Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monkey See

Just for Matt and Katie, it was great to see you guys. Some shots of Katie with Tyler at Riemer's Ranch.
Monkey SEE, not yet 2 year old Tyler watching,
 And then doing...
Be careful...

More to come on our fun filled Austin trip soon.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Maple Canyon Climbing over Halloween

The first day we were in Maple Canyon we headed up to the Pipedream Cave. Having just finished setting a bouldering competition the massive lines out the cave with 20+ bolts were not all that appealing knowing I would just get completely shelled. Instead Mark and I warmed up on a couple of routes right of the main cave then headed to the furthest left route that gets regular action, Orgasmo. This 5.12+ was a fun route for sure but it also made it quite obvious that my endurance needed a bit of work, although I did manage to fight through the pump and finish, that one route pretty much ended my day of climbing.
Half way up Orgasmo 5.12c, photo by Kate Anderson
 Linda did several warm-ups including this one, The Waterfall Route
Linda on The Waterfall Route 5.11b
 Before trying Dry Times which follows a fun corner up a steep wall. I finished the day by getting beat down on The Diggler, which by now seems like ritual for me when I head up to the Pipedream. The route used to be graded at least 5.13b and now people call it at easy as 5.12d because there is a near no-hands knee-bar in the middle of the route. Well I suck at knee-barring and can't rest there to save my life, making the route feel harder than anything I've done at Maple.

The next day Linda, Kate and I climbed at the Low Standard Cave while Mark took a rest day. This is a wall I had looked at at least a few times over the years but never actually climbed at. To the left and right of the cave are a few very long routes from 5.10- to 5.12- while the cave hosts several 5.13's long with a few variations. We did a couple of the long routes to warm up before I decided, what the heck and gave the most obvious and traveled of the 5.13's, Welcome to Fitness, a burn. Being a shorter route I figured I had a shot at sending it. The start went pretty smoothly and I was quickly at what appeared to be the crux, 2 moves into it a hold appeared that I had not seen from the ground, to use it or not to...I decided that while it was not as good as the hold I was on it would make the next move shorter so I moved my feet quickly and fired through to an obvious rest in a big horizontal break. After camping out I romped up the final head wall to the anchor, always a nervous point for me since you can't see the holds as well from the ground and you are more flying by feel. I was happy to clip the chains and redeem myself somewhat.

The following day Linda and I rested while Mark and Kate climbed. We headed to the cliff with them to help watch Logan, their little boy, or belay while Kate of Mark watched him. They chose to climb in The Box which was one of the first areas developed and a spot I had first climbed at 15 or 16 years ago on my first visit to Maple Canyon. Here is Dylan hanging out,
 When Logan was occupied with food or toys and Kate was able to belay Mark I took the opportunity to set up a fixed line and shoot some photos. Here is Mark attempting a short but very powerful 5.13- in The Box called, Meathook Sodomy.
Mark Anderson on Meathook Sodomy 5.13a
 And here he is on Captain Bullet, another 5.13- that overhangs the road. Sadly, on this route he skipped a clip at the lip of the roof hoping for better holds above that did not materialize. This meant he had to make a choice between going for the anchors and risking a ground fall if he blew it or jumping off before he got too high which he opted for.
Mark Anderson on Captain Bullet 5.13a
 On the last day, everyone was climbing again. We started the day at The Minimum and headed to Cragganmore to finish. We mostly took the opportunity to get on bunch of long routes but nothing much too hard, except for Linda who managed to on-sight Zoaster Toaster, 5.11+ at The Minimum. Even though I've climbed several times at The Minimum I managed to only climb routes that I had not been on before which was great. I always try to make it a goal to at least do one new route each day I'm out, and on this day I managed to climb only routes I'd not done before. The afternoon at Cragganmore was great and I got the chance to climb the big routes of Daddy and Popcorn, pictured below.
Climbing Popcorn 5.12b at Cragganmore, photo by, Mark Anderson

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Halloween week in Utah

 We headed to Utah for the week of Halloween. The purpose was to visit our friends Walt and Sarah along with their new son Michael,
 They just moved to UT from Boulder CO for Sarah's work. Walt who builds bikes for a living has a nice new shop for his company Waltworks. We went bouldering one afternoon with Walt, up in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was the first time I'd been there not it July or August and the cooler temperatures made a couple of things that I'd previously tried feel easy. The next day Walt and I went for a short ride in the Wasatch foothills. I got to ride his sweet full suspension 29er that he built about a year ago. We headed up Dry gulch and came down Bobsled which was super fun, like riding down a half pipe.

After that we headed to Maple Canyon to meet up with Mark and Kate Anderson and their son Logan. We stayed at the Red Apple Cottage in Fountain Green just outside of Maple. Here are Dylan and Logan sitting in front of the cottage on halloween evening.
There is an upstairs loft in the cottage with a couple of nooks for beds, Dylan slept in one and both kids used the play area up there.
It was great having a kitchen to cook in and a warm place to hang out in the evenings.
The weather for climbing was great but the nights were cold.

We were not sure what to do for trick or treating for the kids until someone told us to head to the city park, just a block away. Here is Dylan in his ghost costume of the 3rd year in a row, with Linda getting to the park.
 Turns out that in Fountain Green everyone drive to the park and the cars line up a log one edge and you do you trick or treating from car trunk to car trunk, very efficient.
 Not to be left out, the adults ordered some sweets from Kristie, a local baker, YUM.
 On our last day, Steve and his son Sam, from Lander WY met up with us. Here Linda is stalking little boys.
 Most of the trees had already lost their leaves, but a few still had some.
 Climbing shots to come later.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Yank-N-Yard 2012 Video

Here is a nice video of the 2012 Yank-N-Yard that Andy Burr put together. Prepping the gym, setting and forerunning the problems consumed a week of my life. All in all, it was a good time.

Yank-N-Yard 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Balloon Fiesta 2012

This year we made it out to Balloon Fiesta twice. Once in the evening hoping to see a glow, which did not happen and for one beautiful morning with perfect conditions. I towed Dylan in the trailer both times. 

For the evening session we headed out and met Linda at the field as she was riding home from work. Dylan and I arrived earlier than Linda and just ended up hanging out in front of the Intel tent where we would eat dinner once Linda arrived. Here we are waiting,
 Even though the "glow", where they light up the balloons but don't fly, was canceled because of gusty winds, the view was still really cool, there was this strange looking cloud hanging over the Sandias that of course glowed in the sunset.
and of course, there are fireworks every night,
 In the morning I got a flat tire and had to change it on the trail as the "Dawn Patrol", the dawn patrol launched while it is still dark and look like floating lightbulbs where they burn to gain altitude, the must fly until it is light to be able to see obstacles and landing sites, balloons flew over us. 

Once we made the field, the first balloon we saw left little doubt as to where we were,
 Balloons bumping,
 There were lots of shapes out since it was calm enough for them to fly, like this zebra,
The you have the human zebras that clear a down wind path so the balloons can take off without knocking people over, though it was so calm that they only moved a few feet before they were well above head height.
 Family shot in front of a row of balloons,
 The spiral pattern of many of the balloons looks pretty cool as they fly overhead,
 This is the first time I've seen the "Darth Vader" balloon out,
 And he was off chasing the rebels,
 Smokey the Bear for Mom,
 The balloons launch in rows from the down wind edge so that they don't have to clear each other, so you get these long rows of balloons waiting for the OK from a human zebra for take off. 
 Linda and Dylan below the "Airibel" Creamland dairy balloon.
 Airibel framing some balloons,
 And again, "Airibel" is huge and they were hoping to fly her on this day but the wind shifted and if they had flown there would not have been anywhere large enough to land her. We have yet to see the whole cow fly, but they can detach the front and back and it leaves a normal balloon, I think, that We've seen flying.
 Noah's arc,
 Looking into the Wells Fargo stage coach balloon,
 A tribute balloon,
 The three bumble bees, with baby leaving the parents behind, I think the hands of the parents were actually attached,
 Linda and Dylan on the field again after the sun came up,
 Balloons, balloons and more balloons,
 I always like these shots, looking through the balloon as it is layer out and getting blown up with shadows of people watching. A couple of parents holding children and someone working on straightening the balloon out.
 Linda using her enormous weight to help hold the Intel balloon down. The intel balloon actually flew as part of the "Dawn Patrol", landed, was packed up and drove back to the field to re-inflate and tether in front of the Intel tent.
 At the end of the morning it was just the Intel balloon and this one sitting tethered to the field for people to mingle around as they headed back to their cars or bikes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Big Basin State Park

After spending the night at the Davenport Roadhouse, we had a nice breakfast in their restaurant. Linda tried something new, wheat berries, kind of interesting, crunchy. Then we collected our leftovers from their refrigerator and headed off to Big Basin State Park to see some HUGE redwoods. After the long hike the day before for Dylan we decided to start out with a short loop, though it turned out to be longer than we were told. Here Linda and Dylan are dwarfed by some large trees. 
 Moss and lichen enjoy their own climate on the north side of the trees.
 Crazy bark, I can't help but think about climbing holds when I see stuff like this.
 Dylan and I in front of another tree.
 Looking up through the "Chimney Tree", the entire center is burned out and yet it is still alive and growing.
 The tallest tree in the park, the "Mother of the Forest", of course the widest is called the "Father"
It is always so impressive to be in a true old growth area with the enormous trees towering above you.

video
Dylan did catch himself...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ano Nuevo and the Davenport Roadhouse

While we were in CA we also took a short two day trip to check out some local spots that we thought Dylan would find interesting. The first of which was Ano Nuevo, just a little north of Santa Cruz. Ano Nuevo is a preservation for Elephant Seals. You park and have to hike out to where the Seals spend most of their time lounging on the beach. As we pulled into the park we war told that the Seals were out at the furthest outlook, about a 2 mile walk out with a fair bit of sand towards the end. After the epic of getting Dylan to put on sunscreen and out of the car he was distracted by a surfer and Linda and Dylan followed him down to a beach that is within the park but not the preserve. Here they are walking as I try to catch up. 
Linda and DYlan hanging out on the beach having lunch and watching the surfers.
 The surf did not seem very good, you could not ride a wave for very long before it broke and died. After awhile we headed on out towards the Elephant Seals. Once we crossed into the preserve the trail quickly turned to sand and since it seemed as though I was going to be getting it in my shoes I took them off, Dylan had them on and off through the sandy part.
 Most of the Seals were just lounging.
 You would see sand thrown up in the air over then seals constantly. Apparently even when it is cold out, which it was, it is still too warm if you have several inches of blubber keeping you warm. Flipping up the sand with their flippers helps to keep them cool. The seals are so inactive because they don't go out to sea to eat, so they are fasting and trying to conserve energy. There were a handful of seals out playing or wrestling in the shallow water though.

Here are Linda and Dylan trudging up the last big sand dune on our way back towards the car. Dylan hiked the whole way on his own, 4.3 miles. Though it did take some coaxing, in the form of playing games, like going on safari, to get him back.
 We then checked into our lodging at the Davenport Roadhouse. They have several rooms above the restaurant, which was quite good, we ate there for dinner and breakfast the next morning, and this little cottage out back where we stayed.
 The service was excellent. Because we had a child they let us use a little attached room with an extra bed and after dinner, there was no refrigerator int he room so the waitress let us keep our leftovers in the restaurant to pick up in the morning after breakfast.

Here is a shot of the family overlooking the beach that is across the street from the Davenport Roadhouse.