Monday, December 31, 2012

2012, The Hospital Bed, And Mr. Should Have

This year was all about finding adventure wherever we were, whenever we could, however we could.  Come to think of it, that might be a decent way to live a life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trip Report: Christmas on Cardigan 12.25.12

It's been so long since we last toured Cardigan Mountain (see: A Backcountry Mountain with Training Wheels (2008)) that I almost forgot how much I like everything about this tiny little southern NH peak.  It's close to home, quick to hike, short enough to forgive poor planning, and covered in nice, shallow, mostly avy-free snowfields. There are multiple ways down that are easy to scout on the climb, and and if there's no powder to schuss there's still bound to be enough ice to give Yukon Cornelius a 12 inch pick. Most importantly, Cardigan is a place longtime gear-queer turned first-time BC skiers and alpinists can go to cut their teeth, and bring their family along for the ride.

Since that trip long ago in 2008, climbing Cardigan from the east via the AMC lodge and CCC trail, I've been thinking about a return to explore the western approach. Maybe I've been overlooking it for more exotic tours, or maybe it's just my place of last resort from a bad snow year. Regardless, the things I've seen and done and skied on on the western approach were enough to make me regret these past five years of neglect.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Uphill Report from Pico: 38 Degree POW

I may be a GED legal-beagle when it comes to public land use lawyering, but I make up for it by being a semi-professional weatherman when it comes to picking amazing ski tours to do on apocalyptic end-of-Mayan-calendar days like today.

In a world of climatic uncertainty, at least one thing was guaranteed. There was no way I was going to let the end of days pass me by without skiing one last time, low pressure front and 38 degree air be damned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vermont Uphill Skiing Policies


Being from biking circles I always thought the term 'randonèe' referred to a bunch of aging fat nutters who pretend a weekend ride from Paris to Brest and back (or, Boston-Montreal-Boston) constitutes some sort of race. Only when Andy took the term on as part of his web-Avatar did I become aware that randonèe refers also to a bunch of young super fit nutters who like to race up random Alps (almost always in France) on skinny short skis and whiz back down again.

I'd never seen it in action until one fateful day last winter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Two Amazing Polar Adventures

This has very little to do with New England, but I know you folks who read this blog are the adventurous sort so I thought I'd mention a couple expeditions going on right this moment way the heck down South (as in the South Pole) that are pretty frickin' awesome.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kmart Special: Ski the Skiddies for Free

A rare shot of Killington without hundreds of
human cannonballs overhead

Two days ago the New York Times reported that the ski industry was dead. And the Times is almost never wrong. Everyone but me remembers what they did to disco. And maybe Donna Summers too. But skiing? Not on my watch you leftist tree-humping pessimists. Not when mankind can harness the power of dead dinosaurs to pump millions of gallons of reclaimed sewage water into sub 32 degree air, to freeze before it falls like concrete onto the logging and fire road wastelands of America's ski areas.

And this magical phenomenon is even more appropriate when you consider how much manmade snow in a bad snow year makes a mountain look like a pile of s#it with streaks of white skiddies all over it. A white ribbon of death from your a@%.

Luckily I'm within driving distance of the cradle of s#itty man-made skiing, and this morning I rose extra early to find out for myself if the rumors were true. It's been years since I've violated that sacred oath that every Vermont grade schooler takes daily before the pledge of allegiance. To never, ever, not even for a million dollars ski at Killington. Would the ski gods ever forgive me?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Thin Cover Winter?

It's mid December.  Do you know where your snowpack is?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Map of Northeast Mountain Biking Trail Reports

I will now start sorting through the angry emails from mountain bikers in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Now that I finally brought order to our backcountry skiing chaos, I was inspired to clean up the mess that was our mountain biking trip reports.