Monday, February 10, 2014

Stuck in the Snow

We finally started getting the winter everyone wanted here in Bend. It started by dumping beautiful dry powder in the mountains and I responded by heading up between work shifts and running several laps on the Tumalo bowl. I did seven laps, plus skiing to and from the car in roughly 4.5 hours. Which I think is pretty good. I remember hearing that 45 minutes is a good time for a lap on the Tumalo bowl, I was averaging around 27 minutes a lap and surprisingly didn't feel too tired afterwards.

Tumalo Bowl pow slayin'

Then the snow storms pushed down into Bend and things got a little crazy in town. The roads have been pretty terrible and I could force my way to the mountain but honestly I feel pretty unmotivated to bounce along in 4WD behind a bunch of other cars as we crawl up to the mountains. Instead I took advantage of the rare two plus feet in town and skinned from my apartment to Pilot Butte (a state park in town that involves a road and trail to the top of a 500 ft butte with nice views). I met another skier, Nick, en route and by the time we got to the summit it was obvious we weren't the only ones with this idea. It seemed like everyone with a back country setup had the same thought. I counted at least seven different groups skiing or boarding off the summit, several with GoPros... go figure. The ride was short and a little rocky but enjoyable, honestly it needs a proper base and a steeper slope with this much powder.

Pilot Butte summit

Skinning home after Pilot Butte

The next day I went to the Bend Rock Gym, which just opened a big expansion. I had tweaked my wrist earlier in the week trying to climb a surprisingly good thin hands and ratchets crack they have installed in the gym. It seemed like easy climbing didn't bug it though so I just started running auto-belay laps. I ended up climbing 1,540 ft, climbing up and back down 26 routes, in under two hours. I did most of it in two 45 minute blocks where I never got off the wall and simply traversed between auto-belays, tagging the ground and the top of the wall on each lap. I then started thinking how Honnold and Florine climbed 3,000 ft on the Nose in 2.5 hours with much of it run out simul/solo 5.10. That makes me really appreciate big wall speed climbing!

Anyway, in short I'm stuck at home between weather and other obligations for a couple weeks at least. I'm psyched for the opportunity to climb High Noon on Broken Top now that there will be less rock exposed. I also can't wait to get back on Hood and climb Reid Glacier Headwall and the North Face. But in the meantime, I'll be running, lifting, climbing and ski touring because I'm obviously still weak and pathetic.

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