Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mt Adams - Pics

While on vacation in Oregon last month the three Bushnell boys and I got out to Mt. Adams for a little skiing/snowboarding.  It's been a few weeks and I only remember a few things.  The first was starting in the rain, leaving the sunscreen in the car, and then getting fried (Tanner even burned his eyes).  The second was watching Jason Bushnell walk the whole time with a snowboard on his back and snowshoes on his feet.  It looked miserable and I was pretty sure he was going to bail, especially after he voiced concern as to whether or not he was going to make it (less than half way up). Got to hand it to the guy, he sure an suffer.  There were no complaints from him, he just kept walking.  A few pics from the day.
Early morning rain in the burn

Tanner and Jason B. blown at 10,000'
The Bushnell's cruising up the South Spur
Rainier from the summit
Resting near the summit, photo by Tyler
Tanner and a snowboarder
Jason, Tyler and Tanner (left to right)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oregon - Vacation pics


The Ocean's Bounty

From Neahkanie Mountain
Amanda and Hannah loving on the orphan kittens

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mt Hood Speed Attempt

Last week Amanda and I headed to Oregon for vacation.  My Aunt has an amazing beach house in Mazanita and we were planning on lounging around for a week.  It was going to be great.  No skiing. Just hanging with the wifey.  The only problem with the plan of not skiing was that after leaving Boise at 9 AM I couldn't stop thinking about Mt. Hood.  Even with no plans of skiing, for some reason I had packed up boots and a couple pairs of skis...

It doesn't seem like Mt. Hood has a strong speed ascent history and there isn't a ton of info regarding the Hood FKT but I did find an official record from 2004.  A guy named Dan Howitt hired Climb Max Mountaineering to time his ascent.  I guess there was controversy over the Rainier FKT and Dan wanted to make it official.  He put up pretty quick times on a bunch of volcanos.  His Hood time was 1:56:39 timed by Jacob Kammermeyer and Charlee Gribbon to the summit.  My attempt certainly would be unofficial.

Looking dorky
Luckily the freeways in Oregon have ridiculously slow speed limits so I was able to drive and surf the web for Hood beta.  Weather looked good - still with a high of 37 on the summit.  There had been a touch of snow a few days ago but nothing in the immediate past so I thought conditions just might be OK.  The detour to Timberline Lodge was only going to add an hour to our drive which also seemed reasonable.  After several hours of driving I still couldn't stop think about Hood so I brought it up to Amanda and we (I) decided give it a go.  I figured I should eat something and the only food I could find at our last stop before heading up was a Mickey D's.  I guess I would have to attempt Hood on a crispy McChicken Wrap.

When we got to Timberline Lodge it was 3PM, 70 degrees and sunny.  The snow was a slushy mess.  Not quite what I was hoping for but figured I'd give it a go.  The first 2800' are in the resort and although the snow was slushy it was reasonably compacted and skinned pretty well.  I think I hit the top of the resort in roughly 45 mins.

 The 'schrund on the Hogsback
From there I slowed considerably trying to fight the slush/ice combo.   The schrund was easy to bypass and the Pearly Gates had softened enough to make booting without crampons an option.  

Pearly Gates
Once through the Pearly Gates I skinned to the top summiting in 1:27:46 still in a tee shirt.  I snapped a few pictures, put on a jacket and headed down.  The Gate's were too narrow for me so ski and I was too scared to straight line it so I down booted the slush covered ice and was glad to have a whippet. The rest went smoothly and in 1:44 I found myself back at the fire hydrant.  Amanda and the dog were a sleep in the back of the truck, there were no timers.  I pulled my skis and boots off and we headed to the beach. I was psyched to have squeezed a little skiing into the trip.

I won't be surprised if this time is lowered considerably in the near future.  In fact, SCARPA athlete Scott Simmons who just won the Ski to Sea and summited/skied Mt St Helens with his 10 year old son is there right now and keen to give it a go. Good luck Scott!
Looking west from the summit
Not sure what's wrong with my face
Hogsback on the way down

SCARPA Alien 1.0 boots
Ski Trab Gara Aero race skies
SKi Trab Race binding
Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants, Torque Tee, and Radiant Hybrid Hoody
Julbo Dust glasses

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Heart of Darkness/Diving Board Bail

Driving home from the desert a flurry of texts messages came in talking about skiing the next morning.  It's amazing that we can be in the red and green world of the desert one day and then then in the white snow covered mountains the next.  How could I say no?

After a leisurely 9 AM start we decided to go have a look at The Heart of Darkness and then poke around on Rampage and the Diving Board.  I hadn't been to H of D so it was good to see what all the fuss is about.  Seems more like a novelty ski but it's certainly a scenic place.  We had soft skiable snow so all my lame jump turns felts pretty controlled in the tightness.
Heading up Superior
Teague mid rap, Rampage in the background
Teague Holmes
After we popping out of H of D, Rampage and the Diving Board are sitting there begging to be skied.  Turns out both of those lines are pretty short so we hoped we'd be able to blast up and down both in a reasonable amount of time.  We started with the Diving Board and almost made it to the choke before we got scared.  There was a substantial hard slab guarding the choke.  We dug around a bit and weren't even able to isolate a column without the 2' slab releasing so we decided to bail on the day's objectives and head down for lunch.  Maybe it's for the better, clouds blew in and visibility went to nothing pretty quickly.  Next time.
Tom Goth bailing off the low angle ramp of the Diving Board
The boys climbing out of the Heart of Darkness
Somewhere on Superior

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Wave - North Coyote Buttes

We went to Kanab with hopes of visiting The Wave.  A permit is required to hike to the formation and apparently these are hard to come by.  The BLM allows 10 people to get online permits in advance (I guess only 4% of applicants get one) and 10 people to get permits from a lottery in Kanab for the next day.  Turns out getting one of these permits is an ordeal.  You have to show up at the BLM office and put your name on a list.  Every party is assigned a number and they pull ping pong balls out of a lottery wheel until the 10 people have permits.  I guess people wait years to win.  On Saturday there were 100 people at the BLM office hoping to win.  The first ball pulled was #33.  We won! 

We woke up Sunday morning to rain and wind but figured it'd stop shortly.  An hour later at the trailhead it was still pouring, temps were in the 30's, and wind was gusting to 40 mph.  Not the sunny desert we were expecting.  We put on all the clothes we could find and started walking with an umbrella - not cool.  Luckily the rain stopped and the otherwise tedious sand was firm and made for easy travel.  The cloudy skies and lined red rock were brilliant.  I thought The Wave was going to be a disappointment but I was wrong.  It would be worth waiting for years to go. 

Hackberry Creek - Escalante

After running the Paria Amanda and I decided to go check out Hackberry Creek.  Apparently all of the water emerges from a spring halfway up the canyon.  We found clear water, sun, and dark clouds.  A perfect combination.   If only we had more time...
Running with the pup

Amanda enjoying the sand
View from the dinner table for the day

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Paria Canyon

After coming home from the desert last week all I wanted to do was ski.  Andy and I have a longstanding project in the Tetons and were hoping weather would cooperate.  It didn't.  Still in ski mode and with a few days off we scoured the West looking for settled weather and came up with nothing.  When thinking about what to do Jared Inouye suggested the Paria Canyon, a 38 miles long route that wanders through southern Utah and part of Arizona.  After being thoroughly impressed with the Bryce the week before I figured this would be a good replacement for skiing.  Andy and Tom were skeptical but willing to give it a go. Lucky for us, Amanda and my sister Aimee were kind enough to come as well and be our shuttle.  

We got a leisurely 10 AM start from the White House TH and from the get go were amazed with the beauty of the Paria.  The canyon walls were steep and kept growing with every turn.  Once we got to the confluence of the Buckskin (7miles in) it was so amazing we were forced to turn up it and take a look. Here the canyon walls were 800? feet high, vertical, and only 20' apart.  Absolutely stunning.  We only made it a little ways up Buckskin Gulch and if we didn't have 30 miles to go we definitely would have kept exploring. 

Andy entering Buckskin Gultch
From there we sloshed back and forth through the river for the rest of the day.  The running was smooth for the most part but the hundreds of river crossings, the long stretches of slow sandy trail, and the hidden mud pools made for slow travel at times. We were able to run the majority of the day and although we weren't fast we finished in something like 7:30.  I think we were all blown away with this run and would recommend it to anyone.

Amanda and Aimee met us at Lee's Ferry with victory apple pie, drink, chips and ride home!  They made it to within 5 miles of the pick up spot only to find the road closed and were rerouted 90 miles in the wrong direction.  Keep that in mind if you plan on dropping a shuttle...

Andy found the mud

Rest stop

Tired shuffling
Nearing the end!