Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hills.. legs aflame

Pain... as much fun as yesterday was, that is the only word that can encompass the whole event. Eric, Mason, and I (along with other members of the team that could not be present) are getting ready for the 1000 warriors ride in August which boasts of being the toughest stage in the toughest stage race in America. With 96 miles, 3 major climbs totaling close to 11,000 vertical feet... I think they have every right to claim it.

For our training ride we started at my home (Highland) and went up the Alpine Loop dropping down to Cascade Springs. After a near death on the decent (random guy cut me off sending me off into the bushes... totally pulling a lance, tour de france 03, stage 9) we made our way back out continuing on down, stopping at Sundance to get some agua. After that we toiled our way up Squaw Peak in oven-like temperatures. That would not be our last climb, we turned around and pushed our way back over the loop. It was roughly 80 miles and I feel it safe to say, well over 10,000 vertical in climbing. Some call it the "super gauntlet" (minus south fork) I just call it painful.

I haven't gotten my butt in gear so that was my longest ride to date this year. It was a rude awakening that I will be needing to log some serious miles in these next couple weeks.

Here is a map of the course. It will be on August 22nd. Check the whole tour out! It will be an awesome show.

Friday, June 26, 2009

What is the deal rain?

Good grief.... I should have been able to write about an awesome climbing trip to maple today... rain is totally blowing it right now. What is the deal?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Bird.

Reggae Tuesday

Why is it that the earlier you get up, the more comfortable your bed feels. I awoke around 6:00 a.m. to go on a bike ride and my bed held me captive for another half an hour.  After a nice bowl of rice chex with blueberries and honey I hopped on the bike and rode up the canyon and then part way down to cascade springs.  I had to cut the ride short because Robbie and I were to meet up for some climbing.

The plan was to hit up Escape Buttress.  We made our way up the canyon and parked just past the grey cliffs picnic area.  We ended up just doing one climb and just hanging out in the sun making up reggae songs.  It was a short adventure but nonetheless a fun afternoon.  
....and I broke the camera... it will only take videos.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Games in Cedar.

Mason, Mike, and I left thursday night for the summer games in Cedar City.  Eric was to come down friday night for the race saturday.  Mason booked us a hotel that turned out to be awesome.  The complementary breakfast was something of a life saver.  Not to mention the waffles really hit the spot.

We woke up the next morning and lounged about until the Crit was to start.  The race was a flat course with pretty mellow turns.  The wind seemed to shift every couple laps and it was a 50 minute race.  All in all I had a horrible race... I am thinking the lack of biking and sleeping the whole week prior may have had something to do with it.  I ended up coming in 4th, but I got completely schooled by the first three.  

When we got into town the day before I noticed a Godfather's Pizza on the corner by our hotel.  Biking always makes for a huge appetite and all I could think about after the race was a "buffet".  After hitting the hot tub and catching some rays we picked up this kid, Parker, drove the course and then made our way to FOOD.  We pulled in... when I noticed the restaurant coming into town I failed to realize it had a large CLOSED sign in the window...  It basically shattered my world... the only other buffet in town was chinese. Not okay.

Saturday was the road race.  here is a clip of us on our way.
It was a great day for a race.  Perfect temperature with cloud cover.  The 60 mile course was a pretty mellow grind up over a pass and then we turned around and came back.  I was an idiot and didn't eat like I should have.  I didn't have a strong race at all but it made for a fun weekend.

Eric had a strong ride.  He finished 2nd over all and took the gold in our category.  Y'all can check out a clip of him on the UVU blog in my links.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


A little clip showing my derailleur. 

Rain and Bikes

Rain, mud, blood, crashes, broken derailleur, brake failure, bent rim, and a whole lot of fun.  Today we were climbing up at the membrane and then some weather started to move in.  We headed to my house to make some sandwiches.  After sitting around for a while we decided we needed to keep the day going and mountain biking sounded like the ticket.  We pulled together enough bikes and Robbie, Brett, Whitney, Jeff, and I made the drive up to the summit of the alpine loop where we hit the trail head.  

We started on the Ridge Trail and then headed down South Fork Deer Creek.  The muddy conditions made for slow going and most everyone ended up on the ground at one point or another.  My derailleur somehow became entangled in something and broke off.  I took off the chain and the derailleur, lowered my seat and would run uphill and jump on for the downhill.  It was Flintstone's style. 

Brett caught a stick in the leg, Jeff's back brake wasn't really working and he dropped in on this steep bend and then lost control and tagged a tree.  He banged up his hip and elbow and then taco'ed is front rim.  It was lucky we were only a mile from the car.

We loaded every muddy bike up in the back of the truck, realized we all looked like we had crapped our pants, and then stopped by Sundance to use the hose and grab some hot cocoa. "Adventure Tuesday" was a success.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weekend Away

Courtney, being the wonderful person that she is, invited me down to Lake Powell with a bunch of her friends from Vegas.  So thursday night I met up with her room mate Miriem, and Court's brother Nick and his buddy Kyle.  Miriem drove for a long ways and finally I took over because she had enough.  We arrived at around 12:30 a.m. and Court and her Dad, Mark, came to get us.  The houseboat was moored out in Gunsight canyon, so we made the short voyage out there.

The next day I awoke early... which was really annoying because I really wanted to sleep and no one woke up for another three hours.  I went for a hike and when I got back the fun started.  Wakeboarding, tubing, and swimming that was the menu that we stuck to.  
We went cliff jumping and I got a good backflip off this cliff... then I got it in my head that I wanted to double backflip off the sun deck (third floor) of the houseboat.  It didn't pan out so well.

Tubing was the funniest part of the trip.  Mark (Court's dad) had the highlight fall pulling the running man while flying through the air.  Nick killed it on the wakeboard.  Courtney was probably the most fun to watch out wakeboarding because she had on a permanent smile.

We got off the lake and headed home late sunday night.  I had Redbull to keep me company while everyone else slept.  We made good time (I learned Miriem's car do about 130 mph) and got back around 3:00 a.m. 

All in all everything about the trip was great.  I went down not really knowing anyone and I had an awesome time.  Thanks Court!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good Morning Rain

Here is a little clip from this morning.

Impromptu Adventure

Yesterday I was sitting at work watching the rain come down somewhat regretting that I had ridden my bike to work.  I have a good view of the mountains from my work and I was sitting there looking at a peak called Little Pfeifferhorn.  I called up my buddy Robbie to see what he was up to and if he would be down for a little trip.  We both had nothing going on the next day so as soon as I got off I headed home to pack.  I picked up Robbie and we made out way to the trailhead with a quick stop at Walgreens for another headlamp. (I already lost the one I bought last week)

After driving a ways up Little Cottonwood Canyon we arrived and got hiking around 11:30 p.m.  A later start than we had really wanted.  The rain came and never seemed to stop.  It was coming down pretty hard but then tapered off.  For the rest of the hike it was the type of rain that just seemed to hang in the air.  Robbie and I couldn't stop laughing at how miserably awesome our situation was.  Both having the heaviest packs we ever carried (our snowboarding gear added a lot) and we were both soaked.

We had planned to make it to Red Pine Lake to set up camp.  Around 2:00 a.m.  we decided it was time to stop.  We had hit the snow line and lost the trail so we set up camp.  The rain stayed strong throughout the night.  Robbie had a hard time sleeping so we were up early and after a cup of tea we decided to survey the area.  With the snowpack the way it was, our lack of mountaineering equipment, and the weather we decided not to summit. 

We pulled out our snowboards and goofed off for a bit before making our way back down.  Our goal was adventure and we had it even though we didn't reach our destination.
We had no way to know where we were at.... with a late start this ended up looking like a good spot.
Robbie took this and I thought it looked way good with the valley in the background.
This is my disappointed face.   

A night time cup of tea.
Little Cottonwood canyon.
All I know is that we look good....
Boarding back down. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Little Spin

So we had our group ride today and we did the Alpine Loop.  It was a good time being with the group.  We logged about 45 miles today... It was pretty mellow.  I had the camera so I am not in any of the photos, but here are a few of today.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Sister Climbs

So I rolled out of bed and did the morning stumble downstairs to my bowl of captain crunch and then got ready to take my little sister and good friend Alicia climbing... (I think I am going to take a few days off after this)  Brett and Robbie were nice enough to come assist and we set up a couple routes.

Stacy did really well.  It was my first time taking her after I got her a harness for christmas.  She took a class down at SUU and I was really proud of her.  She had a run in with some bees and let go of the wall at one point... If she ever decides to lead I really hope it is a bee free day.  She and my brother Todd both have this crazy phobia of bees that I really don't understand.  I think they both feel that bees conspire against them. If your aren't allergic it really doesn't hurt that bad when they sting.  But all in all it was a successful outing.  
Alicia... I don't know what is going on here...
There goes my sister.

Kind of a cool shot... Kind of awkward that it is of my crotch... Oh well
Brett and Stacy just hanging out.

4 a.m. Night Climb...

Brett and Robbie suggested that we go night climbing so I invited Courtney and her roommate Miriem.  After grabbing a new 12 dollar headlamp from Walmart we headed up Rock Canyon to do this really mellow multi-pitch just past the gate.  The moon was pretty close to being full with some mild cloud cover so we could see the canyon well.  

The route is way mellow if you aren't leading it, but I was charged with that honor.  I made the first bolt and was getting ready to clip the second when my foot completely slipped off the wall and I took a good 10-15 foot fall. It was really unexpected to me because I felt like it was a really solid foot hold.  Climbing in the dark can be pretty deceptive at times.  Everyone else made it up just fine.

When we reached the top we threw our glow sticks off  and hung out for a little bit enjoying the view.  We got all ready for the rappel down and sent Robbie first and then Court.  This was Miriems first time rappeling and it wasn't exactly the best of circumstances for her. (Night, Wind, 160 ft.) So she was pretty nervous when we sent her down.

I had anticipated getting to the car around 1:30 maybe 2 a.m..... We got there at 3 in the morning to discover parking tickets compliments of the Provo Police.  I guess there is a curfew on parking there... After dropping off the girls I got home and crawled into bed around 4 a.m. only to awake early the next day to take my little sis, Stacy, climbing. I think I need a nap.
Court and Miriem up top.
Robbie's face....He looks really mad...
Up top getting ready for the rappel
Court making her way up.
A crappy shot of the view.


Just a Cave

This cave has taken on the identity of where the serial killer Ted Bundy hid a body.... It isn't though.  But if you are looking to scare some friends this is a good place to do it.  Come at night.  Have someone inside already and you have yourself a recipe for terror.  

The cave itself is about 50 to 60 yards deep and just off the south side of the road a mile or two past the mouth of the canyon. Cross the river on the pipe bridge and then make sure you duck once inside...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Biking the Loop.... first time of the season

Mike, Dan, and I headed out for a good training ride on memorial day. We went for a little warm up spin before we started up the loop. It was a fun ride and with the loop still closed for a little construction we didn't have to deal with any traffic. We had some fun cruising up and then booked it down. The decent was fun, we had a good pace line going.

I took a couple photos of what we brought for food.... Mike's looked like poop. Mine, well I don't really know what you could say it looked like.... and then Dan brought a banana (boring).

Trilogy wall....Lord of the Slings

Eric Montandon and I decided to do "Trilogy Buttress" this past Saturday morning.   It was one of those mornings where you wake up before your alarm (which was really weird because mine was set for 5:50 a.m.) and you look out the window and the sky is the same color as windex.  After a bowl of captain crunch I headed to Eric's house arriving a little before 7:00 a.m.  We got to the base of the climb pretty quick and started into it.  

The first pitch was a little run out having only 4 bolts in about 100 feet.  It was Easy climbing so it wasn't to sketchy.  The wall had a lot of loose debris and I found myself wishing I had invested in a helmet.  Nothing could ruin the day faster than catching a falling boulder in the face....

 When we reached the top of the second pitch our shade had run out and we found ourselves wishing we had started and hour or two earlier.  I quickly learned why the route was called "Lord of the Slings"... I didn't really bring any to use to reduce rope drag/tension and it became very difficult to lead.  I had to pull the rope to get some slack and then make a move.  Good thing is was a 5.9 or I would have had a rough go of things.  

My shoes turned into little ovens on the last pitch so I peeled them off and belayed Eric up the top out.  Reaching the top felt good, it could have been better only if there had been a swimming pool up there with some shade.  The walk off was kind of slow going, a lot of loose dirt and rocks on a steep trail.  It took about an hour to get down.  We headed back to Eric's place and had some refreshingly cold drinks.

A Short Night Climb After Work

Well the day had been slow so I called up Brett Olsen and Mike Woodward to see if they would be down for night climbing.  It was an awesome night for it.  We happened upon some massive slugs and had a good time with some glow sticks.

Another look at AF Canyon

These I took up up Platinum Blonde.

This little clip is from the top of "Winds of Fire" which I believe is a 5.10a... I think.

One Day Multiplied

In an effort to make the most of our summer days Brett Olsen, Robbie Welch, and I decided to go climbing tuesday morning up American Fork Canyon. We decided to hit up "The Membrane", a good climbing spot that had been wet from runoff until recently. Last year there wasn't a good way across the river this early in the year because it is so high. This year there is a great log bridge that makes it easy. The water is high and fast so crossing seems treacherous, if you fall in there is a good chance you will get wrecked.

After we made it across we were getting ready to climb when it started hailing... Really? Yeah it was hailing and then came the rain. So we went for a hike. We felt like explorers. We ended up following what we thought was a deer trail. It ended up being an approach to more climbs up top that we didn't know were there.

After exploring we went back to some good climbing. We ended up just doing the 5.10a on the far left side and then headed home hungry and in the mood for a swim. After a brief soccer game we realized the days adventure could not end. Before we knew it we were on our way to Cedar City where we stayed the night.

We woke early to grab some breakfast in St. George....I am pretty sure we all ate enough to cover our caloric intake for the whole week... Then we found some nice climbs just outside of town. The wall is on the Chuckawalla trail. We climbed the 5.9 on the far right and then did what I think was a 5.10b or c.... really not sure because we didn't bring a book.

Then it was on to Vegas to visit the wonderful Courtney Wattles where she welcomed three stinky guys that didn't have the sense to stop and pack an adequate amount of clothing.... We made a quick stop to get some new shirts so we didn't smell too bad when we showed up. The only thing we made sure we had when we left were our swim suits... and we were glad we did. What we thought would be one day of fun turned in to three.