Thursday, January 31, 2008

Birches Garden?

Does anyone know where Birches Garden is?
The peak is in the area of my mouse/crosshairs (click-it).

Chipper's history

I like this shot of Tomi that Eric took last weekend

A cool article about Chip and the history of White Grass. I've read a lot about Chip in the past and still found plenty of new information in this article.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

White Grass, finally


Marty, with Tomi below


Tomi, the last bit of Springer

Monday, January 21, 2008

Buck Day ride

A lot of party-minded fools gathered at Bucks Luv Shak yesterday at the coldest spot in MichSnaux (is this word trademarked?) to celebrate another year on Earth for our man, Buck. Many drove from afar, others sent treats in their stead.

Twas about 18 degrees, with a couple-three inches of snow and a fresh zipper crust. Loop ideas had been bandied back and forth for days, and those were instantly scrapped at the start so we could test out the conditions, and maybe, our motivations. When you put a large pot of chili and a keg of Troegs at the Shak, it's proving hard to stay out for the usual amount of ride time.

There were lots of bloggers in attendance, but cameras didn't seem to come out except for Chris, who got a couple shots. After the first uphill turned out to be a lot more work and effort than we'd hoped for, the loop was edited again to stay on the ridge top and avoid anymore of those anti-downhills. I don't think anyone could drink from their tubes for the entire ride, as hydro packs froze immediately after take off. We were able to take off the packs and get water right out of the bladders at our one mini-break.

Turned out that the rest of the ride in the snow wasn't as slow as we thought it'd be, so we were faced with an uncomfortable decision as we arrived back at the Shak after only 2 hours.
  • grab some water
  • chug some group beers
  • head out for 3_mile Trail, Lewis Rocks, Rattlesnake, or another blazed trail
  • retire to the Shak and commence eating, drinking, and talkin' story for an extra amount of socializing.
Funny how hard of a decision that is in a big group.
I thank Buck for having a birthday in January again, and for the extra story time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In need of some content, I offer a scene from today's sledding site with Oliver and the Mark kids. The snow was too wet and heavy to make it all the way to the creek. The snow is too wet to make for a good night ride. The snow is too little to open up any decent x-c skiing. But, the snow is enough to cancel Outlaw Joe's planned GW hooky ride tomorrow.

Saturday's snow, on top of this snow, may make Sunday's Buck-day ride interesting.

Have had a few decent rides lately, mostly with this crew. Joe has come up a couple times recently, and then I had this bit of a clustermark last weekend.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Seven Springs

I met up with Quigley, Buchness, Tom & Julie in Breezewood the other day and we went to Seven Springs. We all really wanted to go to White Grass or Laurel Mountain for backcountry turns, but we knew there wasn't enough base for backcountry. None of them had any turns yet this season, so they were particularly desperate. They needed to get their legs some work before their western road trip where they'll be skinning 7 miles into this hut in the 10th Mountain Division system.

Then they get to spend 3 days yo-yo'ing anything they want from the hut. Then they have 2 more weeks of bumming and skiing with Tom's friend in Aspen, and mtn bike buddies Glen and Jens in Salida. Tom and Barry have been getting some Level 1 avalanche training and they're hoping to practice digging some pits instead of digging each other out of something.

Oh yea, Seven Springs looked nothing like this Saturday, but it was still a great time. Five of us on tele gear, ripping lap after lap at the same pace. 7Springs is a decent place, it actually looks and feels like a real ski area, like old Vermont or Colorado. It doesn't have big vertical, but it has interesting terrain features, the mountain is cut wide open so you can ski anywhere, and you even have to do a little work to get to certain places. The natural snow trails and the glades had some brown and thin spots, but, they were open. Most places woulda roped off anything that wasn't crushed velvet. It's a lot different than the straight up straight down skiing at Whitetail that I've been doing so much of lately.