Sailing St. Vincent and the Grenadines 
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 08:54 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Photos of the trip are here. The video is here.




Photos of the trip are here. The video is here.

Saturday - I GS raced in Red River, drove back to ABQ, packed up the last equipment, and jumped on the 11:59pm flight to JFK. I had a couple hour layover in Bridgetown, Barbados on the way to St. Vincent, so I took a walk around the airport. Originally, I was trying to make it to the beach, but I abandoned those plans when it became a bushwhack. Instead, I walked around the ghetto streets, bought a coconut, found a bar, and make a few friends. After a couple drinks, a nice local woman gave me her number - and I walked back to the airport chuckling. Not a bad 2-hour layover!

I arrived in Kingstown around 8pm. A taxi took me over to barefoot charters, but they didn't know anything about our charter plans, so I settled up at the bar to wait for the rest of the crew. After the first sip of my carib, they figured out I was on La Dolce Vita and they brought a dinghy around to bring me out to the mooring. In the darkness I could see the outline of a beautiful 43 foot Jeanneau 43DS. I stepped aboard to be greeted by Joe, Stefan, Nate, and Alexis. Joe looks at me and says, “Did you just jump onboard with a beer in your hand?” I give him a smile and cheers him. Later that evening, Nicole, Billy, and Captain Dro showed up and we begin the party.

Sunday – After the lengthy provisioning process, giving Barefoot our passport information and cash deposit, and collecting snorkeling equipment, we finally made way. The seas were rough between St. Vincent and Bequia. A few people were starting to feel a little sick, but I managed to do OK. In fact, I would go the length of the trip without any Dramamine, whereas everyone else would pop a few each day. We were sailing with the swell, so we caught a few nice surfs on the way around the point and into the bay. After mooring, we dinghy’ed into town and eventually settled on a pizza place.

Sunday
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Christmas in Washington, MO 
Thursday, December 26, 2013, 11:02 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I spent a week in WashMO with the family for Christmas. We had festivities planned for every day: white elephant gift exchanges, pictionary, other board games, movies, volleyball, walks, and lots of food. Some of the highlights were:

Misty dressed up.


Bartering during the white elephant.


Giving my brother my old mountain bike.


Having a beer with dad.


Grandpa admiring the pies at the local coffee shop.

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Thanksgiving in Alto Pass 
Thursday, December 5, 2013, 09:21 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I spent a week back at my parents' place for Thanksgiving. Everyone from my father's side was there except for Anne Elise who was still in Chile with her study abroad program. I took a 30 degree bike ride with my mom and the family hiked to bald knob cross. It was me and my Dad's 25th year to make the journey (ever since I was 5 years old!) I also got to watch the pottery process in full: clay to store.


Cold bike ride


Grandpa hiking the trail


Thanksgiving dinner


Hike to the cross


Artsy hiking picture


Pottery making and shop


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Arcs, Sparks, and Alcohol: Chicago Trip 
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 07:59 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I headed to Chicago for the UL standards development meeting on PV arc-faults this week. But before that excitement, I spent the weekend with my brother in Chicagoland:

Friday night we went out for a beer at Chicago’s American Outlaws bar to watch the US get killed 3-1 to the Ticos. Not the USMNT’s best moment.

Saturday was much more cheerful. We took the train in from Joliet to Chicago, rented bikes to cruise around Millennium Park, and then rented kayaks. We got a couple stable-feeling singles and had warm, sunny weather to take a lap around Goose Island and then down to the locks on Lake Michigan. There were a LOT of other kayakers out on the water, but I was proud of my bro and I for easily sailing past them with some Southern Illinois power strokes. There were also a lot of other tour boats and motorboats out for the good weather so Josh and I dodged the behemoths and surfed the wake after they passed. Overall, it was a cool experience on the water in a big city—slipping under the bridges and through the towering skyscrapers. Afterward we got a late lunch at Goose Island Brewery. Yum. And then we grilled up some brots for dinner. Double yum.








Sunday, I forced Josh to do a little work on his decrepit car. We found a U-Pull-And-Pay style parts place and we got a hubcap, two door handles, a gas door, and a passenger seatbelt (all for less than $50!) It wasn’t too bad to get everything installed and still get a nice 5 mile hike around Swallow Cliff Woods. As an older brother, I felt it was my responsibility to introduce Josh to some tasty Belgian beers, so we tasted a Chimay and Duvel while watching the new Star Trek. Then to cap off the night we had a Tim Tam slam and some traditional Korean candy. Triple yum.




Overall the meeting went well, and on Tuesday night the US qualified for the World Cup in Brazil with a 2-0 victory over Mexico!!


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Korea! 
Thursday, September 12, 2013, 07:58 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
One benefit of running international renewable energy programs is you get to travel internationally. I was invited to give at talk at the 2013 Energy Tech Insight meeting in Seoul, Korea by the Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) group to highlight my collaborative research project with the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI).

Korea photos are here.

Amanda, a new business development person, and—for a couple days—Bob, joined me on this trip. Amanda and I got into Seoul a day early to explore the city and walk off any jetlag. Our first adventure was getting dinner on Monday night. We headed off from the hotel at around 7:00 and eventually found a place that offered Korean BBQ. Normally, you cook your own dinner on a fine metal mesh over the hot coals that they bring out, but since we didn’t know a single word of Korean, they took pity on us and helped cook our meal of Ox and Pork. The food was delicious with side dishes of Gimchi, small sardine-like fish, lettuce and sauces! You dip the cooked meat in the sauce and roll it up in the lettuce after remastering chopsticks.

Afterward I headed out alone to the Banpo-daero bridge over the Hangang River. The park along the river had a nice bike path and I was surprise to find at 10pm many young people biking and picnicking down by the water. The bikes were nice and fast, and the meals were heavy on the beer/soju. I instantly liked this place.



Tuesday, Amanda suffered jetlag much worse than I did and was up at 3am. With all the free time she did some research on places to visit, so we compared notes and then headed north into the city. We had mastered the subway at this point (absurdly easy) and went to get some food at the open-air market, Namdaemun. After that we went to Sungnyemun Gate, which was first built in 1398 to keep Seoul safe from foreign attacks. I got a little mixed up with directions at this point but eventually we located north and headed up to Deoksugung (one of the five palaces in Seoul). It was a nice grounds with great structures. The curved ceramic roofs of Korea are truly spectacular. We tried to go to Gyeongbokgung but it was closed on Tuesdays, so we wondered through Bukchon Hanok Village for a while and got some big dumplings and a bottle of sojo for lunch. Recharged, we walked to Changdeokgung and took the Secret Garden tour. It was beautiful! Small ponds and dwellings hidden in the forest. You could imagine this area looking nearly the same back in the 15th century when royalty was strolling the grounds. Jongmyo was closed (tues) so we went south to the Cheonggyecheon creek and then back north into Insadong for some shopping and ice cream treats. There was a place with amazing snorkle-shaped cones that they would inject with soft serve. They were so good!







Wednesday, we listened to Steve Chu’s keynote, were wined and dined for lunch, and I gave my smart grid presentation. We meet my Korean partners for an amazing 14 course dinner! It’s Korean culture to leave food on the table at the end of the meal to indicate that one is satisfied; and we certainly left a lot of food on the table but I would describe my condition as closer to immobilization/food coma. It was culinary madness! More food just keep coming and coming! Afterward, our hosts treated the US contingent to a boat cruise on the river. We quietly sailed through the city’s lights and pointed out the Olympic Park, Gangnam (“River South,” a rich neighborhood), and the Namsan tower.



Thursday, we spent some time at the conference, but flew down to Busan and then drove to Changwon. I was suffering from a cold that hit me on Tuesday morning, so I didn’t do much this evening.

Friday, we toured KERI’s labs and explored some of the city: the Seongjusa temple, Seongsan Shell Mound (archaeological site where seafood scraps were found), and House of Changwon (창원의집). After dinner, Amanda and I took a walk around the hotel and got some ice cream. From what I could tell, Korea’s a smoothly operating industrial engine: well-organized, clean, very safe, and I felt completely comfortable walking around at night. I liked this place.




Saturday, my colleague from KERI, Ahn, drove Amanda and I to Gyeongju for some sightseeing. We got to town, and after a little confusion over where to park, rented bikes and struck out to learn about the Silla Kingdom that controlled this region. There actually were 3 kingdoms in what’s now modern Korea: Silla, Goguryeo, and Baekje. Gyeongju was the center of this region from 57 BC to 935 AD with the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries holding the most growth and historical artifacts. We first visted the tombs of the Silla (e.g., General Kim Yu-sin) in King Tomb Park and then biked to Anapji Pond to take in King Minmu's reconstructed dreams. We walked through the Gyeongju National Museum but then turned our attention to food. I guided the team on a slightly extended return route along the river and then we found a nice, completely empty restaurant for lunch. Ironically, the restaurant owners were eating McDonald’s and watching MLB.





The highlight of our day was traveling up into the mountains to a couple UNESCO world heritage sites. The first was Bulguksa, the stunning Buddhist Temple. The 2nd was the 8th century Seokguram Grotto, home to one of the best preserved Buddhist statues in Asia.




Ahn drove us down to the ocean to dip our feet into the freezing sea as the sun was setting. We cruised up the coast a short way along the fishing villages and then we decided it was time to find the hotel and dinner. We had stirfried Gimchi and a few bombs (sojo and beer).



The final day of the trip we popped into the Gyeongju Tower and toured the Millinium Park grounds. Ahn, Amanda, and I had a nice brunch in the sun and took the car, to a bullet train, to a train, to a plane, to a subway, to Dolores Park, to another subway, to another plane, to a shuttle, to a car, to my house. Actually, the San Francisco layover (7 hours!) was enough to spend the Sunday afternoon lounging in Mission Dolores Park in the sun and that was wonderful. Way better than sitting in the terminal.


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Grenoble, Chamonix, Paris! 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 08:16 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I attended IEEE PES Powertech and my first SIRFN meeting in Grenoble last week. I visited Grenoble a couple years before in conjunction with the EU PVSEC conference, so it was good to see the city again. My old roommate from GT, Sebastien, still lives in the area so we spent a couple evenings enjoying the local beers and cheese (it's a French thing). He and his wife, Estelle, are prod parents to 20 month old Camille, who was kind enough to play rugby with me when I went over to their place for dinner.


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Cultural exchange: Marble Red from ABQ and Leffe from Belgium.

One morning before the conference, I took a nice 6-mile job up to the Bastille, through the caves, and back down a rough 30% grade hill into town. Of course my calves would hurt for a couple days because of the effort, but it was worth it for the sunrise views from the empty fortress!


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I toured the Chartreuse distillery and museum. This green liquor is created from 140 local herbs collected by Monks in the mountains. Supposedly only 2 of the monks know the complete recipe.

The Friday after the SIRFN meeting was La Fête de la Musique to celebrate the summer solstice. I remember my first encounter with the Fete in Paris in 2007 very well, because the streets were packed with rock, indie, techno, classical, and every other musical genre in between. Grenoble didn't quite have the same auditory density, but a few of the guys from the workshop joined me on a grand exploration of the different venues. We eventually picked up a couple beers and stopped off at the "Rock" zone. Seb eventually put Estelle and Camille to bed and joined us at around 10pm. We then headed off to the techno area to bring the night to a close. Our line-up was pretty good with DJ one Finger, Jeebey, and Itchy et Scratchy. At 2am, I gave up on there being a tram and jogged the couple miles back to the hotel, only to get up at 6am to catch my train to Geneva.



Estelle and Martin, both ex-UNM ski racers and ex-French/Austrian national ski team members, greeted me in Genève. We got supplies for a wonderful breakfast at their place in Annemasse, and then piled into the car to head toward Chamonix.

I didn't realize it before, but Estelle's parents had a spetacular house in the valley where we could stay, and her parents were out of town for the week too! From there we launched a couple day hikes. The first was a 6.5 mile hike/climb to Lac de Pormenaz. It was a very steep climb up but we somehow picked the only spot in the whole region where the sun was shining, so it great. We reached the ice-covered with a little snow hiking and had yummy baguette sandwiches.

We hiked back via the ski hill to Plaine Joux and then jumped into Lac de Passy for some refreshment. The clouds covered Mont Blanc for the most part, but every now and again they would seperate so I could make out the summit and it's impressive glaciers.





For dinner, I treated Estelle and Martin to dinner in Chamonix. Syrah and Fondue in front of Europe's biggest peak is certainly a great way to bring the evening to a close.





Sunday, we climbing in poor weather to Aiguillette des Houches. We could only spot the lower portions of the glaciers, but it was still a nice 3 hour hike with some respectable elevation gain (2,800 ft). We chomped down some sandwiches and then trucked it back into Chamonix for ice cream cones!




We grabbed a beer and I headed back to Paris. I navigated from Gare de Lyon to my hotel in a drizzle late on Sunday night, but managed to get a nice 2 hour walk around the city; I wanded up to the Pantheon, through the Luxembourg gardens, and down past Notre Dame before heading back stateside.

Photos are here.
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Bay Area Visit 4-28-13 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 07:34 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I headed out a couple days early for the SNL O&M and Inverter Reliability Workshops to catch up with friends. Dro picked me up at SJC and just about the first words out of his mouth were, "There's a small craft warning on the bay, we're going sailing!"

Nicole, Dro, myself, and couple instructors headed out on a 27 footer from Berkeley Marina into a Beaufort Fresh Breeze-and what a breeze it was! It was freezing and the waves and wind teamed up to blast surf across the cockpit. With the headwind and tides in the bay, we weren't able to make it to Alcatraz, which is where I was suggesting we go, but instead we cruised along Angel Island and then turned it around. It was a fun day out on the bay, but I gotta say it's got nothing on BVI.




Saturday night we got pizza with Chris, an old mutual friend from my NREL days. Good to see him and gossip about everyone from the Stallions of the Dawn. We headed out to get a few drinks with Dro's other friends at a Oakland dive bar. Fun times with good people.

On Sunday morning, Mohsin picked me up and we drove into the city. He had worked out a tour de SF that rivaled all my old tours of the city. Even with tennis shoes on clipless pedals in hilly San Francisco, we busted out 28 miles from the Mission to City Hall, Embarcadero, up and across the Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate Park, and ended up in Dolores Park for sandwiches and Lagunitas Beer. The best part was that they closed down the roads to cars around the Academy of Sciences and we could cruise down the middle of the road with all the other people walking, biking, and roller blading.






I met Cara at Southern Pacific Brewing for dinner and a drink with Mohsin. She seems pretty happy and still works hard in Oakland for the troubled teenage youth. Then in a typical furry, Mohsin and I rushed to get me to the Caltrain. We managed to burn rubber over to the 22nd Street Station, unload my gear and sprint down the stairs, get a ticket, and rest a whole two minutes before the final south-bound train showed up.

Tues night Cora, Owen, Mohsin, Nicole, Dro and I got a tasty dinner at Rangoon Ruby a few blocks from my old pad in Palo Alto. University Ave looks just the way I left it. I suppose some things don't change.
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Sydney 
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 08:38 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I flew to Sydney for a week of business travel to work on codes and standards with Technical Committee 82 of the International Electrotechnical Commission.

The photos show stunning Sydney.

I arrived very jetlagged on Saturday and checked into the Marriott a couple blocks from the Opera House! What a killer spot for an IEC meeting! I did an exploratory journey around Sydney Harbour, the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, and then out into the city in search of a pub with the Aussie Rule Football game on. It was fun to be back in the antipodean world and even funner to relive a very defining moment in my life. It was the trip to Australia to study abroad that opened my life to bigger ideas of world travel, vagabonding, beer drinking, partying, and chasing women. To celebrate I recreated a self-captured photo bouldering along the harbour across from the opera house.


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Sunday I was up before 5am with severe jetlag, but at least it meant I could do an easy sunrise jog up the Harbour Bridge and around the Opera House. I stopped a couple times for photos, but it was the perfect temperature and no one was up at 6am downtown.




I decided to go out to North Head to take a hike and visit Manly Beach. It turned out to be about a 10 mile hike out to North Head, which was packed with WWII history and gorgeous view of the city centre.

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Eventually I did find my way to Manly beach where I did a little body surfing (water was a little chilly) and eventually kicked back with a big bottle of Coopers to take in the evening.


On Wednesday, the IEC group took a cruise around Darling and Sydney Harbours and had a find dinner of steaks and wine. I was pleased to be rubbing shoulders with all the big shots in the biz, like Howard (below) the retiring secretariat of TC82.




Friday after the meetings, I went out to the Sydney Swans game. I bought a Swans scarf and thought that was enough to support the home team, but the temperatures dropped a good 10ºC after dark so I had to get a fleece blanket at the stadium. Overall AFL is truly the funnest, dumbest sport ever and I love it.



Saturday I woke up to a rainstorm, so I visited the Aquarium before heading off to my hostel at Bondi Beach. The crew there was lively, a little too much so for me (am I getting old?); but seriously don't come storming in at 4am and tell me how great the King's Cross club you were at was. I checked out one of the longboards at the hostel and headed out for a surf on Sunday. As I was walking out the door someone looked at me and said, "It's 6 plus feet out there. No one's going out." It was 11am on Sunday, and even though there was a chilly breeze I couldn't believe there were only 3 surfers at Bondi. So I marched in and gave it a hearty go. I didn't do so well since I had only done a little foam board goofing around in New Zealand, the smaller board was much harder to get on and control. I took a couple big hits, but also managed to ride a couple waves either on my chest, knees, or-for about 0.5 seconds-on my feet. All the life guards who normally walk up and down the beach, watched me from the shore the entire time, so I must have looked like I was drowning. As I got out, badly beaten, I told the life guards, "Rough day to learn." One of the younger girls replied, "You've got a lot of heart." It probably didn't surprise her then, that I tossed the board down on the beach and then went back out for a couple rounds of body surfing.



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Vail Spring Break 
Sunday, March 31, 2013, 05:57 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Although most of the group has graduated with PhDs or MSs, there's still a gathering of aerospace CU folks for the annual skiing and partying shenanigans. This year included a game of GNAR that was great, except that I got there a day late and about 40 GNAR points behind. I launched a comeback with on piste intensity and apres ski debauchery, but it wasn't enough to beak Jack. This year 18 people were in the house and it was great to see so many old friends: Scott, Casey, Laura, Nick, Jack, Maciej, Ben, Chad, Tiff, and Kate.





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British Virgin Islands 
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 07:40 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Dro, Nicole, Owen, Cora, Joe, and Naomi sailed the British Virgin Islands with me on a 39' foot. Photos, video, and shortened video.

Day 0: I SCUBA dove Kelly's Cove on Norman Island and Angelfish Reef.

Day 1: Checked out & provisioned the boat. Sailed to Little Harbour on Peter Island with a snorkel stop at The Indians.

Day 2: Sailed to lunch snorkel mooring at Great Dog and then sailed to Trellis Bay. Had a great happy hour and dinner at Last Resort on the island. Dro hit the sand bar on the way back to the boat with the dinghy in the dark, but proudly proclaimed, "Don't worry the wind will sweep us into shallower waters!"

Day 3: Sailed to The Baths for morning swim/exploration. Sailed to Leverick Bay in North Virgin Gorda Sound.

Day 4: SCUBA day #2. Dove with Dive BVI at Wall to Wall (Named by Jacque Cousteau) on West Dog and Cow's Mouth off Virgin Gorda. Saw nurse shark, manta ray, morel eel, turtle, and the divemaster shot 2 lionfish with a speargun. Got back at noon to boat and dinghied over to The Bitter End. Happy hour and dinner at Saba Rock with spectacular sunset.

Day 5: Sailed to Jost Van Dyke. Snorkeled and played around at Sandy Cay and had dinner ashore at Foxy’s.

Day 6: Moto-sailed to Norman Island and moored in The Bight. Dinghied to sea caves for exploration. Trip ending celebration aboard the “Willy T” (converted 100 ft schooner) - complete with multiple jumps off the upper deck into the ocean.

Day 7: Sailed to Road Town

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Braun Hut Trip 
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 08:33 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I left ABQ on Thursday morning at 5am with Lance, Rusty, and Angela for a 5-day, 4-night hut-to-hut backcountry ski trip. Feeling honored to join a group of extremely strong, fun people for the weekend, our team consisted of the following:

Justin - Mountain Guide, AMRC rescue leader, summited Denali last summer
Leigh - President of AMRC, Quad champion, Denali attempt last summer
Lance - Mountaineer with summits of Rainier, Denali, and South American peaks, ultra-marathoner with 5+ Hard Rock 100s under his belt.
Rusty - AMRC winter technician, Denali medic last summer and maybe this coming summer too
Angela - Climbed Denali last summer and about to depart as the head medic on a climbing trip to Nepal
Bill - Rescue leader on AMRC, psuedo-epic'ed on Mt. Sanford in Alaska
Karen - Bill's wife, very strong teleskiers
Jay - General Goof-off

Day 1 - After a great pizza at Leadville's High Mountain Pies, we met Leigh and Justin in the parking lot. We did the easy 3 mi, 1000 ft ski into the spacious Lindley hut just as night descended. I could tell already I was in for some serious heal blistering at this point, but that didn't prevent slow the night's merriment. Leigh and Justin cooked up some veggielicious dinner and a 3 L batch of Glühwein as we circled up around the wood-burning stove and talked strategy for the next 4 days. I called off my plans for a run at Castle and Conundrum Peaks in order to keep the group together and get a full night's sleep.



Day 2 - The group departed at 9am and headed toward Pearl Pass to circle around into Taggart Hut. I thought I was going to get the award for biggest junk show as I wollowed in the thigh-deep snow, making sloppy kick turns, getting knocked over by trees, dropping water bottles, and losing my sunglasses, but Rusty proved he was the master junker. He bought light "racing" skins, but they didn't climb on the 6" of facets at the ground and he barely to climb the most modest of grades. In the end he had to take his skis off and climb some of the time. I was completely beat cutting trail in the fresh snow, but I can only imagine how bonked Rusty must have been. And it was clear when he finally made the pass. Lance I took off his skins while Justin adjusted his bindings (don't ask) for the decent. A quick few turns and we had arrived at Taggart Hut!







Taggart Timelapse

Day 3 - We awoke to a raging storm, so our original plans for skinning over to Friends Hut were delayed. The 1"/hour snowfall was a red flag for avalanche danger. We went out for some quick laps on the hill by Taggart and got some great tree runs in. Lance managed to break his toe piece, Leigh was struggling with blisters, and Rusty had to make a flight out of Grand Junction on Sunday; so a long debate later, we decided to head back to Aspen for some beers. We got dinner, and with a clutch call managed to bum couches and floor space at the Mountain Rescue Aspen Cache. It was luxurious and, after stocking the fridge, refreshing as well.





Day 4 - We had breakfast in Aspen and then skiied up to Markley Hut. We had a great Eurostyle lunch with bread, cheese, sausage, and wine in the sunny cabin. I was fairly mellowed, but we decided to go for a ski. After an extended, bushwhacky slog to the top of one of the more gradual peaks we got to ski (or sink like a rock in my case) down the mountain. We trekked over to the road and then zipped down to the lodge for dinner just as dusk closed in. Really tough day for about 5 turns, but it was fun to be in the mountains with my friends. We had a great scrimp stir-fry with Quinoa and then finished off the beer and whiskey while talking about who was going to be the next AMRC president.






All photos are here
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Winter Break Part 2 
Saturday, January 5, 2013, 07:53 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
After the Christmas presents were unwrapped, I joined up with many folks from the mountain rescue team (Leigh, Justin, Lance, Mike, Rusty, Thondup, Andy, Bill x2, Ben, Tobi) and ice climbed for 3 days in celebration of Andy's 40th birthday. We climbed Alcove Friday, South New Funtier Saturday, and North New Funtier Sunday. I managed to get 5 climbs Fri, 9 climbs Sat, and 6 climbs on Sun. so my forearms were on fire! I will say my proudest moment was pioneering a column to mixed route in North New Funtier.





I crashed at Bill's place in Pagosa before making the snowy journey down to Taos for the Touchlight and New Years Celebrations. XC Skied to the Bravarian for a beer before joining Jason, Victor, and Jeff for the Taos Torchlight Parade. I somehow managed to make it down in the pitch black, light the torches, and ski to the bottom in 12" of fresh powder. What a blast!

Light 'em up!


New Years Skiing was awesome! 16 inches of fresh powder. Jason and I got first tracks on Al's Run and then proceeded to search to destroy the fluffy stuff. The best runs of the day were on Two Bucks and Corner Chute. Bombing through the trees with face shots! Got 4 hikes in, bonked at 3pm without food/water, ran the Bavarian Chutes and then finished the day with a trip up Chair 4 (our first non-black run of the day) and then on to Edelweiss to finish New Years Day. Dinner at Rhoda's and then a long drive home.

Two recovery days with 10 miles of biking each. Friday I headed out with Jason for Quadrathlon training. Got the SAAB stuck at the Run/Ski transition, but otherwise a good day out. I only did 4.5 mi run, 5 mi xc ski, and 2 mi snowshoe with 3100 ft gain/loss. Jason managed to pull off the whole 10 miles of running. Saturday I was trying to catch up on work, but got a AMRC call for an injured cross-country skier up on Ellis Tr. Blasted up there and was on Team 1 with Supra and Michele. Ski patrol had packaged the sled so we help with the 1.5 mile haul out. Good workout with the thin coverage (rocks!).
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Christmas in IL 
Saturday, January 5, 2013, 07:06 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
I flew home to Southern Illinois for Christmas. On the way down with my Uncle Jim to my parent's place, we stopped off at a sandbar on the Mississippi River. The river was at historically low levels. Like a once-in-500-year drought levels.


My dad and I went for a run up to the cross. After 7 miles I had really pissed my hip flexor off though, so I took it easy for the next few days. The family (Mom, Dad, Josh, Jim, Randy, Rachael, Jeremy, and Jack) and I hiked Little Grand Canyon and we stopped at a few of the local wineries. My dad and I hiked the 24th Annual Hike-To-The-Cross along with Mom, Holly, Anne Elise, Tim, and Josh. Once again my brother beat me to the summit. I'll blame it on the sore hip.

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As is becoming a tradition, there was a photo competition and for the first time, and beard-off. I took the prize for "most favorable."

Here are my photos of the year.

Dad's honesty-based business, "A Potter's Shed."


Bonfire for Christmas Eve.


I premiered my Taos Ski Bum video for the family.

All the fun that you can have in chilly IL: Puzzle Timelapse
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Thanksgiving in Washington, MO 
Thursday, November 22, 2012, 09:45 AM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Went closer-to-home for the holiday. Had a great time with the grandparents, parents, cousins, aunt, and brother. Lots of good food and relaxation. My grandmother has been having hip problems and spent about half the visit in bed. The only real excitement was a 5 mile jog along the Missouri River and watching Life of Pi. Dad gave me a GoPro 2 to play around with, so I'm planning to get some good footage of biking, climbing, and skiing in the near future. Stay tuned.



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Back in the 505 on Sunday, Kevin and I did a long 20 mile mountain biking loop including the southern stretch of the Faulty Trail + the Armijo Trail. Much of the route was a hike-a-bike, but we were on a mission to find Cole Spring. The standard route via Canoncito Rd is now closed, so we did 1.8 miles of aimless searching for Cole Spring on foot - later we figured out we were one canyon off...


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Tres Piedras Climbing + Lake Fork Peak 
Sunday, October 28, 2012, 05:47 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Kevin and I went up to Tres Piedras before the cool weather moved in too much. We were joined by Tim and his young sons, who unfortunately kept him from climbing.

Friday climbs:
1. Dirty Diagonal (5.7) - My lead.
2. Fried Chickens (5.8) - Kevin's lead.
3. Chicken Heads (5.7) - My lead into the setting sun.

Saturday climbs:
4. Mama Jugs (5.8) - Kevin's lead.
5. Serpentine Crack (5.8) - My lead.
6. Bats in the Belfry (5.8) - Kevin's lead, and I took a 5' fall on the crux.
7. Albuquerque (5.8+ Sport) - My lead.

Sunday:
Headed over to TSV and climbed Lake Fork Peak. Choose and interesting line with WI1 and a few 5th classy moves. Scary but we did both make it to the top. I took it easy on the decent and didn't hunt myself! Green chile burgers at the stray dog to wrap up the great weekend.

Night shot.


Camp.


Mama Jugs.


Topping out on Bats in the Belfry.


Serpentine Crack.


Lake Fork Summit with Kevin icing his foot.


Lake Fork Peak Route

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More pics on the photoblog.
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Daimon's Wedding 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 09:12 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Landed at 9:15 in Minneapolis and jumped in the car with Josh to go meetup with the gang and ProKart! Had a few drinks in O'Hare so jumping in a race kart was perfect. Of the 8 of us, I never won any of the 4 races. I did place 2nd in the 1st race and in the final race took 3rd (5.09 secs back from the winner). But by the end I did manage to figure out that blasting through the turns sideways into the back wall wasn't the best strategy. And I did seek revenge on Josh when he passed me by bashing him (against the rules).

Back at Daimon's we busted out the poker, and then frisbee in the middle of the night. Good to be back with the undergrad crew.

The next day was the wedding. I help set up, took a walk along the lake and watched the colors changing, smiled through the ceremony, had a great rib dinner, and then danced til 11:00. In the morning it was the long trip back to the southwest.





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Mountain Biking in Breckenridge 
Sunday, September 16, 2012, 09:20 AM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Jason and I caught zozobra on our way up to Breckenridge. We found a spot up on the mesa to avoid the crowds and make a quick escape north. It was a late burning, but still an exciting experience. I've posted a number of pictures here.

Up in Breck, after a long car ride, we rode the Peaks Trail a little while (after being lost for about an hour) and met up with Jason's old Santa Fe High School crew. There were a couple ski instructors, bike shop folks, and a business guy. All about 20 years older than me and all stronger riders than I was. We met a crew of ex-pro racers and other hard-core types (1/2 being women) and riding some great single track all Saturday. I wasn't really prepared for the 36 mile, 4500 ft gain, 7 hour effort and on the final ride back to the condo, I bonked. Barely made it up with hill. I was out of foot, out of water, and struggling! But still worth it, because of the previous hours of some of the best riding I've ever experienced. Ripping miles of downhill singletrack and flying though the forests and meadows on a bike is sooo fun! I was one of a few who didn't crash either. What a great day out, followed by a awesome BBQ.

Sunday, I got in a shorter ride up on the ski hill while Jason went for a run. Then long drive back to ABQ.


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NH and VT trip 
Sunday, September 16, 2012, 08:03 AM - Trips
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Two close friends, Pearl and Paul, from my NREL days got married around the Burlington area over Labor Day weekend. I headed up there early to do a little exploring.

Flew into Manchester, NH, rented a car, and cruised up to the White Mountains and crashed at Sugarloaf Camp (an ok spot off Zealand Rd). Decided to climb the tallest thing around, Mt. Washington -- a cute little hill out east. Mt Washington is notorious for getting some of the most extreme weather in the US (Details) and kills people from time to time. I had a light pack and made quick work of the empty Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. I made it to the Lakes of the Clouds AT cabin in about 1:20 and was suddenly greeted by dozens of through hikers and families doing the White Mountains traverse. The final pitch up the Crawford Path was exposed and gradually more and more windy. I hiked hard in my t-shirt and passed people decked out in full windbreakers and gloves. Summitted in 2 hours flat!! (Good considering the guys at the shop below said round trip should take about 8 hours.) At the top it was 45 degree F with 45 MPH winds! I finally gave in and put on some warm clothing.

The cog train down was $45, so I really didn't want to pay for it, but I knew if I hiked down I would be at risk of reinjuring my IT bands. After thinking for a little bit, I figured I could take it slow and hiked on down the Gulfside Trail to Jewell Ridge. But I didn't really take it that slow and 1 mile in, I noticed some pain in my knee; 2 miles in, I had to hobble into the underbrush to make trekking poles; and by the bottom I was wincing in pain. I popped some Ibuprofen, got some ice at a gas station, and drove west.


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I took the Ben and Jerry's Tour and eat a tasty Colbert-inspired Americone Dream 1/2 pint before meeting up with Pearl, Paul, Rebecca, Russel, Andrew, and Pearl's parents for dinner and then Viking Chess in Jeffersonville. The following day Andrew, R&R, and I headed into town for a visit to Magic Hat, had lunch on Church St with Natalie, Kyle, and Jamie. We all went down and got tandem bikes and road north along Lake Champlain until the trail ended at Mallett's Bay. Goofed off to waste time by playing bike frisbee - not that hard when the person on back only needs to concentrate on the disk.



The following day I had lunch on the square with Chris, Dro, Nicole, and Anna. All the old gang is back in town! Following day explored Smuggler's Notch area and found some nice sport climbing and bouldering before heading off the the wedding. Nice ceremony by the pond and then games and dancing at the Boyden Farm. Lot of photos here.




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Iceland June 10-21 
Friday, June 29, 2012, 08:49 PM - Trips
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My parents and I rented a car and circled Iceland over the course of 10 days. My mom's version of the trip.


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Photos from the trip are located here.

Some neat spots:

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Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge Attempt - May 2012 
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 02:50 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Pictures!

Left ABQ at 8pm on Wednesday and landed at 10pm in the Seattle airport. By the time everyone rounded up gear and loaded into the rental van it was easily 11:30. Lance drove us to the closed road at White River so we shuttled gear up to the TH before dropping the van off. Lance and I were elected/volunteered to complete the extra 4 mi bonus hike. Once we got back to the trailhead everyone was gone - later found hiding from the snow in the women's bathroom asleep. Stashed some beer, and then began our hike around 5am. The sky was already lightening.

Worked our way up the trail. I wore snowshoes but no one else did. It was 50/50 snow/dry. Weighed in at the car my pack was 60 lbs so I wasn't moving too fast. Eventually I worked my way into the front of the group and decided to chance it across a 4ft snow formation on a bridge. I made the first step and broke through and promptly dropped like a rock past the bridge into the river. With the mountaineering boots and snowshoes, I managed to keep my feet dry. As I crawled out of the river and onto the edge of the bridge, I saw the rest of the group huddling around my hole. I smiled at them so they would know that I was alright, and crawled onto the other side of the bridge.



We made our way into glacier basin, only to find tons of avalanche slides. The week before dropped more than a foot of fresh snow. This along with the warm weather meant a lot of wet slide activity. Tom lead as we worked our way toward St. Elmo pass. The deep snow made travel painfully slow. We rotated leaders, but each person in front still tired out quickly. The weather came and went and we were bathed in clouds and then back out of them. The snow came and went.

At St. Elmo pass we took a break, eat some food, and plotted our course through the Winthrop Glacier. After glissading down, Lance took the lead with the probe. He managed to make it though a mile of crevassed ice before handing leadership over to Justin. We were moving painfully slow through the fresh foot of snow and traversed too low -- making the route a painful mixed snow/rock trek. Eventually we gave up on making it to Curtis Ridge for the night and camped in a basin. When I got the tent up, dinner cooked, and gear stowed I had been up for 36 hours. Bed was about 7pm.

In the morning (2am), we were up and getting ready for another full day. The snow had returned and winds were howling. Had some oatmeal and roped up for more traversing. I lead the way with the probe. Stabbing the snowpack a foot in front of my steps I did my best to avoid taking another plunge. The overnight winds and cold had helped consolidate the snowpack a little. I did my best to stay out of the wind loaded areas and move toward Curtis. Eventually the two rope teams made it to the cliff-band and camped out while Justin listened to the weather report in 25 knot winds. I took the opportunity to look for ways down the cliff. Eventually we found a way through, but it was a little tricky. We had to belay people on steep snow past a crevasse to a snow bridge. In the process of moving everyone through this obstacle course, I heard a loud noise of moving snow. The Willis Wall was sliding. I knew this would run once in a while, but this explosion of snow kept coming, and coming, and coming. From the belay stance with Tom, Justin, and Leigh, we watched as our path to Liberty Ridge was swept with the snowy plume. It was scary and impressive at the same time. This effectively ended the Liberty Ridge attempt. We realized it was too dangerous to continue.



We set up camp on Curtis Ridge for the day and watched the Liberty Ridge route slide. Definitely the correct decision to not go up. With the rest came higher spirits though and everyone was enjoying the sun and the time to relax. Plans were made to attempt the Camp Schurman route in the morning.



Up at 2am, it seemed that the group was moving slowly to Mike and I. Eventually we sorted out the route and traversed high back to St Elmo's. I lead the entire route, and managed to fall waist deep into a crevasse twice before asking for the probe. It wasn't given to me, so I used the ice axe to hollow out an opening in the top to jump. As I cut the final chunk of snow free of the opposing wall, it fell for a couple seconds before I heard ice crystals shattering a dozens of feet below me. That really got me freaked out, but I still managed to make it across with my breath held.

St. Elmo proved to be a snowy 45 degree slog. We were all happy to get on top and break for a little bit. Justin scouted the route across the Inter Glacier and confirmed that it would be safe if, and only if, we could make a dash across the high side of the snow field. Mike lead, but as I came over the snowy knoll, I could tell that he had gone too low. He was in the glacier proper and we were in trouble. Justin, came over and called things off. Avy danger was too high and our trip was over.

We glissaded back down a ways, grabbed our stashed poles and snowshoes, and had a few beers back at the trail head. Hard having come so far to not climb higher, but I was happy we made the smart (i.e. safe) decision.

*cue car camping party!


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