Dec 15, Moto Hyak

Well no snow at home, so jumped on the dirtbike and checked out the neighborhood.   New chair at Hyak has the cable strung, and they are splicing it together today.  Looks like bottom lift shack still needs work.   Rode out to the gun-range and checked out the tree thinning and then poked around at the lake.   Snowing today, so hopefully the moto will stay in the garage.

December 11-13, Mt. Bachelor

Tired of the lack of snow at Snoqualmie Pass, we had two options:  Go North to Whistler or go South to Bachelor.   Both area were forecasting snow and had a good base.   We have not been to Bachelor in years and decided to head South.   The drive down the east side of the Cascades was definitely more pleasant than the I5 corridor.   From our house the drive is about five/ five and a half hours,  same as Whistler.    The weather was windy our first day, with about an inch of wet snow falling.  Second day was a little better, with just Skyliner and Pinemarten chairs running.  Saturday broke out bluebird and the Summit chair opened up with nice windpacked powder.   Great trip, sure nice to finally go skiing.

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This is the morning liftline on Saturday 15 minutes before opening.
Nice!  Definitely not as crowded as Whistler

Fresh corduroy, Saturday morning.


Francine skies the bowl off the Summit chair

Kevin at the top.

Nov 24, Day 3, Summit West Groomers

Very happy to see three groomers working on getting the ski slope ready.   Made two laps on the fresh groomers.  Started to rain at 1:45 as I was driving home.   Francine hooked up with me for the second lap.

Day 2, In the backyard, Hyak

Thick, heavy, dense, snow.   Wuhoo, first snowfall at Snoqualmie Pass.  Toured up the access road to the top of Hyak.  Not really enough coverage to ski the ski slopes yet, but getting very close.

Nov. 19, Nisqually Chutes. Mt. Rainier

Kevin, Nisqually Chutes

Met Greg in Four Corners, Maple Valley at 8:15.   Greg was driving his newer Audi wagon, so he insisted on driving.   The benfit of absolutely no new snow, meant that we could take the back way to Paradise.   We went out through Greenwater on 410, then took the Stevens Canyon road up to Paradise.   Due to the cold temps we have been having there was quite a bit of frozen waterfalls and plenty of ice falling on to the roadway, especially near the tunnel entrances.  Ski approach from Paradise parking lot, was much longer than year's past.   We kept our sneakers on until above Pebble Creek.   Finally stuck our skis on about 7,400.   Traversed up and over to 8,200 feet and the Nisqually chute entrance.   Chute was smooth and steep.   We made the mistake of transitioning from skinning to downhill mode, far to close to the chute entrance.  The snow was very firm and a fall here, would have put a person sliding through the rocks adjacent to the chute proper.  Luckily I had a small rock, jutting out of the snow to perch on.   I am not quite sure how Greg maintained his balance during his transition.  Chute skied firm but well.   2000 feet of descent.   A whole day of travel and hiking for only 2k of skiing.   Oh well, weather was super pleasant, and good to get out with Greg.   Day NUMERO Uno for new season!
Greg with Pan point to the right

Finally skis on at 7,400"

Greg  -  smooth

Hiking again,  booted out of drainage,  back to below Pan Point

Nov. 10, Sage Hills, Wenatchee

Wenatchee Day 2.  Rain up near Mission Ridge Ski area meant we couldn't ride up by Marion/Clara Lakes and the top of the Mission Ridge/Devils Gulch loops, so we stayed low and made our way to the Sage Hills System.  Parked at the bottom by Sage Hills Road.  We were hoping to make the climb all the way to the Apricot Crisp Trail so we could descend the Lightning Trail back into the Sage Hills trail system, but we were turned around by extreme wind and rain.  Of course we didn't know that the system would blow over.  14.5 miles.  3,796 feet of total elevation.

Climbing "Lone Fir" trail

Climbing "Lone Fir" trail thru the Hoodoos

Ascending "Homestead Trail" before wind/rain turned us back.

Descending "Jackhammer" Trail, near the bottom

Nov. 9, Stairway to Heaven, Canyon #2, Wenatchee, Wa.

Weekend in Wenatchee - trails were great.  Day 1
Climbed "Stairway to Heaven" to road.  Climbed road to descend in "Road Rage".  Climbed road and descended "Waterslide".  Climbed road again to then descend on "Stairway to Heaven".  11.7 miles.  total elev. gain 3,015 feet.

Descending "Stairway to Heaven"

Descending "Road Rage"

Oct 26, Mansion Trails, Ellensburg

Rain, rain and more rain.   We looked east, as usual, and it still looked wet.  It did seem to be a slight possibility of getting a dry stretch down around Thorp and Ellensburg.   We hadn't done Joe Watt canyon in a long time, so we headed there.   Francine mentioned hunting season, as we drove down I90.   Joe Watt parking area is closed in the winter due to elk feeding.   Today, I guess is the opposite.  As we rolled up to the gate, we could see campers/trailers all over the place.  I guess this is hunting in the modern age.  You and a thousand of your friends camped in the same valley.   We quickly turned tail and ran away.   Next stop, Mansion trails in Ellensburg.   We had originally been hesitant of riding here due to fearing the ground would be too wet to ride without doing trail damage.   Lucklily the trails were perfect, and we only suffered a light drizzle.   We rode  to the top of the ridge on Chest Pains, then turned around and hit the other short loops, off of chest pains.   Needing a little more exercise we headed up the boy scout trail, for another out and back.  We didn't make it to the top of BST, but got enough to wear out the legs.  Still dialing in the loop possibilities out here and will hopefully make it back before the snow shuts down the top of the ridge.

Oct 17, Roslyn Area ride

Francine, Don, and I headed to Roslyn to ride the trails above town.   With the vegetation dying back, and damp trails, the riding was about as good as it gets.  

Mount Stuart, with a dusting of new snow.

Don, makes the final push to the ridge top.

Oct 5, Sport Climbing Exit 38

Big brother, Kelly wanted to get out with his daughter Hillary for a little rock climbing.  I pulled out my climbing book for Exit 38.   I decided to head to Interstate Park, Headlight Point climbing wall.   Several 5.7 and 5.8 sport pitches.   I guess it's been a while since I have climbed that area.   We managed to go the wrong way several times until we found another climber going to the same place.   Turned out to be a perfect day, and Hillary even finished with a jump in the river, brrr.

Kelly sporting his harness from the eighties.

Hillary makes the 5.8 pitch looks easy
Jen Curd gets in in the action

Sept 27, Whistler Phat Weekend Enduro Race

Race participant ride/push up to the starting gate, below the summit of Whistler's peak chair.
I have always thought it would be interesting to do an enduro race.  Enduro is the latest mountain bike racing format.  It's popularity has been surging, due to it being very much like regular mountain biking.  Typically it is a multiple stage race, with only the downhill sections timed.  The difference from a regular downhill race is that the rider is expected to ride to the top of each stage.  This requires a bike that not only excels at the downhill, but that the rider is willing to ride to the top of the course.  This being held in the Whistler Bike Park we did get to ride the Gondola to start the day.   From the top of the gondola we rode out of the clouds and up towards the top of the Peak Chair.   In the winter, the access road is called Pika's Traverse

Riding past the top of Harmony chair


Not a bad spot for a start gate
First racer gets ready to attack the course

Dropping in - Top of the World Trail

Kevin enjoys the view, before getting geared up to race.
Slightly below the summit and after about a half hour of pedal/pushing we reached the start of the Top of the World trail.   We had a fairly small race group of only 32 riders.  Riders were sent through the race gate with approximately a 1 minute gap.   The first stage took 13-16 minutes, and my legs were burning.  Unfortunately, I had a flat tire about two thirds of the way down.    I started running with the bike, hoping the first stage finish was close, but soon gave up and got to work fixing my flat tire.  I had recently purchased a new mountain bike with 29" wheels.  I had not purchased any extra tubes.  Luckily I was able to stretch a 26 inch tube around the rim, and with much cursing, levered the extremely tight tire back on the rim.  Stage one:  31minutes.  I was definitely bringing up the back of the pack.   The first stage was quite rocky and quite technical.  Just as I got my flat tire, the trail was finally turning into nice smooth dirt.  The next stage was started from the Ravens Roost lodge, generally downhill from the first stage finish.

Stage 2 was all on technical black diamond trails.  I had actually ridden a couple of these trails back in August, but I certainly was at a disadvantage throughout the race, due to the fact that most of the trails I was seeing for the first time, and did not always take the correct line.  On stage 2, I was riding a rock slab, on Up In Deep, when I clipped a small stump on the side of the slab, sending me in a flip over the handlebars.  I think my helmet took the brunt of the fall.   I quickly got back on the bike and continued on.   Stage 2 time was 4;40.  I actually beat a few people on this section.  After this stage it was a 1.2km pedal up an access road to the last stage.  I finally caught up with the end of the field of riders.   Stage 3 was more techy, rocky sections that were nice and slick from the overnight rain.  I managed to slide through without any more wipe-outs and made it to the finish.  Stage 3 time of  5:13.  Total time:  41:16.  The winning time was 19:09.   Even if I took out the 16 minutes that the flat tire cost me, I was still near the back of the pack.   All in all it was a good adventure, and I got to ride some new trails.   It's not every day that you get to ride Whistler from the Peak chair all the way to the village.

Race started out pretty steep, Top of the World Trail

Race course:  Stage1 - Top of the World trail - finish gate at access road.  Stage 2 - Start Raven's nest, No Joke, Up in Deep, Little Alder.  Stage 3 -  Duffman to Golden Triangle.

Phat Weekend Enduro Results

Phat Weekend Enduro Results