Taos Closing Weekend 
Thursday, April 10, 2014, 02:21 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
Jeff, Angelina, and I drove up to Taos on Friday, crashed with Jen and Kirk at the Alpine Suites above Tim's. Jason joined us in the morning for a breakfast burrito and then we mocked one of the backside and started the hiking. Angelina had a stress fracture in her foot, so--after skiing a corner shoot--decided to sit a couple runs out while Jeff and I explored the West Basin. We tried to get into Wonder Bowl, but ended up in the Meatball trib to the north. The rest of the day was solid skiing with fun people. That night we met up with Dom, Mario, Melissa, et al at a BnB house in Taos. Kelley drove us and her friend from TX up to dinner at KTAOS. There was a beautiful sunset that evening!



The festivities got the better of the crowd, so we only got on the chairs about 11:30(!) on the closing sunday. I dressed in my Sunday best to ski out the season in style. Jeff went full 80's and we hit is hard with 8" of fresh powder. The crew disappeared and reappeared, but Jason, Mugzy, Victor, and I ended the season on highline with a drink and a serious party with ~25 folks soaking in the final run of the day. Got one last beer at the Bav and met up with Ang and Bill in their camper for a farewell toast.






Sadly, I ended the season without completing all the runs in Taos again. I'm still missing: Cabin Chute, Cabin Trees, No Name, Patrol Shack, Heavy Timber, Cuervo, High Somewhere, Wonder Bowl, Black Rock Traverse, Godie Chutes, Game Birds, Muse Bowl, and What 1&2.
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Bull of the Woods Yurt - Mar 28-30, 2014 
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 02:42 PM - Weekend Fun
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It's somewhat of a tradition at this point. Towards the end of the ski season Briana and Josiah get the Bull of the Woods yurt and we get some people to go live in the woods for a couple nights. This time we had B&J, Jeff, Mike, Daave, Chris, and Harmony. This year, I lead a backcountry adventure up to Gold Hill. It was quite an adventure, but with some fresh snow things worked out well. We worked our way up to the ridge and then skinned to the summit with the snow balling up under our skis - The worst I've ever seen it!! The views of Kachina, Wheeler, and the ski valley were fantastic, but the backside of the gold hill ridge also held some burly terrain. A slab cut loose on me on the ridge, so I decided not to push our luck and we headed back to the yurt after summiting. Poor Chris snowshoed with his snowboard, so he was hurting pretty well by the end of the day. Before the final descent, I dug a pit, and then we all dropped in to some amazing tree skiing. We retraced our tracks so we popped out of the forest right at the front door of the yurt. Perfect!













I also got a killer night shot from about 1am-4am of the yurt.

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In other news, Mike and I have been training for Rainier. Here's our ridiculous crevasse rescue training in my backyard.

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Taos Weekend with Jason 
Monday, March 24, 2014, 08:57 PM - Weekend Fun
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Got Jason at the airport on Thursday and immediately biked over to the Carménère wine tasting party at Julio and Evan's. We blasted up to Taos in the morning and skied the standard 9:00-5:00 with a breakfast burrito on the first chair and a beer on the last chair. Did a couple Kachinas and even though Jason's coming off his broken leg surgery, he was skiing strong (on the groomers). I finally jumped the cliff under Chair 4 with a hip check. Kept the skis on though and skied away without much knee damage so I'm counting it as a success. After 4:00, we grabbed a beer with Asia and Jeff, and had dinner at the Bav.

Saturday, we played with race skis in the morning. Jason got a Platinum in the Nastar course and I inched closer to gold: only 0.13 seconds out of gold!! Racing is so annoying, but Jason helped me with a few minor corrections, so hopefully I can clean those up in the near future. We climbed Kachina at 2pm with the ridge-a-thoners and threw a mini party up top - plenty of food and drink to go around the freezing, wind-blown summit.

Sunday, Jason and I skinned up to Williams Lake from the base: 1,800 ft of climbing with my Kahrus. I had killer blistering on my heals, so I'm going to have to fix that before going back to Rainier.





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Trifecta 
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 09:13 PM - Weekend Fun
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Jeff hatched a brilliant plan to ski, bike, and golf in a single day. Apparently one of his friends started this thing in CA, and he's importing it to NM. We got lucky and 3" fresh inches of snow appeared before the big Saturday so the skin/ski up Sandia was great. Mason and Mike joined and we a fun in the snow for the last ski day on Sandia Peak for the year. From there we jumped on the bikes down the icy road back around the mountain to my house. The skinny tires were terrible on the snowpacked road, but no one laid over their bike. The wind in the canyon was more than 30 mph, so Jeff and I drafted down the mountain into town. Poor Mason took the brunt of it though, since he didn't jump in the group and was on a hybrid. After the shuttle, everyone rallied for disc golf (a last minute change) in Roosevelt Park. It was chilly and cloudy, but we trifecta-ed!!









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Ski racing weekend 2-23-14 
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 09:34 PM - Weekend Fun
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Saturday, I pulled out the race tigers for the 2nd day, but this time around I was railing turns on them much better. Less like riding a bull and more like riding a wild horse. I wasn't seeded so I got to ride down on a sheet of ice - skittering a good chunk of the way. However, I held it together enough to post my best results ever: 13th out of 72.



That evening I visited with Scott in the TSV and spent the night in the car. Sunday morning I was on the first chair with the race tigers. Did the backside rip and they felt solid so I headed to the NASTAR course. I ran gates 3 times and kept improving my time slowly. I was pretty sure I was going push through to gold, but I misremembered the course on run 4, and straightened too early and plowed right through a gate at 25-30 mph, lost a ski, rode the other down a bit until losing it and whip-lashing/knee bashed down the hill. I got up and fixed the gate for course-setter Steve (who I met earlier at Tim's place). I took run 5 but things slowed a bit. Gold will have to wait until next time!



I spent the rest of the day skiing with Allison, Mike, and Tom. We caught a little of the junior freestyle comps - those kids are amazing. Some car problems getting it started, but I eventually got it running and make it back to the ABQ.
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Ice climbing and BC skiing in Ouray/Silverton 
Sunday, February 16, 2014, 07:33 PM - Weekend Fun
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I have been enjoying the warmer weather on my bike rides to/from work. I caught this great sunset this last week.


Thursday, I had a few friends over for a ski tuning party, but my 1-car garage was a little cramped.


Friday, I headed up to Ouray with Leigh and Justin for ice climbing Saturday and a backcountry skiing Sunday. Justin was showing off ice climbing with a couple students from Puerto Rico, so we scored a killer condo with the group. Andreas and Julie also joined us so we had a good group for the climb. Mark and Sandra were also up in Ouray for the climbing season, so we hung out with them both nights. Some friends of theirs were holding a broomball party at the Ouray Ice Rink, but with the above freezing temperatures, the party stayed off the ice and made hot cider, BBQed, and huddled around the fire.





Sunday, Justin came down with a cold so Andreas and I decided to do the backcountry skiing alone. We skinned up from Coal Creek Pass and dropped into Coal Creek. Then went up and over to Deer Creek. It was icey on the south aspects so skinning was little challenging, but the warm weather consolidated everything very nicely. It was snowing lightly and the mountains were beautiful up there! We had a little powder in places, but it was mostly 2" crust on dense snow. Not the best conditions but we made the best of two descents. I proudly continued my lucky streak with hitchhiking when we were picked up by the first car to come by!
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Playing on the Shield 
Sunday, February 2, 2014, 09:20 PM - Weekend Fun
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Tyler is leaving ABQ in a week, so I've been trying hang out with him before he takes a roundabout journey to Norway. Friday, I went with him to the Air Force/AFRL annual party at Sandia Casino. Ok food but a good talk from General Chilton who talked about his astronaut career.

Saturday, I had a couple going away parties for Mike from my soccer team and for Tyler. Tough times for Lovelace and AMRC.

Sunday, Mike, Tyler, and I climbed the Knife Edge of the Shield. It was a little slick with the snow, but otherwise a cloudless cool winter day. We took the traverse/down climb out and that was the hairiest part of the day! Rapping on worn, UV-affect ropes is never fun.




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Red River GS Ski Race 2014 
Sunday, January 12, 2014, 09:50 PM - Weekend Fun
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My first day on the World Cup Racetigers were a little rough. They are a super stiff ski and it took me a long time to learn how to carve with them. Unfortunately, I really got the hang of things after the race.



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New years and birthdays in Taos 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 10:37 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
New Year's Eve I drove up to Taos to ski the torchlight parade with Jason, Jeff, and Victor. I finally had a completely clean run down the dark showdown bumps too! But after the ski shop party we turned in early at 10pm.





New years day we skied a full 9:00-5:00 day with a Kachina hike and a couple ridges. My friend Adrien came up from ABQ with her sister so we had a nice crew.




On Friday, Jason had his big 50th bday bash, complete with a xc ski and snowshoe to Williams Lake, and a full day of skiing. We hiked Kachina with Briana and another friend, Christy, we picked up on the lift. The sad part of the day was on the last run, Jason had a bad fall on Juarez and slid for ~200 ft and hurt his ankle. Being the person he is, he still skied down on one foot and went out to the birthday dinner with his Taos friends.






Saturday, after doing a backside mach run (61 mph!), I continued my mission to ski every named run in Taos. I focused on the west basin, but the snow conditions were terrible. I didn't really know the names of the chutes and there poorly labels. Meatball was nearly impossible to get into and I ended up sliding between rocks on my side to get into the main chute from the southern ridge. I didn't mean to, but the next run I got into the technically closed Sauza, where the choke was not skiable, and I had to sidestep, slip, and repel on a rope down to the lower stretch. I was shocked when the rope first came into view but I managed to keep it together and get down the run. Lastly, I skied Oster, but again it was rocky so I had to be extremely precise with my line. Overall, it was a tough morning, so I was happy to take the 2nd easy with Mike and Andreas. Saturday night was Josiah's birthday party at the St. Bernard. We ate well, had a little champaign, danced until the bar closed, and post-partied in the RV. Then I spent the 2 degree night in the van, but was plenty warm with my sleeping bag, puffy clothes, and a couple blankets.









Sunday morning, I warmed my boots and water bottle in my sleeping bag. I got geared up, grabbed a Tim's breakfast burrito, and caught the 9:00 chair. The conditions were super icy so I did Tresckow, Two Bucks, and Hidalgo before heading home early.
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Taos BC Ski Trip 
Monday, December 16, 2013, 03:11 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
Mike and I used my grandparent's timeshare points to get a place in Taos for the weekend. Saturday morning we met up with Tyler and Andreas for a backcountry tour up toward Wheeler. We made it up to Williams Lake easy enough, but up higher the snow had mostly blown away from the strong winds the weekend before. We still boot packed it to the top of the ridge around 13,000' and pieced our way back down the snow/rock and ended up doing a great run through the trees at "penguin rock" south of the fingers. Above treeline there was about 4" of windblown slab on 2 feet of facets. in the trees there were more layers and the Column and Extended Column failed at 7 with a propagation at ~20 cm. We decided, "safe enough." It was a full day, so we hit up the Bavarian for a beer and then went back to town to have dinner with Josiah, Briana, Dave, Jen, and Kirk.

Sunday, I worked with Mike on some ski drills. By the end of the day we did Lorelei and took a highline ridge hike (Juarez). Pretty solid for his 3rd day on skis! I left for a couple more hikes. West Blitz Trees was nice and Elevator was brutal - punchy and nearly untouched except for one person who slipped the entire line: definitely a little survival skiing in there. We headed home early, and I, feeling a little sick, passed out by 10pm.







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Red River Race Camp and Taos Powder Day 
Monday, December 16, 2013, 02:54 PM - Weekend Fun
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Jason, Jeff, and I went up to Red River for the Corporate Cup race camp. It wasn't as busy as last year, which meant we got a little more attention from the UNM ski team members. I trained with Joonas Rasanen, the 2013 NCAA Men's Slalom National Champion. The camp really is a great way to get your feet back under you for the ski season and fun to run gates for a day too.



Sunday, the three of us skied 9" of power on the front side of Taos. Unfortunately, there were 35+ mph sustained winds so chair 2 never started running. It was still fun to do bumps... and I got to play with my new Volkl Katanas! They were great on the powdery bumps early on, and still fun on the hard pack at the end of the day. They don't carve well, but they are powder ski after all. 112 under foot.

12 sets of skis for 3 people skiing 2 days:

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Cabezon and San Ysidro Slot Canyon 
Sunday, November 24, 2013, 04:42 PM - Weekend Fun
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For some bizarre reason, ten people decided to take a very cold, snowy, windy, climb of Cabezon on Saturday. Jeff brought together a strong crew but we didn't realize how difficult the conditions were before showing up. There was rime ice on everything and the holds weren't very good. I actually would have probably turned around if it wasn't for Mike having the good sense to bring a rope and harness. I figured we could always setup some rappels for folks when we didn't want to downclimb what we came up. I didn't really want to downclimb much of the route either since my La Sportiva approach shoes get very slick in the snow. Mike set up a handline for people on the crux move and then we lassoed a boulder on top to make the first downclimb move, but I think I might have been the only person to use it. Everyone else butt scooted down the entire climb! Very impressive. I think everyone had a little trouble downclimbing the crux, but we all made it down safely. Then on the way home we checked out the San Ysidro slot canyon. It was too wet to do a lot of it, but it was still fun to explore from the top of the canyon.














Saturday, I drove to Holbrook, AZ to buy a Tallboy mountain bike. The drive was snowy/whiteout and ice-packed for the trip out and I nearly was run off the road a couple times by semis, but I did get the bike and back to town in one piece.
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AMRC Annual Party 
Sunday, November 17, 2013, 09:11 PM - Weekend Fun, AMRC
Posted by Administrator
The team had a fun climbing/training day at Major Wall in the Socorro Box Saturday. I climbed an easier 5.7 next to She Can Bolt. I went over with Andy to setup some fixed lines to practice line transfers and taught a few new prospective members about the basics of anchor building. Andy volunteered to be my patient. I built a great system - two connections to Andy (60 cm runner and my personal anchor) and then made a counter weight system out of my 8 mm with a figure eight on Andy and a munter mule on my end. With my backpack on I was able to easily pull him up and get his grigri out of the system, then I lowered him with the munter onto the runners attached to me. It took some work to retrieve the upper prusik, and then I realized that both of us were on my grigri alone - so I decided to back it up with a prusik above the grigri (big mistake!). At the bottom of the rappel there was a cactus so Rusty pulled the rope over to help Andy out, but it crushed my balls and I let the prusik bind. I tried to make some systems to raise both of us (didn't work), and then I tried to just get Andy off me with another 3:1 above me on another prusik (no progress capture, so it didn't really work) and then I used the bolt on the wall to build the 3:1 and I tied it off so Andy was off me. Then I leg looped on the main line, and got up to break the prusik. We rapped to the ground after about 45 minutes of sitting there in front of everyone. Justin was nice enough to come over and poke me with a stick. I later learned that the Grigri 2 is only rated to 1800 lbs so we only had a 4.5 safety factor on the rappel (but with a backup) so in the future I should use an ATC.

After lunch Mike, Rusty, and Adrian went to Red Wall to climb. Mike did Red Wall while I lead (poorly) the start of Spiderman, which was over my head. I used the hook Rusty loaned me to sit a few places and I was shot through the 5.9+ bolted first section. I really am in terrible climbing shape. I made it up the next section with good pro to a bolt (the 5th bolt), but there wasn't good pro above that so I decided I was going to bail. I rapped on a locking 'biner on the bolt (little scary) but was happy to be back on the ground.





We drove back to burque and up to the AMRC party at the cache (after a shower). Lance became the team president and Leigh breathed a sigh of relief. We ate and drank and before you know it, it was passed 3am and I left to bivvy in the forest for the night.
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Ice Luge Construction 
Friday, November 8, 2013, 09:12 PM - Weekend Fun
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Our 'make it snow party' included a special treat this year: an ice luge. It was a bit of work to make it happen, but in the end it was a roaring success. I bought a 300 lb block of ice from Reddy Ice and then put it on a sloped cornhole board on a table outside. For the carving we tried a few things: propane torch, dribbling boiling water onto the surface and in the channels, heating conduit with the torch and pressing it into the face, ice screws (bad idea - it cracked the ice), but ultimately the best method was to pour boiling water with a tea pot down the shaped pipe and applying pressure. This worked really well, and I would recommend it to anyone else building a luge.






(Checked off #25 on my list of things to do before 30!)

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Halloween and Tridents 
Sunday, November 3, 2013, 06:35 PM - Weekend Fun
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Saturday, Mike and I tried to ride Kind of the Mountain, but the mud was insane. We bailed after 1/3 of the ride because the mud was so terrible.



Last Thursday I made a quick trip out to San Diego to the EESAT review where I presented some microgrid research. Then on this Tuesday I presented the smart grid pre-certifications work in Portland. Hopefully someone found it interesting. As a plus, I met up with Dro and played some skeeball and drank a couple beers!

For Halloween, Mike and I went out to a party with a few friends. I went as a 80's Yosemite climber (Lance Johnson) and Mike was a dirtbad white trash guy with his mullet wig. Decent time but nothing crazy. Saturday, Mike, Tom, and I climbed a potential First Ascent of the Tridents which we're calling "Trimming Bush: the Tale of the Rumphassler." I lead the first miserable pitch through the bushes. It was the one of the roughest 5.8 leads I've had... and it included a nasty traverse where I aided a tiny nut while straddling a shrub. Somehow things worked out and I got to the top. Pitches 2 and 3 were cruiser and we made quick work of the rap.




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Moab - Oct 2013 
Monday, October 21, 2013, 07:27 AM - Weekend Fun
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Mike, Tom, and I drove up to Moab to meet Leigh, Justin, Mark, Sam, John, and Sam's sister Leana (Lele) for some canyoneering last weekend. We arrived Friday evening and met up with the crew. In the spirit of our friend Lance, Mike, Tom, and I wore wigs for the first canyon: Big Horn in Arches National Park.

The following day we went up to do the Granary - a longer and funner canyon with some large rappels. It was a great time out with a lot of great people. Back in camp, we cooked up some burgers and had a few beers, and Kenny, my old friend from IL (turned Moab kayak guide), came over to camp and we caught up.

Sunday, we ran though Not Tierdrop Canyon. The 2nd rap required building our own anchor out of rocks we found in the area. I think it would have held 1000 lbs, but it was still exciting rappelling off loose rocks.










More photos are here.
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Mountains to the Desert Century: Telluride to Gateway 
Sunday, September 22, 2013, 07:27 PM - Weekend Fun
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Allison found Mike, Tom, Jeff, Boulder Mike, Kelley, Luke, and myself a killer pad in Mountain Village for the weekend. Jeff, Allison, Luke and I drove up on Friday night and kicked the party off with some grilling, loud music, and hot tub time.

The following morning we were up early for the Mountains to the Desert Century ride. I made a quick breakfast of oatmeal and lots of fruit, but with the big crew we couldn't get going in time and ended up getting to Telluride about the time of the mass start. We spent another 10 minutes looking for a parking place and then 20 more minutes getting people and bikes in the proper shape.

Out of town, Mike, Tom and I joined forces and ripped down the mountain. I pulled the big hill out of Telluride at ~45 mph for a mile and a half and then we cycled through our little peloton/echelon for another 25 miles to the first stop. We averaged a killer 28 mph for this stretch! After the rest of the group got in, we climbed the 700' to Norwood and stripped down to warm riding gear. From there the burque crew started pulling as a team with Allison and Jeff jumping in the mix. Boulder Mike stayed with Kelley for a lot of the ride and then would bolt up to us (incredibly!). After the next stop we tried to ride as a group, but even at a slow pace Kelley and others would break the pelaton in half... so it was a casual, downhill, down-wind ride with plenty of beautiful canyon scenery. Boulder Mike and I took a couple serious pulls at the beginning of the last 30 miles and broke away from the rest of the group. Tom rejoined and then I got dropped from the lead peloton at a ~25-28 mph pace in the canyon. It was sooo brutal and I was starting to feel the distance. We all stopped off at a natural spring to rehydrate and eat. I did the final 20 miles with Mike and Jeff. We rotated through the group and despite my calves staring to cramp I was pulling strong and helping drag the group to the beer tent! Perhaps the funniest part of the ride was that Boulder Mike and Tom went out to do the extra hillclimb to make it a 133 mile ride... so they came in late. Very late. In fact Tom crossed the finish line a couple feet behind Mike, but this won him the Caboose Award as the final person to come in for the day. As an ex-Ironman and all around fit BA, it was funny to have him getting his photo with the caboose trophy!

Strava Stats:
Distance 104.5mi
Moving Time 04:56:29
Elapsed Time 06:34:13
Max Speed 49.9mi/h
Avg Speed 21.1mi/h
Total Climb 2,377ft

There was an (exhausted) afterparty but we turned in quick Saturday night. Sunday we took Ophir Pass over to Silverton to get back to ABQ. The weather had turned, but it wasn't a problem with Jeff's new 4WD Tacoma.







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Rainy Weekend in Albuquerque - AMRC RL Training 
Sunday, September 15, 2013, 04:45 PM - Weekend Fun
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Friday night Mike and I got together to talk about the AMRC training we were running Saturday morning. Allison was also in town because, after her cycling accident, she wanted to stay with Mike so there would be someone for concussion watch and because it's good to have people look after you after a car hits you. We grabbed food at Flying Star and then hit the hot tub with Luke. At the end of the night, we had our plans settled for the morning.

Saturday morning Mike, Allison, and I drove up to the crest parking lot at 7am ahead of the AMRC team. We headed down to the Tombstone in driving, cold rain decked in the best goretex and waterproof clothing we could find! It had been raining hard (for Albuquerque) for the last 3 days and everything was muddy and soaked so the approach was atrocious and I butt skiied down the mountain at least once. Mike set up a static line to the top of pitch one and, after a little coaching, belayed Allison down to Mike. They set up the scenario, while I packed up may anchor and hiked up to the approaching team. As acting rescue leader, I guided Kerry, Zak, Mark, Sam, Tom, and Brendan down to the top of tombstone. Once there, we built the main and belay systems and sent Sam down to access the patients. (Note to self: have the first person over the edge bring hypotherma gear.) Then Zak took the litter over the edge to pick up the critical lead climber (Allison). There was some edge pro work to be done, but overall everything ran smoothly. We had some trouble getting a good throw on the 3:1, but with enough resets, the crew on top got Zak and Allison back up to the top. At the edge it was a terrible transition so we built a 5:1 to get people off the main, and then created a bridle on the head as a progress capture with my grigri. Worked great. At the top of the Tombstone we called the training complete and Mike and and Sam asended back to the top. Then it was a muddy slog back to the parking lot. We ran into Kevin at the top with his new son, Felix. That was a real treat! I haven't seen there new kid.










Sunday, I spent a long time diagnosing the leak in the garage and then went off to soccer practice. We were supposed to have a game, but the fields were too wet. In the warmups, we were shooting on Mike, and he dove for a ball and dislocated his pinky finger. David calmly reset it before I could even ofter my assistance. After that we ran some drills and then played a scrimage. It was exhausting playing 2v2 with David, Amrit, and Mike with Steve in goal. I really like the level of play of this team - some really amazing players but I can usually keep up. Go Lovelace!
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Sandia Super Weekend - Aug 2013 
Thursday, August 22, 2013, 10:10 PM - Weekend Fun
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I got up at 7:30am Saturday morning to do the round the mountain ride. The few few miles weren't too bad but there was a head wind heading up to Bernallilo. Then the climbing started. I was going fine until the gravel road, where I ran out of water and catastrophically bonked. I was only on the last 3 miles of gravel before intersecting the crest road but without water it was hopeless. I meant to grab a couple cliff bars on the way out of the house too, but I somehow forgot. Plus, the slow riding while dodging rocks and patches of washboard road was really hard on the skinny tires. Eventually, I couldn't keep it up and I had to start walking. I ran into a east mountains man missing some teeth who offered me water in an antifreeze jug. After he took a swig, I gave it a smell and filled up my bottle. After that I could ride a 1/2 mile before needing to rest some more. After 3 looong miles of this, I finally ended up on the paved crest road. Finally I got up there and rolled down to the ski area, climbed the final hill at about 3 mph, and then sailed down to the Lizard Grill on North 14. I was too exhausted to bother braking so the turns were a little exciting. At the restaurant, I stuffed myself on a veggie burrito and easily drank 5 monster cups of water and lemonade to try to get some strength back in my muscles. It worked! I made the final 20 miles home without too much agony. In the end it was a 70 mile ride with 4500 feet of gain. Burly!


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At this point, I figured I'm in for a nice evening of rest. WRONG! I got the mountain rescue page out for a mission for a hiker lost somewhere off the trail on La Luz around 7:00. So I loaded up my pack and went out to try and find this guy. Fortunately, I got up to incident base quick enough that I was on the 3-person strike team. The Metro One helicopter spotted the guy using a cell phone GPS waypoint before it got dark, so it was relatively straight forward to hike up to Chimney Canyon and bushwack through the cacti, shrubs, and trees to the GPS coordinates. We had the helicopter use the spotlight to help guide us the last few hundred feet to the guy. The patient was about 20 years old and in the air force, but while trying to hike down from the crest he went exploring and got lost. It seemed strange, but at least he knew to call for help when he ran out of water and it was getting dark. (People sometimes don't do this since they think it'll cost them, but it's completely free!) So we assessed him, gave him some water, and hiked out on the old Chimney Canyon climber trail. The news media was there when we got out to get a shot of the action, but I left pretty quick to go get a few hours of sleep.

Sunday, I was up at 6am to go climbing with Andy, a friend from the mountain rescue team. We planned to do Warpy Moople even though it was at the limits of my skill and comfort zone. Plus there have been some major injuries and deaths on the route, so that makes you think about what you're doing a little more seriously. Turns out it was every bit as challenging as I expected.

P1 - I led slowly, but it wasn't too challenging. Had a hard time placing gear for some reason.

P2 - Andy smoked the 5.9 move off the deck with a handful of cams. I decided halfway up I'd save my strength and aided through the roof, pulling the last couple cams as I moved past them.

P3 - I got hopelessly lost by taking the dihedral up to the roof. The move got very hard, so I planned to down-climb, but then decided to try a hairy traverse. It was tense (!) but I made it through slowly. The opening move was fingertips and smearing--something that I hate with my worn shoes.

P4 - I lead the 5.8 pitch to give Andy the crux. We could have made it to the bolts but the rope drag was too much and I had to make an anchor. There was a small roof that I did get up to, but then found myself wearing out, so I stuck my foot in my cam loop and stood on it. Cheating? Maybe, but I didn't have the least bit of remorse. I clipped the bolts and brought Andy up.

P5 - The scary traverse to 5.9 R face climbing! I don't know how Andy pulled it off, but he got up that thing. I was stressing about that pitch all day, so it was good to finally knock it out. The traverse wasn't so bad except the 25 lb backpack was trying to pull me off the edge. I got though with some small holds and then worked up the face. It was tough climbing, but anywhere that seemed too much, there seemed to be a piece of gear handy that I could give a pull on. I only did this 2-3 times, but it made things much easier for my next pitch. At this point we had drained all our water though, so it was starting to get a little desperate.

P6 - I led the 5.8 face into an offwidth. The face was tough, but I found pro regularly, so I was feeling ok. I chose to traverse right and it was a good decision, this led to easier stuff and the crack to the final belay stance.

P7 - Andy led us up to the top of Muralla Grande. The sun set and I got to climb the final pitch by head lamp. And then it started to rain. And then the lightning started. We found the stashed water and hiked back to the van.

It was 16 hours door-to-door and 11 hrs 45 min roped up. That's a big day! Needless to say, it was a tough bike commute to work Monday.











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Knife Edge of the Shield 
Monday, August 12, 2013, 09:01 PM - Weekend Fun
Posted by Administrator
Josiah and I have been talking about doing this climb for a while, so it was good to finally knock it out. We climbed the Knife Edge of the Shield, a low 5th class climb, with a few trad pitches for those choosing to make it safe.

Briana, Josiah, and I left early on a partly cloudy Saturday morning and worked our way up Piedra Lisa and Rincon Spur Trails to the base of the climb. We freed our way up to the 'W' and then roped up. I found making the jump from the 'W' wasn't too bad and placed 4 pieces on the first pitch. Briana and Josiah went back and forth with the jump decision and in the end Josiah made the jump, but Briana went the more challenging route around to the left.

I did another pitch up the steeper section and then up a small chimney back to the easier class 4 stuff. Maybe not necessary to have the rope, but I was glad to have it, especially since I found a few loose rocks. Placed a couple cams and a couple nuts on the 2nd pitch, but avoided rope drag as best I could. From there it was up to North Sandia Peak for a lunchtime beer and all the way back down the La Luz Trail.







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