I take back anything I’ve said about Rowdy not being much of an endurance runner. Here’s a short video I made with my phone of yesterday’s epic – the Four Pass Loop near Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado, and then some – totaling roughly 32 miles over four 12,000’+ passes and just shy of 11,000′ vertical gain…and equal descent. There would be times I thought it would be best we both just stopped in our tracks and lay down. Then he would go from panting at my feet to bolting off after a chirping marmot, or one of the billions of scents he seems to pick out from each square yard of wild earth, and I would force myself to also perk up. He kept getting these energy bursts…like mine, they would come and go…and he even pulled me up the final hill to the car at 9:00 p.m.! Maybe he sensed the car was near…or maybe he’s just a badass…perhaps both. We didn’t run all 32 miles. More like 24, but tried our mightiest. There was more snow…and water…and mud…and mileage than anticipated, but we’re home safe and sound and he’s sleeping like a baby after two big meals and a nice Bag Balm massage. Continue reading “Four Pass Loop – epic Colorado trail run”
I heard at tonight’s meeting on the Crested Butte housing crisis at CB Center for the Arts that the cost of building affordable housing is very high. I understand that construction costs must be high, but is maintaining that housing part of the equation? If so, I have an idea. Well, either way I have an idea. And this may sound wild, but like I heard earlier tonight, we need to get more creative… Continue reading “Crested Butte Housing Crisis – Thinking outside…err, inside the box…and the ground.”
The housing crisis currently haunting so many ski towns like Crested Butte, where I currently live but will no longer have a home four days from now, needs to be addressed in a much larger scope than this: http://goo.gl/T2MKOa
That’s a link to the editorial I wrote for this week’s issue of The Crested Butte News. It’s only 1,500 or so words and reads quickly.
Next, if you like what you read, check out this 14-minute video from Raul Gutierrez of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which dives into the same topic:
Finally, click this link to see what else has been on my mind lately. The idea partially stemmed from an overnight stay in an earthship near Taos, New Mexico, a few weeks back.
I’m not in the desert right now along with everyone else in this town that doesn’t work through the off-season. Instead, I woke up this morning to a freak 6–9″ on our back porch. Things sure looked different from yesterday when everything was green and brown.
My roommate and I figured our best bet would be to go splitboarding. So we called some friends and asked if they’d like to climb a local mountain where we know the terrain pretty well, in both winter and summer, assuming we could find safe spots where enough snow had stacked up since yesterday. We didn’t want to wreck ourselves on rocks or branches hiding under this fresh layer of pow.
Blue skies revealed themselves occasionally on the way up. Blue is always nice, but we wanted less sun and more cold, white gold.
By the time we we reached the top we were back under full cloud cover and could rest assured we would find deep turns on the way down. Thing is, none of us would have expected so many of them.
Robbie dropped first. Well, I dropped first. I took the line to skier’s right, stopped and got quickly situated, then turned around and took a shot of him charging toward me.
Then, he passed by and all I saw was white. White this, white that, white out.
I had to wipe snow from the camera lens and wait a few minutes to take another shot. When I was camera-ready, Cody was shready and waiting.
Next, Chris came at me like a bat outta hell. Assuming hell had frozen over, that is. You can hardly see him here. Head top-left, board bottom-right.
Because it’s just so damn fun in the whiteroom, that’s why! Although exiting, the whiteroom can also be quite rewarding. You can’t see it here, but Cody’s rocking a huge smile behind all that orange, purple, black and white.
Especially when you emerge to find nothing under your feet. Then you just hope you can put it down softly. Robbie did.
Thanks to Rob, Chris and Cody for the good time.
Now it’s time for a cold beer and a hot shower. Ooh, I mean a cold beer in a hot shower.
And It’s still dumping outside. I can only imagine what we’ll find tomorrow 🙂
Scott was stoked to give a midweek update from the board test we’re conducting in Crested Butte, Colorado. “Cliffs were sent. Rodeo 5’s and backies were hucked. Chunder was pointed and hopefully managed. Face shots were found and goggles filled with snow.” Read the full post on Backcountry Magazine’s blog at http://backcountrymagazine.com/stories/board-test-week-one-tester-weighs-in
Want to know what I do at work when everyone else is out doing fun stuff? This blog I wrote for Backcountry Magazine goes into detail about why my job sucks. How much does it suck? So much that I felt the need to share it with you.
I woke up in a really good mood this morning. Today was a booter day, and there would be no sleeping in. Booters were on the mind. In case you don’t know, a booter is a kicker. Aka a cheese wedge. Aka a ramp. Today, we made a jump. Because that’s what you do on a booter day.
Cody, Anthony and I loaded the Subie with boards, skis, shovels, cameras and one big ol’ dog. We planned on a big day of digging and hucking, and even packed drinks and snacks to hold us over the afternoon, but the snow was so sugary and unconsolidated that the jump weakened each time one of us sent it off the end. After hitting it for an hour or so we decided to return to the resort for some steeper, lift-accessed riding. Booter day may not have lasted very long, but all parties involved sure had a blast.
First, you build the booter. Today’s booter wasn’t very big, but it had some kick.
Then, test it out. Hold onto the rowdy dog or he’ll follow the pilot onto the launchpad.
Next, dance like Michael.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get upside down.
While I was uploading these photos Cody said to me, “We’re old, dude. Old guys out there hucking our meat. Or, trying to.” I thought about that for a while. He’s right. But at the same time, it’s things like booter days that keep me young.
– I’ll get more winter shots up asap. The camera and I just haven’t been getting after it lately like we oughta be.
As promised in my latest update, this blog is photo-heavy and word-weak. Prepping for Europe, adventuring outdoors and visiting with friends is so time-consuming that a photoblog is most necessary at this time. So that’s all you’re getting for now. Photos with captions. I hope you abso-frickin-lutely enjoy them. If you skip ahead, be sure to at least watch the video at the end. It’s the world premiere of my innovative new dog mount for the smartphone.
Rain, thunder and lightning. Just spent the past 20+ hours in my Subaru, headed east from the California coast. I should probably try to ride up Teton Pass on my bike. That’s a great idea! No, that’s a terrible idea. But do it anyway.
Turns out it was a great idea, and after a brutal uphill struggle I was rewarded with a 4+ mile, 35+ mph descent and one helluva feeling of accomplishment. This can now be added to my list of other recent great ideas, like:
Quit my job
-No offense, TMS. You know I love you. It’s been a great ride, but the time has come to move on. Fortunately, my replacement is well experienced and all parties are confident my shoes will be adequately filled.
Spend a month living out of the Subie
It’s not just a car, it’s a Subaru. Fold down the back seats and sleep inside, or pitch a tent nearby and use the Subie as Adventure HQ. A truly excellent idea, indeed! Save over $600 toward rent and utilities, feel less “stuck” and more “without limits”, have less free time to be bored at home and instead jam-pack the days with fun til’ bedtime.
*We’re all well aware that boredom is an insult to oneself, and as James Bridie once said, “a sign of satisfied ignorance,” but we still tend to insult ourself on occasion, no matter how productive we’d normally consider ourselves.
Go to Europe for six weeks
-I’ll be 30 in less than a month and still haven’t crossed over ‘the pond’. It’s about time. Mom and Jon (brother) will meet me in Venice on October 11, after I’ve had a week to explore the Dolomites and Northern Italy by bike, solo. I’m excited for the upcoming culture shock and five+ days touring such beautiful mountains. My first move after securing a bike rental? Load up the panniers (saddle bags) with wine, bread, cheese and olive oil. And the next move? Figure the rest out from there. Stoked! Then, we’ve got over two weeks together to explore Italy. We’ll hit Cortina de Ampazzo and nearby villages, Venice and Tuscany, Cince de Terra and Rome, and many other places I won’t list now but will include in future blog posts. When mom flies back to San Diego on October 28, Jon and I head to Barcelona. Our flight departs Amsterdam on November 14, and we’re still planning our routes between. I anticipate something like a two-week mini bachelor party, Broderick style.
Move back to Crested Butte, CO
-I’ve been gone less than three years, but I can’t wait to get back. These biannual visits to my favorite town don’t quite cut it. Work starts the first week of December. The small town vibe, old friends, abundance of trails and more intimidating terrain are calling. Not that Tahoe and the Eastern Sierra aren’t mountains, they’re just so different. I’m reminded of a quote: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.” -John Muir – I find it interesting that in high school I swore I would “never leave the beach”. I pictured myself surfing forever. But discovering the “mountain life” unearthed endless possibilities of year-round recreation, seemingly more down-to-earth people (per capita), changes in seasons you can actually see and feel, a greater appreciation for hard work (gotta chop wood to stay warm!), and the ability to surf on snow. Or, as I call it, most often as a cry of joy from within a cloud of cold smoke, “getting barrelled in Colorado!”
Contribute to the Crested Butte Newspaper
-Possibly the coolest print editorial this side of the Mississippi (saving room for The Onion, w/ headquarters in Chicago) is bringing me on part-time for 2015. Imagine looking back on an introduction to something you found intriguing at the time, and remember thinking how cool it would be to one day contribute to that thing’s success. I can recall the time I first flipped through a copy of the CB newspaper, and ever since I’ve put that publication on a pedestal. But actually helping put it together on a weekly basis didn’t really cross my mind. It’s funny how life unfolds, ain’t it?
I brought the camera along for last night’s beach trip in hopes of a cool sunset or even some action shots of Rowdy playing in the water. But the sunset was only so-so and I didn’t pay much attention to Rowdy because instead my eyes caught these bird-like rock formations.
I took those photos before a lady spoke up from her cross-legged position on a small boulder behind me. “I used to be a photographer.”
I thought, Um…okay. What’s your point?, and later decided I hadn’t thought it loud enough. You’ll see why.
“But 15 years ago I fell 400 feet off a waterfall cuz I was trying to take a picture. Real talk.”
What!? Holy s*^#! I didn’t see that coming. Crazy. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
She turned to the side and opened the hood of her sweatshirt to reveal skin that resembled a fire victim’s, and this texture seemed to cover what looked like exactly half of her head, right down the middle, and down below her neck. She shaved one eyebrow so the painted side wasn’t as obvious. She also seemed sweet and I began to feel for her. Then she started rambling a bunch of crazy mumbo jumbo, spatting off about a parking violation she managed to get out of and how the free, live concert on the beach was no good. Instead I began to pity her. You couldn’t expect anyone to even survive such a fall, let alone avoid any cognitive disabilities that come with a head injury that from that height. Then I noticed her annoying 20-lb mutt was trying to herd Rowdy into a corner, nipping at his legs and barking at him. But it was barely barking, because 20-lb mutts don’t really bark; they produce more of a weak shriek. So now Rowdy was in an even more awkward spot than I’d gotten myself into and she was still spouting off about God-knows-what. The pity quickly turned to more of an irritation. Needless to say I politely excused myself from that conversation, convinced Rowdy he was safe to walk past that little nincampoop of a dog, and moved to a less precarious section of sand.
Speaking of rocks, check out these shots from last weekend’s trip to the Buttermilks, a popular climbing area just a few miles west of Bishop, CA, that is absolutely littered with boulders.
I didn’t take many climbing photos, so I now suggest you click this link: Backpacking Bishop Pass. It’s the trip report from the three-day overnight hiking/camping trip we set off on immediately after climbing last Friday morning, and includes some awesome photos of tremendously beautiful landscapes. If you enjoy exploring the outdoors by foot and you haven’t been to the Inyo National Forest, then let the trip report inspire you to mark a few days on the calendar.
Let’s hear about your adventures in Inyo, at the Buttermilks or in/around Bishop!