Testing My Leg

After almost a year without shredding on snow because of my broken femur, it was time to start working on my touring legs and see how my new leg does snowboarding. With some early season snow in Vermont I was able to make this happen sooner than I expected.  Touring was painful, but I knew the more I did it the easier it would get as I built my muscles back up.  Powder felt great, but any crust or hard snow was pretty painful for my knee, which I have been having issues with. Anyway here are some early season shots from Vermont that I took.. It felt great to be back on snow and to be taking pictures again.

Dalton Harben making some nice turns in some poor vis.

IMG_9754My leg was feeling good after the first skin so we decided to head up higher and see what we could find, which was well worth the effort.

IMG_9775This is a picture taken by Dalton Harben of me back in my happy place.

10546973_10204430084065323_8759161707774169046_oFelt so good to be riding pow again. I am very thankful that my leg has healed and I am able to continue doing the things I love to do.

Gaspe Peninsula Moto Tour

My friend Greg has been trying to get me to do this trip around the Gaspe Peninsula for a few years now, but timing  hasn’t been right for me. Last couple Summer vacations have been taken up from Backpacking in the Eastern Sierra, as you may have seen in my past trip reports. After breaking my leg this past Winter I decided another backpacking trip was out of the question this Summer. This opened up the perfect opportunity for this motorcycle trip to go down,  I am so glad I did it.  What an amazing adventure. And if you’re wondering about my leg, it is healing great and the doc says it should be good to go come ski season.

I was on my 2008 Triumph Bonneville and Greg was riding his 2012 Suzuki V-Strom.


Left work early on a Friday to get a head start and stopped just south of Quebec City.

Here is a map of the entire loop that we did. We ended up driving 1,680 miles total.


Drove through a lot of rain the 2nd day as we headed past Quebec City and up toward Parc National du Bic where we finally got ahead of the rain clouds.  I quickly took this shot looking back toward the park as the clouds came rolling over the hills.


Our goal was to follow Rte 132 up along the St Lawrence River and around the Peninsula.

I spotted this eagle on top of a boulder while driving along,  must have been looking for some seafood.


After spending the night in Cap-Chat at the Motel Nanook drying out gear, we were back on the road and headed to Forillon National Park. We made some stops along the way since it was only a few hour drive from Cap-Chat.  We considered going inland to drive through the Chic-Chocs, but the clouds appeared socked in over the mountains.

Came across this cool red lighthouse in La Martre, just off the road so we decided to check it out.



Looking toward our route.

DSC02387And back on our way.



All kinds of roadside art work and quirky towns along the way.


The light wasn’t great  for pictures, but we stopped to take a look at this awesome hanggliding launch in Mont-St-Pierre. Greg has many flights under his belt and I have been dabbling with Paragliding in recent years, so we thought it was pretty cool. Maybe next time take a flight.




Cape Madeleine Lighthouse

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Scenic lunch break at some random river mouth. Look at all the logs on that barge.

DSC02433 We spent the next couple days camping in Forillon National Parc despite the rainy conditions

IMG_7162Late night beers and stone work on the beach.


Packing up and leaving camp in the rain on a motorcycle is not so much fun, but we got through it and had a great tour of the park. I wasn’t going to let a little rain stop me from exploring this amazing place.

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Double Crested Cormorant


La Chute eh!



Our next stop was Lands End, the end of the IAT (International Appalachian Trail), but for us about a 5 or 6 mile hike give or take round trip.







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Our next stop would be in Perce. We settled at Le Cote Surprise where we dried out for a couple days, explored the area, and took in the sights.  The view from the hotel was unreal and the clearing sky was a great relief from the recent showers.

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Sunrise from the deck outside hotel room, looking at Bonaventure Island.


Indian Head

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After seeing the Indian head we drove down a side road, which led us to a dirt road, which led us to a gravel pit, which brought us to a trail that brought us to the Emerald River.


We couldn’t leave Perce without taking a closer look at Perce Rock and Bonaventure island, so we took an hour boat  ride before starting our journey back home.



IMG_9389 The Gannet population on the island is unreal and really cool to see in person as the pictures don’t do it justice.


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The boat ride was a great way to end our time in Perce and I was very glad that we did it last minute. Well worth the $25.

We decided we would make our way down the rest of the Peninsula then cross over into New Brunswick which was a first for me.

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Spent the night right at the border and the next day we drove across Maine and into NH where we spent the last night of our journey at Greg’s Family camp near Berlin NH.  With an easy drive back home to Vermont the next day.

A Fall mix up – 2013

What can I say, this Fall has been just great. October offered some spectacular foliage and good weather. I think some of the best mountain biking days of the year were in October this year and we had some pretty sweet skiing for November in Northern Vermont. Check out some of the stoke below.

One of the better foliage seasons I’ve seen in VT.

Before we knew it snow was visible in the mountains.

Which means one thing……. Time for some grass skiing with Dalton Harben and Taylor VanRoekel.

But not long after that some sneaky storms dumped some serious pre season snow in the Northern Greens and we headed to Jay Peak to check it out…. Think this was November 12 or 13th.

We were very pleased.

After the unexpected powder frenzy up at Jay Peak and knowing that Winter was right around the corner, it was important to get one last mtn bike ride in before hanging up the bike for the year. With Evan Waldman & Owen Packard.

Since we got that out of our system and some new snow fell in the Mountains for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend it was time to switch back to the splitboard. I was up early on Thanksgiving morning to make some turns and get some exercise before consuming an awesome meal and plenty of IPA. I was very thankful indeed. Here are my morning turns.

I think I like White Friday better than Black Friday. It was awesome to get out with some fellow splitters and track up some left overs. Thanks for an awesome day Jim Deshler, Danielle Owczarski, Jess Graham, & Dalton Harben who we met at the summit. Good Times!

And on December 1st we went looking for more left overs and discovered the wind did a good job of filling in some steeper lines we don’t normally ski this time of year.

Dalton Harben making some nice turns down upper Madonna Lift line.

Rhine charging down.

Evan Waldman knows this trail way to well and knows exactly where to point em.

Rhine again

Dalton getting in on some early season steeps.

You never really know until you go.

Looking forward to see what Winter actually brings.

Thanks for visiting!

Onion Valley to Mt Whitney to Horseshoe Meadows

The High Sierra Trail in 2012 left me wanting more, so this year almost exactly a year later myself and seven friends decided to hike from Onion Valley to Horseshoe Meadow. As a side trip off the PCT we would Summit Mt Whitney then head back down to the PCT instead of heading out the Whitney Portal like I did after the HST. Jim Deshler, his wife Danielle Owczarski, Rhine Hullfish, Nick Elia, Mark Williams, his son Jake Williams, and Myself were all on board for the trip. It was a pleasure to have had this experience with such a great group of people.

Since most or all of this hike is at high elevations we decided to car camp one night at Onion Valley campground, which is around 9,200′. One of our biggest concerns was altitude sickness. By the second day of hiking we had planned to climb the highest pass on the Pacific Crest Trail, Forester Pass at 13,200′.

Day 1

Sunrise from Onion Valley Campground.

Off we go toward Kearsarge Pass.

Passed some nice lakes early in the hike, hard to pass up on some good fishing spots, but it was the first day and we wanted to cover some miles before taking a longer break. Not to mention the many lakes and streams we would encounter along the way.

Heart Lake

Up and up we go.

The backcountry really opened up at the top of Kearsarge Pass.

Many people day hike Kearsarge Pass, so it was a little busy. The people however thin out as you head down the other side. We decided to head to Bullfrog Lake for Lunch, regather our group of seven and also do some swimming & fishing..

Refueled and rested up, we pushed on.

We hiked a little past Viddette Meadow where we found a nice place to camp for the night near Upper Viddette Meadow.

We had a great view of what I think was East Vidette and if I remember correctly it was Bubb’s Creek that was running below camp. We caught a lot of small Golden Trout there.

Jim and Danielle settling in.

Rhine fishing

Some of us made sure to leave room in our packs to have an Epic Ipa the first night.

Some views from around camp.


The next day we had 7 or so miles up to Forester Pass then another 4-5 miles to Tyndall Creek where we would spend the 2nd night.

Met up with this guy on the way.

A quick break spot.

Onward and upward.

At last Forester Pass!

Checking out the other side of the pass where we will continue hiking for the day.

Nick wasn’t far behind so I waited at the Pass for him to complete the last few switchbacks, which is where I started feeling the altitude hit me strong.

Mark and his son Jake were already at the top of the Pass when I arrived. By the time Nick arrived I was feeling a bit off from the elevation and decided to start down some before the others arrived. Got this pic of me and the CA crew before I dropped down.

The trail down the other side of the pass was pretty awesome.

There is a trail down this somewhere. Looks like the moon.

We couldn’t resist the lakes on the other side of the pass, they were really inviting and COLD!

Rhine was the first one in.

Jim and Forester Pass in the background.

Rhine resting in some grass before we head on toward Tyndall Creek.

Leaving the pass behind and dropping some elevation.

Nick Trucking along, and our first sighting of Whitney in the background on the right.

Danielle happy to make it to Tyndall Creek where we could all chill and relax after the long climb that day. We decided it was a good night to finish off the Whiskey.


Day 3

Mission was to hike to Guitar Lake and rest for the night before summiting Mt Whitney on the 4th day.

Pretty sure this was Bighorn Plateau..

When hiking the HST in 2012 we just passed by Guitar Lake on our way to Summit Whitney and didn’t really have time to take it in and enjoy it. This year I was pretty stoked to be spending a night there and not heading out the portal. What an awesome place.

Night night

Day 4

Up early to summit Mt Whitney.

Looking down at Guitar Lake.

Trail Crest

Timed it about right without a lot of traffic on the 1.9 miles from trail crest. This section can be really annoying when there are a lot of hikers on it.

A little under 3 hours and we reached the summit from Guitar Lake. And just like last year we had the summit to ourselves with one other guy who just finished the JMT.

Rhine stoked to be on top of the lower 48.

Amazed to see these up so high.

After getting back to Guitar lake our group split into two. Mark and Jake had to hike out a day earlier then the rest of us so they and Nick all decided to hike 10 more miles to Rock Creek after summiting Whitney. The rest of us aka team VT were not feeling a 20 mile day and decided to hike to Lower Crabtree Meadow, which was yet another sweet place to camp and no one around besides, lots of deer, marmots, and golden trout.

Shots from Lower Crabtree.

Had to cook some fish at least once during this trip. Mmmmmm breakfast.

Day 5

We decided to hike a little past Rock Creek and then take a side trail off the PCT for a few miles where we would climb up to Lower Solider Lake and spend our last night before heading to Horseshoe Meadows.

Nice Fish Jim got at Lower Soldier.

Some shots from our last night at Lower Soldier.

In the a.m.

Day 6

Our last day of hiking with about 10 miles to go. Life on trail is great and its hard to head back to reality, but at the same time we’re looking forward to real food, beer, and beds.

Lots of sandy sections on the part as we head toward Cottonwood Pass.

A quick break at Chicken Spring Lake

From Chicken Spring Lake we headed over Cottonwood Pass and down down down to Horseshoe meadow where we would meet up with Nick at the car.

I’ll miss being on Trail and I look forward to more adventures in the Eastern Sierra Mountains in the Future.

Thanks Guys!

NH Corn Harvest 4/28/13

Went on a solo adventure to NH to shred some steep corn snow. Here is a peek of what it was like.

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