Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Roaming AB & BC - xc & AT & DH

Shaganappi Trails - Calgary
View of Calgary skyline from Shaganappi Trails - photo Linda Green
Beautiful cold night ski on rarely groomed classic tracks at Shaganappi Golf course on Thursday night. Most fun area was golf greens #10-12.

Next morning, I was off for an AT adventure with skimo buddy Michelle Katchur Roberts at Norquay. A treat to follow the lead of a confident skier!

Norquay Mtn - Banff, AB
After a steep skin up the lumpy powder on the south slopes, I followed Michelle down an un-groomed black diamond run - fun!
View of Banff townsite from the top of our skin up
Made my way to Golden in the afternoon with only a 1/2 hour road block stop due to an accident in Rogers Pass. Pretty sketchy drive to Revie at night with difficulty seeing through dirty headlights. Stopped many times to clean them.

MacPherson Nordic Trails - Revelstoke, BC
Groomed trails I unfortunately did not get to see this trip - photo MacPherson website

Short visit in Revie with an x-c ski at MacPherson trails on ungroomed trails as the machines had problems in the wet conditions. Warm conditions difficult even for the Zero skis which I borrowed from Janet. Snow would stick to the grip zone. Ended up slogging thru deep snow with skate skis.

Drive towards Rossland was awesome after catching the Nakusp ferry towards New Denver. Beautiful scenery, not a soul on the roads. 

Paulson Nordic Trails - Castlegar, BC
Looked just like this… - photo

Squeaked 30 km out of all the blue trails!

Best groomed classic skiing at the Paulson Nordic trails near Castlegar. Mostly easy-going terrain with many fun single track trails. Good grip with soft waxes VR65 and VR70! The dotted black trails are ungroomed and look to be the most fun and challenging.

Next stop… Kamren and Karina Farr's home in Rossland. They just arrived 1 day prior, the movers were to arrive days later!

Red Mountain - Rossland, BC
Skied with Karina above the Sea of Clouds at Red Mountain
Met up with Coldsmoke Powderfest organizer Karen Reader for ultra amazing tips on downhill skiing. Hopefully, I'll retain some of these!

Enjoyed Red Mtn even though the snow was still filling in. 
Look forward to coming back!

Blackjack Nordic Trails - Rossland, BC

Black trails - best! Blue - ok
Checked out the Blackjack Nordic trails with their groomers constantly buffing the trails. Definitely a nice place for Kamren & Karina to have in their back yard.

An enjoyable drive on the Crowsnest Highway 3 West through Manning Park. So glad I arrived to Vancouver Thursday evening. The radio kept announcing they were prepared with 26 snowplows to clear the roads which was funny for me to hear about this typically super rainy & green winter city.

Jacquie's kids, Dominic and Etienne making a wicked snowman
The first snow I've experienced IN Vancouver. Messy, wet and happy to let the car sit for a few days.

Skating - Robson Square, Vancouver, BC
Skating with Jacquie in Robson Square
Our gang on skates at Robson Square

After driving the Coquihalla packed with holiday travellers without winter tires and semi-trailers declining to put chains on until they were stalled in the middle of the highway… I pulled to the side of the road, ate Jacquie's yummy leftovers from her Christmas party, read, and kept warm in my sleeping bag. A couple hours later, the carnage diminished and I made my way.

By the time I was driving over the Connector highway from Merritt to the Okanagan, it was clear my car was the only one with winter tires as I passed by a few overly slow moving vehicles and more semis stuck in the middle of the highway. The horizontal snowfall was mesmerizing so I followed the red taillights of a truck. Reaching the summit, the snow subsided for the descent and I was finally solo on the snowy roads.

Crystal Mountain - Westbank, BC
Foggy day on the bunny slopes where the
black diamond runs were negligible

Telemark Nordic - Westbank, BC
Crystal Rim Trail, one of my favourite ski trails… lots of climbing
fast, flowy descent with vicious speed on the skinny skis!

4th Annual MitoCanada ski for me

Lured Jeff Krar to join me to ski the two outer loops at Telemark twice for 60 km total… Fern Creek - Crystal Rim, and Telemark- Panorama. Snow gods threw fresh falling snow at us right at the start making for slow sluggish conditions in the mild temperature.

Jeff set a fast race-like pace for our first loop plowing thru fresh snow… 2:30 hr, 30 km, 2750' elevation gain. Switching skis after loop 1, Jeff switched to skate skis as I kept to the classic slogging.

The 2nd loop was way tougher with close to no glide at all, and the odd unassuming ski sticking to the snow while in motion. Jeff did extra mileage to join me at my slogging pace. It was nice to be complete! 2nd loop was 2:50 hr. The extra 20 min felt like forever!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

AT Skimo Training Camp in Rogers Pass

Canadian Skimo Training camp - Michelle Katchur Roberts, Marg Fedyna, Melanie Bernier, Steve Sellars, Brad Schalles, Peter Knight - photo Igor Bernas

Leaving the Illicillewaet parking lot for the long climb up with packs. My setup... Manaslu 161cm with Dynafit Radical ST bindings
the Asulkan hut ahead
Steve getting closer
Asulkan Hut - sleeps 12 max
Michelle, Peter & Steve off for a few runs

Michelle heading up to the bunks

Mostly Dynafit TLT6's drying by the fire
View from the Hut down to the trailhead
What am I doing?! - photo Michelle Katchur Roberts

Michelle digging a path to the outhouse...
outhouse abit far away from the hut I thought
getting clipped in - photo Michelle Katchur Roberts

terrain we covered

Yes, it looks abit lumpy and boney in the early season!

The whole crew putting skins on.
Check out the lumpy terrain at the bottom!

Steve making his way up. Good powder runs from the top!

Marg on the last skin up to the hut to get packs for the final descent - photo Steve Sellars

Steve and I put on dry clothes and ate well before we began the final descent. Going into a steep powder section, my right ski dove into the snow and unclipped. I flew forward with myself and the heavy pack. I attempted to keep my eye on where my ski dove into the snow. It was nowhere to be seen.

Steve skinned up to help me shovel as I used my probe to search the nearby area. The time ticked away. It was a horrible feeling to think of the possibility of not finding the ski.

Peter and Michelle were just coming up from their ski day. Peter stopped to search lower down and found my ski within minutes. Phew!

My guess is the ski went 20' forward under the snow from where it entered. I tumbled just abit further. The ski also went further to the opposite direction even though I thought it went in straight.

Thanks to Steve for spending a lot of energy digging with the shovel!

Spectacular views from the hut - photo Michelle Katchur Roberts

Peter skinning up - photo Michelle Katchur Roberts
Awesome shot - photo Michelle Katchur Roberts
Poor Steve had to wait a lot for me on the steep descent section to the trailhead. I tumbled a couple times with the uneven pack weight. I majorly need work on my descending!

Once we hit the lower section of x-c like trails, I was good! Double-pole most of the way back.

Awesome experience to be with this strong crowd at a challenging area. Ha, it was my first backcountry trip!!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Mike Nosco Memorial Ride - California

A pretty impressive event put on by Jack Nosco, brother to Mike who died in a bicycle accident. All donations go directly to designated recipients in healthcare need. Otherwise, the event is free!

Over 500 cyclists on a neutral start descent down Potrero Road to the coast. Cyclists stopped at the site of the accident for a moment of silence before the official ride began. Marg in white arm warmers 3rd rider left of the car.

Neutral start with full support from local police and fire department. Jack Nosco, the organizer, is a fire fighter.

Start of the first climb leaving the coast up Deer Creek. Note the helicopter following the ride! Mike Nosco had served as helicopter combat support in the Navy.
With encouragement from Mr Bill Ralph and Team Serious Cycling, I went for the KOM up Mulholland and won the "hammer" award. At the finish, any partakers handed over their GPS to download to Strava. Strava name is Little Hobo.

For years, I rode behind Sue Sutton on training rides in San Diego. Sue raced for Team 7-11 way back, with me now being the proud owner of her jersey! In the neutral section of the Nosco ride, I recognized "the legs" first and realized it was Sue! She had come up from San Diego with Steve Tilford for the Nosco ride. This ride brought out the cream of the crop of cyclists for support.

To round out an awesome day, I heard LP was a hit at the Edmonton Folk Fest. She happened to be playing in Northridge that night. I scored buying a ticket at the door for 1/3 of the price and got a 3rd row centre seat. LP was amazing!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Deer Creek Death Ride 100-miler - 2nd time

I rode this my first time Oct 2012 and was looking forward to it again. This time I was riding it with only 1 day rest after my 26-hour car drive down.

Weather was perfect! Still had a teeny bit of cramping the last 15 km.

We were quicker this year: 162 km, 6 hr 25 min, 12100' elevation gain

Pitstop at the Mini convertible with the huge black widow spider on the back (barely visible). The awesome group of guys I rode with, mostly from Team Serious Cycling in Agoura
scooped from the site

One of my annual rides with Les on Highway 33 north of Ojai - wicked fall colours
After riding 7100' on the Ojai ride, a must stop at the Belly Ache spring. Includes a 140' hike up to the source

Met up with age old track friends since 1980 from the Edmonton Columbians - Mo Marg and Susan, with Susan's partner Doug.
They ran the Santa Barbara 1/2 marathon while I rode in Ventura

Marg, Sue & Mo from a 1920's party back University days.
Maybe a little too much red wine!
Maybe red wine helps... both Mo and Sue were part of the 4x800
U of A relay team that still holds the record!

Dr Susan is now a dermatologist in Santa Barbara. She gave me an awesome sample of her new PhytoEssence Skin balm designed to be therapeutic. Good for any athlete before/after an event or training.

Awesome mountain bike trails surround Simi Valley

Rode Les' son's medium Trek Fuel on the wicked Hummingbird descent. I appreciated the full suspension though needed to work the weight of the heavy bike on the boulder descent sections
check out video clip of hummingbird descent!