Thursday, December 23, 2010


I'm back in the Lower 48 for nearly a month.  That means nearly a month without skiing the steep and deep powder of the Chugach, Kenai's, or Talkeetna's.  I think I now have two addictions - skiing and Crossfit.  What is Crossfit you say?  Follow the link and check it out.  I'll never go back to a gym and do a "Monday-chest; Tuesday- back/bi; etc" workout again.

During my 10 day stint in Ohio, I've managed to get after 8 Crossfit workouts.  Kyle from Crossfit Energy in Bath, Ohio has got this dialed in.  I checked out his gym, which is only 10 minutes from the family's house.  From the first hellacious workout to the next, I became addicted.  He even gave me a 20% discount for serving my country!

Kyle's got all of the equipment to make a successful xfit gym: kettle bells, pull-up bars, Concept 2 rowing machines, bumper weights plates, jump ropes, climbing weights, medicine balls.

The ever so critical white board.  "Mignon" was my first workout. 
Crossfitter's become all too familiar with these.  The Kettle Bell.  Known most for the Kettle Bell Swing.
Some overall pics of the CFE gym after today's 12:00 WOD (Workout Of the Day)
Kyle keeps a pretty tight website update of the WOD's and some of his other programs.  You can check out one of the daily workouts here.  I've learned some new exercises such as Pistol Squats, and some new techniques for Knees-to-Elbows, and the GHD sit-up.  Pretty much every muscle in my body is sore.  But that is the only way i'd get to play beer pong, and eat at Swenson's,Chic-fil-a, and On Tap, which we don't have in Alaska.

Mad props to Kyle and the folks at Crossfit Energy who boast "you can breathe later".  Thanks for the good workouts.  They definitely did not "Bring it Weak."  Also be sure to check out our local xfit gym at Hanger 5.

Next we drive to the CNY for Christmas and then some skiing - East Coast style.  Hopefully our adventures will take Pat and I to the Adirondacks and northern Vermont for some backcountry and "side country" skiing.

Until next time.....Pump 'til You Puke!!!

**  And if you're on leave like me, here is a stoke bump.  Check out this video of these kiter's in Utah.  This footage is epic and amazing.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Get Your Fix...

This weekend was stellar bluebird weather, and a great time to get out in the backcountry.  On Sunday, I headed solo to Summit Lake for some turns.  I had planned on doing some tree skiing by the Summit Lake Lodge, but I ran into another group of three skiers and they graciously added me to their group.  Thanks Bryn, Louie and Sarah for the great tour!
We headed up Colorado Creek, gained the ridge, and dropped into a nice south-facing bowl and skied in the sun.  There was a great trail on the way out all the way to the Seward Highway.  What wasn't nice was the two mile walk I had back to my truck.  But all in a day's work.  I thought I was going to be solo, so I didn't bring my camera....sorry.

This is my shadow enjoying the walk along the highway.  Nobody picked me up.  This sign reads, "Avalanche Area Next 3 Miles - Do Not Stop".
So I am headed to the Lower 48 tonight for a 30 day hiatus from Alaska.  I plan to spend some time with family, and do some slide skiing in the Adirondacks.  I headed out this afternoon to get my last fix of Alaskan powder.

The view was quite ominous.
I was worried about the visibility, but it actually turned out quite nice.  I saw two parties of three skiers!  And of course we were all skiing the same place.  On a Monday!  I thought I would have the run to myself, but I was mistaken.
It was a great evening alpenglow run.  Total tour time was 1:40.  The token self shot.  I've got some new goggle swag.  They're pretty baller.
Today was Day 17 in the BC.  When I get back, its on.  Lemme know if you want to ski mid-week.  I'll have another 6 weeks or so of leave.

Peace out AK, eastcoastice here I come.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Tincan Proper

It was a great first day of Terminal Leave, and a phenomenal day to be in the mountains.  I called Josh, and B-real and I met him at Ingram Creek for a day tour in Turnagain Pass.  When I read the Advisory, I thought that the entire PWS was socked in with clouds, but we were delighted with bluebird skies once climbing into the pass.

After debating where to ski, and scouting some lines, we decided to ski the south face of Tincan Proper.  I've been eyeing this line for a while.  It was 7F in the parking lot, and a little cold on the uptrack.  But the visibility was 100% and no wind.

Josh and B-real on the knife ridge up to Proper.
We decided to dig some snowpits to see what the Thanksgiving Rain Crust was doing.  I found that the crust varied in depth from 10cm to 35cm.  I conducted a Shovel Shear Test and Compression Test.  My score was CTNFQ3.  I really had to pound away at the column to get it to shear.
The descent was a little crusty, but truly amazing.  We had this "rib" all to ourselves.  At the bottom it required a bit of crafty route finding.

This is a perspective shot of the huge expanse of terrain in only one area we ski.  If I'd hit the books a little bit harder, we could've skied "The Library".
Duffus doing some route finding.
Enjoying the scenery.  What a way to spend day 1 of 82.  I hope there are many more days like this...
And now enjoying that cold smoke.

Perhaps the icing on the cake was the run back to the truck.  We took a nice tree shot, and it was what you'd call "hero" snow -  so good that it bolsters confidence, hides technical mistakes and allows heroic recoveries from gross errors.

Seems like a lot of folks are taking advantage of the splitter weather.  Captain's Chair and Spirit Walker both got skied recently.  Good on 'em!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Transition

Tomorrow is my last official day on Active Duty in the Army.  That means the transition to a beard and long hair.  I thought I would be sad, but I can friggin' wait.  I have 82 days of leave, and plan to use every bit of it to ski powder, think about powder, dream about powder, climb in powder, and search for powder in the Great State of Alaska.  But not without a brief stint in the Lower 48 to see family and ski the "East Coast Ice" in the Adirondacks.

I've gotten out a little bit lately, but nothing to brag about.  We hit up North Bowl on Saturday to find average snow, but a hefty wind on the ridgetop and bootpacking a portion of the Uptrack.  This actually made me go out and buy some Ski Crampons.  Marc surveys our run.
Marc walking on the ridge.  Temptation Peak is in the background.
When it rains, it pours.  I had two core shots on the new Coombacks, and the buckle on my Spirit 4's broke while at the resort yesterday for Military Monday's.  This required some shop maintenance.

Be On the Look Out for a chronological history of my military career with some pictures to follow.  The ETS party is scheduled for Saturday, March 5th 2011.  And i'll be on the look out for some mid-week ski partners after my trip back home.  Give me a holla if you want to get out and explore.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gone With the Wind...

Reports for this weekend were epic.  We got the goods on Friday, but made a poor terrain choice on Sunday.  I heard that the "Two Bowls Path" skied great with "at least 10 face shots."

So Tyler and I headed out with Eric and Storm.  Eric calls the lookers left bowl off of the main Harp drainage "Lynx".  I think this is just an extension of the main area known as "Harp", and Lynx is actually the bowl to the lookers left ridge of all that stuff, which terminates on Lynx Lane.

As expected we found boilerplate wind slab in places, and the TRC ("Thanksgiving Rain Crust") everywhere else.

I did a hellacious Crossfit workout the day before, and was in the rear with the gear.
The high pressure was great, but made the turns extremely difficult - early rise tip, or not.
For about half of the run we found some decent blower pow.  Tyler enjoying said blower pow.
With the visibility still 100%, I took LB out to Arctic Valley for a quick skin.  It was hella cold in the flats, -2F by my count on the "Delta Tango."

I found pretty much the same conditions.  Decent (said tongue in cheek...) blower pow, intermixed with 4-6" windslab.  I skinned for about 45 minutes up into Center Bowl until I couldn't take the subzero windchill.

Alpenglow was pretty much wind f'd.
LB is back on the injured reserve.  She won't keep her booties on, and the breakable crust tears up her nails-skin.  Anyone have any ideas?  I am worried about the booties being too tight and cutting off her circulation - i've done that before.
Notice the Coombacks, lower right.  They are all fixed and race ready.  Lobita....not race ready :-(

Oh yeah, she got a new collar too - its pink.  Guess who bought that for her???

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