Monday, November 28, 2011


I have been putting off writing, waiting for something really exciting to write about, but so far, not really. sure, there is some skiing to do, with about a foot at the top of the hill and a run or two that have seen some skiing and snow machine action. but really, it just is not winter in the mountains yet. i for one, am digging deep to hold off my impatience. in the meantime, i have been playing some hockey and still riding a bit. might even to today. i have been to the top of the hill a few times, so i know it is skiable, but it is more for the exercise. but the weather looks ok mid week for a few inches, and it really will not take much to get something worthwhile. but the area opens on saturday, and unless the storm is way bigger than expected, it will be a slim opening and the conversation at the Stube will be better than the turns on the hill.

but the la nina winter is still on a collision course with our neck of the woods. western AK has been getting hammered, and some avalanches have been rumbling in utah and the bozeman area. i just keep thinking that we just need to break the high pressure and get the precip started. once it starts, i think it will keep going well into january,and hopefully beyond.

i have recently been pricing and looking at beacons and avalanche airbag systems. the top of the line Ortovox, (which i won one of at an auction) is only $350. yes,that is an only preceeding that price. beacons have been well over $200 for twenty years, and this thing (and other top of the line beacons) are pretty amazing. the airbag systems still have a way to go. they are priced at over $1000 and all seem to weigh upwards of 7-8 lbs. although this is the system of the future, it still needs to come way down in both price and weight. so get a good beacon, perhaps an avalung and the proper knowledge, and ski like the bastards who are threatening to dismantle this control (conservatively).

ok, more as soon as it snows. by the way, Issak Walton trails are up and running. not sure if all of it is open, but it is something, and they do a great job grooming there. worth a day if your ski jones is getting the best of you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

nice and cold

November! Cold! But so far, the weather has been mostly nice, and even the bit of rain has been sporatic and not overwhelming. So that means we can still get out and hunt, bike, fish and play. Sure you have to dress for it, but what else are you going to do in November? Sit at the bar and wait for snow? OK, that might be a good enough answer for many of you, but I still like to earn my beers, so I am going to keep playing outside and getting ready for winter as long as i can, then it will be time to don the skis (currently getting an early season tune for cheap).

The nice weather has allowed me to continue some of my gardening work. Although I am ready to put down the shovel and tools, it is nice to continue with some income. Plus, i have not finished here at my own place, so again, the bar will have to wait.

Another Halloween has come and gone. We made it downtown for a couple of hours, but if you are not really fired up, ready to party and become part of the scene, the novelty wears thin quickly. So we took a gander at the great costumes, had a drink, made the rounds and headed home. Am I getting old or what?

This past Sunday, the WF trail Bike Patrol had our final official patrol on the trail for the 2011 year. We rounded up nearly half our patrol, plus a few friends, and road the trail from the Lion Mtn. start to the new TH out near Woods Lake. Then we negociated our way thru the laborinth of old roads and trails to the north end of the lake and finally to an old cabin on the lake owned by the father in law of one of our members, for a BBQ, bonfire and cold beverages. The rain held off and we had a great day and afternoon. Oh, if it were 25 years ago or more and perhaps a few of us could afford a lakeside property, we could do something like this more often. But it is 2011, and even after two plus years of bad real estate times, lake properties still hit the 7 digit prices. Our group of 11 would need half a mil each to buy the property we played on, at its current asking price.

Anyone got some money lying around?

OK. The forecast continues for a big La Nina, from December thru Feb, with mild but continuing La Nina affect thru the spring months of March, April and May. Much like last year. The glaciers up in the park even added some mass this year, if I heard Dr. Fagre correctly on the news last night. Not that I think they are going to last thru my lifetime all of the sudden, but perhaps long enough that I can no longer reach them, as my legs get too old to take on such tasks.

Alright, I hope a few people are still reading, and starting to read more, as winter is the time most tune in. I always want to hear some stories and hints to the goods.