November 29, 2010

New York Cityscapes

Andrea and I headed to the Eastern seaboard last week to spend Turkey Day with my family. Our time was split between NYC (my sister lives in Brooklyn) and Connecticut (where we all got together at my aunt & uncle's house for the Turkey Day festivities). The weather was great, running lots of miles at sea-level was easy, and we ate tons and tons and tons of delicious food. Everyone had a fantastic time. I could never live in a place like NYC, but its always a fun place to visit and explore. And running on the rolling hills in southern CT was a nice change of pace.

Meanwhile, back in Utah, it snowed a lot, and according to all reports, the skiing was superb. Snowbird's season-to-date total is 136"... and its not even December!

A few selected pics from are trip are below. The whole gallery is here.

Times Square

Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge

The M&Ms store in Times Square

The Krong family would make a great Christian rock group

Bailey boy, the big goofy standard poodle! He's a super-sweet puppy!

Our favorite candy characters

November 21, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Ski Touring

A major storm system is drilling all of the western mountain states, and we took advantage of it this weekend. A couple feet of snow have already fallen in the Wasatch, and by Wednesday morning, forecasts are predicting about 4 feet of total snow from this storm. Winter is here!

We got out with some friends from the Wasatch Mountain Club both days this weekend. On Saturday, we skinned up through Grizzly Gulch to the Davenport Hill zone, and took a few laps in Silver Fork. On Sunday, avalanche risk was moderately high in spots due to all the new snow and high winds, so we headed to Reynold's Peak and skied several awesome laps off the north facing aspects.

Super-fun weekend overall... made some great powder turns and knocked off about 8700 feet of vertical climbing! The dynafit bindings have already proved to be a great investment, and Andrea bought a pair last night, so she'll be a member of the Dynafit club after Turkey Day.

Skinning into Grizzly Gulch on Saturday... Alta down below... Mt Superior looming above

Andrea dropping into our first run of the day

Our second run, in Silver Fork, is the bowl behind Andrea

Lou and the remnants of some random Wasatch mine

Andrea and Tracy making our final ascent in some brutal wind

Graupel snow

Sunday morning after we got done running... when there is this much snow at 4,000 feet in the valley, you know its going to be a good day in the mountains!

Andrea, Tracy, and Lou skinning the west ridge of Reynold's Peak



A little video clip that Andrea took of me... feels good to be doing this again!

Here's a link to the rest of the pictures.

November 15, 2010

Site upgrades

I've widened the "main" viewing area (assuming most people view the site with a browser that is at least 1000 pixels wide) and I'm making the thumbnail photos a lot bigger. I'll probably also change the menu bar and make some pages that will organize and archive trip reports by activity (skiing, hiking, backpacking, etc). Just trying to improve the site for what will hopefully be an epic winter of trip reports and photos! Any other suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.

Andrea on Sunrise Peak (June 2010)

Mia got adopted

Mia wreaking havoc! :-)

Our amazing little foster puppy, Mia, got adopted over the weekend. She is going to a great family with a lots of room to play, a nice backyard, and they even have a ranch in Wyoming! We were really sad to see her go, but knowing that she is going to people who will give her lots of love and attention (like we gave her!) makes it easier.

We had Mia with us for a month, and I can't overstate how fun she was. She LOVED going running, and was doing 4-6 miles every morning, then going nuts at the dog parks at night. She definitely had a ton of energy!

Fostering was a great experience, and we'll definitely do it again. You get really attached to your little furry friend, but getting them out of the kennel, socialized, and trained really increases their chances of getting adopted by a great family. We're so happy for Mia!

Haven't skied in a while... conditions were reportedly bad (due to sleet / lack of visibility) yesterday. We had a full weekend of home improvement tasks on the agenda, anyways. Another 20" in the forecast for tomorrow... hopefully it all settles into a nice, stable base.

Andrea and Mia

Mia loved playing at the dog park in Sugar House

Mia was sooooo sweet once she used up all her energy and got sleepy

Mia and I on her last night with us

Outcome of one of the weekend projects... hanging bikes gives a room that "REI" look!

November 8, 2010

The early bird... schraps the pow

A paraphrased conversation after we got home on Saturday night, after meeting up with some other backcountry skiing enthusiasts, and finding out that I'm not the only one with gets really excited about early-morning mid-week dawn patrols...

Jake (grinning, attempting to hold back the true extent of enthusiasm): For a 5am
start in Big Cottonwood, I'll have to wake up, at the latest, at 4:15am.
Andrea: Why is it that the earlier the alarm gets set, the more excited you get about it?

No skiing since Halloween; it was super-warm and nice here all week. Andrea spent 5 days doing work training (on the beach) in Coronado, CA. Tough life. Hopefully she'll get a blog up with some pics soon (hint hint).

Another storm is in the works right now (its already accumulating outside my window), and 18-30" is in the cards for tomorrow, so we'll probably be getting out for some dawn patrols or sunset patrols later this week. Good timing for the resorts that are opening up this weekend.