August 19, 2013

A Very Cool August

A Very Cool August

I do like to check in on the weather now and then for the archives, and 2103 has been an unusually cool August for us here in the Los Angeles basin. I can’t find any hard sources to link to, but I did overhear a weathercaster saying we had the coolest first half of August on record. For us, it’s been obviously cool, as this is the time of year when my apartment typically turns into an oven at 5p.m. (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 4 Comments

August 16, 2013

House of Pain

House of Pain

Olancha Peak has long commanded my attention. First of the Southern Sierra’s big mountains, Olancha can be thought of as the range’s regional ambassador. Drive Highway 395 north just past Little Lake, and there it is: a looming outline that fills the horizon. Scrappy high desert ranges are instantly forgotten in that first glance; here it seems as if the whole of the Sierra has suddenly sprung into view (more…)

Posted in Hiking | 0 Comments

August 13, 2013

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva’s lightweight Xplorer Mid is not at all the shoe I was expecting. In terms of weight, stiffness, and structure, the Xplorer is almost an anti-boot. The Xplorer Mid is minimalist to the point of being primitive. In fact, the shoe reminds me most of my Pearl Izumi Peak XC trail runners—they both have the same natural, almost ‘barefoot’ feel. That’s going to be highly appealing to some hikers, and, admittedly, (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

August 3, 2013

What The Heck Happened to Windsurfing?

What The Heck Happened to Windsurfing?

At one time I was a windsurfer first and a skier, believe it or not, a very distant second. My dad and I caught the leading edge of the windsurfing phenomenon way back in the 80′s when Ken Winner first started doing flared jibes on his longboard, and soon we too were fanatics, learning how to tack, waterstart, and jibe, soon ditching daggerboards for shortboards, chasing wind and speed and waves and always that elusive (more…)

Posted in video | 6 Comments

August 1, 2013

Between Me and Gu

Between Me and Gu

Sports drinks have been making various claims of superiority to plain water for a long time, and I’ve been generally skeptical of the whole lot of them. Still, if you’re chasing someone who’s got a pocketfull of Gu gels (and you don’t have any), you do tend to wonder how much of a benefit there is to the various energy-boosting and/or electrolyte-replacing products available today (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

July 23, 2013

Olancha Peak Panorama

Olancha Peak Panorama

Man, did I underestimate this one. Trevor and I buzzed up San Gorgonio Mountain a few weeks ago with relative ease, and based on that speedy little jaunt I was expecting Olancha Peak to be more or less in the same orbit—a little higher and a little more vertical, true, but fewer miles overall. Instead, I was just humbled by this hike (more…)

Posted in video | 5 Comments

July 16, 2013

Airhead Na Pali

Airhead Na Pali

If you’ve ever driven up to a scenic mountain lake and found yourself wishing you had a paddleboard or a sea kayak, Airhead’s inflatable Na Pali is worth a look. When not in use, the Na Pali rolls up into a reasonably compact package—about three feet by one feet—certainly small enough to fit in your trunk. Inflate the Na Pali via the included high-pressure hand pump or better yet (more…)

Posted in Gear | 0 Comments

July 15, 2013

Summer Ski Tips

Summer Ski Tips

Waterskiing, that is. Ironically of course when I lived in Arizona, I was out on the water all the time, but now that I live two miles from the Pacific Ocean, I basically never get wet. So I felt more than a little rusty getting pulled on a slalom ski. To be honest, I’m not sure there’s a sport that inspires more anxiety in me. Some of the worst falls I’ve ever taken involve crossing the wake while slalom skiing (more…)

Posted in video | 1 Comment

July 11, 2013

The West’s Fiery Future

The West's Fiery Future

If you want a canary in the coalmine for climate change in the western U.S., try Northern Arizona’s Coconino National Forest. The forest features the world’s largest contiguous stand of Ponderosa Pines, all growing in a region whose sparse rainfall (about 22″ annually in Flagstaff) is far more typical of a high desert rather than evergreen landscape (more…)

Posted in arizona | 2 Comments

July 7, 2013

Lounging on Hammock in Flagstaff

Lounging on Hammock in Flagstaff

No more, no less.

Posted in video | 1 Comment

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