Friday, December 21, 2012

the Colorado Experience V

I keep getting less and less motivated for this thing each time I try to make a post. Everyone's on Instagram anyway right (@bbbarto) which makes this format feel more archaic everyday. Well since everybody's gonna quit Instagram in January anyway for fear of some huge worldwide corporation using a picture of their feet, dog or the beer they're drinking in some cell phone ad, maybe blogger will make a resurgence. Anywho, I'm getting artsy and shooting more and more pictures using real life film so I can wait 3 days and pay good money for my shots to look like what other people can achieve instantly by pressing a button for free just to have them scrolled past in an instant when the commercials start. Enjoy. I'll have more once I finish my rolls.

Here's me throwing rocks from my glass house 
early in the morning on day one.

Jeremy orchestrating the 6am load in. A-Basin 
was the day's destination.

Hiking out to the bowl rim for a group pic.

It was cold as hell that day. We'd take 2 runs and
then have to retreat to the lodge to thaw. There
were reports in the lift line of a -5˚ windchill.

Ended the day on the boxes.

As long as Jer has these goggles, we'll keep 
taking these pics.

With no snow forecasted in the early week, we
loaded up the whole clan and broke south
towards Albuquerque for some deep ditch action.

long roads

This was my 3rd time in ABQ in just as many 
years so I knew where the spots were. Our 
hotel was less than a mile from "The Bear" and
it was still just as scary rolling in again.

It's huge, steep, rough and unforgiving. We took
our time sweeping the "flat" and warming up.
Each time we'd roll in we'd start from a little 
higher on the wall. I was definitely missing my
softer durometers this time around.

I like how from this angle it looks like it could be
5' high.

farther down the Bear Jer found his spine

This is Harpers ditch just up the road from the
Bear. This is the very end (it's 2 miles long) 
where a little platform made for a great spot
to end the session.

Kip & Juno were ready for ditch #3 of the morning

Indian School ditch. Probably the most famous of
all the ditches in town. 3 years ago I never
thought I'd ever get to skate here and now here
I was rolling down it for the 3rd time. We ended
up doing Indian School top to bottom 4 times
that day. So fun.

Ditch #4 of the day was the aptly named Three
Mile ditch. This was a good one that we did hit
and run style so we could end the day back
at Indian School. Definitely would have liked to
play around in some of the more tricked out
sections of Three Mile a while longer.

Danny and Arnold
We blazed home from Albuquerque and got back
to the house around 2am, crashed out, woke
up and tried to decide whether to skate some parks
or hike a 14'er. We decided hiking Bierstadt would
make for a more memorable experience and got
on our way about 2 hours past when we should 
have. It was fun to discover the pass was closed 
due to snow so we had to park the car in a lower
lot and hike an additional 1.5 miles just to reach
the trailhead. So here we are hiking up the road
and hoping the sun stays high in the sky. We really
did not want to be on the mountain post sunset.

That's Bierstadt in the distance.

Since the road was all switchbacks we decided to
cut through the woods to save some time. I felt I
should document us leaving the road as it's the
exact sort of thing you're NOT supposed to do.

5 minutes in...lost.

Bierstadt is just out of frame on the right. It was
safe to say we had a long day ahead of us.
Bierstadt on the right. Sawtooth on the left.

2 out of 9 ain't bad
Make that 3 out of 9. Piece of cake.

the journey of a 1,000 miles...

20 minutes in Jer was ready to shed some layers.
(a decision he would soon regret)

Ok, this is where "shit got real". This pic is taken
maybe an hour into the hike. By now the wind
was relentless. It wasn't like there were random
gusts, this shit was nonstop. Easily 70 mph. 85 
by the time we'd reach the summit. No
exaggeration. You can kinda see the snow
blowing/shooting/screaming off the "trail" 
(I put trail in quotes because we had lost it by 
this point and were simply walking "up"). 

This was the last time I'd pull my camera out til 
we reached the summit. It was too cold & windy.
I myself got literally blown over twice. Oh, the
water in my pack was frozen solid by this point
too. It's hard to describe how I was feeling
especially since in the pics the sky is blue and
the sun is shining and it all looks kinda "cool".
Believe me it was a whole different story on the
mountain. The air was definitely thin and I was
feeling it with each step. Stopping to rest did
nothing but prolong the time I was spending in
the wind. I even stopped lifting my head to see 
where I was at because I'd just get blasted by 
whirling snow and honestly I felt like I was 
wasting energy doing it. Jer and I huddled behind
a rock for a breather but again, it just prolonged
the time til we reached to top. Besides, the rock
provided no relief what so ever. The wind was 
just too strong. If you were more than 3' from
somebody you had to yell at the top of your lungs
just for them to be able to hear you and that
wasn't worth the oxygen.

Me at the top. I seriously spent no more than
30 seconds enjoying the view. The sun wasn't 
getting any higher and the wind was just too
brutal. It was a sheer drop off the back too. If 
you lifted you leg too high or extended your arm
the wind would use your extra exposed surface 
area and just push you over. The second I turned 
to start the descent I was smiling ear to ear. And 
not so much because we had reached the top but 
because we were now on our way back. Every 
step from that moment on was one step closer to 
being out of the wind and closer to the car.

This is the first time I even bothered looking back
I could feel this occurring on the ascent but 
didn't know the extent til Matt snapped
this pic. Note the snow blowing. Yeah, that was
still happening on the way back down.

Looking down

Looking back (fuck you Bierstadt in December)

4.5 hours up, 1.5 hours down. 11-12 miles. It was 
dusk by the time we reached the car. I don't think 
hot food ever tasted so good as it did that night.
The next day at Beaver Creek Jer was still feeling
a little wiped. This day and the following at Vail
were rad. We found the powder stuff and rode it 
all day. I hate the way this new blogger is 
formatted so that's all for now. Thanks to Jer and
Lisa for continuing their tradition of being the
most gracious of hosts. See you next year.