Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living in Ski Pants and why it's kind of awesome.

Another day up the Fryingpan.
Time and time again this winter I find myself trying urge my body on to keep up with my mental ambitions. Whether it's skinning up multiple resorts a day, venturing out into the backcountry with dear friends or some combination of those and the unknown. With the tally of these days stacking up I find my self increasingly appreciative of my ski pants. I realized recently that I have only one pair of ski pants, they're comfortable and functional and I could not ask much more of them.

For instance recently before work I ventured out with one of the shop's reps to demo some prototype skis in some nearby mellow backcountry. Pants on and it was go time with a quick lap in and a couple descents the pants were warmed up for the upcoming days off.

Day two in my ski pants included a quick skin up Buttermilk (one of the more mellow local resorts that allows uphilling all day) on a demo race setup, which literally allowed me to run with skis on. I must admit that they were a bit squirrelly when taking them off jumps since they weigh only a few ounces but it was worth it for the uphill. After a quick lunch/beverage break I moved over to the next resort, Aspen Highlands for an afternoon skin up to jump on some lifts and ski with some friends. After skinning up a couple mountains my pants had certainly earned a quick beer at the local brewery before hitting the town.

A glimpse of the pants themselves! 
The next morning finds me nursing a headache while climbing into my ski pants trying to get my act together to meet a ski partner to ski a newly discovered backcountry zone. Fast forward a couple cups of coffee and few advil and a bunch of psyche and there we are skinning up the remnants of a prior visit's skin track to score a few crusty and a few powdery, miles from the nearest people. After a lap I found myself in the Glenwood library in front of the computer in my slightly less than clean ski get up for a nice skype date before hanging out with my uncle and an early bedtime.

Day 4 finds me embracing my freegan beliefs in the lift ticket line in Vail where I was able to score a lift ticket and ride the lifts all day with my cousins and uncle, no doubt my trousers and hip flexors alike were delighted to not be bushwacking through scrub oak and conifers and instead to be soaking up the rays on a bluebird day at the resort, slaying crusty bumps and corduroy with impunity.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sam's misadventures - Bringing in the New Year with some Pow

On New Years Day I went up to Williams Peak down in Glenwood town with the lady friend and Mr. Angus Morrison, the man, the myth, the legend to score a few pow turns! With some splitter weather, no crowds and some untracked snow made for a stellar tour. With Angus having scouted one particular zone earlier in the week we were privileged enough to hit a couple bigger pillows and enjoy some mellow tree skiing. The day after was followed by a repeat adventure hitting similar pillows, slaying similar powder, with Andrew and yes, still suffering under some stellar blue skies and (in the sun) delightfully warm temps. Not a bad couple days when you can get out with some of your favorite folks, score some turns and sip some whisky all within a half hour drive!

Gear used included:
BD ascension skins
Dynafit speed radical bindings
Patagonia Cap 2 base layer
Scarpa Maestrale RS boots
Osprey Mutant pack

The rest of the photos would not load but can check them out here and here!
Photos by the illustrious Ms. Taryn Pearce

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sam's Misadventures - Thanksgiving on Castleton Tower

Over Thanksgiving I toodled out to Castle Valley to climb some desert towers before fully embracing the winter.

After raging out in the Previa my friend Luke and I joined a whole posse at a friend's family house across the valley from Castleton, psyche was high! After much beer drinking, catching up and geeking out on all the desert climbing in the area we narrowed down our options based on limited motivation to drive, short daylight hours and collective skillz that for Thanksgiving day it would be a good idea to climb Castleton via the North Face as a party of five.
 In order to do so we had a couple people that were dedicated to leading and fixing every pitch with a couple of people in reserve to the schlepp beer up to the summit. It was a bit chilly with screaming barfies (the sensation of frozen hands thawing that makes you want to simultaneously scream and vomit) but the bitchin' climbing was worth it with no one else on the route. We submitted without any problems, shockingly enough. On top we signed the register, listened to the hand crank radio that is kept on top, called our families and instagrammed the shit out of that moment, after waving at some telescope wielding friends across the valley and an obligatory summit selfie we began the descent. Rapping down included whisky drinking and stuck ropes and some educational moments with maximum safety standards maintained by all. We returned to the our base camp after sprinting down the talus cone (a 40 minute walk reduced to 25 minutes) to gorge ourselves on all the traditional Thanksgiving day fixin's.

Gear used included:
BD Camalots,
Sterling and Bluewater ropes
Gri-Gri 2
Osprey Rev 12 Pack
Patagonia Nano Air
Petzl Meteor

Summit view to the west.
Summit view to the East 
Summit view to the South.