12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours

12 Glory Laps in 12 Hours
Last February 20th, I hiked and skied 12 laps on Mt. Glory. 19,638 feet climbed with skis on my back and 19,638 feet skied to raise money for Camp To Belong. It's snowing again and I'm ready for the 2nd edition! Click the logo for more info and ways to support camp!

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Camp To Belong - Elk Mountain Grand Traverse
We're racing the Elk Mtn Grand Traverse this March, a 40 mile ski race across the roof of Colorado in the middle of the night! Click for updates on our training and fundraising progress!

Peaked Sports

Peaked Sports
Driggs, ID

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March up Table

The streak is still alive!

Five months. Five trips up Table Mtn. What began last November as a sort of novel, one-time experiment too see what doing this hike with snowshoes was like, has become, for some reason, possibly my most vested and personally satisfying athletic goal for this year: To summit Table in 12 succesive months.

I left work last Saturday afternoon around 1:30 and drove straight to Teton Canyon where I changed, got my gear together, and set off on foot for 4 mile jog up Teton Canyon Rd. It was likely somewhere near 40 degrees so I opted for shorts and a long-sleeved Capilene. I also had the added luxury of over an hours worth of daylight more than the last time I did this hike in late February, so leaving the car at 1:55 didn't seem too late. It was looking to be a clear night anyway and I doubted if I'd even need to dig the headlamp out from the bottom of my pack.

I arrived at the base of the climb (the summer TH) after 45 minutes and donned the snowshoes.

The climb up was already showing signs of a rapidly deteriorating snowpack that only ever reached about half of what it should be during a normal winter. Portions of the trail were already uncovered and there was much more brush showing now. But the snow was firm and made for a quick ascent. I could tell the sun-exposed sections of the hillside had been going through melt-freeze cycles and were much firmer that the shadier spots so I tried to stick to the more open areas which allowed for a direct route option... Straight up!

There were two sets of ski tracks criss-crossing up the hill that were definitely from the same day. I heard voices and the scraping of metal edges on crusty snow about 15 minutes up from the bottom and thought it likely that I wouldn't encounter anyone else up here today. (I've had this place completely to myself for each of my last five trips over the past five months.)

This was by far the warmest ascent of the last five. I wore the same shorts and long-sleeved Capilene all the way up to 9,500 ft before putting on the zip-off pant legs and a pair of thin gloves to fend off a slightly more chilly breeze.

The view south from just below the summit. It wasn't too windy or cold, but I expected it to be 100 ft higher up on top so I put on my wind jacket. (sweet red visor!)

The summit was just as breathtaking as ever, except this time it was considerably warmer than the four before so I was able to enjoy it for a little while longer.

And behold, just as I was about to turn and make my way down, there it was... the moon. Almost full. Just popping up on the north side of the Grand.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Table #5

I'm planning another ascent up Table Mtn this Saturday. My broken snowshoes have been sent in to MSR to get the bindings replaced so I'll be borrowing a pair from Jay again who has been gracious enough to allow me the use of his own until mine are repaired. This will mark the fifth consecutive month I've been up Table and, so far, the most difficult outing was, by far, the last trip in February. I've never even finished that trip report, but I can sum it up quickly: It was tough. I didn't feel particularly good physiologically. I felt sluggish... Exhausted... Lethargic. Snow conditions were great on the way up for being mid-winter as we hadn't received much snow in the preceeding weeks and there was a firm trench stamped out through the snow to walk in from all the traffic before me during that time, but that still didn't seem to help much. It still took almost as long as my mid-winter January ascent. I'd honestly say that my trip in January, when I left the parking lot at 5:30am and had to break trail all the way to the summit, was a more enjoyable experience. Go figure. Plowing a 2 foot deep trough up 4,000 ft for 3 1/2 hours through the lightest puff that typically settles on these Teton slopes didn't seem to phase me too much (except for some of my toes which didn't have feeling for a few weeks after). Sometimes, for whatever the reason, some days are just tougher/easier than others.

I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to get up there this month. I was hoping to have my shoes back by now, but Jay's great in letting me borrow his. I'll surely have mine back for the April excursion. And then, in May, the road will be open all the way to the trailhead and the lower half of the trail will be clear of snow, and maybe, just maybe, if I planned an early enough climb that month, the soft snow from the day before will firm up overnight and I won't even need the snowshoes. Microspikes??? Perhaps.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just in case you haven't seen it...

Here's the best music video ever made (in my humble opinion). And by a great band too. Check em out if you haven't already...

(Be sure to pause the music at the bottom of the page before clicking the video. It also views better if you click the video once to get it started, then click it again to watch it via Youtube.)

Check out some of their other videos out there on Youtube as well. The others may not be quite so ingenius, but still incredibly clever.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Table Trials

More on this late-February foray soon...