Friday, April 20, 2007

Training Log: April 20: In which Joe is Not Lost

Climbed Mt. Blackmoore today in Hyalite Canyon near my house. I think it’s a 16 mile round trip. Okay, this would be pretty much the whole story, except for I went with Josh and Joe, and so it’s of course, better than that.

It starts with me being a bit late. Which is something I strive very, very hard not to do. My mother taught me. You never EVER make a boy wait. You wait for the boy. They don’t wait for you. (This is in sport. In everything else, let ‘em stew, girls!)

Okay. This is hard to do when you are hiking with an Antelope and a Freight Train. Right. But I am more in shape than I was the FIRST time they hauled my ass up the Ridge at Bridger. And I have to give it to them, these boys were lovely, they were waiting for me, patiently and encouraging.

HOWEVER, on this day… here is how it went… “Okay, so if you get lost (as they are skinning away) or if we leave you (ha ha, general laughter all around) (as they are skinning away) just follow the skin track. There will only be one!! (ha ha, general laughter all around…)

And off they go, and I follow them (This, by the way is after Super Josh got his truck stuck and they had to dig him out.. They being Joe. Because I didn’t dig.)

Okay. So I got a bit behind when we crossed the creek, mainly because Josh and Joe feel fine just skinning across a creek on a big fallen log. And I, uh… took fifteen minutes to go across. So.

I figured I would spend the rest of the day catching up to them, which is fine with me, while I like the company, I love to hike alone, and my old skiing buddy used to ditch me regularly so she could get a good work out.

Right. So , eventually, I hear their voices. And I think its really strange that I have caught them, because honestly, Joe is really fast. Like super duper fast. And Josh, well, hes not as fast, cause he’s vertically challenged to some extent, but he can go all day at the same pace no matter the pitch.

So why can I hear them? And why does that look like the trail that went off that other direction? And why do I now see Josh climbing over a fallen tree in dense old growth forest on his skis? And where the hell is Joe? Yes, you got it, we are lost. And Joe is gone, although we can hear him crashing around in the forest to our left, and Josh is going “oh, Joe Joe…” because they are girlfriends, you know.

So we hike up out of the forest and onto a trail type area, where I hear Josh say from far away “Kate, when you get up here, just wait until we find the trail.” Click on the video below to see the “One Skin Track”.

Alright. Okay. So moving on, Josh finds the trail, (as is clearly indicated by the sign), and we skin along. What about Joe?

Well, Joe is fast, and while he is dumb, he does have Josh’s dog with him. And he also has his gun with him, so we figure that if it ges bad, he can shoot Ros, and eat her. So on we go.

Eventually, just after Blackmoore lake, Joe comes racing up to us just dripping with sweat, because he blew his binding while he was bushwhacking and had to rebuild it with a leatherman and some keys.

But he caught us. So my goal of being in good enough shape that Joe has to keep up with me is a big one.

So we skin on, and every corner we come to I am thinking is the one we are going to ski, so I keep stopping and taking pictures, but eventually we can see Mt. Blackmoore, and we stop to dig a pit. I am excited to join in and dig, especially because I have a new shovel, but because I can NEVER tell when Josh is pulling my chain, I am a bit of a sucker and I have gotten more cautious. So… Should I dig? I offer to dig. He says two people will be more than enough, and they both get in there and do their best to make it look gnarly!! The snow flies, the boys dig…

Oh, wait, first they had to shoot off Josh’s Glock… and no, they did NOT give the gun to me, they let me pet the dog while they shot the gun… punks… anyhow, the pit was deep and pretty and they had me test the snow stability by jumping up and down on the column, which was basically concrete and didn’t move an inch. GOOD!

Josh took off and Joe and I skinned up to the ridge line, and then went up up up. I tried to take some pictures with the proper aspect so you can see the pitch of the hill we were climbing, but it was tough.
Needless to say, its good to have an antelope put the bootpack in for you, because he was postholing in hip deep snow for a while, and I was too, but in his footprints, which makes it easier.

We got to the top and Joe put together his shotgun, and I had the task of whipping the clay pigeons off the top while he attempted to shoot them. He got one. Then I got to shoot the gun. Which was FUN. Yeah. Joe tried to blow up the wind lip.
I tried to blow up a rock. So here is a picture of Joe with his gun to make his dad proud, and here is a picture of me with my skis on my back to make my mom proud, because she bought my gear, and I couldn’t have done it without it!!

Then we skied down, ice on the left hand turn, wind blown powder on the right hand turn, back seat back seat back seat. Then we got to the little chute, and Joe, (who is quite the gentleman when Josh isn’t around, and vice versa) let me get the freshies. The top couple turns were great, although I skied tentatively again… and then I hit the avalanche debris at the bottom of the chute. Which had frozen into concrete boulders, which I hit, and then blew up on. I was all bummed out, and then I looked up the hill, and thank GOD, Joe was wobbling and hanging in there on his tele gear by the skin of his teeth. So I hopped up and decided to ski it with an “adaptive” stance, like doing GS turns in bumps. It went really really well for about three turns. And then I blew up again.

Hmmm… Anyhow, we got through it, and skied some north facing slopes, which were lovely, fluffy and fun, and I skied for REAL down the second one, with good turns, saying “Single Platform, 50% /50%” out loud all the way down.

So now, we are done with the skiing part, and I figured we’d skin around a different way back to the car. But no, apparently the plan is to SKI the hiking trail back down. Okay. The trail is too narrow to stop on, too narrow to snowplow on, full of whoopties and trees, and I am not wearing my helmet. Yeah.

So we go full speed down this ridiculous trail and I am SURE I am going to die. Funny that it took us from 8am to 3pm to hike it, and less than an hour to ski out.

But I lived, and it was a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again. I like to earn my turns.

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