Winter 2014/2015 – California

Man O Man, another tough season for California, sometimes you just have to make the best of it.

With the lack of snow, touring was very limited.  We did receive snow in the higher terrain, but it was slim pickins. Mammoth Mountain did a great job staying open for the season, but there were times it was looking pretty rough.

Its the Eastern Sierra and regardless if there is snow or not  there is no other place like it in my opinion. To be honest I had a lot of fun days on and off snow. It’s all what you make of it really. Plus it’s California, so there was plenty of surfing and mountain biking to be had as well.. Here is what one of the worst Winters in California looked like. 😉

Curly knows how to get after it.

Leb digging deep

Solo boot pack up this chute with the solid board.

Had an awesome windbuff day with Leb at Mammoth. The mountain was empty and 23 was getting refills from the wind all day long. We made a lot of laps.

Gapers!

Our tracks were filled in every lap.

When we did actually get a little snow it was nice to hit one of my favorite zones.

Leb slashing some nice turns in some much needed pow.

View from up top never gets old.

Me in my happy place.

Nick in the whiteroom

Greg making some nice turns at Mammoth.

Greg dropping into one of my favorite lines on the Mtn.

Greg snapped this one of me.

Back in the skinner with Nick

Zak Mills? I think ripping down this line in the distance.

Loved this line.

First time I had been to this zone. I was once again solo, so kept it on the mellow side.  Climbed to the top of the summit on the right.

The views did not suck.

Some nice creamy turns were had.

The conditions sucked, but it was cool to get up to Bloody before my trek back to VT.

 

 

 

Winter 2014/2015 – Utah

With little to no snow in California we made a couple trips to Utah to chase some storms. Utah wasn’t having the best season either, but we took what we could get and the drive isn’t that bad from the Eastern Sierra.

Our first trip over was early New Years day after drinking and partying in Mammoth Lakes for NYE. Luckily I didn’t have to drive.  It was a perfect test for Nick’s new slide in, pop-up camper setup.

I haven’t had much experience in the Utah mountains, so I was looking forward to see what it had to offer. Was blown away with the amount of easy access backcountry terrain in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon. Luckily we met up with our buddy Kyle who knew his way around.

We first however stopped at a little mountain in the southern part of the state called Eagle Point for a few lift laps.

Nick finding the goods

Our first day in LCC was a little overcast, but Kyle was able to get us into some good lines with some amazing snow.  I’ll let the pics tell the story.

The next day things cleared a bit and we decided to go for a little bigger line in the same zone. It was also nice to get a better view of the awesome terrain that surrounds.

This one looks like it’ll do.

Kyle dropping in.

Nick’s turn.

It was another great day in the mountains.

Later in the Season I chased a little storm to another small resort in Southern Utah with my roommate. Here are a few shots from that quick trip.

Even for a low snow year in Utah, we were able to get many powder turns under our belt. I’ll be back for sure. The couple trips we made this Winter did the trick for us powder starved folk in California.

 

 

 

 

Winter 2014/2015 – Jackal Hut, CO

Its been a while since I’ve posted and thought I would catch up and post my adventures from Last Winter.

I packed my truck up and left Vermont around the 19th of December.  My goal was to be in CA by New Years Eve, but first I was stopping in CO to spend  a few nights at the 10 Mountain Division owned Jackal Hut located on the Western Slope of the Continental Divide at about 11,660′ .  I met up my friend Andy Orowitz and crew in Buena Vista the night before to get all our gear ready for our adventure up to the Hut. Recent snow storms dropped something like 4ft of new snow in the mountains. First thing we had to do when we got to the trail head was dig out a place to park.

With all the new snow, we knew it was going to be a long 4 miles of breaking trail up to the hut.

It was a struggle for me for sure. Between my weak leg, new snow, single digits, altitude, and heavy pack the 4 miles to the hut took much longer than I had expected, but we all made it.

The hut looked amazing and the views and terrain around the hut were unreal.  I was stoked to be spending some time there with some great people. The hut sleeps 16, but we were the only group there during our entire stay. Here are some pic of the Hut.

It was very spacious, clean, and stocked with supplies.

The entire crew.  A great place to spend the Holidays.

We explored the terrain around the hut a bit during the daylight hours, but with high avalanche danger and about every red flag set off, the skiing and riding was kept to very low angle meadow skipping, which was just fine with me. It was a treat just to be at this amazing hut surrounded by such beautiful mountains.

Besides the high avy danger this trip was awesome. It was a great way to break up my drive XC, I made some new friends, got to see some new terrain, and stay in an amazing hut.  It was also a nice alternative way to spend the Holiday.  Many Thanks to the entire crew for putting on a great adventure and dragging me along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing My Leg

After almost a year without shredding on snow because of my broken femur, it was time to start working on my touring legs and see how my new leg does snowboarding. With some early season snow in Vermont I was able to make this happen sooner than I expected.  Touring was painful, but I knew the more I did it the easier it would get as I built my muscles back up.  Powder felt great, but any crust or hard snow was pretty painful for my knee, which I have been having issues with. Anyway here are some early season shots from Vermont that I took.. It felt great to be back on snow and to be taking pictures again.

Dalton Harben making some nice turns in some poor vis.

IMG_9754My leg was feeling good after the first skin so we decided to head up higher and see what we could find, which was well worth the effort.

IMG_9775This is a picture taken by Dalton Harben of me back in my happy place.

10546973_10204430084065323_8759161707774169046_oFelt so good to be riding pow again. I am very thankful that my leg has healed and I am able to continue doing the things I love to do.

Gaspe Peninsula Moto Tour

My friend Greg has been trying to get me to do this trip around the Gaspe Peninsula for a few years now, but timing  hasn’t been right for me. Last couple Summer vacations have been taken up from Backpacking in the Eastern Sierra, as you may have seen in my past trip reports. After breaking my leg this past Winter I decided another backpacking trip was out of the question this Summer. This opened up the perfect opportunity for this motorcycle trip to go down,  I am so glad I did it.  What an amazing adventure. And if you’re wondering about my leg, it is healing great and the doc says it should be good to go come ski season.

I was on my 2008 Triumph Bonneville and Greg was riding his 2012 Suzuki V-Strom.

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Left work early on a Friday to get a head start and stopped just south of Quebec City.

Here is a map of the entire loop that we did. We ended up driving 1,680 miles total.

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Drove through a lot of rain the 2nd day as we headed past Quebec City and up toward Parc National du Bic where we finally got ahead of the rain clouds.  I quickly took this shot looking back toward the park as the clouds came rolling over the hills.

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Our goal was to follow Rte 132 up along the St Lawrence River and around the Peninsula.

I spotted this eagle on top of a boulder while driving along,  must have been looking for some seafood.

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After spending the night in Cap-Chat at the Motel Nanook drying out gear, we were back on the road and headed to Forillon National Park. We made some stops along the way since it was only a few hour drive from Cap-Chat.  We considered going inland to drive through the Chic-Chocs, but the clouds appeared socked in over the mountains.

Came across this cool red lighthouse in La Martre, just off the road so we decided to check it out.

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Looking toward our route.

DSC02387And back on our way.

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All kinds of roadside art work and quirky towns along the way.

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The light wasn’t great  for pictures, but we stopped to take a look at this awesome hanggliding launch in Mont-St-Pierre. Greg has many flights under his belt and I have been dabbling with Paragliding in recent years, so we thought it was pretty cool. Maybe next time take a flight.

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hmmmmmm

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Cape Madeleine Lighthouse

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Scenic lunch break at some random river mouth. Look at all the logs on that barge.

DSC02433 We spent the next couple days camping in Forillon National Parc despite the rainy conditions

IMG_7162Late night beers and stone work on the beach.

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Packing up and leaving camp in the rain on a motorcycle is not so much fun, but we got through it and had a great tour of the park. I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me from exploring this amazing place.

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Double Crested Cormorant

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La Chute eh!

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Our next stop was Lands End, the end of the IAT (International Appalachian Trail), but for us about a 5 or 6 mile hike give or take round trip.

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Our next stop would be in Perce. We settled at Le Cote Surprise where we dried out for a couple days, explored the area, and took in the sights.  The view from the hotel was unreal and the clearing sky was a great relief from the recent showers.

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Sunrise from the deck outside hotel room, looking at Bonaventure Island.

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Indian Head

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After seeing the Indian head we drove down a side road, which led us to a dirt road, which led us to a gravel pit, which brought us to a trail that brought us to the Emerald River.

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We couldn’t leave Perce without taking a closer look at Perce Rock and Bonaventure island, so we took an hour boat  ride before starting our journey back home.

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IMG_9389 The Gannet population on the island is unreal and really cool to see in person as the pictures don’t do it justice.

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The boat ride was a great way to end our time in Perce and I was very glad that we did it last minute. Well worth the $25.

We decided we would make our way down the rest of the Peninsula then cross over into New Brunswick which was a first for me.

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Spent the night right at the border and the next day we drove across Maine and into NH where we spent the last night of our journey at Greg’s Family camp near Berlin NH.  With an easy drive back home to Vermont the next day.

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