Week of April 11 - 17

Multisport Triage

Dodge's Drop in less than ideal conditions. p: Jerimy Arnold.

Monster week! This is by far the most vert I've logged touring in the mountains since I moved back East. It's incredible how all of the winter activity has allowed me to put in big days and still have the energy to do it again the next day or go for an afternoon run. Monday and Tuesday were more or less recovery runs from the Inferno but Wednesday I was able to get in a decent workout doing 6 x 800s in a flat neighborhood. That afternoon Hilary and I met up with Josh Flanagan and his dog to go lap a frozen Hillman's Highway and call it good. Thursday Josh and I biked up the Kanc at a moderate pace and nothing is easy about the five mile climb especially with my current gearing. After that I ended up doing a loop around Silver Lake with Double J who pushed the pace faster than I ever would have tried on spent legs but it was a good workout. Friday I met up with Tristan Williams to go check off a few runs next to Hillman's, Dodge's in particular as well as Stove Pipe. Although the ambient temperature was typical of Spring conditions, the northeast wind prevented the snow from softening up. Although this results in crappy snow it does up the level of technical skiing and is something I have a lot of admiration for, those athletes who can perform in sub-optimal conditions.

 

I followed up Friday with another great day up on Washington, this time with the NE Rando Crew. We were surprised that the northeast winds again kept the conditions firm until 10:30 or so for the zones with prominent sun exposure while other runs with northeast aspects never softened up. We lapped the snowfields a few times before descending down the Lip, up the Chute, down the headwall, and finally down Dodge's Drop. All I can say is that I was worked up before that last run. The skier's left entry is steep but also has much more exposure to rocks and small cliffs as the fall line is away from the main chute. The snow was also frozen and crusty. The run doesn't really let up until you're well below the drop. It feels great to check it off and I look forward to skiing it with better conditions and a lot more relaxed!

 

Sunday I was registered for the Patriot Day 5-miler in Portland. It's a race I've done a couple times and my goal is to keep a consistent running schedule in the face of doing all these other sports. But Sunday morning the weather was too nice to even think about spending three hours in a car and it was clear that my priority was to get more skiing in. I had to remount a ski first and I didn't get on the trail until 11am but I packed relatively light and I was able to make it to the Auto Road in a couple hours. There was still enough snow to ski quite a ways down to the Jewel Trail Junction next to the Cog. Airplane Gully had great coverage and is a nice long run. It wasn't very technical but has a nice even pitch to it before relaxing as it drops down to the base of the Great Gulf. I didn't go down as far as I could have but it wouldn't have been worth it. The boot pack was also excellent so thanks to those who lapped it ahead of me. 

The plan was to head back to Pinkham but I met a guy at the top who recommended we take Turkey Chute which was basically an entrance further up towards Washington that connects to Airplane halfway down. It was firm but I was able to get first tracks so thanks CJ! Oh, and Squall was with me the entire day. He was a trooper, dealing with less than idea dog skiing conditions. We made our way back out of the Gully and I slogged back up to the snowfields and began my descent back to the bowl. I thought I'd ski the Lip because it's the most direct but when I got to the choke I realized that it wasn't worth the risk for Squall. Instead we traversed under Sluice and down along Lunch Rocks. There was some great snow in that area although risky because it's exposed to icefall above. It was an interesting few days of skiing though - not the best conditions but still a ton of skiing and was pleased with how much snow is still up there. Looking forward to spending a little more time in the Great Gulf and continuing to check off new runs!

 

Stats:
Run: 32.2 mi | 2,575'
Backcountry: 22,503' | Mt. Washington
Bike: 46.2 mi | Kanc climb
 

 

Wintery Hike Up Mount Washington

October 19th, 2015 and it's full on winter up on Mount Washington. I had no real plans for today but after hearing that the higher summits received a few inches of snow, Squall and I headed up to Pinkham Notch. The forecast was perfect - bluebird and warm with clouds/wind moving in later in the day, it was an optimal weather window to go play in the snow. We headed up the Tuckerman Ravine trail and ran into Tristan Williams and Beau Etter-Garrette working on HoJo's. Window looks great by the way. On the way up to the bowl a guy warned me about the ice fall due to the warm temps on the right side of the bowl. And he was right, chunks were falling every now and then but I figured if we just moved fast through those sections we'd minimize the risk. The exposed sections were short but 50 pound chunks of ice in the trail were a nice reminder of the immediate danger. Once above the bowl, the snow drifts started to build up and Squall was loving it. I even took the opportunity to put on my gators and MicroSpikes. A few people had gone ahead of us that day so we just followed the tracks to the summit where it was very quiet. Observatory staff were taking down signs, closing up shop for the year. A couple bros hiking the AT were hanging out in their Crocs at the State Park facility - don't think they'll finish this year if these temps hold. We chatted for a bit before it was time to begin our descent. Since the icefall was probably still a hazard we went down Lion Head and back over to HoJos. The wind started to pick up so it was an ideal window for summiting. I watched Tristan and Beau set the window then started back to the visitor's center. Here are some photos and video from the day:


Madison to Conway (in the rain)

Yesterday evening I picked Hilary up from work and we drove straight to the Fair. Her car wasn't fixed yet (flat tire) so I was responsible for giving her a ride to work the next morning. Well come Friday AM it's cold and raining and it wasn't supposed to let up until late afternoon / evening. Which is when I came up with the brilliant idea of letting Hilary drive my car to work and I'd run the backroads to pick it up. I thought I'd video along the way to make it a little more interesting, which it did. I was motivated to go run a loop up in the Louise S. Wold Conservation Land which is 71 acres with a mile looping trail. It's not widely used but a fun trail to mix things up. 

It was the first time I had to run in tights and throw on some gortex runners. Winter is coming.

And later that afternoon Dave came over and he motivated for a bike ride on the Goe Hill Trails - I didn't tell him how much climbing there would be, apparently he prefers chairlifts. Anyway, he made a sweet edit from the video we shot on our second run down Mary's Mountain. 

I believe E-40 calls this "Ghoststanding the Whip"