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!

2009-03-30

Ostrander V7: Day #4 - Binding Failure

Today was our 4th day here at the hut. After a lazy day yesterday of
hitting "The Nose" once, we headed out early to catch some good spring
corn on the south slopes of horse ridge.

The early morning snow was crusty and difficult climbing, constantly
twisting the ski downhill. This is the 7TM Power Tours started to
fail. The first failure was the riser notches holding the riser in
place going bad, which resulted in them suddenly slipping out of place
to no rise while steeply climbing. I would hazard this is likely
something that a true back country binding should not do after the
second major back country trip. And really annoying when it occurs 10
miles from the nearest road.

Regardless we caught 2 runs descending 750 feet or so I. It was Great
spring corn through the widely spaced trees. Worth every inch of
ascent!

On the final run we headed back to the Nose, when the second failure
happened. This time the critical screw for the pivot point while
touring came unscrewed, lost I'm the snow, and resulting in a binding
that almost fell apart right in front of me on the mountain. Again,
not a good thing to happen to your binding 10 miles from the trail head!

What this means is that I will need to head home with the turning mode
on, spending more energy than required. A real bummer an maybe a
reason. To consider changing bindings.

Tomorrow we head out. 10 miles, 5 hours to the car. It has been
another great trip and the food was the best we had yet! Looking
forward already to next year........

2009-03-29

Ostrander V7 - Day 2 & 3: Why is all the rum gone?

Yesterday we took a tour of horse ridge and skied down the north slope into the trees searching for corn. There was a brief moment where the snow was perfect spring conditions.

Back at the cabin we launched into an evening of great food, cards and entertainment. Drinking margaritas, huricanes we feasted on bacon wrapped asperagus, shrimp and sausage gumbo, with Mexican smores for desert.

All told today is a slow lazy day lou hung around, reading and napping.....

2009-03-28

Ostrander V7 - Day 1: Classic Backcountry Mistake

Today was our first day of our annual trip into Ostrander Ski Hut. For me the trip of 9 miles, on skis, took 5 hours and 15 minutes. The weather was great and we had a nice lunch overlooking the yosemite valley, while perched on Horizon Ridge. The Horizon Ridge route is not easy. With about 1,200 feet of climbing over the three miles to Heart Attack Hill. Usually this route wipes out one of us.

This year there was this one guy, let's call him Ponce, who was convinced he was not in good shape and was insistant that he would take the Bridalviel Creek Trail. A trail he had never been on but one that supposedly is much less hilly even though it is 1.5 miles longer.

We all tried real hard to convince Ponce not to do it alone and to follow us, even if he was slow. He would not listen and went off on his own. So our group eaded out on Horizon Ridge to the hut, while Ponce went on his way by himself. 4 hours later, when I was about 1/2 mile from the hut, we established radio contact with Ponce, who told us he took a wrong turn, accidently made a loop, and was now 4 miles from the base of Heart Attack Hill. In other words, after 4 hours of trudging around with a 45 pound+ pack Ponce was FARTHER from Heart Attack Hill than when he split from us at the Horizon Ridge trail.

All told it took him 10 hours to get in. We sent somebody from the cabin to grab his pack when we knew he was 1.5 miles away. Actually a good citizen as all our group was too tired.

The mistake? Never let somebody split from your group by themselves. It was almost bad, but luckily Ponce is here. He is hobbling and really sore.