Tales of mountain excursions and craft beer

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South Teton, GTNP – February 2015

Becca and I loaded up my truck on Friday the 13th and hit the road north to Jackson, WY to visit our buddy Aaron and get on some bigger lines to prepare for a trip later this spring. Big mountains with lots of vert to climb/ride make the Tetons the perfect training ground for bigger trips.

The plan for Saturday was to ski the Middle Teton,but high winds caused us to bail at the base of the Ellingwood. The winds were strong enough to blow us over (really, one of us got blown over) and after that we decided it just wasn’t worth it. We retreated back to town for some beer and food.

On Sunday, Aaron, Becca and I planned to climb/ride the South Teton. However at the last minute, a buddy of mine from Colorado gave us a ring asking if he could join us that day. I told David he better hurry up and meet us at the trailhead since we were already running behind schedule.

At 7:45 am, about an hour later than we originally planned, the four of us left the trailhead and made quick progress to the Meadows of Garnet Canyon.

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Elevator Shaft – January 2015

After two weeks of high pressure, Eric Thomson and I decided it was time for our first big line of the year. Rocky Mountain National Park hadn’t seen any significant storms in weeks and down in Boulder it felt like early Spring. The previous weekend we were mountain biking in 70 degree weather. Apparently, Mother Nature decided to send all the powder to Japan or the Northeast this month leaving the West high and dry, but it could always be worse.

Eric Thomson taking the Elevator up

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Fish On!

Its been a busy summer, but I’ve still managed to get out on the water. I’ve explored some new spots, while visiting the usuals with some new and old partners.

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My brother came out earlier this summer to visit CU and learned how to fly fish. We took him up to the mountain to chase some cutties on his first backpacking trip. We found some…

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A few weeks later, my wife and I’s parents came out a for a weekend in Salida. Here’s my dad with his first fish on a fly rod.

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While the ladies went shopping, the guys went on a guided trip with ArkAnglers.

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After learning the basics, fish were caught.

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Persistence always pays off!

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What a fish to end the day with!

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Surprise Powder Day Version 2.0

Check out this extended edit that Alex put together. More powder, more face shots, and more of Buster!

 

I’ll admit it. I’ve finally caved in and have seen the light. These new GoPro’s are pretty awesome. The video quality that comes out of these tiny cameras is amazing, and yet they’re very simple to use! I’m definitely looking forward to getting some fish/biking shots with it in the summer.

Fly Tying

This period of high avalanche danger is just making me want to fish. So lately, I’ve been spending a few nights a week tying up some stuff for the summer. I’ve been tying my go-to #18-22 nymphs to stock up my box, while tying some occasional dries to work on some technique.

Rubber Leg Stonefly

Copper John

Fly Box

Happy New Year!

After spending Christmas with Becca’s family, we headed up to Jackson, WY to visit our friend Aaron and ring in the New Year. It was a great way to end the year and 2014 should be even better!

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The Return of Winter

“Beeeep…Beeep..Beep.”

“Good to Go!”, your friend says as he checks your avalanche beacon. A high-five sends you down the trail on your first tour of the season.

Swish. Swish. Swish. The familiar sound of touring skins gliding on the snow once again graces your ears. A slight breeze blows down the new snow from the treetops. It’s good to be out again!

Ten minutes after leaving, your hip flexors start screaming at you. Your feet throb with each step as they reacquaint themselves with your ski boots. You’re sweating like a pig, and it’s 15 degrees outside. You’ve finally realized that you’re out of shape. Because instead of running up and down mountains, you drank beer and went fishing. Dry-heaves fill the gaps between conversation. You’ve made this approach many times, but the first day is always the roughest. Regardless, you smile because you get to go skiing again.

Shit. You left your lunch on the kitchen counter. A friend offers you half of their sandwich, along with some trail mix that has likely been in their pack since the Spring. It’s beginning to look like you’re buying beers at the end of the day. Oh well.

The winds at the top are bone-chilling. You get ready as fast as you can, bobbling your gear as you transition and looking like a total rookie. Descent plans are discussed and a lineup has been made. You’re nervous about making that first turn, do you even remember how to ride? That time comes and you disappear into the white room…

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At the bottom, your friends grins are as big as your own. Until the moment you realize you left your pant vents open and snow made it’s way in…now they’re grinning even more.  Everyone transitions to uphill mode without even asking, “Wanna do another lap?”.

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Back at the local brewery, everyone celebrates another opening day with a round of beers. The excitement of another season is evident as plans are already being made for next weekend, and beyond. It’s good to be back on snow, sharing the skin track with your best friends and making memories with every turn. Winter has returned!

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