ready, making sure it was clear this was a serious route. It's 50+ degrees and 10' wide at the crux, with some potential to go over cliffs and we agreed it would be best to make controlled jump turns and probably not link turns while in the couloir.
The snow was perfect, silky corn.
10 minutes later we were arcing turns and spraying snow across the apron.
There was still the hike out and turns down the St Mary's Glacier (with the attendant hordes of gapers), then a nice fat slab of red meat on the grill to celebrate, plus 3.2 beer since we'll only be able to buy it for another 2 Sundays. Cheers!
Here's how the season ended up:
Starlight, Shooting Star on James
South Couloir on Crestone Pk
Silver Couloir on Buffalo
Torreys Time Trial (2:30 to top)
Grizzly Couloir to ShitforBrains tour
The only significant objectives that leave a thorn in my pride for not getting them done are dual:
Castle E Face
That's it. Get them next year...plus maybe Superstar...and how about N Couloir on Pacific Peak...and, well the list just keeps going. The way I fell in love with skiing this winter in UT, on new terrain, but with established partners, gives me hope for finding stoke wherever I end up next year.
Time to climb!