Who the Hell is maadjurguer?

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I like to ski, mountain bike, drink beer, cook and listen to any jam band I can get my hands on; all while making a complete ass of myself. Hopefully this catharsis is as interesting to others as it is to me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Another Fine Day(s)

To steal a phrase from Maude Lebowski, riding can be a "zesty enterprise", just as much as skiing in my opinion.  But using a bike to make an approach to a ski shot.....on a bluebird day.....on memorial day weekend....in AZ....with the finale being a short bomb back down to the car on said bike is just about as much fun as one should legally have in one day.  Add in good friends, beer and music....and what one gets is a stoke meter that goes to 11.

The day started with a 3:30am wake time, 4:00am meet at Splitchimps house and a 5:45 push from the trailhead at Locket Meadow where we met with J.  As we readied our gear in the calm 30 degree morning, I found myself looking longingly up at the western ridgeline which was just being blessed with the first direct rays of sunlight of the day.

I don't think I was bitching too much about my 40lb pack weight, but I did request the use of a shockpump to effectively lock out my 5.5" of suspension in the rear.....so when split offered to carry my boots on his rack equipped Coconino....I responded in the affirmative without a seconds hesitation....I may be prideful....but I'm also practical.....

Our pace up the service road from the meadow to the wilderness boundary was excruciatingly slow as we clawed our way up all 1500 vertical feet in granny gear, with J on foot keeping easy pace with us on bikes.....

Photo by Splitchimp
As we neared the bottom of Fremont Peak, the talk turned to our best guesses as to the best ski shot of the day....the closer we got....the more sun cupped the snow appeared.

Photo by Splitchimp

Stopping in the shadows, we discovered some unique vertical ice crystals forming out of the dirt....melting in the days sun only to regrow each night.

Split pontificating as to the pro's and con's of each line....Looking South in the photo:  Telemark is on the far right, Silverton to the left of Telemark in the center of the photo below.  Silverton was favored with some sheltered shots up high, obscured from view which we guessed would be less sun-banged.

I shot a 360 video at this point to capture just how much snow remains on the numerous lines of the IB.....July skiing is becoming a possiblity on some of the isolated north faces out of view.....

Hedging our bets, we continued west past Telemark to check out a narrow couloir named Roadway which looked promising.....as we got closer, it appeared to be as the others....so we turned back to Silverton with the intention of seeking some isolated chutes higher up in the shadows.  Traversing back east across the toe of Telemark's avalanche path, we found numerous reminders of the power of the white dragon.....not that anyone in this crew needed any more reminders on the season.

Passing the debris field, we paused for some lunch before bootpacking up the 1500 feet to the top of the couloir.

As we climbed up Silverton, I turned my camera to the NW to shoot the SE face of Humpheys Peak with a section of our planned line in the foreground.

Topping out at treeline, I shot a pic of Sazi looking unusually patient for us to decide where to start our run.

Looking eastward towards the Painted Desert, Doyle peak features prominently on the skyline as we set up our gear for the descent.

Setting up to shoot Split and J, I looked down at the giant corn glistening in the sun below my skis on the fall line.

Peering back up, I spied Sazi jumping the gun on Split....that dog always gets first tracks....

Shooting in rapid fire mode, Split drops in with Sazi leading the way.....

Jump turns become the order of the day on this 50+ degree pitch....

The chimp flashes a grin with the stoke meter pegged over nice, forgiving corn snow.

Waiting for J to drop, Split and I paused in a safe zone mid-chute and threw snowballs at Sazi as I captured the acrobatics.....

As I shot some great sequence pictures of J descending....I was bummed to find in post-processing that my foucs was FUBAR....so the only shots I got of him were some close ups....which still capture the flexible aggressiveness of his turn style which has always struck me as beautiful......

Descending the lower elevations, we encountered 6 inch sun cups which made linking turns sporty....but we all had plenty of great turns higher up to already make this a successful day.  Bombing back down the fire road, extra stoke points were gained on the end of the day as we returned home by 2pm in time for Dara to go on a ride and for us to hang with Flags most popular toddler.

Considering that this was just the last day of the holiday weekend for me (which means absolutely nothing when you're unemployed), I should mention that this stoke-train started with a Thursday day ride with chollaball at Hawes, followed immediately by a night ride with J-Money Millionaire at Hawes; followed by a hot morning ride with J-Money at SoMo for a Pima-Beverly-Javalina-Morman-BV-Natty-Pima ride; then a drive up the hill to Flagstaff for a Friday night show at Mia's to watch Splits band, Planet Sandwich play a show.  Which leads me to wonder...what will happen to me when I can no longer peg the stoke meter at 11 for days on end?


chollaball said...


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