Friday, April 30, 2010


well, it has been a bit breezy and cool, so it has not been all lying on the beach and getting burnt. but there has been enough of that. plenty of great food and margs. wish i could send some great surfing stories and pictures, but i am not a surfer. that would be like snowboarding. (which is to say i am not coordinated enough to do it).

on wednesday we happened by a local surf bar, probably 3/4 gringos, but not all. it is owned by a cool young guy from san diego, who speaks as easily with the true locals as he does with all the transplants. todos santos is not too gringo that one feels like they are in southern california, but overall, there are alot. some comfort in that, and sometimes i wish i could blend in better. anyway, at the "sandbar" bar, not unlike the Bierstube in appearance and feel, there came along a special guest. turns out G-Love is doing a documentary, along with a few surfer pro buddies of his, sponsored by Pacifico, on the making and inspiration of his upcoming album. this brought in a massive crowd of perhaps 150. yep. it was hopping. of course, all the best looking gals were there, trying to catch his eye. which had been caught just a few days earlier by likely the hottest girl about. he played for about 45 minutes, and it was quite fun. not great. not sure if it was the sound or just that his music does not turn me on, but it was fun. we had two of the best bar seats in the place, as we had gotten there around 7pm to try their "all you can eat pizza" for 80 pesos (about $7us right now). and it was quite good. not second street pizza quality, but better than any US chain, and way better than we expected.

while we were sitting at the bar, oh, around 9 pm, a gal getting a drink about two people away said out of nowhere "chris miller?". i did not recognize her at first, so she asked, "are you chris miller?". i could not deny who i am, so i said yes. turns out is is Caroline Mcentire, ex of whitefish, from the mid 90's. she has recently bought a place here and loves it. seems like she is not missing the ski lifestyle at all.

i have always loved the small world feeling that when lucky, occurs wherever you are.

so, i hope i haven't lost too many readers with a lack of posts, but it is off season. soon there will be tons, as i once again return to the flathead and try to get out somewhere everyday. and please, please, send this along to friends, write in comments or posts and get out and have some fun, you hogs. time to get to the beach.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

tick season.

climbing season at stone hill means tick season. yes they are out. not in immense numbers. only two on six people, but still, need to watch out. but the climbing is in great shape. yesterday was mid 70's, no wind. perfect. today looks great too. heard the early season boating is good, but the water might be up. fishing i think is okay, but not dry fly season yet. unless anyone wants to divulge some more info. today is biking day, oh, and continuing to get ready for a wedding. i can see why people go to vegas and get it over with. way less work. but we are going to have, that's right, a TON OF FUN!!!, and then be hogs with 10 days in mexico. life is GREAT.

Friday, April 16, 2010

spring is back!

not too much going on at this time of year. trail use took a two day hiatus with the super wet tuesday rain and snow. but things are drying quickly, and should be in great shape this weekend.
in the meantime, did anyone get in some powder turns? sure, it was heavy and some wind affect, but it was softer and deeper than much of anything for a couple of months. unless you have been smart to follow some more localized storms. the middle fork and east side have been getting some good snowfall in late march and early april.
but it is time, really to put the skis away and accept what mother nature has given us. fishing, boating, climbing, biking, running, all await.

Friday, April 9, 2010

week after blues?

two of our local snow gurus have posted a full incident report on the avalanche fatality on "little shields" on the GCAC website. no, neither of these guys are the USFS forecasters (i would not have used "gurus" then, now would I.) it is vivid and indeed sad in the account of what transpired. and most importantly, it showed the power of wind load, and small amounts of buried weak layers. it also,to my surprise talked about a significant amount of new snow in the area, that i was not aware had fallen. it pays to do your research of local weather obs, remote weather stations, and forecasts (when they are relevant. if they are not, then try calling anyone you know who might have a better idea). although the victim was very knowledgeable of the area he went to, the conditions were consideable above 6000'. this was an unfortunate event that almost seems like a timebomb waiting to go off. i least that is my feeling after reading the full report.

as for the rest of us continuing to have some fun.

well, the weather has not been great, cold, windy and trying to snow. maybe a few inches up on the hill, and in the mountains. those few inches can be trouble with the winds that have come with the snow.

the mountain biking is shaping up at our local trails. spencer trails are in good shape, but lower roads are muddy.

pig farms are also fine, with some mud on road sections, but mostly dry.

happy valley, though small, is dry throughout.

i am sure there is some fine riding out of kalispell, i just do not really know the trails down there.

work on the Trail Runs Thru It is set to begin as early as next week. significant progress should be made by early june. there will be some early june group rides and walks to show the progress. i believe in mid july there will be a grand opening.

okay, how about fishing. any of you fisherheads out there want to pitch in on what is going on? i bet there is something happening, on the warm sunny days.

and climbing. this is a great time to head up to eureka and Stone Hill.

so there is plenty to do. no reason to have the blues over the end of ski season. get out there for some other fun.

Monday, April 5, 2010


here is an adjustment to the uphill policy for after the season ends, which of course was yesterday.

There is a lot of confusion over the post-season policy. After we close April 4, uphill traffic should follow a designated route along Toni Matt between 8am and 5pm. However, before 8am and after 5pm, you can go wherever you want, although we don’t recommend it for safety reasons and you’re out there at your own risk.

so those of us who want to go after work, can. we are just on our own. as usual and previously accepted. hope to see some of you in the next few weeks.

Friday, April 2, 2010

avalanche fatality

i am not sure who this skier was. he was alone, which of course is an issue. but it is likely the mistakes he made in his snow analysis that led to the incident. anyone out there with more info, please pass it on. it sounds like we have some layered facets in the upper parts of the snowpack that are causing some trouble. not sure why this has not been reported by our friends on their avalanche advisory on the GCAC sight, nor why they are not going to do an incident report. a serious shortcoming, if you ask me.

The body of a Whitefish skier was found in Glacier National Park Thursday.

Authorities located the 37-year-old man’s body at the base of Mount Shields at the end of an avalanche slide Thursday afternoon.

Flathead County Sheriff Mike Meehan said authorities were unsure how long the skier had been missing or when the avalanche occurred.

Around 2 p.m., Glacier National Park rangers received a call from the victim’s friend, who found the man during a search of the area.

Rangers were on scene by 5:45 p.m. and confirmed the man’s death. Safety concerns stemming from the dangerous conditions caused a bit of a delay, according to Glacier National Park spokesman Wade Muehlhof.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Office dispatched Sgt. Ernie Freebury as coroner.

Muehlhof said there is no reason to believe the avalanche claimed any other victims. Authorities were still on scene, investigating, at press time.

The skier’s name has not been released. He was a part-time Whitefish resident.

Mount Shields is located on the southeast side of Glacier Park, a few miles from U.S. 2.

3 days left

yep, just 3 more days, then it is all man powered skiing, unless you rode trip somewhere which is always fun. for me, with a wedding and honeymoon to mexico, my ski days are numbered. but it has been fun, despite the lack of snow. what a solid el nino effect it has been.

the skiing continues to hold up alright. not amazing, but it really has only been BAD a few times.

for something to do besides ski some corn and drink some beer, there is a really fun hockey tournament this weekend, at the stumptown ice den (the rink, duh). it is called the "Monty" in memory of one of our favorites on the ice and beyond, who passed away a few years ago in a work accident. we all still miss him. so now we (we-the many that play hockey throughout the winter months, plus some) get together for a final tourny to honor him with an all-inclusive round of games. men, women, good, bad, young old, all get to play. it is so fun, i will not be making any turns until sunday afternoon. and if you are worried that hanging out at the rink might curtail your late season beer responsibilities, don't. hockey viewing is greatly enhanced by beer. hope to see you.

3 days left