Not that skiing has been all bad, there have been some standout days on the ski hill, and the spring corn cycle has been kind of fun, but without much new snowfall to recharge the mountain, I am investing my energy this winter into what IS good, namely the ice and rock climbing, skate skiing and mountain biking.
Recently converted to the dark side of spandex and fanny packs, skate skiing has quickly become my workout of choice. It is hard to imagine another activity which simultaneously makes every muscle in your body want to explode. And you can do it with less than a foot of snow on the ground!
The mountain biking has also been incredible this winter- Lower Rock Creek has been riding with a crispness and tackiness that we could only dream of in the summertime. With temperatures like what we have been experiencing, one can imagine it will only continue until it snows again. The road riding is also fantastic, with empty highways and warm breezes, bike touring the Eastside wounds pretty good right now.
But I think that the real standout for me has been the decent condition of our local ice climbing despite these wild temperature fluctuations. Sure, Main Wall in Lee Vining could be filled in, or Roadside or whatever, but that just won't be happening until it gets cold again. Until then, getting out at least a couple times per week, I have been able to find fun, climbable ice and had a great time.
|Ian follows up a long pitch in Parker Canyon|
|Ian leads another great pitch at Parker|
|Me leading one of the steeper pitches|
|"Worth the 3 hr. approach!"|
|The North Gully (Horsetail Falls) in good shape|
|Leading the first pitch of the N. Gully|
|Wending through bulges and pillars, midway up the route|