28 January 2014

Turns All Year Months 25 & 26

The snowpack in the PNW is pretty dismal. As I am writing this, it's 50-degrees and sunny on a warm January day. While the rest of the country is complaining about the "Polar Vortex", we are happily walking around in t-shirts and searching our homes for those sunglasses we know we put somewhere.

October marked my 2-year anniversary for TAY, wherein participants ski (or board) at least one day a month. Everyone has their own personal credo for what counts as a day of skiing, but for me if I've got skis on my feet for more than an hour (going up for down), it counts.

To round out the year, I found myself up north near Mt. Baker for 3 days in November, and then in-bounds at Crystal and Steven's for December, after starting off the month with a VERY COLD adventure to Jim Hill Mountain. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

Crew on Heliotrope Ridge - Nov 10
Yours truly touring outside of Crystal. Tutu deep pow - Nov 18

Colorful ladies at Baker - Nov 30

Cold days make for great photos - Dec. 8

FREEZING day touring Jim Hill Mtn - Dec 8

Tutu handstands to stay warm - Dec 8

Just so damn cold! - Dec 8

Ski like a girl day Crystal resort - Dec 14

Theresa Sippel executing a perfect turn - Dec 14

Merry Christmas Eve from me and Owly! Stevens - December 24

25 January 2014

2013 Year in Review

The end of one year and the beginning of the next is momentous for many people, and I am no exception. I completed my first "year in review" blog in 2011, then did another in 2012, so it's only fitting I would have one for 2013. Even though my ultimate goal right now is to complete my 30 Before 30 list, it's still really fun to look back on the adventures from the past year.

2013 was awesome for many reasons. I started by celebrating the first New Years Day I can remember in my adult life without a hangover. You see, I was just wrapping up a 5-day hut trip skiing ridiculous lines in the Canadian backcountry, and we had spend NYE skiing by moonlight and not getting drunk. Starting the year off feeling good can only bode well for the rest of the year, right?

Well, sort of. On Valentine's Day I was laid off from a job that wasn't the best fit. I took my unemployment in stride though, and tried to embrace my newfound freedom as an opportunity to get outside more and explore, while also trying to really examine what I wanted to be when I grow up.

Unemployment goal: Get Outside MORE! 

I spent only 3-months "funemployed". During that time I set a new half marathon PR, spent some time back home in Montana, took a trip to Jackson Hole, and climbed for 10 days in Red Rocks (a trip I have yet to really write about - oops!). 

I started interviewing for my dream job in April, and celebrated getting a final interview in May by having a kick-ass birthday party (well, week long celebration). Then, in June, I started at said dream job and am still pinching myself every day! It's an awesome gig. A normal person would have spent the summer taking it easy and settling into the new job, but that's just not my style. So at the end of June I summitted Rainier and skied down from the top, then set out to do the same on Mt. Hood a month later. I should mention I do all of these ski mountaineering trips in a bright pink tutu, because frankly life is just a little bit more fun in a tutu, and because: tutu.  


My August adventure was something that had been on the bucket list for a long time: Run a Beer Mile. It was....a fun experience. Next, I made it to Croatia for my new-country-every-year-challenge in September, when I took a week long climbing trip to the Istria Penninsula. 

In October, I tried something I never though I'd do and went skydiving!! And now I want to go again. Every day. Always. It's probably a good thing it's so cost prohibitive....

I was published in November, something I had never even considered as a life goal, but I have since realized is an awesome dream come true. I am going to continue to be a contributor to our Mountaineer magazine, and I'm really looking forward to doing more writing in a professional capacity. Like I said, this blog has been great practice! 

The year wrapped up with an awesome trip to see the Huskies beat BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Fransisco. After a pretty mellow New Year's Eve, 2014 has once again started off hangover free. I feel pretty good about this year! 

So what else? What did I cross off the 30 Before 30 List? Last year I told you these were my remaining goals:
  • Ride the STP: Exed out in favor of skydiving. It turns out I'm just not very good at riding my bike. In fact, I've done a little math: In on approximately 40 rides since getting Luna, I've been in 2 major accidents and 2 minor ones. Mathematically that means, 10% of the time I saddle up, I'm going to hurt myself. Not exactly encouraging for my future as a cyclist.
  • Participate in the Fremont Solstice Parade: Done and done. No you cannot see pictures.
  • Ride an Elephant: I don't think I can make this happen in the next 5 months, but I replaced it with "Get Completely Out Of My Comfort Zone", which I completed in September when I was sold to the highest bidder at a Bachelorette Auction. While I can clean up nice, the blatant self-advertising was just not for me, and I think I'll stick to the side of a mountain thankyouverymuch. 
  • Kayak in Lake Union: Check! And I learned something - I do not like kayaking. I think I just prefer my water in frozen crystal form :)
  • Hike the Enchantments: I'm going to give this a check mark with an asterix. While I didn't technically do a much hiking in the Enchantments, I had a 2-day sufferfest almost in the Enchantments which was lauded far and wide as a worthy mini-epic, so I'm counting it for now.
  • Try Standup Paddleboarding: Done! And I didn't even fall. I should also mention this was on Cinco de Mayo. I skied in the morning, and paddleboarded in the evening. Seattle is the best.
  • Ski 30 Consecutive Months: To be completed in April 2014 (knock on wood). I'm currently sitting pretty at 27 months! All told I skied 39 days in 2013, only 14 of which were resort days. That means I earned my turns 64% of the time!
  • Publish 200 blogs: Check! This is like #204!

Fun crew on Heliotrope Ridge (Mt. Baker) for November Turns

And here's what's remaining!
  • Lead an 11a outside: Still in progress. I almost led an 11a inside just last week! Fun fact - in 2013 I climbed 79 days! Most of those are gym nights but still, pretty awesome!
  • Learn how to use my Garmin running watch. Which, for the record, I do know how to use. Just not well. I'm sure there is a bunch of fancy stuff I could do with it. It has tracked my running and biking though. In 2013, I ran 722.94 miles and spent 104 hours, 8 minutes, and 8 seconds running. My biking is much less impressive - I went on 12 rides for a total of 158.49 miles. I only fell once.
  • Try every restaurant on Greenwood near my new home
  • Visit the neighborhood monastery for a meditation hour
  • Throw a kick-ass Thirtieth Birthday Party!

Well, better hop to it! And as I said last year, thank you to everyone for your encouragement and ongoign support. I appreciate everyone single one of my adventure buddies (and of course my blog readers - if you made it to the end, kudos to you)! If you spot something on here that looks fun for you - let me know! Let's make it happen! And I hope this might inspire some of you to make your own lists! Life is for the living. 

12 January 2014

I'm Published - Again!

Maybe someday the excitement of getting a shiny new magazine with my words in it will wear off, but for now I'm still super stoked to see my articles in print! For our January/February issue of Mountaineer, I wrote a piece on mixed climbing with Roger Strong. An Arc'teryx athlete, backcountry skier, and leading activist in modern mixed climbing, Roj and I sat down to talk about all things adventure. The article turned out great, and my fantastic colleague and magazine designer Suzanne did an awesome job with the article layout, and of course the entire magazine.

Below are the images of my piece (click to expand), or you can view the digital version of Mountaineer in it's entirety.

Bonus: I have a few other sprinkles of my writing throughout the magazine too. See if you can find them :)

08 January 2014

Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco

To cap off 2013, I was lucky enough to travel to San Francisco to watch my beloved Huskies play BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl. Matty and I flew down on a Thursday evening, stayed two full days, and flew back Sunday morning.

Go Dawgs!

Of course we did everything you could do in two days in the city, including (but not limited to):
  • Crashing at a very generous friend's house in Berkeley.
  • Running (literally, like we went on a run) through the Cal Berkeley Campus, including a trudge up the hill to look into the football stadium. Yeah, we heart football.
  • Eating a delicious lunch at a fantastic place called T-Rex. Regretfully, they did not have awesome t-rex shirts for me to buy.
  • Popping Grandpa Max's BART cherry.
  • Walking around on the pier and enjoying some fantastic people watching. 
  • Drinking beer while wearing a purple wig. Don't be a hater.
  • Watching the Huskies TROUNCE the Cougars. Man saying that never gets old.
  • Going for another run - this time in Golden Gate Park
  • Eating delicious In N' Out
  • Driving all over San Fran, including an impromptu mini-tour of Haight Ashbury
  • Getting upgraded to FIRST CLASS on the flight home. Yeah, I can't believe they allowed me in first class either.
Here are my favorite pictures from the weekend! Thanks Matty for being an EXCELLENT travel companion, and thank you San Fran for having sunny weather and just generally being delightful. Perhaps we shall meet again one day.

Gooooood Morning Berkeley

Sweaty stadium run

Hoo Hoo - I see Youhoo

Tee hee

Me and the gang infront of the Bay Bridge



Lovely morning for a yog


We wanna yog too!

I don't remember the name of this, but I liked it.

So. Delicious. Double Double all the way!

Cheers to a great trip!

With the way he strutted around, you woulld never know this as Gpa's first time in First Class