Poll results: Blogger wins race

As Sara and I discussed in the commentary of the last post, I really like the look of the K2 template.  All my attempts to find a similar custom template for Blogger have failed.  But meanwhile, WordPress.com is too restrictive for a hosted blog – I want to be able to continue using Picasa for my photos and slideshows.

Of course, I can do this if I host my blog on a private server and switch to WordPress.org.  And I probably will – but not right now.  I have too much on my plate, with guiding and ski instructing.  It may happen this spring, but I’m not anticipating any major changes until this fall.

Until then, consider this a blog in stasis.  To keep up with me, check out my only active blog at climbskirun.blogspot.com.

Cheers

Chris

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Test Blog Up and Running!

OK, This is my experimentation with Word Press.  I really like the Page feature and the K2 Template, but I’d like to be able to change some things – width for example – and I’d like Word Press to be a little more user friendly.  This is a near-mirror-image of my current blog, ClimbSkiRun.blogspot.com.

Skip over to my Blogger site and there’s a poll in the sidebar (another widget not easily available here) to vote on which site you like more.  Decision will be made on 1 January 2009 for the new year.

Cheers

Chris

Come ski with me at Alpine Meadows!


This winter marks a new step for me, and a tremendous opportunity for all of you. I’ve been hired by Alpine Meadows Ski Area in North Lake Tahoe, California, to be an “Alpine Ski Guide.” In the footsteps of Jackson Hole and Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows is starting a front- and side-country ski guide service for its guests.

Alpine Meadows was just listed as one of the 100 best backcountry resorts in the November issue of Backcountry magazine. Fat skis and randonee bindings are as common as not on the lift lines. And the backcountry skiing is impressive on all four sides of the area, especially the terrain to the south and west at Alpine and to the west and north at its sister resort, Homewood.

For my clients, this means they have a great opportunity to be introduced into backcountry skiing the most gentle way possible – by riding a chair up most of the elevation gain! We’ll also be able to ski in-bounds when the avalanche conditions close down the OB, or when someone needs to warm up before heading out. But this is California, one of the sunniest (and stable-est) places to ski!

Like the Ski Guide Services at Jackson Hole and Kirkwood, Alpine’s is starting from within the Ski School, and so days that I’m not requested to guide I’ll be teaching adult skiing classes and working on my Professional Ski Instructors of America Certifications. I’ll also be teaching AIARE Level I Avalanche classes with several local providers.

For rates, take a look at the Ski School page on Alpine Meadow’s website. If you’re surfing the Alpine Meadows website, the rates are listed on the same page as the private lessons. I want to point out that the rate is flat – up to 5 people can hire a guide and split the full-day rate 5 ways!

The White Board

I’m introducing a new feature today, “The White Board.” I nicked the idea from my friend Greg, who looked at the 5’x2′ white board that was hanging in my Incline Village digs, already filled with calendar dates, to do’s, and shopping lists, and said, “You should put this on the blog.”

I’m a huge fan of lists, and whiteboards let me make the ultimate lists – quick to fill, easy to read, always in my face. I have three in service right now – a daily to do 8.5″x11″ board sitting beside me right now, a 3’x4′ hanging in my Vallejo office with my running, bouldering, and climbing tick list spelled out, and my evolving board in Incline Village. This is something I hope to updating weekly.

I often get asked what I’m up to when I’m at home – since none of my neighbors see me working a regular job, I’m thinking that they’re thinking that I’m just sitting around watching the tele and drinking copious amounts of wine. Well, for the first installement of the whiteboard I thought I’d show you guys yesterday’s board, mid-day…

Come Ski with me at Alpine Meadows!!

I found out in September. I’m the newest and first “Alpine Ski Guide” at Alpine Meadows Ski Area in North Lake Tahoe, California. In the footsteps of Jackson Hole and Kirkwood, Alpine Meadows is starting a front- and side-country ski guide service for its guests.
A lot of my Lake Tahoe acquaintances have called Alpine Meadows, “Squaw Valley’s backcountry.” Fat skis and randonee bindings are as common as not on the lift lines. And the backcountry skiing is impressive on all four sides of the area, especially the terrain between Alpine and its sister resort, Homewood. In fact I just spent two hours today planning a 13-mile Alpine-Homewood ski tour, which will include ascents and descents of Twin Peaks (8880′) and Ellis Peak (8740′).
For my clients, this means they have a great opportunity to be introduced into backcountry skiing the most gentle way possible – by riding a chair up most of the elevation gain! We’ll also be able to ski in-bounds when the avalanche conditions close down the OB. But this is California, one of the sunniest (and stable-est) places to ski!
Like the Ski Guide Services at Jackson Hole and Kirkwood, Alpine’s is starting from within the Ski School, and so days that I’m not requested to guide I’ll be teaching adult skiing classes and working on my PSIA Level I and Level II Certifications. Backcountry Ski Camps and AIARE Level I Avalanche Awareness classes are also in the works. Keep an eye on this blog and Alpine Meadows’ website for more information as the fall crawls on. Alpine Meadows expects to be open by 26 November.

Single Shot: The 12 Counts of Moving

1 Moving van
2 Cars
3 Friends bribed to help with promises of beer and pizza
4 Days spent packing
5 Stores visited to collect enough boxes
6 Arguments over packing the dishes, packing the glasses, packing the art, packing the music, packing the computers, and packing the wine
7 Hours driving
8 Hours at a hotel
9 More hours driving
10 Solid hours unpacking the 1 moving van and 2 cars
11 Days unpacking all those boxes
12 Bottles of wine that helped the job along

I’ve found myself not writing since I finished my degree – surprising for someone who proclaims to be a writer. So I slapped together a list of titles and scheduled publishing dates to give myself a deadline to produce something, and came up with the Single Shot – super short fiction or non (who knows, who cares?), meant to say a lot with a little. Cheers

Picking splinters out of my thighs…

So with the weather making it too wet to climb outside, but not enough snow yet to ski, I’ve been pushed into the rock gym and back to trail running. My legs really aren’t up to the pounding, so I’ve been starting slow, with shorter runs and a lot of time off in between to let my feet and knees get re-acquainted to the work.

So on the 24th I checked out Lynch Canyon for the first time. This is the open space I stumbled across during a run on what I thought was some ranchers property. Well, it is some ranchers property, as all the cows will demonstrate, but its become open space and is accessible for hikers, bikers, and horses. Not to shabby.

Photo: Looking up North Lynch Canyon. The Middle Canyon turns left at the trees.

I ended up running for 40 minutes instead of the 30 I had planned, but I ran up the Middle fork along dirt road before turning right on cow-paths-turned-trails to cross the ridge and drop along the South Canyon back toward the interstate before crossing back to the car park. There were a lot of cows with calves, making them a little more aggressive and less likely to run off as I approached. So I just worked on avoided the calves as much as I could and didn’t have any trouble.

A few days later I returned to Lake Herman, the site of my last post. I hoped that I’d discover a use trail circumnavigating the lake when I left my car and started running counter-clockwise. All sorts of water birds were in a constant panic as I ran along the shore. In less than 10 minutes I ran into a bramble and turned away from the water – trying to outflank it by running inland. No luck – I stopped when I reached the road and turned back. When I reached the car flocks of Canada geese and turkeys had mingled together on the grass – with three of the turkeys puffing up and strutting to try to impress the hens. Pretty neat. To make my time I continued on around the lake clockwise and ran up the hill that makes the north end of the dam. After stopping at a small sunset shack I headed down the other side of Colima Herman and headed back to the car.

Photo: The view across Lake Herman from the top of Herman Hill. I was able to follow a common use/deer trail along the shore until I reached the grove of trees in the photo. From there I tried to run inland but stopped when I reached the road and turned back.

When I got home I looked at the wreckage that were my legs. There are a lot of sharp prickly things in California’s grasslands, and brush ups against my thighs left welts all over. More surprising were the splinters I found right above me knees. I had to scare up a pair of tweezers to remove them, and have no idea where they came from!

Lake Herman probably has one or two more interesting runs left, and will always be a fun way to add distance to the Vallejo-Benicia Ridge trail system (it connects). Lynch Canyon, on the other hand, so much bigger, and has at least 6 more loops that could last over an hour and four ridges good for some real cross country.