Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Board

Memorial Day: A day for barbecues, kicking it pool side, spending time out on the lake, and getting in the summer groove. Instead of all that, we went snowboarding this morning. It was a good group of guys and we all had a good time. We had a few really good runs, but I think my season is over. Time to switch to summer mode. It was a good season, and I logged a lot of days on the hill.

I still can't help but be excited for next year...

Live reggae on the tram deck.

Devils Castle

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nebo Loop

Today I rode the Nebo Loop. It is much too late to write anything about it so here are some pictures. It was a good day and a good ride. Still too much snow to do the whole loop, but it was still a nice long climb.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Look who turned into a full blown roadie

Todd finally got his bike and is feeling good enough to ride. It is fun having him to ride with.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Flip Flops in the Morning, Pow in the Afternoon

The journey home took Mike Woodward and I through Las Vegas. We spent the night in Circus Circus and hit up Ihop in the morning for breakfast with my friend Raquel. As we started driving I got a bunch of texts and a couple calls about how it was snowing back in Utah. I then got a call from Ben asking if I wanted to go for a hike later that day. Yes.

Forrest joined us for the little hike and we met at Alta ski resort. The mountain was silent for the most part. We heard faint yells of elation in the distance as others enjoyed this late season powder.

Forrest up top.

I love seeing the mountains from a different angle. I have never really been high into Alta, so it was a fun walk for me.

The day couldn't have been any better. We didn't start hiking until around 4:30 p.m. I love the late season.

Ben on our way up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tour of California

Sacramento- The word came down the line, the peloton was close... The subtle clanking of cow bells mixed with an air of anticipation surged through the crowd filled street. Finally they came into sight. The fight for yellow was on. The day's course had a three lap circuit around the down town state capitol.

Columbia was forming at the front with Mark Cavendish in tow, this was the story for six stages in last year's Tour de France and now I was able to witness it in person. My eyes passed over the rushing blur of 120+ riders searching for the legends in the mix. Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, etc... were all somewhere in the mass. Columbia made their move. The ringing cow bells mixed with a screaming public greeted the winner of the day, Cavendish, with gusto.

This was my first experience with these international teams, the teams I watch religiously during the month of July as they race across France. I wasn't let down.

I had the opportunity to travel to every finishing city throughout the Amgen Tour of California to promote the upcoming Tour of Utah. I was lucky enough to get an internship within the Tour of Utah which allowed me this opportunity. We set up a booth every day at the expo to let more people know about the race. We were placed in the United Health Care booth along with Voler (a custom cycling apparel company), and Edge Composites (a company that produces all carbon cycling wheels and parts).

The opportunity to watch this race happen and the behind the scenes production of what I normally see five minutes of on television was amazing. There are so many details that all have to work together simultaneously to bring about an event of this magnitude.

As the race went on the riders put on a heck of a show. The battle for yellow left some of the strongest riders in the world in the dust, aching in a simmer of lactic acid. Rogers came away with a well deserved win.

I really look forward to my internship and to the Tour of Utah. It is going to be a tough and exciting race that everyone should come support. (And if you have any friends in high places we can always use more sponsors to take this race to the next level)

The famed Andy Schleck

World Time Trial Champ Fabian Cancellara

Zabrskie, Leipheimer, and Rogers

This was our booth.

Thousand Oaks.... A mean day of racing

George Hincapie in his national road champ kit.

Rogers is the 5th from the front

There goes lance... right in front of the stop sign

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hidden Chute: A long awaited line

Schedules really suck. Well... most of the time they do. I will be the first to admit that I have a terrible perception of time, and most of the time I like being late. I like not having to be in certain situations for a required amount of time. Knowing what time it is only matters when you are somewhere you don't really want to be. Time also tells you how much longer you have to be there before you can be where you really want. Thus I don't wear a watch unless there is something on the schedule that I need to be to, or I am somewhere I would rather not be.

I have to give schedules credit though. The amount that can be accomplished when tasks are planned is how our caffeinated, road raging, impatient society functions, produces, and progresses. There is also the added benefit of having to "roll with it," making sure an activity or task makes the most of the time set aside for it. Unless you fall under the lackadaisical portion of society that is subject to Murphy's Law (a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in direct correlation to the time allotted to it). I guess my brain-clock works by going from task to task rather than from hour to hour. So today we had to "roll with it."

You are wondering why I am talking about schedules? Well, I am trying hard to adjust to having one. I have had a schedule my whole life, but now there are more consequences to my not keeping track of the time. Now punctuality becomes part of performance, and performance=$$.

Today I am glad I had a schedule, I had to be somewhere by 5 p.m.

After arriving at the parking lot to meet up with Forrest Shearer (who was in Jackson Hole at 6 this morning), we set out to do a line called "The Heart of Darkness" that lies just below the summit of Monte Cristo. The photos of that line are what made me really want to get into splitboarding. It kind of made me realize how much is out there to see and explore. After getting a late start we had to change our plans. So Forrest showed me the way to "Hidden Chute," a line I have been looking up at for years.

You stare up at these massive faces, you hear stories of people riding them, and you imagine what it would be like to be there. I truly believe that if you think about something enough, it will happen. All it takes is making the first step. It is that way with everything in life.

This little couloir was one of my favorite lines of the year. It wasn't epic powder, or even that great of snow for that matter, it was just something I have wanted to do for a long time. Now it is done.

Forrest on "Scary Traverse"

Summit of Superior

Monte Cristo

Traversing the ridge

Forrest going for it.

Hidden chute

A look back up.

I forgot to charge my helmet cam. So bummed.

Green=up and Red=down

Shut Down

So far this year we have been getting shut down when we go climbing. Yesterday it was the rain, earlier in the week it was not having the fitness to finish the climbs we were working on. We all took falls and didn't finish at least one route. Time to start getting my lazy arms back in shape.

This is a 5.11c that Robbie is working on. I hope to be on this soon enough, but I was having a hard time with the 10d.


Gnarly roof moves.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Climbing Timpanogos: The Provo Hole

You roll out of bed at 5:00 a.m. stumbling through the routine of early morning preparation. After going through the checklist of what you have and what you need, you throw it haphazardly into the back of your car which is still filthy from your last adventure. You pick up your climbing partner, Jeremy Jolley, and make small talk as you drive through the morning twilight. The snow is gone down in the valley and it doesn't feel like you should be doing this type of thing anymore.

As you roll up to the trailhead, you look around and notice how far the snow line has receded. You force your feet into your boots and begin to walk. After a few minutes, a rhythm begins. The chatter of conversation thins and your breathing becomes just a little bit more laborious. Eventually there is snow. A layer of dirt covers the ice encrusted slope. The trail you were on becomes swallowed beneath it and eventually you are blazing a trail straight up the hill.

The crisp mountain, air mixed with the panoramic views, keep your mind alert. Having never been to this area you become so distracted by the mountains you almost forget how hard your heart is pounding in your chest. You pass another group in the middle of their ascent, there is always something to talk about when you encounter another person up here.

As you crest a small summit your view opens to the world beneath your feet. You are now somewhere above 11,000 feet. Walking the ridge on precarious ice makes you decide to pull on your crampons and pull out your ice axe. One slip could send you sliding on a journey toward the base of the mountain more than likely being interrupted by free falling off of cliffs or striking rocks on your merry way down.

As you reach your summit, you make preparations for your long descent. A nice layer of spring corn snow awaits and you greet it with enthusiasm.

This is my beginning to the day. My brain hadn't quite begun to function.

Willie Holdman cranking his way up early on in the climb. Check out the link, he is an amazing photographer. If you have been through the Salt Lake airport you have seen his stuff.

Partway up the Stairway to Heaven.

Another shot of Willie. The snow was so hard there was no real skin track to be made.

Pushing our way up.

As we gained the saddle we were greeted by this astounding view.

The climbing on the ridge got a little dicey. I busted out my crampons and ice axe for a bit.

Kind of crazy to think that this is what waited a few feet to my left on the ridge. In bad visibility it wouldn't be hard to accidentally walk out on a cornice and.... see ya later.

They were really cool formations.

Getting ready to go.

Loading up.

Jeremy Jolley slashing his way down.

Willie getting some of that springtime lovin'.

fun all the way down. We had a few route finding hiccups but we worked them out. This whole area was amazing. I want to go back during the winter next year. There is so much out there to be explored.