June 20, 2014

Fixing Your Feet

Fixing Your Feet

If your chosen sport has anything in any way to do with your feet, I say John Vonhof’s Fixing Your Feet is a must-have. This massive 350-page book details the prevention, coping, and recovery strategies of those penultimate foot-bashers, ultramarathon runners. No, there is not a simple fix to be found here, nor, as Vonhof himself writes, is there such a thing as a universal fix (more…)

Posted in Books | 0 Comments

June 16, 2014

Cirque Peak Panorama

Cirque Peak Panorama

I wanted an easy peak, but easy in the right way—and hard in the right way, too. In that regard, Cirque Peak, in the John Muir Wilderness just south of Mount Langely and New Army Pass, worked out to be just about perfect. Cirque was easy in the sense there was no dangerous climbing, and no routefinding worries, either (more…)

Posted in video | 5 Comments

June 2, 2014

Revelation Bowl

Revelation Bowl

Well I’m still thinking about skiing… Here’s something from 2012: Revelation Bowl, in Telluride, Colorado. What’s interesting is it looks like the video was shot in black and white, and selectively colorized. But this is just a trick of the light and landscape. I also love the way the frame is dominated by the terrain’s bold diagonals, and that glint of sunlight on the ridge below (more…)

Posted in video | 0 Comments

May 30, 2014

The Vertigo Machine

The Vertigo Machine

It is unlike any other chairlift I know of, and it scares the hell out of me every time I ride it. I’m talking of course about Mammoth Mountain’s wonderful Chair 23, that aging triple that gains elevation as quickly as any modern quad thanks to its brain-defying steepness. As the season progresses my own brain seems to adapt, a bit, to the optics of Chair 23 (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments

May 28, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

For me, the 2013-2014 winter began and now ends with Mammoth: a Thanksgiving opening and a Memorial Day close. Yes, in terms of snowfall, this year ranks easily among the most dismal in memory, and yes, too, not a single peak in my projects folder saw daylight, but in the absence of backcountry snow, it was a family-focused ski year for me, and a great one at that (more…)

Posted in Skiing | 2 Comments

May 17, 2014

The Agonies of Digital Media

The Agonies of Digital Media

For those of you with not a bit of digital data in any form, I envy you. You must be out there, somewhere, perhaps as part of some primitive tribe living deep within an impenetrable jungle, though no doubt even now the barons of our digital age are plotting ways to get you, and your children, posting selfies on Facebook and Twitter. A smartphone helicopter drop, perhaps? (more…)

Posted in Musings | 2 Comments

May 16, 2014

Not Another Heat Wave…

Not Another Heat Wave...

Yes, it’s another Southern California heat wave, which means it’s time to check in with my living room thermometer: a lovely 93.2°F as of 5:50pm yesterday. Heat waves are not unusual here in the L.A. Basin; for those of you in cold places, the quick primer is it gets hot whenever the winds change direction, blowing not from the wonderfully cool Pacific Ocean, to our left, but rather from the abominably-hot (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 1 Comment

May 6, 2014

Steep Skiing: The Unweight

Steep Skiing: The Unweight

Three years I’ve been obsessing about steep technique. Three years of drought. It strikes me now that the irony is, having finally found the steep turn I’ve been looking for all my life, I may never put it to use skiing horrifically steep big lines because (1) we haven’t had any snow, and (2) my life doesn’t just belong to me, and me alone, anymore (more…)

Posted in technique | 7 Comments

April 30, 2014

The Vipec’s Viability

The Vipec's Viability

In the immortal words of Lee Lau, NEVER TRUST A FIRST GENERATION TOURING BINDING YOU MORONS. I found myself admiring the clarity of Lee’s admonition as I was pondering the spectrum of reviews on Fritchi’s Vipec tech binding—or should we call it a nouveau-tech binding? Either way, the Vipec is both a remarkable evolution and a vexing reminder that technological advances are rarely without their hiccups (more…)

Posted in Gear | 3 Comments

April 20, 2014

Hangman’s June 2011

Hangman's June 2011

Going through old photos here, and this shot of Hangman’s Hollow at Mammoth Mountain just floors me. This was taken mid June 2011, and that entire cliff band along the crater rim is basically unrecognizable compared to this year. You’d think, looking at Hangman’s at any time this season, you were at a completely different mountain (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 7 Comments

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