The mercury has fallen out the bottom of the thermometer here in Utah in early December. Kinda reminds me of Wyoming, or Alaska, which must mean it’s simply good training for these colder environments.
Anyway, the snowpack underwhelms yet again.. It used to be too thin before this latest round of storms. Now, we’ve got some snow, but it’s largely unstable. Onwards we march, hoping Ullr does something to sort out the mess. Stay sharp out there!
A blizzard. Such a beautiful sight.
It’s been a great week to look like a potential bank robber during transitions..
Continue reading ‘A Few Chilly Days Skiing’
Skiing on very far away continents can be quite an experience, especially when you’ve got to travel to the very underbelly of the earth just to get there. Ice Axe Expeditions, under the guidance of Doug Stoup, sets up a now annual boat ride to get everyone across the infamous Drake Passage and within a small shuttle boat’s distance of world-class skiing. (they then fire up the zodiac, getting everyone to the skiing) These trips have been going on for a few years now, and most skiers who’ve heard of the annual expeditions have an interest in going. Much as myself, one day…
And then one day, ski pal Brian Pond told me he was headed out on that boat. After reading some trip reports on the expedition done by industry insiders, I was always curious about the trip from the client’s point of view. Pondsy, as I long ago learned to call him, was up to the challenge, and willing to share his experience. And the first thing I noticed was that he covered the entire trip in less words than I often use to describe a single ski day! But each of his photos is worth more than 1,000 words… Enjoy!
Writing and all photos by Brian Pond, aka, Pondsy (except where noted):
I just got back from Continue reading ‘A Glimpse into the 2013 Ice Axe Expeditions Trip to Antarctica’
‘I don’t wanna jinx it,’ Nate says, about a half mile from the car ‘but this is the first ski tour that I haven’t seen any other people. All day. Ever.’
‘Really?!’ I respond. I’m genuinely surprised. I mean, sort of. Isn’t mountain majesty and solitude one of the many fine attributes that draws us out of the house/canoe/office/bed/wherever in the first place? It is for me!
‘Yeah, I think so,’ Kartchner replies.
‘If I tell you to close your eyes while we’re walking down, just trust me then,’ I say. I wouldn’t want his jinx to undo the day we’ve had.
Nate visits the Abracadabra Chute. Magic for sure!
He laughs. ‘Ok.’ We keep walking, stumbling as we go. We’ve been stumbling for the last 2.5 miles, ever since we switched out of ski boots and back to shoes.
We don’t see Continue reading ‘Shotgun Chute and Abracadabra Chute’
“Adventure manana? #notskiing” – Thus read the text I sent over to JBo as an invite. ‘Not skiing?’ These guys? WTH?
JBo definitely #notskiing here.
There’s always some sort of logic behind these things. In this case, it was pretty simple. Neither of us would learn anything, nor would we really push ourselves, if we went in for turns on the little bit of snow that graced the usual north facing zones across the street. We’ve both done that many times, and I was in no mood to hear my skis scraping across numerous rocks. (He didn’t want to hear that sound either, it turns out.) Enticing Continue reading ‘Snowy Alpinism on Superior’s South Ridge’
After firmly hanging up my skis and putting away my ski boots following final turns on July 4th, the shoes came out. With them came three main goals for the non-ski months.
One. Strengthen my obvious weak areas. I wrote about this in an article earlier in the year. It seems nonsensical to me to continue strengthening one’s strongest areas while the weak areas fall further behind. Much time was spent raising my areas of weakest competency into something hopefully better than simply ‘moderately weak’ skills. As Autumn breezes flit through the trees, my smile is wide knowing that there’s been substantial progress in that endeavor. Room for improvement, always, but much skill attained.
Two. Stand atop the twenty highest summits in the Wasatch. With a short season in shoes compared to what I aim for in ski boots – skiing pretty early until quite late season, coupled with Point One above, I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew. Peak bagging 20 local summits in relatively close proximity to my home seemed reasonable. As it turned out, I landed more than 60 summits either en route to or independently of (and including) the tallest 20, in shoes, after hanging up the ski gear. In three months.
Three. Increase volume. Nearly everyone I’ve described this point to has Continue reading ‘Summiting the 20 Highest Peaks in the Wasatch’