Jan. 5, Back on Top, Mt. Catherine



Ski in the backyard.  Wrangled up my brother Kelly and avid partner Crispin.   Left the house with temps hovering just above the zero mark.  A good pace up the freshly groomed slopes of Hyak, kept us warm, and got us over the shoulder to glide out to the base of Mt. Catherine.   W meandered up Catherine on a skin track put in earlier in the week.   There were a couple of ski tracks, but plenty of room for more fresh tracks.   As usual the steep ski descent did not disappoint, and it was nice get good snow, four days after the last storm.



Kelly 

Crispin with Silver Peak in the distance

Ready to ski

Kelly

Crispin
Crispin

January 2, 2017. Mt. Hyak

Day Number 6.    That's counting my first trip to the Lake Keechelus national forest parking lot.   .85 mile round trip on very flat ground.  I have very low standards as to what counts as a day of skiing.  Skis connected to feet and touch snow, count it!  

I started at the house, skinned up the road past the first sewer pond then headed up the East slopes of Hyak.   Lot's of tree blown down from the 2015 fall windstorm.   Generally worked left avoiding getting sucked up to high.  Eventually came to the edge of the powerline cut on the South slopes of Hyak.   This pic is on a powerline access road that connects into the main Hyak Hidden Valley ski runs.   This saddles out below the top of Hyak.   So I didn't actually make it to the top of Hyak.   Well, I did catch the chairlift up to the top.


I spotted this slope yesterday.   I skied it today from treeline on the left..  Very nice.  
Ankle really feels pretty good.  The touring has really helped get rid of the last bit of swelling and has gotten my muscles firing.   Aside from the one pitch here, I skied an easy groomer back to the base of Hyak.

December 31, Lake Keechelus



Cross country trails were in good shape.  Went out past the first bridge, then cross country to the Hidden Valley trail.  Skated back down to river, then slapped on skins for the slow slog back to house.

Rocking the pair of skis that marked my driveway last year.

Dec 11, It's getting Deep



Second cleaning of deck.   As I write, will need to go blow another foot.   Great start to winter at Snoqualmie Pass.   Alpental opening day was yesterday.  Scott was in the morning line-up with Matt and Heidi.  He reported fairly quick opening of Chair 2.  After one lap on chair 2, he said the line was so big he went home.   One and done!   Lines at Central and West looked very reasonable.  Noticed the Commonwealth was growing a cornice over the front of the building.   Could be an impressive cornice collapse when things warm up.  

December 6, 2016 OPening Day for Summit West

View from my desk.

Blog has been a little empty.  Still have another month before I can think about skiing, but that hasn't stopped the snow from falling.   Looking like an excellent start to the season.   Almost too cold.   Not used to this light stuff. 

Fibula   6 weeks out from surgery

Big pow skies for Francine

Digging out the deck from our
first major storm at Hyak.



Oct 17, Forced Relaxation

Unfortunately, my fibula fracture on May 20 decided to never grow back together.  Although I was pretty mobile and only had a dull ache, it was recommended that I get it pulled apart, scraped, and pinned back together.  Downside being six weeks of non weight bearing on my left leg.  Surgery was super smooth and easy.  Foot pain and swelling is less than the original break.   Hopeful for a quick recovery.



Kevin gets goldfish
 in the recovery room
Freshly plated fibula

October 12, Miller Peak

Last ride of the year.   Scheduled for Monday surgery on my broken fibula that never fully healed from my May 20 tipover.   Couldn't have had better trail conditions, and it was a great ride to finish my dirt bike season.  Got out with my neighbor Scott and my co-worker Eric H..   Recent rains and even a little snowfall had made the trails primo.

Kevin near the top of Miller Peak.  Mt. Stuart in the distance.





 

October 1, Coyote Offroad Dual-sport ride, Cashmere, Wa.

Scott
Hit the road at 4:45, in the morning, to make it to the second annual Coyote Offroad dualsport ride in Cashmere, Wa.   With little rain last month, the trails were extremely loose and dusty.   The first couple hours were quite challenging on fresh cut singletrack and roads covered in flour like dirt.   As the day progressed, the trails got better and the roads even improved.   Good challenging ride of 95 miles for the day.  


Mike

Scott

Scott

Mike Greene

John
Kevin

Mike

Sept. 28, Whistler - Lord of the Squirrels

Yeah!!!  We made it to the lake up high

We had an exciting night.  Tom thought for sure that Kevin got up in the middle of the night and was loudly crunching the fritos bag and crunching super loud while eating fritos and the crackers in the closet.  Lori thought Francine got up to pack the cooler and her food.  They weren't quite sure what to think when they heard snorting in the living room.

Francine, however, woke up to crunching rocks and snorting.  She thought for sure there was a bear on the gravel rocks below our 2nd floor balcony.  While running out to the balcony to look at the bears, she realized there was something in our unit.  All this woke Kevin, who went into the living room and made banging noises and tried to scare whatever out of the unit.  He got our patio door closed, which we had purposely left wide open.  It wasn't long before we heard an animal back on our patio.  It was a raccoon, eating the crackers dropped on the chase out of the unit.  He didn't seem concerned about us, shining a light thru the window.



In the morning, Francine went to the front desk to report the wild animal that was in our unit.  She thought it was a bear, while Kevin thought it was a raccoon.  The girl asked Francine if there was a mess and if anything was broke.  No, only a trail of empty baggies that had held gorp, crackers and fritos.  She confidently said it was raccoons then, and that they also get up to the 4th floor.  They snort when they get full and sleepy.  So, no bear.  Kevin did speak to a maintenance guy who said that yesterday a bear did get into a unit, and made a big mess.

Tom and Lori went home after breakfast.  Francine and Kevin had to hit the new descending trail, Lord of the Squirrels (L.O.T.S.), built by the bike club, WORCA.  The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is building a climbing trail, which isn't quite finished, but it seems the locals were doing the loop, and hit the climbing trail and then descended on LOTS.

It was quite a grunt going up a descending trail, but was worth it.  This is the first high alpine trail that bikers are allowed on.  20 mile day, and Google Earth said total elevation was 5800 feet today, starting in Creekside base area.



New, high alpine trail for bikers


Last bit of trail before we turn around

Kev at the turnaround point.  Whistler in the background.

Almost at the end of Lord of the Squirrels for us




Now descending on Lord of the Squirrels

Francine coming up to a sporty section on the rocks

Francine diverting onto the easier option

Sept. 27 - Whistler - Lost Lake Trails

We rode with Lori over to Lost Lake.  We split up as we were going to do the Zappa Trails, while she was going to hit Molly Hogan and the other nice crushed gravel loops.  The dirt was sweet, but the wood could have been a tad drier.  Climbed Tin Pants to Gypsy Drum and then hit the singletrack.  Climbed Dinah Moe Humm to Disco Boy to The Torture Never Stops to Fountain of Love.  Started a descent on Pinocchio's Furniture to Dwarf Nebula to Zoot Allures to Toads of the Short Forest to Gee I like Your Pants to Son of Mr. Greene Genes and our final descent on Jellyroll Gumdrop.  Here we crossed the river and made our way to the float plane dock.
Francine and Tom at intersection on Pinocchio's Furniture

Francine & Kev on Pinocchio's Furniture

Tom on Jellyroll Gumdrop

Float Plane on Green Lake
Lori made her way to the ski jumps at Blackhomb.
Lori at base of ski jumps
Whistler Olympics statues all around Squamish and Whistler

Lori 


After some snacks, we made our way on the paved trail to Whistler to meet Lori.  We actually ran into her on the trail.  Finished on the Fitz Trail to our car in Lot 5, before getting coffee/muffin at The Lift coffee shop at the base of Whistler.  Did some shopping and resting by the center near the winter Ice Skating rink before calling it a day and driving the cars back to Creekside to our unit.  Nice short rest day on the bike.
Kevin and Francine resting while Lori was power shopping