Thursday, December 25, 2008

Boise Ridge Traverse.

I spent a day out traversing the Boise Ridge with John.  The traverse starts out on the road to Bogus.  You climb up to the antennas on the backside of Bogus and then get some downhill.  The road was nicely filled in and the turns were sweet!  John had a nice touring set up for Tele and I was on AT gear.  After some turns we hit some rollie-pollie terrain.  I really didn't want to put my skins back on so John taught me a quick lesson on using kick wax.  It worked very well.  I am going to study applying kick wax a little more.  You got a good kick and glide and didn't have the weight of skins.

It was an excellent day to be out.  The sun was trying to poke through the clouds, but never did.  We stopped for a quick lunch and became cold just sitting there.  After lunch, we got a few more turns in and then started the climb up to Eagleson.  I had to switch to skins and finally made it to John waiting under a tree.  He said that I was only a few minutes behind him, but I think he was just being nice.  Let this serve a warning, if you go out and do endurance activities with a national cycling champion, expect to be humbled!  He was even breaking trail!

We descended down 8th street.  We were in "survival ski" mode.  The conditions were horrid.  Drifts that were 3 to 5 feet tall led to ice.  The wind was blowing very hard and I was exhausted.  We made good time on the descent and John's friend Tom picked us up after a short walk down 8th after we ran out of skiable ice.  My altimeter told me that we ascended 1,920 feet and descended over 5,000 feet in almost 20 miles.  It was a most excellent day!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

(If you don't know where this is, you don't need to know )

The ice is setting up nicely.  It's still real early season.  Hopefully it will fill in with some colder temps.  There were a few people up there, but no climbers.  This snow that we are getting would make the drive pretty interesting.

The ice is hookable with big nodes, so I climbed up and down a few times trying not to bust any icicles and ruin it for the rest of the season.  Downclimbing ice is and art that I need to spend more time on.  It makes you very aware of your foot placement.

The kids are now hassling me to go snowshoeing.  It's really ME snowshoeing pulling them in a sled.  Good for a nice long cardio day.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Black Cliffs

I went climbing today with Taylor out at the Short Cliffs.  We climbed a fun route called Copperhead.  I then ran some laps on a 5.8 called Minuteman.  It was T-shirt weather out there!  It's hard to believe that it's the 6th of December.  

Copperhead (10a)

My hand is still a little jacked up from my feet popping off and landing on a hand jam about a month ago.  It starts to feel good and then someone shakes my hand with the "I'm trying to impress you with my squeeze" type handshake and then it's sore again.  

Minuteman (5.8)

I think that living in Boise and being a climber is a good thing.  I can't think how many times we come out to the Black Cliffs.  In the summer when there's good light, we sometimes climb 5 days a week.  Granted, 5.8s, 5.9s and 5.10s aren't the hardest, but we have fun.  I think that Alex Lowe said, "The best climber in the world is the one having the most fun!"  Sometimes it can be crowed, but everyone is trying to enjoy the rock just like me, so there's good energy.  Also, I love trad climbing and most people are at the Mid Cliffs clipping bolts.  So if you can place gear, there's a lot of climbing to be done that doesn't get done much.  I grew up here and remember seeing people like Ted Thompson, Rob Hart and Mike Stoeger climbing and being scared shitless of them.  I often wish I would've kept climbing, I took a layoff and am now working back up to the higher grades.  It's a journey.  

The kids were very good up there.  I was worried how they would act with only me and Taylor, but they were great.  I am so glad that my wife and kids are tolerant of my addiction to climbing!  Bonnie is a good climber and I think that once she starts leading gear routes her mind will open to the possibilities of climbing harder.  I never want her to feel like she HAS to climb.  She is by far, my most favorite climbing partner!  Ever since Damon died, I have been thinking of how much of a void people leave when they are gone.  I have to be a better person.  The better the person, the bigger the void!