"Let us go into the mountains and be happy." – Serge 

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Playing Safe

Published on April 8, 2006 by

Dug some test pits up in Humphrey’s Cirque the other day and found some potential avalanche shear zones a few inches down in the snow pack… So we decided against a 45+ degree exposed slope and opted for a shorter 35 degree couloir. I really wanted to nail that steep long route I had been eyeing for years, but we decided to play it safe with plan B were the angle was not as steep and the snow pack had better rock anchors. Additionally, the run out on play B looked safe and any release would probably not bury us.
Here is Siebert dropping into the 800 foot plan B run.

The snow was heavy.

Check out those other paths in the background – ripped those with the Gnome and Art just a few weeks ago.

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Published on April 4, 2006 by

The 1st Catalina Climb N’ Climb ‘race’ went very well on last Sunday, April 2, 2006. Because we started and finished as a group, this was more of a ride than race, and what an inspiring ride it was. Eight of us started at 6:20 from Murdock’s house near U of A campus in Tucson. We rode to Mount Lemmon then up Mount Lemmon, and up above the ski area to the top. Keep in mind that some folks had weighty ropes and climbing gear attached to their bikes and backs. However the fun words and graphics painted on the road by friends distracted us from our heavy loads.
From the top of Lemmon we hiked down to the bottom of a 500 foot dome, roped up and climbed that sucker. Murdock, Keith and self became a three person team and hauled ass to the top. Murdock lead the first 3 pitches and I the last two. Excluding the belay stations, we placed only 2 pieces of gear for the entire climb, but there where only two or three hard moves at 5.7ish and the rest was just 5.2-5.4ish climbing. In fact the author of Squeezing the Lemmon, Eric Fazio-Rhicard soloed the entire climb without any protection. He did haul a rope up the climb and belayed up some of the others. Jim drove up the mountain and was happy to climb unprotected, haul up a rope and belay some of the CCC riders. On the summit we waited for a 1/2 hour for everyone to regroup and while there I had to send a couple of slightly overhung boulder “solutions”. Stoked!
We then hiked out and road back to Tucson.
Stats: 85 miles of riding, 4 miles hiking, 500+ feet of rockclimbing, 8000+ feet of elevation change, total time was 11 hours and some change.

Rhicard and Murdock 8 on the Summit

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Climb N Climb Drum Machine

Published on March 31, 2006 by

Here is my favorite “drum machine“. It’s in Flash, about 4 minutes long and worth it. The Catalina Climb N Climb is this Sunday and sounds like about 10 of us will be riding from near U of A to the top of Mount Lemmon, hiking 2 miles, climbing the 400+ foot tall Rap Rock, hiking out and then riding back. Erik (the organizer) and self are hoping to maintain a 10 hour pace. We shall see… I think some folks may do the rock climb solo and unropped! Note the start is now at Erik’s house and NOT on the U of A campus. So you better find out where (soon to be) Dr. Murdock lives if you do not.

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Spring is our winter

Published on March 29, 2006 by

Just got back from seeing the movie V for Vendetta. I recommend it.
Welp tomorrow will be day 10 of AZ spring fun on snow. I wish every spring is like this. Trippy sand-snow was had in the trees and on upper white lightning this morning… Goggles needed because I was spraying that shit like it was mine.
Much fun on the bikes is just around the corner:
2006 AZ Races and Rides

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Ski Free

Published on March 26, 2006 by

Tracks going down and up Art and Sazi
Hard to believe the above pics were taken yesterday and that there is still soft untracked-powder in AZ, but they were and there is, respectively. The snow was a little thick from the warm weather but mostly awesome and very fast. This powder is at 11,500-12,000 feet so it took some (non-lift-assisted) work to get too. There were 7 of us in this bowl (best bowl to smoke) including 3 teleskiers, 1 splitboarder (self) and 3 snowboarders. Two of the snowboarders launched a 10 foot drop: the first guy stuck it and the second guy got some mid-air style but blew the landing and tumbled end-over-end for 40 feet before stopping.

Kachina Peaks looking into the inner basin

8 total days of AZ snowboarding this “winter”.
7 of those days in fresh untracked snow including epic days in Humphreys Cirque, ripping it in the steep and deep pow pow.
1 day in untracked snowbowl-groomed corduroy after hiking up to get a climbing skin I lost in the woods on the day before.
Climbing with skins or snowshoes is hard work but there are no lines, no fees, and we get rewarded with untouched soft snow…

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