Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sky Meadow

I toured up in the Mammoth Lakes Basin today hoping to find some decent tree skiing and enjoy some seldom seen winter weather.

From the trailhead the snow is very thin. The Tamarack folks have been moving snow and grooming, but it's barely hanging in there. Lots of ice too.

Along the northeast side of Lake Mary the road is bare for a hundred yards or so. 

But between Lake Mary Store and the top of Coldwater the snowpack increases significantly with surprisingly good coverage in the trees.

Above Sky Meadow the trees were rimed and the cloud deck was low. Great winter scenery we haven't seen enough of this year.

The thin crusts at and below treeline have faceted out pretty well but the thicker crusts in the open terrain persist. Skiing the glades in the forest was real good on the sugar snow!

Hopefully we'll get a little more winter here soon!  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

San Joaquin Knob

I was pretty impressed with the snow coverage up on San Joaquin Ridge during my last tour so I got out the maps and looked for something interesting out there to explore. Noticed a knob just off the ridge with a little northeast facing bowl and figured I should go check it out. Explore!

I parked about half way between Main Lodge and Chair 2 and headed straight north. After passing the sewage ponds (frozen but still stinky) and some funky micro terrain I emerged into open flats.

Glad I had my phone with the Earthmate app or I might have wandered off course in the forest. As it was I took a fairly direct line to the top of the knob. Looking back to the ski hill.

and north out to not so White Wing (right).

Ever pleasant views of the Minarets.

The bowl was holding real nice sugar snow over a solid base.

Took a couple of short, fun runs in there before heading back.

Cool zone with a remote feel. Good skiing too!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

San Joaquin Ridge

I figured it would be good to get up in the hills, breath some mountain air, and get the legs and feet used to ski touring. Started at the ski area and headed up to the Minaret Vista and beyond.

 Looking back at the local ski hill. Heard the wind buff was exceptional.

Coverage was solid and the steady, cool winds were keeping the snow wintery except in the sheltered south facing zones.

I got in some fun low angle turns on this snow.

Pretty sweet views too.

Fun little outing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First Ski Tour of the Season

After busting my butt on the bike for a couple of months racing cyclocross I needed a little break, so I took a quick tour up above McLeod Lake in the Mammoth Lakes Basin.

Travel was easy with a few inches of fresh light snow over a dense base. Nice day too with crisp temps, light winds, and bluebird skies.

 Made it up to the base of the crest for a little taste of alpine granite.

And some fine views of the backside of Mammoth Mountain and McLeod Lake below.

Pretty impressed with the coverage up high. A solid 2' to 3' base of dense snow. If bare rock wasn't showing you probably weren't going to hit anything. Skied fast though with just enough variability to keep me on my toes. Not super skiing but fun.

Coverage at Twin Lakes however was quite thin - and melting quickly. Somewhere around the 9,000' elevation the snowpack increases dramatically.

One and done here but a good tour for recharging the batteries.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cyclocross Season!

My first out of town cyclocross race of the season was at the West Sacramento Grand Prix where I really enjoyed the fun course, the big deep fields, and the festival atmosphere. On the other hand I didn't enjoy the heat and my somewhat poor early season form.

The ups, downs and arounds on the sloped grass were a challenge.

Suffering a bit!
Finished 32 out of 42 in my field but was pretty close to the guys I normally battle with, so I wasn't really disappointed. Early days!

Next up was our local race out near the airport. This course will undoubtedly be the toughest I will face all year, but also one of the most fun.  I felt a lot better and was able to put in a steady, solid if not super fast effort. 

Dropping in!

Beautiful day!

Next I traveled south to the Ojai area to race Casitas Cross which is part of the SoCal Cross series. The course was super fun with lots of short ups and downs. After a slower than normal start I found a good rhythm and moved up to finish 5th out of 14. I was happy about that!

Pushing it up and over a berm. 


Looking forward to more as my fitness and prowess continue to improve!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer Cycling

After the Crusher I took a nice break to recharge and relax then, for August, I focused on volume with several great adventure rides.

I visited my mom down in Altadena and got in a terrific ride in the mountains there.

I rode up the Mt. Lowe fire road on my gravel bike.

A view down to Crescenta Valley.

Higher up looking south over Inspiration Point to the marine layer that had settled in the San Gabriel Valley.

Bear Canyon. A rugged, seldom visited drainage.

I got to ride through this picturesque tunnel as I neared the Mt Wilson Road.

Mt Markham

The distinct inversion looking east.  As I descended the Angeles Forest Highway a bit later the air was cooler and cooler!

The next day I went for an urban ride with Mary and our friend Saja.
Along the L.A. River.

Through Chinatown, Griffith Park and Silver Lake. Totally different kind of fun!

Happy to be home I did several sweet rides from the house. Just south.

Accidental photo!

Just north of town in Round Valley.

I also did a big ride north of Bridgeport. Up 395 early morning.

Then Birchim Flat Road paralleling the Walker River Canyon.

A quiet pavement stretch on Eastside Road just east of Colevillle.

Then up into the Sweetwater Range on Risue Road. Took a nice splash here in Desert Creek.

The high point of the day looking south to the high peaks of the Sweetwaters.

Finally popping out on Highway 338 near the Sweetwater Summit.  Super nice ride!

Topped if off with a soak at the Buckeye Hot Springs. The best pools are down by the creek.

Then a cold water soak in the creek below our camp.

A little smoke rolled in giving some extra color to the sunset.

Twilight view from our camp. So nice.

Now for a little rest and the transition to cyclocross season!