Tag Archives: snowshoeing

Oh, where oh where have we been?

Hi, Everyone!

I am SO sorry for taking so long in between posts… this past month has been on of the busiest on record, with Great West Gymfest and getting everything in gear for Adventure Sports Week 2009, which is now onlu 91 days away!! Yikes!

First off, just to ease Thomas’ concern, my training has seldom been better… I mean, you never know when someone’s going to ask you to PQ with them… 🙂

Snow biking and snowshoeing are two of my new favorite hobbies, as well as the normal running, and I’ve been getting in plenty of all three. EZven though the mountain isn’t open for riding yet, there are plenty of hills to keep your legs “stimulated,”  and I don’t feel like I’ve lost much since last fall. It will be interesting to see when I can ride the mountain again and do a solid hour uphill how I fare, but now, I feel pretty good, and the bike-run or bike-run-snowshoe bricks have been most enjoyable!

One of the other cool factors has been getting back to the aerobic base training, which I disliked last winter (at least at first) and looked forward to this year… let’s just say I’m a believer. Morgen and Lizzy (new FARTlette Lizzy) came over a couple of weeks ago, and after we did a good bike, we ran the Loop. Morgen was really pushing the pace. I hadn’t tried running fast (well, fast for a 47 year old) in almost two months, and even though he was trotting at almost a minute per mile faster than I had been training, I had no problems keeping the pace, and even after the Big Hill, my recovery was excellent. We ended up less than two minutes off my “record” time for the hilly 6 miles, with no real effort at all. I’m fairly confident I could have broken my mark, so a good start to the year.

Corey Haustein and his wife Michelle are my right hand people for ASW, and are both Ironpeople. Corey is training for the Deepwater 50 miler at ASW in June as his qualifier for Western States, and along with Keith, we did a snazzy surprise 18 miles a week ago on a pretty difficult track, so running is feeling pretty good right now.

One of my plans for the next few weeks is to do a one day “runabout,” similar to the Aussie tradition of a walkabout… I’m going to leave the house at sunrise, and run/jog/hike/speedwalk as far as I can until sunset, and then have Lisa come and pick my carcass up off the road somewhere. This was a suggestion from Dean Karnazes in his new book 50/50, in which he tells the story of running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days in 50 different states.

It is a great book, I must say. He has a very engaging, “every man” style of writing, that almost makes you beleive that he’s normal, instead of the freak of nature-fittest man in the world that he is… At this time, he is tentatively scheduled to attend ASW, and I’m psyched to meet him in person!

This past Sunday, a group of 6 of us, including Christine, my race-mate for Grizzlyman, her husband and another friend, Andy and Jeni did a 7.5 hour snowshoe OVER Bernard Peak and down the cutline… 4000 feet vertical up, chest deep snow, awesome!

Last night I started Mountain Guide School, which promises to be awesome… I’ll keep you in touch, but it’s like I’m back in Grad School! It is a robust curriculum, for sure!

Alright… more later! Keep in touch, and good training all!

PS… Keep me in mind, Thomas! I can carry your water or something!  Lol!

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Pleasantly Lost…

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at “Adventure Sports Week Central!

Note the new name… we put in a bid for “AdventureWeek.com,” and found out that for only $15,000 it could be ours… thus, after several milliseconds of thoughtful deliberation, we decided that another choice would have to do for our new, updated website.

The new website is located at www.adventuresportsweek.com, and while this only a temporary stop while our new “permanent, hi-tech, “not-old-school” (thanks, Rick…) site is finished, it has quite a bit of updated info, including the fact that we are now hosting 24 races in 10 days, including a kayak/canoeing race, a distance swim, a duathlon… yes, if you can dream it, we’ve got it. Please check out the website… BTW, it seems to work best at this point in Internet Explorer, though I’m working on fixing that for the seventeen MAC and Mozilla users out there…  🙂

I am fully in to winter training now – more than ever before – and I am really enjoying it. Over the past couple of weeks, we have gotten in several good snowshoeing treks, including a great 5 hour hike up to 6000 feet above Boulder Basin, in 10 feet of snow.

We’ve also managed to get in some good bike rides, and a few good runs, and even a winter “brick” this past weekend…

I’m starting to train at night for when Thomas calls me and says “hey, we need you at Primal Quest in two days…” so into the dark we go…

On Saturday, I got in a nice run, and then when Jeni arrived, we did a 90 minute bike ride, and then loaded up our snowshoes and headed up to Sandpoint, where we treked up Gold Hill, starting at dark.

We climbed to the summit in near perfect conditions: 26 degrees, no wind, clear as a bell. The view of Sandpoint and Schweitzer to the north, and even Mt. Spokane to the south was amazing! Clear, crisp and beautiful!

On the way back down, the trip got a bit more “interesting,” as we missed one of our tracks, and ended up heading down a snowmobile track southwest, instead of a snowshoe track northeast…

Well, in the spirit of adventure, and of not wanting to end up in Sagle, we headed “off-track,” and made our way into the bush, following the tracks of the moose, elk and deer, who assuredly knew the way back to the car, right?

Well, let me tell ya, animals obviously don’t drive.

Now, when you’re on a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides and you can see the North star, you’re not really lost, but we were for sure on paths that no human has walked since the last ice age or so, give or take a month…

To make a short story long, we ended up at the top of a near-vertical, 700 foot cliff. Now, supposed “right thinking” people would have back tracked, and followed the snow machine track until they found “civilization…” Ha! Pshaa!

Trail? We don’ need no steenking trail! The car was down there (WAY down there!), and with confidence born of years of training and a desire for dinner, we descended the “short way,” following the tracks of the increasingly fewer animals, hoping they weren’t Lemmings.

90 minutes later, we reached the road, less than a mile from the car, with nary a broken bone between us!

The next morning, we stacked a cord and a half of wood, did another 90 minute bike ride, and a 2.5 mile run before Jeni had to leave.

In the afternoon, I went XC skiing for the first time in 25 years or so. It’s amazing how much your body forgets, no matter what your brain tells you… it took a good 45 minutes to get the feeling and the flow back. I skiied for 2.5 hours, covering about 12 miles or so, and then snowshoed in to meet Corey, Michelle and their kids, who were winter camping at Farragut.

All in all, it was a great weekend, and yes, Thomas… I’m ready when you call!

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New Year’s FART Training!

On December 30, several of our FART teammates and future FARTS arrived at the North Pole in CDA for New Years, and some good training!

Kelley, Jeni, Morgen, Andy, Liz, and Zeb all made it through the lightly falling blizzard just as Dave finished his 3 hours of shoveling, and settled in for the New Year’s Eve festivities. Andy and Austin went up to Schweitzer for a magnificent day of skiing, and Jeni and Dave got out for a great bike ride.

On the 31st, we spent much of the day prepping for the party, except for a nice 4 mile run on the local “skating rink” we call a road. It was a stretch of black ice that the Detroit Red Wings would have been proud of! Andy and Jeni each had received new ‘Stabilicers” that are like little studded tires for your running shoes, and fared better than the rest of us, who would have preferred skates!

New Year’s Day dawned bright(ish) and clear(ish) and after the traditional “Dave Skillet,” Dave, Andy, Morgen, Jeni and Lizzie geared up for a day of outdoor adventure, while Lisa, Zeb and Kelley got ready to do the Loop.

Now, for our outdoor adventure, we didn’t choose just any trek… it was a balmy 29 degrees and just after noon as we headed out.

First we biked to Farragut from FARTquarters through 8 – 12 inches of new, soft snow on top of the black ice, which made for some interesting biking, let me tell you! It took over 30 minutes to ride the 4 miles (mostly downhill!) to the park, where we met up with Michelle and Corey Haustein, who are going to be a huge part of Adventure Week 2009, and are both Ironmen and XTERRA athletes.

After the biking, we had decided to do some snowshoeing, which was new to several members, but didn’t even slow them down!

We started out into the park using the established trails to begin with, and then making s cross-country hike to the head of the Highpoint trail.

It was very interesting to snowshoe along trails that we run and bike so often during the rest of the year: your normal landmarks are muted, and distances are thrown off, but the snow makes everything look like a real winter wonderland!

At the edge of the park, we decided to make our way to Scout rocks, which we had been to countless times on foot, but never in four to five feet of snow! We were warned that if we continued, there were no more directional signs, and no groomed trails, which suited us perfectly, and off we went.

Dave, Corey, Michelle, Morgen, Liz starting their snowshow leg

From left: Dave, Corey, Michelle, Morgen, Liz starting their snowshow leg

The trail, if you can call it that, is mostly uphill to the rocks for about 3/4 of a mile, and the fact that we were walking was more than made up for the fact that the snow laden branches were now at face level.

Once we got to the base of the rocks, we started our way up the near vertical cliff, covered in feet of snow, with crevasses, roots, and boulders hidden underneath! It was awesome!

After a fairly strenuous climb, we reached the summit, and paused for a few minutes to enjoy a Jet Boiled snack, just as the weather began to change for the worse… the weather report was warning us of an approaching cold front, with accompanying snow, and since darkness was just over an hour away, we decided that no matter how well we were prepared (and we all had substantial packs and safety gear), it was time to get off the mountain.

We dead reckoned our way off the mountain, eventually meeting up with our original trail, and making it back to the ranger station just as darkness arrived!

The FART Support team arrived shortly after, and except for being a bike rack short, all was good… Dave and Morgen volunteered to do the ride back home, and thankfully, it had been plowed, so it wasn’t a bad ride.

Dave cooked up a pasta and lamb chop dinner, the hot tub was on, and by 10:00 p.m., everyone was pretty much asleep!

This morning dawned snowy, with almost 12 inches having fallen, providing Andy and Austin another great day of skiing as the Missoula crew headed home, and Dave started shoveling!

With the weekend coming up, we hope to get in at least one more snowshoe day (hopefully with Lisa this time!) and Austin might get another ski trip.

All in all, a great weekend!

Michelle, Corey, Zeb and Liz will all be great assets for the FART and FARTlette teams next summer… Liz was the surprise of the weekend, as she really held her end up through a couple of tough outings!

Looking forward to getting out and doing some cc skiing as well as snowshoeing… might even combine it with biking, and make it a little winter triathlon next week!

Love having the team in town! I only wish the rest of you could have been here! Thanks to Jeni for the great photos!

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Great Snow Training to “welcome” Winter…

Hi ho!

December 27th… after a marvelous fall, it’s been snowing for 10 straight days… 5 feet… help! Glub, glub… record 24 hour snowfall, record 5 day… send St. Bernard!

Yup. After no snow until basically 10 days ago, I’m rapidly running out of room to pile the snow. At least until today, it had been cold enough that the snow was dry and light. Today, it warmed up a bit, and now, we have HEAVY, wet snow (and LOTS of it!), black ice, and an all-around mess. Now, I like snow as much (probably more) than the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous!

Even so, we’ve managed to get in some cool, original, tough workouts.

I’ve been getting in quite a few six mile runs, trying to rehab the hip, but it had all been on roads, so not too adventurous. On the 23rd, I had to go downtown to take some pictures while running for a big article that came out in the Coeur d’ Alene Press today (the 27th), and called to Keith to join me for some training… (very nice article on Adventure Week 2009, BTW)

We decided to run around the college and then try Tubbs Hill, which, we found was between 6 & 18 inches deep. Let me tell you, THAT was a workout! Two miles of rolling, uppity, rough trail is hard enough, but add in the snow, and it’s a K.A.W!

After that, our Durango promptly broke down in the Rite Aid parking lot, so I got to run over to Derek’s to pick up Fritz and Becky’s truck, which has been a lifesaver.

Later that evening, Jeni came out, and the morning of the 24th, we went snow biking.

One of my biggest worries with winter’s arrival was losing all of the progress I had made on cycling over the past year, but now I know that’s not going to happen.

We set out about 8:45 a.m., temp about 14 (yes, it sounds cold, but it’s actually a great temperature to workout in! Trust me!) and headed for the mountain. Now, this is the mountain that’s a pretty stiff workout when dry, and when we arrived, it was blocked off for all vehicles except snowmobiles, and covered with several inches of snow all the way up the cuddly little 15 degree grade. Imagine riding in thick, soft sand. Cold, white, slippery sand… uphill.

Oh, and my back brake was frozen, as were my gears, and I was stuck in whatever I was in.

We made it exactly 1.1 miles up the hill in 25 minutes, and I’m pretty impressed with us! To steal a quote, “it was as intense a workout as you can imagine, going 2.5 miles per hour!”

This was just plain hard work. Tough, slippery, rutty… fun, huh?

The way down was also a bit of a rush. Jeni discovered the right technique: She put her feet down and actually glissaded/skied her bike down, while I tried to keep my feet on the peddles. She kicked my butt.

The only negative after that (besides the fact that it started snowing again) was that I was hopelessly stuck in mountain climbing gear the 3.6 mile mostly flat/downhill ride home. I was able to keep my revolutions up to a sizzling 724/minute, while topping my speed out at about 4 mph…  not fun, but I didn’t have to pee bad enough to unthaw my gears!

On the 26th, to celebrate my birthday, Lisa and I did a nice 2 mile run/walk, as we always do, and then I ran the Loop. After that, we headed into Spokane to meet Jeni.

We parked along the Bloomsdaycourse at Spokane Falls Community college, and after narrowly missed being run over by a trash truck heading down the hill, we did Doomsday Hill three times in a row, with part of the second leg in the waist deep snow along the side.

We headed back for the college, but took the wrong turn into the parking lot, and ended up at the bottom of a hundred yard high, 60 degree angle hill, crotch deep in snow (on me… mid torso on Jen!) from our car.

In true Adventure Racing fashion, we started up the hill, slogging/tromping (we’re still searching for the correct word here) up the big, steep, snowy hill.

All in all, just a really fun, tough couple of workouts, and something we’re looking to repeat! We showered, headed for town, and I got to do some birthday shopping at REI and B&N (yay my new Jetboil!) and then race back home.

For New Years, I think we’ll snowbikeup the mountain as far as we can go, take our snowshoes and tromp to the top, and make lunch with our Jetboils on the top of the mountain.

 

I’m also looking to try out my new/old cross country skis. After twenty years, I’m kind of looking forward to it. I used to be a “real” skier, so hoping it comes back, It’s great exercise!

I’ve been thinking about hosting a winter race next winter; possibly a winter triathlon with snow shoes, mtn. bike and run, or a “Quadathlon,” adding CC skiing… sounds kind of fun. What do you think?

Despite my complaining, I’ve really enjoyed getting out in the snow so far, and look forward to a bunch more good workouts, using the white stuff as the main resistance.

Hope everyone is keeping their training up, and Lisa and I are really looking forward to seeing you all at New Years, or shortly after.

Blessings!

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