Tuesday, March 31, 2009

team camp

Living like a real pro for the week in Vegas at team camp. Hours of training in the sun and dirt including mechanical clinics, JB's yoga, and team bonding! Oh yea, I also rode a horse bareback in the desert.

Check for updates at Monavie-cannondale.com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

racin Fontana

92nd call up today, might be some dusty single track!

Who's going to eat the cheeseburger?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

open window

I am going to California to race the 1st ProXCT race in 80 degree temps this weekend so I got out touring the last couple days in preparation. If you want to call it that.

Yesterday afternoon:
Little Pine slide path- You got to hit this South facing beauty just right to get perfect conditions. Yesterday was was just right. Well bonded snow given enough time to settle and sluff out, the morning howitzers helped with that. Mostly protected from the wind, no sun or thermal damage, and not a track in it. The one drawback is you have to break trail the entire way but considering this is normally a booter, skin track bottom to top is worth it. 3300 ft of 2ft soft.

art of the kick turn

steep skin track= more DH

Mike breathing

looking up the apron/debris pile

3000 down 300 to go

Bart's stubbies submerged

eye on the prize

Mike pointing the way down
This afternoon:
Jared and I got out for a leisurely walk up Lookout peak this afternoon. No one out today and lots of new snow. Jared was kind enough to do most of the trail breaking. He was trying to save my legs for bike racing this weekend.
It was really more of the same deep creamy snow. The stability was not quite as good as yesterday. The most recent snow was a little slabby but it just did not seem to have anything to run on. Visibilty was marginal. We kept it pretty mellow and ran a nice little run off the West shoulder of Lookout.
Although I am excited for some dirt racing and training camp next week in summer like temps, the skiing is still pretty fun!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mr Mom @ the powderkeg

Rosie has been in AZ now for a couple days enjoying a vacation in the sun so I have humbly been placed in charge of the household. Once again I am reminded of the skill and efficiency it takes to be a mom, wow!

I was also reminded of the skill and efficiency it takes to be a good rando racer. I recruited my mom to watch the girls while I suited up for the 7th annual Wasatch Powder Keg. Being my first attempt at randonee racing I was a little nervous which was quite fun. Having raced bikes for so long I don't get that "can't sleep the night before feeling anymore" and this was a refreshing rush. Although, "the can't sleep the night before" might have something to do with the girls missing mom! Because I don't have the cool one piece suit I rocked the monavie-cannondale jersey.

So here are 10 random things I learned from my 1st rando race:

1. You can't just tour and ski powder all the time and expect to do well. Rando racing is a very specific skill set which requires practice and training.
2. Skinning fast on flat sections is critical, I need to improve my hamstring flexibility, stride length, and skin glide to do well.
3. There is something fun about rallying lightweight skis down steep backcountry breakable crust, although I am a slow conservative skier.
4. My musculoskeletal system is my limiting factor at this point. My back and hamstrings were so balled up from all the flat skinning on the first leg that I could not go very hard when it got steeper.
5. The real rando racers are smooth and fast, efficiency is everything. Sounds like bike racing.
6. Rando racing is fun but feels kind of slow motion compared to bike racing. If a gap opens it is very hard to close.
7. I need longer poles.
8. Don't use a hydration bladder even with hot water, it will freeze. I should have had better insulation. I did not drink or eat anything the whole race, rookie!
9. The people are the best part of the racing experience, quality, fun, mountain people just like the MTB races.
10. It is a great compliment to bike racing in the winter but I would never want it to replace the long tour for exploration and fun new lines.

early start

1st down-up transition between gunsight and patsey marley/boot pack

Now back to Mr Mom!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


daylight savings + powder day = weekday bliss

bummer if you missed the snow today!

Monday, March 09, 2009


I can't find my camera cable so no pics from the weekend yet.

Friday: Stressful day at work including CPR on a patient. Drive down to St. George with the girls in a raging snow storm. After getting the little ones to bed I finally got on my bike for a 15 minute ride in the dark around the ritzy Cliffs neighborhood. Bike seemed to working well and I was excited to test out the legs.

Saturday: Red Rock Desert Rampage at high noon. Everyone loves this race, it's hard not to after a winter without trails. The course is a good early season test, fast without any steep or sustained climbs and nothing real hairy on the DH, just pedal. Momentum goes along away on this course. Notice the helmet borrowed from Keating after I pulled a rookie and left mine in my locker at work, it's a little big!

Photo by Jared Ferguson

Little Robbie squire was killing it on the climbs with AG and myself happy to be in tow. I have done this race enough to know how to win it, although I don't think I was the strongest. Alex and Robbie will both turn some heads this year, guaranteed!

My ski tour training experiment seemed to work well as I felt physically strong. I did not have the high end race speed that I hope comes around once I get on the bike more. Endurance was good and the race seemed short although the cycling specific muscles faded a little. Seem to have a good base to build on for the rest of the cycling season.

BBQ, hot tub, and good company for the evening at the Snow Canyon mansion.

Sunday: 4 hours of onetrack including- Barrell roll, Rim Rock (new), Stucki springs, Zen trail, and back to Snow canyon mansion. Felt pretty good on the bike but could tell the biking muscles are not used to back to back days yet. Back and legs a little sore.

Panni sandwich press and more swimming with the kiddos while mom rips some trail of her own. In & Out burger and the drive back to SLC.

Great weekend!

Now for some more skiing....

Sunday, March 01, 2009

bitter sweet wasatch traverse

So yesterdays tour was a little bitter sweet. Jared and I had a great time skiing some amazing lines but were ultimately denied the full meal deal due to time constraints and some gear glitches.

The plan was to summit and ski the high point/premier peak in each drainage including Box Elder--> Pheiferhorn --> Mt Superior--> Gobblers Nob--> Mt Aire. We made pretty good time and enjoyed great weather but Jared was testing some new race gear before his trip to France for the grand daddy of all ski races and learned that new boots can be trouble on an all day tour. On the other hand they should be well broken in now!

We made it to BCC road by 3:30 and were faced with the decision to hitch down the canyon or continue on to Gobblers Nob which would cause me to miss Eva's first time ice skating and possibly destroy Jared's heels beyond repair. As bad as we wanted to keep going, we are responsible family guys and bailed down the canyon. In hindsight it was the right decision as Eva ice skating was priceless and Jared's has some big races coming up.

Box Elder- Up west ridge, skied North face and cirque

On top we can't keep are eyes off Timp....

Pheiferhorn- up South face, skied East face and North face through Maybird and out Red Pine

Heel repair and boot modifications on top

Traverse onto North face

Mt Superior- up pole line to East ridge, skied North face via West chute and out Cardiff

Camera died!

The skinning was good, the booting was good, the weather was good, the snacks good, good company,good form, good skiing, good terrain, good equipment,good views, and good decisions. But I am left with a slight void as the traverse was not completed. On the bright side we will get to do it again...

Oh yea, dynafit ST 7.0 skis rip! More on gear later...

Now it's March and I get to test my new ski tour training plan at the bike races...