The wind, it blows…

This speech is my recital. I think it’s very vital. To rock a rhyme that’s right on time, It’s tricky is the title. Here we go. ~ Run. D.M.C.

If you close your eyes, take a deeeeep breath and relax, you can practically see all the awesome shots I have taken over the past few days of skiing and running. Just picture the most amazing photo and video ever produced, then up that by 23% and you’ll be in the ballpark. Unfortunately, this is the best I can do for you at this point, since I donated my camera to the Brainard Lake wilderness on Sunday afternoon.

Yes, I have been busy training. Even did a 15-miler on Friday in the Boulder drizzle. Luke and I went out Sunday afternoon in gale-force winds to hit up the north-facing chutes on Niwot Ridge. Did I mention the gale-force winds? Yeah. We dropped down D2 (funky snow but fun) then jammed back to the RockShot pitch in the Rabbit Cages. Really funky snow in there. Wet slab conditions prevailed. At some point between the bottom of D2 and the parking lot I lost my faithful camera. The shots on it are award-winning.*

*Proclaimations of awesomeness are contingent upon the discovery of said camera at which point the author can not be held responsible for any lack of photographic awesomeness. But until the camera is found, the author is sticking to his story that the author composed and captured the best images ever created in the history of digital (or non-digital) photography.

Tuesday, I ran 8 miles north of Boulder. Seems the theme for the week is huge headwinds that suddenly die once they become tail winds. I put in the time on Foothills Trail then transitioned over to the trail system west of the Res. Didn’t feel great but after Sunday’s 6-hour trudge and a short, recovery run on Monday, that was to be expected. Stus and heat still don’t mix.

Luke and I headed back out this morning to an abandoned attempt to ski one of the couloirs off of Audubon. Today’s wind made Sunday look like a crappy Nichole Kidman/Billy Zane movie. The weather station at D1 said 80mph gusts and I believe it. It took us an hour to get up to Brainard where we decided that we just weren’t into getting blasted off the Audubon ridge and headed back over to the Cages. Dropped RockShot modified (hit the really steep drop in) but conditions were like Cold Medina with a slippery top layer of relatively fresh on top of a weird crust layer with slush underneath. Tricky.

As I said, it is good to be out there regardless of the munkiness of the skiing and bead-blaster conditions. Figuring out the rest of the week but I suspect it will be more of the same. Good times.


Day 47…

The important thing is not to live but to live well. ~Socrates

Day 47 was a helluva day. Though I seem to recall saying the same thing about days 45, 44, 43, 42… not 46 though. That day was jacked.

Luke, Pete and I jumped on the bikes shortly after 6 this morning and rode in to the Mitchell Lake Trailhead west of Brainard. The Brainard Lake road was relatively clear with only a few major drifts to negotiate. There were quite a few people at the trailhead with a similar plan to our own but we seemed to be the only ones heading up toward Mitchell. After about 30 minutes made it to the Mitchell Lake trailheadh and hit the trail (which is currently not much of a trail, being that it is still covered with several feet of snow) and fairly quickly found ourselves at the base of Audubon on a glorious Spring day in the Rockies.

We started to “sneaker pack” up the main bowl and, after several minutes extolling the virtues of The Big Lebowski opted for the more secure and skier-preferred “boot pack” technique. Seems running shoes don’t a) kick steps very well and b) aren’t super stable in steep snowfields. Go figure. We selected a couple of nice couloirs to tackle and headed up the southern-most first as it was the most sun-exposed. After following Luke up his killer staircase (thanks for kicking steps all day, Luke!) for who knows how long, we made it to the top of the pitch, put on our gear and started the fun part of today’s adventure. The top was still in the shade, so pretty scrappy but conditions quickly opened up to hero conditions and great turns.

We repeated the effort on the more northerly pitch and were treated to more of the same with a gorgeous “summit”. There were some fox or coyote tracks at the top and the marmot and pika were out in full-force. We dropped back down and headed back out to the bikes for a quick cruise back to the cars in a total of just over 6 hours round trip.

A beautiful day with more of the same planned for tomorrow.

In keeping with my promise to share the movies I have been watching, here is my list for last night:

  • Delicatessen: I have seen this one before and was a bit distracted last night preparing for today’s adventure so I’ll have to watch it in full later this weekend. This is a very dark film by the makers of Amelie.
  • Jesus Camp: Scary as hell. Makes The Exorcist look like The Apple Dumpling Gang.

Thanks to Luke for the shots. Check out the full gallery. Hope you are having an awesome weekend.

See you out there.