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.

Mt. Washington, NH

Headed over to NH for a day to explore around and see how things were looking up high. The wind had been really strong for sometime so we didn’t know what we were going to find. Happy to find that the base was pretty good all the way to the parking lot and we wouldn’t be hiking out. We took to the skinner and found a couple lines to boot up. The sun was in and out and the wind were still cranking on the ridge. The conditions were extremely firm, windboard, chalky like snow, but just enough to hold an edge on so we could make turns.

30 miles on Catalina Island

After a fun day of splitboarding and surfing my friend Nick and I decided to take a day off. Only to prepare for a backpacking trip on Catalina Island. We did some research and planned out a 30 mile hike over 3 three days and 2 nights. We took a ferry into Two Harbors from San Pedro and left Catalina from Avalon into Dana Point. The pink on the map below is where we hiked. And bright yellow spots are where we camped along the way.

Leaving San Pedro

When the island got real close, I knew right then this was going to be an epic trip.

Two Harbors

After setting foot in Two Harbors we quickly found the $13.99 breakfast buffet right off the dock where we decided to drink coffee and fill our bellies before our long hike to Ben Weston beach.

Go Time

Spotted this Bison in the distance within the first hour of the hike.

Along the way……

Little Harbor and Shark Harbor was pretty awesome, we took in some views, filled our water bottles, took some pictures and headed off since we still had a couple hours of hiking left before we got to our final destination. Here is what Little/Shark Harbor looked like.

Eventually we made it to Cottonwood Beach, but didn’t stay to hang out. We were anxious to get to our camp beach.

Our first look at Ben Weston Beach…. WOW just WOW!

Before we made the scramble down, we checked out a bunker from WW2.

It appeared someone was down at the beach already. Turned out to be a couple older guys surfing the nice swell. They were super nice, filled us in on some local secrets, gave us some pre-made breakfast burritos, then took off. Burritos were much better than my oatmeal.

The place was amazing. I was super stoked to be able to get to spend the night there.

Nick hunting for crystals.

Crushing it!

Dinner Time!

Doesn’t get much better then this.

Some shots in the morning.

It was really hard to leave this special place, but we had a ferry to catch in Avalon in two days. This is a spot I hope to return to someday.

We left the Trans Catalina Trail back in little harbor, so we could hit our detour at Ben Weston, now we had to take another detour to get back to the main trail. This alternate route brought us by a really cool vineyard, which I was glad we didn’t miss.

Covering some ground

Lunch stop

BBQ Tri-tip sandwiches and DBL IPA for lunch, can’t complain..

Now we had to stumble our way to BlackJack campground.

Soap stone along the way.

Cool Tree

Nice campground, with our own water, two picnic tables, firepits, toilets.. That’s all nice, but I almost wish I was still at the beach spot..

Got a good nights sleep and we were up early and ready to go.

Then there was this guy. He was pretty close, so I didn’t want to hang out to long. Just enough time to say hello and snap a few pics.

Finally we could see Avalon where we were headed and where our adventure would come to an end.

Things were a little strange when we made it to town. We felt very out of place..


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