Monday, February 21, 2011

BEST RUN OF MY LIFE!!! Wallowas 2011 in McCully! February 17-21, 2011

After ending my CX season, I always look forward to a little down time and some ski/snow time. That didn't work out so well this year, returning injured, but also not having ANY snow on Mt. Hood. I look forward to our trip to the Wallowas every year (even though we skipped it last year.) We have been taking a yurt trip with Wallowa Alpine Huts for 8 years. It is a secret little gem where the scenery, snow and service are just outstanding.  This year was NO exception.
As many know, Oregon was in a little snow drought. We were a little worried about this trip, but as every year, we lucked out. And when I say lucked out, I mean continuous snow falling. Feet of the lightest, most wonderful snow you could ask for. Seriously. In fact, on day 3, I had the best run of my life! Ever. Period. It almost brought me to tears it was so perfect. It was the last run of the day. Legs were burning, but somehow the 6 left decided I could drop in first. And the guide had only gone half way down on the shoulder, leaving the slope untracked. Fresh, amazing, DEEP, light snow. Face shots every turn. The perfect 35-ish degree slope for almost 1000 vertical feet. I was in heaven. 
So, that was just one run of an amazing 4 days in the backcountry. For the rest I will let the pictures tell the story. 

The starting point once the truck was stuck! Skins on!
Back in the basin. A 4-mile skin ahead of us.
It was good to be back in the snow. Tim & I.
After beacon training & a few runs, we were back with smiles! Day one done!

Chope hamming it up in the yurt w/ Rollie 'mon in background.

Heading out day 2. More snow. Windy day with poor visibility. Staying low to ski.

Squatch (our guide) enjoying the snow after the drought.

Ready to ski. Cold and snowy.  No complaining. Just smiles.
Ahhh. The transitions.
Tim and I heading up again and again and again.
And then down, again and again and again...
Tim and his buddy Sol in the yurt.

Another amazing day of snow.
Chope & I getting ready to skin up.
Tim dropping into Diamond 5. The "BEST RUN OF MY LIFE."
Our tracks from Diamond 5. Amazing end to an amazing day!!!
Saki bombs in yurt 1.

Waking up to fresh snow every day isn't a bad way to go through life. Esp. if powder. Day 4.
Yurt 2: our home for 3 nights.
Last day heading out of camp in winter wonderland.
It was that good.
Tim taking it all in.
Chope heading up hidden peak.
David back at 'harmonic convergence'.
On the flank of Hidden Peak.
Visibility on the tail end of our trip. Amazing.
Please don't let it end.
The McCully Basin
Last run of the trip. So sad to see it end.
Sunset during the skin out.

The Tahoe enjoyed the fresh pow while we were gone.

The crew minus Thrills Hills at Embers in Joseph.

CB is the man. Even if he didn't ski with us this trip. He is WAH!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CABIN WEEKEND!!! February 4-8, 2011

Ahhhh! A long weekend at the cabin. Just what the doctor ordered. Granted, I had hoped to be skiing and running around playing in the snow. Two things stopped me from this. First, we had no snow. Second, I wasn't moving all too well yet and still had a pounding headache. The doctor who took out my stitches confirmed I probably had a concussion with the nausea and headaches I had been experiencing. When I asked him what to do, he simply said, "don't use your brain."  Hmmmm. I guess there would be a whole lot of nothing over the weekend for me. Reading was kind of out of the question. So I watched movies and Saturday, I helped Erik stain and put up a new shelf in our entry way. I even let others cook. I may have drank a bit too much red wine, however. Also not good for a concussion. Well, nobody is perfect. But as most know, I can not sit still long. So as everyone headed out to do adventure on Sunday, on the road and on what little snow we had, I had to do something. I figured snowshoeing was safe. I wouldn't fall or think. But it felt good to move. So Sarah, visiting from San Fran, and I headed out for our adventure. We didn't get far before we were forced to ditch the snowshoes and just take a nice long walk. Exactly what the doctor ordered. 

My first post-worlds activity: A nice walk/hike with BamBam.

The mountain was amazing!!!

Monday people headed up to the mountain to brave the 35 mph winds and snow. I got ambitious and went for a hike with Kendra and Melissa. I was moving slow, but it was so beautiful and I seldom take the opportunity to move that slow and take it all in. It was really nice. 

The start of the hike from Polallie

It was snowing lightly.

The views were pretty spectacular.

The rocks look so much cooler in Winter.

Self timer photo at Tamanawas Falls w/ Speedo wanting some love.
The dogs were in heaven. It was Indie's birthday!!!

Then Tuesday morning after the storm had cleared, there was just enough snow for a 'neighborhood loop'. Heading out the door with xc skis on and doing a little hour loop to get some fresh air and take in the beautiful white blanket that had covered all the ugly dirt. 

Melissa and Kendra

We still need a lot more snow...

It was a good weekend, hanging out with friends. Being home. Enjoying recovering from a long season and already looking forward to the next. But don't worry. I'm still chilling for a bit longer. And hope to get some skiing in if mother nature cooperates. Or I may have to get on a plane and find it myself!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winners! Winners! Winners!

Today at River City Bicycles, as promised, winners were drawn for the raffle that helped me go to worlds. Dave Guettler did a great job! I would like to thank everyone for participating and supporting me this trip. I think the first thought in the ambulance was how I let everyone down. I gradually got to the place where I am now that it is a bike race and these things can happen. It was definitely not by choice. So, here are the lucky winners:

David German, Portland, OR: Ridley X-Ride Frameset

Geoff Williams,  Rhode Island: Reynolds 2010 Strike wheelset (66mm Carbon)

Pete Ihrig, Portland, OR:  Lazer One City Team Helmet

Andre Utz, Portland, Oregon: Oakley Frogskins (polarized)

Jennifer Hanks
, Salt Lake City, UT: Oakley Endurings (with multiple lenses)

Mike Rubinowitz, Portland: Thule Peloton Fork mount bike rack.
Bill Cochran, Bozeman, MT: Thule Peloton Fork mount bike rack.

Kiet Do
, Louisville, KY: Gore Bike Wear "Tip to Toe" package.

Jeff Tedder, Portland, OR: Cross Crusade Season Pass

Mike Jones
, Hood River, OR: Gift certificate to Grochau Cellers for magnum of wine

Scott Emblen
, Portland, OR: Io-Bio Men or Women's Contact LS Crib

Julie Dixon, Wichita, KS: Pearl Izumi Shoes

Melissa Sandborn, Portland, OR: $25 gift certificate to U.S. Outdoor Store, Portland, OR (

Harald Graham, Vancouver, WA: Joe Sales original print.

Russell Harding, Chris Fox, Kriss Rita, Anne Linton & Patricia Dowd
: An original one of a kind limited edition VeloGioielli. ( Bike theme jewelry handmade from recycled bicycle parts. This one is my bike parts!)

Ron Strasser,
Portland, OR: $25 gift certificate to for cycling apparel.