Sunday, April 15, 2012

Independence Pass: Aspen, Colorado 3/3/2012

Independence Pass trailhead.

Cam joins us for a hike to get out of shopping with his family.


Even though it was quite windy but I enjoyed getting out to stretch my legs.

Matt and Cam

Matt, Cam and I took a short hike up independence pass today. It was a nice way to get out of the house and see an different part of Aspen. Independence Pass is a roadway that becomes closed during the winter months. We hike a little more than 4 miles round trip. The weather was a bit blustery but it was still a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Heybrook Ridge Navigation Course 3/17/2012

Early morning start.

Getting through the formalities of today's course.

Heybrook Fire Lookout Tower

Going over compass barrings

Headed to the training course.

If  you got here, you were on course.

Map reading

Last set of instructions before heading out on our final task.

Back at the tower

View from Heybrook fire lookout tower.

View of Mt. Index, seen from the roadway when heading back to our vehicle at the end of the day.

Today we headed outside to put our map and compass lecture class in practice. Our location was Heybrook Ridge. We sighted with our compass and learned to take bearings and follow them. Our final task was to follow a compass baring to test our accuracy. It was a fun and practical class. I look forward to using what I learned.

Directions: Driving from Everett, follow Highway 2 37.5 miles to the trailhead just past mile marker 37 and the sign for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The gravel parking area is on the north side of the highway.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Alta Vista Ice Axe Arrest Practice 3/11/2012

Heading towards the Wonderland Trail from the parking lot at Longmire in Mount Rainier National Park.

Momentary trail break.

Intently listening to the directions of our fearless leader Dave.

Dave explains how to travel safely in snow.

Learning Self-Belay

Waiting in line to practice self-arrest techniques.

Ida's self-arrest

The crew heads home

In the excitement of today I neglected to take off my helmet.

We headed to Mount Rainier National Park up towards Alta Vista to practice ice axe arrest techniques and proper snow travel. When we got on to the ridge at Alta Vista the conditions were such that we were initially unable to find a safe place in which to practice to to avalanche concerns. However on our way back down the trail we spotted a sutable location for which to practice. It was a great day in the snow with some great friends and a great instructor.

Driving Directions: 
  • From Seattle
    South on I-5 to SR 512 (exit 127). East on SR 512 to SR 7. South on SR 7 to SR 706 in Elbe. East on SR 706 through Ashford to the Nisqually Entrance.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snowboarding Aspen, Colorado 3/1-3/6/2012

Snowboarding down "Big Burn" at Aspen Snowmass on 3/2/2012.

"Sam's Knob" Chairlift taken from the "Dallas Freeway" run.

Matt, making it look easy!

Aspen Highlands 3/4/212

Pyramid Peak, seen from Aspen Highlands.

Me, enjoying the sunshine!

Nothing beats hanging out with a good friend on the mountain!

Most unusual ski helmet I've ever laid eyes on!

Matt; Snowmass 3/5/2012.

Kayleen joins us at Snowmass.

Elk Camp chairlift.


Kayleen and I grab a beer after a long day of snowboarding at Snowmass.

Buttermilk 3/6/2012

West Buttermilk Express chairlift.

Pyramid Peak from Buttermilk's "Upper Tierack" chairlift.

I had a wonderful time on my second annual trip to Aspen. As per usual the snow conditions were wonderful. Nothing even remotely close to the "Cascade Concrete" I'm so used to snowboarding on. I got to spend time with some wonderful friends Matt and Kayleen. My only gripe would be that it didn't last nearly long enough. Guess that means I'll just have to return in the future.