Friday, March 28, 2008

Down time

Hell's Canyon was nice - managed to find a little camp spot by a stream and have some nature time to myself. Lovely.

How to stay in shape and out of trouble (ie sitting on the couch or spending lots of money)... Took the last week to catch up with some Seattle friends, hiking and climbing and skiing, and get affairs like oil changes and drivers license renewals in order. A couple more days of that, then ready to head off on a bike trip to Portland, the long way.

It's about 430 miles around the north side of the Olympic Peninsula on Hwy 101 then down to Rain City avoiding the interstate. Plenty of time to ride as slow or fast as I want, with a couple days to escape the rain if need be. The weather's supposed to clear up next week (it snowed in the city today!), but it is, after all, spring in the Northwest. Rainy and 41 degrees...

Planning to return to town mid-April, with little chance of internet on the trek. Til then, it's central heating appreciation fortnight - enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Apply powder liberally

Didn't realize I left things hanging in my mad dash from Alta to Oregon, but all is well!

I just got down from doing some powder hosting for Wallowa Alpine Huts for the last 11 days. (see It was great, and exactly what the WFR manual proscribes for cracked ribs. A super-steep learning curve, getting to know the skin tracks and secret powder runs of the basin, but my lead hosts were generous and patient and extremely knowledgeable. It's a beautiful place, deep in the wilderness. The yurts are far enough in that day skiers don't come all the way in, and an hour of skinning yields whatever kind of terrain you're looking to ski, from some steep chutes to wide open bowls. Met some really cool guests, including some wild women from Idaho, and had a great time. Very much looking forward to spending more time here next winter.

A few pictures here pirated from the WAH website - more current ones if people send theirs to share.

It will be a little while longer until I don't have to worry about my rib, but I can actually take a deep breath again and almost sleep on my left side! It's the little things...

CB doesn't need me for the rest of the ski season here, so I have a whole month before work resumes in Washington. Headed out now for a few days of backpacking around Hell's Canyon since I'm in the area, then I'll need to get creative for the next little while to keep myself entertained. So far the potential list includes: cycling down the coast in the rain, living in the yome for a while, taking up residence in a fire lookout, heading for Moab or back to Alta... Low-budget suggestions accepted!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Alta warmup

Off to Alta to visit my friend Dan (going big in the picture) and get a little loading dose of winter. I left Seattle just ahead of an incoming storm, and sure enough it followed me to Utah for a nice 12" powder day. Finally got to get on my new powder skis (Atomic Janek boards), and was pleasantly surprised by how well my legs remembered their turns. Tired, definitely, but being acclimatized from the big hill helped a lot here at nine thousand feet.

Unfortunately, I had a little run in with a tree and managed to at least crack a rib - I can hear some sounds that ribs don't normally make. Went backcountry the next day anyway, which was not a good idea, but it was definitely fun. Mmm... deep powder...

Taking today off in a belated attempt to take care of myself - I'm supposed to be working in the Wallowas in two days! Hmm. It's snowing again at the moment - it's nice to be back in the winter season after some time away. Always an adventure.