Saturday, November 27, 2010


While SLC has been getting pounded by blizzards I have been down in Arizona. It was a balmy 75 degrees yesterday while we climbed. This is the closest climbing spot that I know of here in Phoenix. The unique Camelback Mountain sits in the middle of some suburbs making it an interesting landmark in the pancake flat city. Small volcanic hills protrude every so often on the horizon, but with any height gained the views sweep out for miles.

TJ and I just did the one route. The rock was an interesting blend of volcanic rock, granite, and had the color of sandstone.

Project beard is getting a little out of control. I still have another month...

We also made a point to visit some skate parks while we were here. I am still terrible, but it is so fun. We rode some really great parks. The Goodyear Park was my favorite.

Jeff is by far the best skateboarder of us all... This was our version of the Turkey Bowl.

The greatest part of the week was getting to spend time with my folks. We had some great food and a fun time just being together.

I am thankful for family, fun, and life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On the road

A few hours alone in my car so I could stand atop Angel's Landing in Zion National Park in a brewing storm. Having taken a morning detour to try and locate the hot springs near Meadow, UT had me well behind schedule. The storm was looming and I didn't want to be up top when it hit so I ran.

I hurried through sections as the rain started to come down. Now I understand why this hike draws in so many people. It is amazing. The amount vertical you can gain in under an hour is amazing. Panoramic views of some of the most amazing country sweeps out before you. I can't believe I have never taken the short amount of time to hike this. It's easy access will keep it high on my list of favorites. Now I want to climb the face... better start saving and training.

This is me lost outside of Meadow, UT. I was having a good time on the dirt roads.

Long way down.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Thinking. I should probably do it a little more often. Today's low snowpack caused my splitboard a little bit of damage that I am not overly excited about. Not to mention that my ascent skins froze and I ended up having to wade through waist deep snow punching all the way to the ground while my skins were in my coat thawing out. For every 30 steps I took I went ten feet.

The above photo is me not thinking about the thin coverage. I am glad I didn't catch a rock or pop loose turning out of this line... Taking a tumble was not an option.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My new bag

I just purchased my sleeping bag that I will be using to get to the top of some of these summits here in the Wasatch. When I was initially looking for a bag, I looked at a few different things:

Down or Synthetic?

Synthetic bags have their benefits but based on down's weight to warmth ratio, ability to compress down much smaller than synthetic, and the overall durability of down, I chose down.

Down Quality: All down is not created equal.

The down in your Ikea comforter comes from a young goose raised and harvested for its meat at about four months old. The goose isn't able to mature causing its down to have less hairs per feather and less of the naturally occurring oils. The better down comes from more mature geese used for breeding. Their down is harvested as they shed it each spring.

The ability to "loft" is based on the number of hairs per feather, the better a down "lofts" the warmer it is. It is warmer because it has the ability to trap more air and insulate better by keeping warmth in and cold out. Loft is determined by placing the down in a cylinder and compressing it down. When the weight is released the feathers will "loft" and again fill with air. This rating is given a number with 800 fill down being the best.

I chose the North Face Solar Flare -20 degree bag for this winter. Mont Bell also makes some great bags that are worth looking at. When buying a bag for winter excursions, go with down if you are going to be carrying it anywhere. If you take care of it, the bag will outlast you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday morning skate

Today was the first day of the season up at Snowbird. What did I do about it? I went skating. I decided to hang onto some money and meet up with Shelby and Jared to go on an early morning trip to Payson Park. We had the place to ourselves.

Shelby was tearing up the bowl. I was too... of course I was. Well now that I think back on it, I was having a rough time with it. Taking this opportunity to blame my ineptness on anything other than myself, I will blame it on my being sick. I had a cold. My sinuses are as packed as a fat kids stomach after a trip to Chuck-A-Rama. That had to have thrown off my inner ear balance and made me worse at skating. That is exactly what happened. Yup.

The morning was entertaining. Shelby skates angry. To illustrate I zoomed in and cropped a photo:

With all the fury of hell in his eye, Shelby Burton shreds the bowl. I worry about the cement if he crashes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Same Footage, different video

Pre Season 2010 from Mike Amezcua on Vimeo.

This is a video project my buddy Mike is working on. Should be fun to work with him this winter. Here is his blog:

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I stared out into the trees. The clouds had moved in and snow was faintly falling. I sat alone as my group could scarcely be heard chatting in the background about the run we had just taken. The snow and the clouds have a way of washing out noise making everything seem whispered. Winter is here.

Tanner, Ben, Glen, Tony, and I met up and hiked Alta. Today was a day for high-speed turns in bottomless powder. It was a good day with some good friends.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Skateboarding? Something New

Skateboarding is the resurrection of a feeling that I have forgotten. As a kid you get to try all these new things. Little improvements are huge milestones worth celebrating. You revel in the fact that you are learning something new, no matter how small the improvement might be. As we grow older, we fall into ruts and we repeat what we have grown accustomed to doing. Routine takes over. Trying new things can easily become something we did when we were young.

Last night I showed up to South Jordan skate park to meet Jeff, Tucker, and Kelly. The sun had set and we cruised in to have some fun. This was my first time riding a bowl like this. I felt like a 12 year old kid and was completely out of my element. I have never really picked up a skateboard. There was about a month when I was in high school where I did, but that was the end of it.

The bowl was intimidating. Some ten year old kid showed up and was killing it, when it was my turn I would run down in the bowl and push and try to get used to the transition. All the while kids half my age were cruising around making it look way too easy.

It took a little bit to get used to things, but when it clicked I rolled in and went for it. I was laughing the whole night. It has been a long time since I have kicked it with Kelly and Tucker. I think I will stick with this skating thing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hiking with Jeff

Brothers. I have two of them. Jeff and Todd. It is always great when we get to go hang out in the mountains together. Saturday morning Jeff and and I met up and went for a short walk up at Alta. The early season snow settled to a hard packed layer on most aspects. The soft fluff from earlier in the week was gone. Jeff and I just talked as we walked up the hill. We took it slow and took in the surroundings. A winter landscape never gets old, it is an endless playground of opportunities. Where ever you look there are possible lines and ideas.

The day conjured up an old memory: Jeff had barely turned 16, I was 14. An early season storm came through and brought some snow, much like this year. He drove us up to Snowbird where we hiked up under the Wilber chairlift. We didn't know much about building jumps with transition or how to land anything really, we didn't even have a shovel. We used a dustpan Jeff found in his trunk to scrape together some snow for a little jump and we sessioned it until it got late.

With our split second of hang time we would do any grab that we knew. My favorite was the "method". I was riding a Burton Custom 160 at the time and I had a picture of Dave Downing throwing one on my same board hanging on my wall.

It was a good time and a good memory. Thanks Jeff.

Here is a photo from that day more than a decade ago.