July 13, 2009

Johnson Pass

While awaiting my buddies at the Johnson Pass trailhead, it was a good omen: chatting with the two shapely women sporting string bikini tops and nice tans, sorry no photos.

The bikini-topped women departed down the trail, and a bit later my buddies arrived. Dr. Snow, TKSnow, and AKRobb and family and friends made the trailhead after shuttling vehicles. And, the four of us pedaled up toward Johnson Pass. The hot, buggy grind up to the pass was quickly forgotten as we careened down to Upper Trail Lake.

Doc wisely chose the bug-free bridges for regrouping breaks. I lost count, but there must be 8 or more bridges along the 20-mile trail. The deadfall has been cleared, and the cow parsnip and stinging nettles were only minor nuisances.

We made it to Upper Trail Lake free from injury, save a few bug bites and the odd imprint of a chain wheel or pedal and a little rash from cow parsnip (yours truly). It was really nice for Doc and family to stage the vehicle - what a treat to just show up, chat for a short while, and ride the trail to a pre-staged vehicle. All in all a terrific trip, Johnson Pass is highly recommended for cross country mountain biking.

July 3, 2009

Day One: Byron Glacier

With a backstop time, we opted for a short trip. Byron Glacier has snow at 400-ft elevation, and had potential to take us up to its summit at 4700 ft el.

Kruser & I hiked a mile or so, then skinned another mile to its ice fall.
Crampons were necessary to skirt the ice fall, so we opted to ski back.

Enough snow was probably available a week or two prior to provide a ski route up lookers' right, but too much tilted blue ice was exposed today; so, cramponless, we decided to live to ski another day.

Kruser declared the new season! Old snow, new season marked by the summer solstice.

I suppose he's earned the right to make such declarations. This seasonal Day One toggled the count to 274 consecutive months of skiing in Kruser's quest to live to ski, ski to die.

Riding 2 Planks with wind in his helmetless hair on Day One, Month 274.