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
Posted by Administrator
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
Posted by Administrator
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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Ice Pics 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 09:05 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator





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Vail and Beaver Creek Spring Break Trip with CU Folks 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012, 09:19 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
4 ski days, 1 house, 15 college aged people = one serious party!

Trouble with Vail is that you have to catch a bus to get to the lifts if you don't want to pay.


But then when you get there, the back bowls rock.

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Or, rather, they should have. There was thin cover everywhere, and no cover on the south-facing slopes. The thin slushy catwalk near the Orient Express melted out the 2nd day so no one could get to Pete's Bowl. Still made the most of it.




Hit Beaver Creek on Saturday.

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Snowball fight in the moguls.


T-shirt Skiing.


Back to Boulder for a relaxing Sunday with Paul, Rebecca, and Russell. Got in a game of dangle balls, cornhole, and took a spin through town on the perfect sunny, 75 degree day.





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Goofballs.

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NREL PV MRW 
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 09:08 AM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Caught up with Charles, Howard, Rob, Jennifer, Chris, etc. at NREL this week. NREL's really changed a lot since I was last there. There are construction projects everywhere!

The nice benefit of business travel is excellent food!



Flight back to ABQ was cool - The Great Sand Dunes NP peaking through the clouds and the city was looking beautiful in the late afternoon.



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Boulder Visit 
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 08:55 AM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Left early for the NREL PV Module Reliability Workshop to catch up with folks in Boulder. Sunday I had lunch with Paul at Southern Sun (for Stout Month) and crushed Paul 21-18 at cornhole. I borrowed an old steel bike to cruise downtown and grab a beer with Waggy and Casey at the Twisted Pine. Then homemade Hawaiian pizza dinner with Bourbon Milkshakes and a little Texas Hold'em with Paul and Russell.






Monday I had a wonderful breakfast at Snooze with R&R, hiked the Mesa Trail, and had lunch with Laura and Ben before catching the GS bus down to Golden.







Thanks all!
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Grants Training  
Friday, January 13, 2012, 10:29 PM - Trips
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Started at the Run/Bike transition. Ran - pretty good but the climb killed me with my thrashed calves. Bike didn't go well... even with a 20 minute break. Calves cramped coming down, and tightened up repeatedly on the way up.


Run


Bike
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Lots of skiing! 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 10:15 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Wolf Creek


More Wolf


Taos


Hiking at Taos


And a few miles of cross country for good measure

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Breaking 60 MPH on Skis! 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 10:05 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Cracked the 60 MPH mark on my AT Skis as the 2nd guy down the backside of Taos on Jan 2nd! Jason lead on his downhill Volkls and probably was flirting with 70 MPH.


CloseUp
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New Years Ski Trip to Wolf Creek and Taos 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 08:18 PM - Trips
Posted by Administrator
Grant with his toy at the cabin in Pagosa:


Sunset at cabin:


Poker = -$10.


Torchlight on New Years Eve at Taos:


Fireworks for New Years at Taos:

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23rd Annual Hike to Bald Knob 
Tuesday, January 3, 2012, 07:34 PM - Trips
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I've hiked up to Bald Knob Cross from my parent's place every winter since I was 5. Over the xmas break I completed the 23rd annual trip up.





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