Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cabin weekends are always fun!!! January 23-24, 2010

It's hard to believe that it is almost time for cx worlds. That world seems so far away right now. Especially when on Saturday we went for a long 4+ hour ride in really nice weather. We did a similar ride to two weeks ago, but the difference was amazing. Saturday was simply beautiful. We drove down from the cabin to Hood River to meet up with Tre. Good thing he had an extra helmet, b/c I forgot mine.

The summit. But there was more climbing to be done. 5200 total for the day.
Tre & I with beautiful views.
My favorite climb.

The gorgeous Gorge.

Then Sunday the weather could not have been more different. We woke up to lots of fresh snow! Our plan was to skate ski at teacup, getting lessons from Wendy's brother at 10:30, so we stuck to the plan. I have learned that lots of fresh snow makes skating really hard. Tim loved it. I have never seen him smile so much xc skiing. I guess his cowboy stance makes him a natural.

Monday, January 18, 2010

In search of snow: MLK weekend. January 16-18, 2010

Tim and I packed our bags and headed out after work on Friday for Salt Lake City for the long weekend. There wasn't much desirable skiing in the backcountry here, so we thought we would go to some new terrain and see some friends too. Most of my teammates live in SLC, and luckily they also like to ski tour and go in search of fresh tracks in powder. Well, we got 50% of it right. We did get fresh tracks. Just not in powder. A great weekend, despite that Utah is also suffering from a lack of snow.

Saturday the crew headed up White Pine Fork and Red Pine fork, doing a shake down cruise together. We did over 9 miles and about 3500 feet of climbing. Only my second time out for the season on my backcountry gear. It was an adventure, b/c the skiing was certainly not great. Marginal at best. But good to be out and above the inversion (read:smog) in the city.

The valley.

Singletrack of a different sort.

Matt crossing the bridge.

Such a great team manager and friend. Always supporting me!

Alex and Bart continually waiting for the rest of us.

Good to be in the snow playing.

A successful outing. We are all alive and well!

Sunday the group dwindled to four. We did a point to point tour from BUTLER fork to Porter Fork. It started in Big Cottonwood Canyon and ended in Mill Creek Canyon. It was a 3 hour climb before we even took our skins off the first time. Over 9 miles and 5000 feet of climbing, it was a big day. It was more for the views and the experience than the skiing, unfortunately, but hey, I think I had about a half dozen turns in really good snow. Bart and Alex were wonderful tour guides and really did find the best of the bad snow.

A perfect starting place.

The aspens were amazing.

As were the views from Gobblers Knob.

Happy to be up at 10,000 feet. Finally.

The turns look a lot better than they were. Gorilla skiing is what I like to call it.

We all had great attitudes and are still smiling after our 2nd not so great run!

On Monday we opted for a different type of fresh tracks:

Luckily staying with Matt and having Bart and Alex close by, Tim and I were fully outfitted with shoes, helmets, bikes, & gear for a winter ride. And it was really fun. 2.5 hours of fun and some good challenges with slick ice under snow. Always an adventure...

The trails right above the city.

Playing in the snow on two wheels was just as fun!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HAPPY 2010!

The new year is here and after 10 relaxing days up at the cabin, I am more than ready to start 2010! We had a wonderful Christmas and New Years up at Mountain Shadows with friends and playing in the snow! Tim and I drove out on Christmas eve and had a nice lunch in Hood River to launch our celebrations. Here is how we spent our time off. Both from work and bikes!

On Christmas day, we downhill skied at Mt. Hood Meadows with our friend Chris Moor.

Chris & Tim on the lift. Tim's first time sitting on a lift in many years.

The inversion made it sunny and beautiful above the clouds. And warm.

And like any evening at the cabin, there was good eating. Christmas dinner.

Then the day after, Chris gave me a lesson on skate skiing. It's hard work, especially when I am officially on a 'rest', giving my body and lungs a break. It is something I have been meaning to do more of for the past 3 years (maybe longer), but there has never been any time. Tea cup is wonderfully groomed and the views are quite spectacular. And I didn't suck as bad as I did the last time I did it.

Then it was a couple of days of xc skiing out the door of the cabin and lots of good eating and fun on Wendy's new Christmas present, the indo board.
The inversion kept it cold and frosty.

Tim's favorite XC ski pose.

Some drink beer and balance.

Some are safety first and wear their helmet.

The crew for Christmas weekend.

Then finally we got some new snow, so Tim and I traded skinny skis for fatter ones and did our first shake down cruise together this season on the backcountry. Mine usually doesn't get used until February!
Neighborhood trailhead.

Skinning up the Tilly Jane. The burn is about 18 months old now.

The weather got windy and nasty once out of the trees, but it didn't stop us.

The Cooper Spur stone shelter at about 7000 feet.

One of the few powder stashes. Tim got first tracks. I followed him.

Yep, there was a theme:
Then the new year was upon us. The weather turned pretty miserable with rain most of the day on the 31st, making our snow crunchy as can be. We decided against our midnight ski and opted to join the neighbors for fireworks and the bonfire. But that was challenging in the rain too!

Wendy, Emily, me and Anna.

Tim and I bringing in the new year!

At least I had pretty toes all week up at the cabin. I couldn't resist sharing since no one has seen them.

And now we are back in Portland and almost back to reality! I am excited to start riding my bike, continue to play in the snow (if we get any) and cheer my fellow cx'ers on from afar. Happy 2010 everyone and thanks for continuing to share in my adventures! Here's to a great 2010!!!