March 23, 2015

White Rim- Family, Friends and Food

Last weekend, my wife, son and I found ourselves hanging out with a great group of fellow mountain cyclist amidst the always hypnotizing red rock of Utah. Jared put the whole thing together and all of us benefited greatly. While my family and I only knew Jared and his oldest son, it made for a great outing with happy people.  The food was so good I gained weight.

We broke the 105 mile Canyonlands' White Rim Trail into two days.  It was special to watch at a distance while, Alex (my 15 year old), Ethan (Jared's 13 year old son) and Stevie (Lance's 15 year old) cast a dust trail together along the scenery loaded environment. We road the incredible loop clockwise, with day one ending at Murphy's.  A star studded sky, laughter and brats helped our amazing day reach a glorious crescendo.

On day 2 we concluded the remainder of the loop, riding from Murphy's through potato bottom, sand and up Mineral Bottom.  There were a lot of smiles at the top of Mineral, with a few gasping for new life as the 10 mile road back to the car made the sting bite a little harder.

My Shout outs:
-Stevie, the 15 year old young Jens, who absolutely attacked Mineral Bottom.
-Ethan, the only 13 year old I know to ride clean Murphys and actually laugh when he got on top!
-Alex, for your undaunted spirit entering the unknown and conquering challenges at a young age of 15.
-Marcie, for showing true grit in riding it home as a 41 year old mother of many. 
-Jared (not the Samurai), the oil-less virgin, who kept us all laughing 
-Bridgette, drove the support vehicle nearly the entire way. When asked if she could drive down Shafer, she responded "I don't know what I am getting into."
-Emily, probably the most flexible of us all and saw it through to the end. I think this was her first time mountain biking in years. But you wouldn't know it if you saw the way she scaled Mineral.
-Nanette, speed demon downhiller, mother of 2.
-Tyler, for a roadie, he took very well to the mountain clad in zinc and dust.
-Lance, the dad of mini Jens with a keen sense for locating Indian granaries
-Jeff, one of the craziest down hillers, on a bike unlikely equipped for the speed he laid down
-Landon, eight year old soccer monster, co-pilot to Bridgette
-Samurai Jared- For everything! Thank you for putting it all together.

Here's a video taken from a 15 year old's perspective of the descent of the Shafer trail (Alex)

Muscleman Arch
A few of folks on top of Murphy's

A few at the finish

March 7, 2015

In the middle of somewhere

Today, Jared and I rose to greet the morning sun in the warm Wasatch dawn, following a long-awaited storm that arrived and delivered earlier this week. South and west faces were zipper crusted, but north and eastern aspects graciously welcomed us. 

While not racing in the Powderkeg today, both of us felt we should be at least close in spirit to the guys, so we sought our own treasure. Both with about the same amount of time available, we discovered it in the waking light.

We skied several couloirs all of which were steep, elegant lines that lacked only in length. We started with the east aspects and then rotated along the compass to the north faces. Each held its own character, accompanied by incredible, soft skiing. 

Couloir #1- Steep and straight
The Samurai letting the morning begin
This became our highway of access up
Couloir #2- Ramp skiing
Drop off on skier's right- not the first in but soft skiing for sure

Couloir# 3  Steep and choked entry from the top
The top choke, pretty steep and tight-Courtesy SLC Samurai

Jared about halfway down-  the line went all the way

Couloir #4- "S" Couloir
Watching rocks at the top, the bottom drops out

Jared down climbing in style (near the bottom of the line) and seeing his pole a ways down. 
A look back-