WELCOME TO DUSKPATROL!

This site was created as a journal about adventure in the mountains, on the bike, in the ocean and enjoying the great outdoors. From time to time I will post these experiences so others may learn more about them and hopefully enjoy them as well.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to drop me a line to make suggestions!

2009-01-30

Back To Bristol....

On a recent trip home, I visited the ski resort I grew up on, Bristol
Mointain, in New York State. A ok has changed over the years and it
made me wish I had skis to test out the old lady in her new shoes.

The old lifts have been reconfigured and there is a whole new side to
the mountain. It even looks like it would have been perfect east
coast conditions while I was there with the 10" of fresh snow.

2009-01-26

Good Snow At Kirkwood!

DAY# 029

The snow conditions at Kirkwood were great. This past storm just kept
getin colder and colder an the result was the type of light powder
that fights getting tracked out. Coupled with some wind that was
filling I'm the tracks the runs on the upper part of re mountain were
great.

2009-01-21

How To Telemark On Ice....

Ok so the snow at Kirkwood was rather bad this weekend for west coast conditions. But this was a great opportunity to work on basic technique and skills in getting the tele turn to carve, and snap from one turn to the next.

Riding the chair lift, one of the things I notice more than anything is the difference between a smooth flowing skier, and one who is forcing their turns down the mountain. The tell tail sign is often in the amount of snow that is kicked up at the end of the turn.

Most skiers sit on the outside ski almost all the way through the turn, then make a sudden motion to the up-hill ski, causing the turn to slip out, the speed to break, and snow to fly. If however you watch a racer, you will note even balance between both outside and inside ski, and very smooth transitions from the down hill to uphill ski that cause the skis to accelerate down the hill, and no washing out.

The difference? I think the clue is in an old drill I used to do as a ski instructor which was to practice projecting DOWNHILL from the uphill ski at the start of a turn. This forces the body to project down the fall line, and lead the skis through the turn, it allows the skis to carve through the turn in an even arc. These exercises start with triing to work on skiing in reverse, say by always putting preasure on the inside ski, or skiing through several turns on one ski. They force the body to transition from one edge to the next and down the fall line.

So how does this tranfer into telemark turns? Well the principal is almost the same. I stumbled across an instructional video on telemarktips.com that reminded me of the importance of practicing and drills. This tutorial works with the idea on "monomarking" or tunring both left and right in the same tele pose knees bent, then switching. Then moving to a reverse telemark ski, or always having the outside knee bent. What these excersises do is force you to learn how to preasure and carve both the outside and inside edge of your bent leg.

So I spent the weekend, on the crappy ice at Kirkwood practicing these techniques, and I feel like there is a slight improvement in my turns.

Lets see if they hold up for the rest of the season.....

Oh, and check out telemarktips!

2009-01-18

Bub's Pub At Kirkwood

DAY# 28

So the last few days at Kirkwood have been really hard. The snow is
rather icy, but not quite to the point of what I would call East Coast
Boiler Plate. No, no this is what we call a packed powder surface!

What this really means is ice under about 1/2 of chopped up ice from
the groomer. Not so much fun if your edges are not fresh. Real fun
if you had them sharpened and have racing technique.

For lunch we decided to give Bub's Pub a shot, and the $23 bill got us
a great plate of nachos and fries for three people, along with a
soda. I can't say the service was great, it sucked, but it was better
than fighting it out at Monte Wolf's with the table campers and
getting your own food.

I am willing to chalk up the service as an anomoly due to the
playoff's and will definately be giving them another shot. In fact we
may have found our new lunch spot!!!

2009-01-13

829 Calories Per Hour Burned

So I am trying to be a little better and more organized about a work out and training scheme. Mostly due to one of my resolutions about to be posted soon. As part of this, I have realized I need to start tracking metrics a little better to map progress.

So most weeks, I sit on a bike and see how much energy I can output in a 1-hour push. Typically I do this by a process of constantly increasing the resistance/slope threshold every 3 minutes until I can no longer make the next increase, then decrease resistance back to a base level, rest then do it again. As I improve, my max resistance should go up, max sustained wattage, and of course total calories per hour.

This weeks benchmark was 829 calories in one hour. I think I used to be able to hit close to 950 or so, lets see what happens.....

2009-01-11

Avalanche Kills Skier In-Bounds At Squaw

On Christmas morning at the Lake Tahoe resorts, it was a dream day. A strong and cold winter storm had dropped several feet of light powder. The type people from Utah brag about. The type that falls in these parts on occasion but not regularly. Over the past week the storm had dropped around 10 feet of snow, 2 overnight.

However, at around 11:00 a.m. two skiers skiing together in the Red Dogs were separated, and after one of them was not able to locate his friend, he contacted local ski patrol who used their dog teams and skills to find the skier, identified as Randal C. Davis, age 21 of Tahoe City. When they found him, he was buried under several feet of snow, and already dead. According to local patrolers, there was evidence of trauma, possibly caused by trees and debris.

This is very tragic, that a young person would be killed in an avalanche, in bounds at a resort. But it is a sign of the subtle dangers of what we do and we should not take it for granted. In a recent New York Times article, it was pointed out that there have been three deaths this year in bounds at resorts. The other two were at Snowbird and Jackson Hole.

Basically, avalanche forecasters point to early season warm storms, followed by rain, which has made a layer of ice, easy for later snow to slide off of, and the recent storms have deposited a tremendous amount of snow on top of this layer. Some even think this will create dangerous slides very far into the season. In fact there have been over 22 people killed in the US and Canada this season already, pointing to a high death count.

What can be done? Well sometimes, not much, but anybody can take basic precautions, and use their sense of the snow and surroundings. It would be advisable to take a course available to anybody interested in tackling this type of terrain. One idea for in-bounds skiers, although it likely would not have helped here, would be to wear RECCO reflectors, that make it easier for patrolers to find you in a slide. Or visit one of the following sites:

www.fsavalanche.org
www.avalanche.org

2009-01-10

G3 - Announces new AT Binding!

OK, so G3 just came out with a new binding, called the Onyx. It looks like a variation on the dynafit model for AT binding, which results in a binding that much lighter than a modified alpine binding like the Friischi system.

G3 touts several interesting improvements with this new system, but one thing noted here is the DIN system only goes to 10. I can certainly understand that the need for DIN up to 16 is more than you will need unless you are a pro, with ave spotters, helicopters standing by etc... you do want the bindings to release, but a 10 is just to little for my taste.

Make it go to 12, and you will win me over!

Genuine Gear Guide (G3) web site

2009-01-07

New Year's Resolution #01

Ok, so it is acceptable to have mroe than one resolution right? So this year I plan on having multiple, just like I did last year. So here goes with the first one.

If you know me, you know I can fallinto a trap of being either a dreamer or a doer... that is I can sometimes fall into either dreaming big, or focusing on delivering big commitment... But the one thing I love about this, is personally the dream never ends, as it is just a matter of time before my plate clears enough so I can focu on making the dream a reality.

LESSON: Never lose the dream, and always be willing to commit 100% to the dream.

So this leads me to this years FIRST resolution. It is a simple one, and the first because it is one I actually dreamed of doing last year. Therefore I feel it is approporiate to actually put it in writing for this year, so the lovely person I am lucky enough to share my life with can either rib me about it next January, or sit there stunned and speachless if ever I manage to accomplish this simple resolution.....

RESOLUTION #01: There are a few things stored in the garage, or rather they where stored in the garage, and I have often claimed I woudl cllear them out. One of them actually came from a prior garage, and has not moved an inch for the past 18 months. The other moved several feet a month ago, from the garage into to the dining room. One item is a 1984 Hinda CX500 Transverse V-Twin motorcycle (yep a classic), the other a mid 80's Leo Fender G & L SB-1 Bass in pretty good condition. The resolution is to either get both of these items out of the house, or get both of them into active usefull condition again by the year end.........

Let's see how I do on this first resoltution...

Although I have actually stated that my Project #01 is to develop a solar powered i-pod charger, I think this offically makes my second project, AKA Project #02, as being selling one of these items through the internet, something I have NEVER done before despite buying plenty of things though it over the years.....

2009-01-06

Paul Parker Leaves G3!

WOW! It looks like Paul Parker, famed telemark ski designer has left G3! This is a shame, he was behind my last 2 pair of tele skis, the G3 Rapid Transit and the Tua 110 Cross Rides. Both skis were like a dream and had that snappy response I had lost in the switch from alpine to telemark.

This sounds like a shame, as Parker totally built the G3 line and was the name behind the sales and wards, but perhaps G3 is up to something else? It looks like Parker did not want to take the production to China, and may return to Tua?

For more check out the NEWS on Telemark Tips!

2009-01-02

Experts Only - The Wall @ Kirkwood

DAY# 026

There is fresh powder at Kirkwood, probably more than people thought would fall. The runs off The Wall are holding the snow very well today, and luckily the wind is not enough to shut down the lifts which is a common problem at Kirkwood.

2009-01-01

END OF YEAR ACCOUNTING - How I Did On Last Years Resolutions...

DAY# 026
MILE # 1,607

OK, so before setting the goals for next year, I think it would be good to look back and see how I did last on last years resolutions. Here we go.....

Resolution #1: Get back to last years skiing shape (185 pounds)
Results: SUCCESS. I actually weighed myself last night and after the eating season is over, somehow I managed to weigh in at 184, with a body fat of 19.5%. this means I lost about 3-4 pounds over the year, with a body fat drop of about 3%. pretty happy about this.

Resolution #2: Climb Mount Shasta and ski down it
Results: NOT SO GOOD. Never made it, as when I went to plan the trip the local ranger told me that an unusual amount of snow had been blown off the mountain, so there was no snow to ski on! It needs to be moved to this years resolutions...

Resolution #3: Climb Mount Whitney
Results: NOT SO GOOD. This was a result of bad planning on my part. I just got too lazy to plan the trip. It needs to be moved to this years resolutions...

Resolution #4: Ride a Century on my bike
Results: NOT SO GOOD. Just couldn't find the right ride...

Resolution #5: Ride a 20 mph average bike ride home from work
Results: NOT SO GOOD. The fastest time I clocked myself was around 19.5 MPH. So close but yet so far...

Resolution #6: Ride 1,000 miles this year
Results: SUCCESS. Actually, I needed a little bit of year end accounting for this one to finally pass. I rode 957 miles on my road bike. But I road my mountain bike on average 2.5 - 3 days a week to work on the train, and each day's commute is about 5 miles round trip, or 12.5 miles a week, or 650 miles, for a grand total of 1,607 miles! Not bad...

Resolution #7: To take the car to work 50% less often then last year
Results: SUCCESS. Actually I have no good way of determining if I did this or not. I would estimate that I did. So you will have to take my word for it.

Resolution #8: To stop drinking diet coke at work.
Results: NOT SO GOOD. This drink is too much of a stress drink for me, and as the year got stressful, the diet coke went down the throat. But as luck would have it, the new financial situation at work has resulted in no diet coke being in the fridge, so I had very little in the last month of the year.

Well time to mull over the resolutions for next year, maybe time to put some of these things on a life list of goals.....