Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lone Peak

There are a couple of monument peaks around my neighborhood that all Backcountry skiers want to bag. Lone Peak sits outside of my front yard. I have stared up at it many times. Two years ago Gina and I hiked it during the summer. It was more magnificent than we imagined. Its been on my checklist of peaks to ski for a long time, which by the way is getting a lot shorter this year thanks to some great weather and stable snow pack. A couple weeks ago while standing on Timp I looked across the valley at a perfectly formed half pipe high on the ridge underneath Lone Peak. Its called Heavens Halfpipe and I figured I could hit it on the way down from a trip up to the summit of LP.

Friday The Shepherd put out the word that Saturday looked like a good day to make a run at it. I had plans to take the kids skiing but I knew we could do that any weekend. Furthermore the way the storms were stacking up and the snow pack stability was firming up. This would be the day. I rearranged my plans.

A group of  7 of us met up at the trailhead and we were skinning before 6:30. The elevation went by quickly as we frequently looked into the valley to check our progress. The snow was pretty crusted over but we had the good fortune of following a 4 wheeler track that had pretty much groomed the trail for us.  Once we had made it up to the second hamongog the group had thinned as schedules and blisters took over and our groomed run came to an end.

The area around the second hamongog is a little hidden paradise. As I wandered up through the trees I could see rabbit tracks. It snowed several times this past week so I new they were fresh. There were a number of bigger cat tracks as well. I'm guessing cougars and bobcats. I even saw the cutest little squirrel with a nut in his mouth sitting on an evergreen branch just staring at me as I hiked past.

Later in the morning we saw a hot air balloon rise above the inversion cloud.
We had about 3,000 more vertical feet to climb from here. The hiking gets difficult at this point as we were softened up from the first 3,000 feet and the sun was beating down on us. We hiked straight up the gut of Heavens Halfpipe, up to the notch then we hooked it left and rode the ridge up to the summit of Lone Peak.

Lone Peak on the left and BigHorn on the far right.

The one we affectionately refer to as Hobear lead us up the entire way. Forget about the fact he is 14 years old. He hiked with the strength of three men. The old guys like having a young buck around to keep us humble.

My favorite picture of the day: A heavily flocked Evergreen framing Box Elder and Timponogos in the distance.

Dug and Tyler 

Looking down into the Lone Peak Cirque. Come up in the summer and climbers will be all over that wall.

Taking it all in.

Here is a little video footage The Shepherd shot of the final approach to the summit:

After a bit of a rest and some lunch we were ready for the down. The snow had softened up a bit and made for some sweet turning on the way down.

P.S.  Box Elder you are next.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is this thing still on?

So I was looking through some old tweets that I had made (I hardly ever use twitter anymore) and got linked back to my blog. As you can see the last time I wrote anything on here was when I sold a bike that I can't even remember that I ever owned?!

I'll admit I did take a blow to the head last night on a good crash during a night ride, but that's still a long time.

Speaking of night should do one. They are fun. You have to deal with way fewer riders on the trails and you don't have to worry about getting back in time for anything. However there are things to fear at night.

Things look a little different at night and you may end up losing some skin as I did. I am pretty sure I spotted a Sasquatch running parallel to me in the forest. I could only see it out of the corner of my eye, and I was too scared to turn my head so I focused on the trail ahead. That's when I felt a massive blow from the side and the next thing I knew I was skidding on my head at the top of Ghost Falls. All I can say is that trail is aptly named.

For you locals, I think I liked it better when we all called it the "Flying Squirrel" trail. I don't really care if the trail didn't stand up to the current and generally accepted IMBA erosion standards. At least I was never attacked by Sasquatch while riding it.

Here is a picture of my palm. The rest of the damage wouldn't be appropriate for a family blog like this. Thank you to my soigneur Gina for picking all the gravel out of my arm and legs last night.

If you are considering a night ride in the Corner Canyon area just know........

That in addition to a mountain lion siting there has also been a recent Sasquatch attack.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Buy My Bike

Thanks folks but it has now been SOLD!

I have a great bike for sale. It would fit you perfectly and make you rider faster. You should buy it.

Here are the specs.

Niner Scandium Air 9 Frame     Size: Large           Color:  Raw            Year: 2010
This frame is a 2010 Niner Air 9 Scandium. It is in excellent shape. The frame is a size large and has the raw clear coat finish.

Wheels: DT Swiss 485D (Brand New - never ridden)
Tires: Conti (1) Mtn King 2.2   (1) Race King 2.2
Crank: Shimano XT
Cassette: Shimano XT
Deraileur: Sram X9
Fork: Rockshox Reba 29 with Pop Lock
Brakes: Avid Juicy 7
Saddle: WTB Silverado
Seatpost: WTB TXC
Stem: Maxm 120mm
Handlebar: Maxm
Bottom Bracket: Chris King

This bike has been set up as a 1x9. However I do have the other chainrings and front derailleur and shifter should you want to run it fully geared. All included in the price of the bike.

Pedals not included
Price: $1799

Shoot me an email if you are interested: jonrobjames at gmail dot com

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I need a prescription

Since it's been a couple of months since I last updated I thought I better log in to see if this thing was still alive. I originally created this blog to track my adventures. I haven't been on many lately and when I have I haven't remembered to bring my camera along.

The lack of adventures has been weighing on my mood along with the passing of my grandpa. Skiing and cycling are my outlet for all of lifes frustrations. When I don't get out I'm not a very good husband or father. Luckily I'm married to a girl that understands that. So Saturday morning when I kissed her goodbye and told her I was meeting Ben and Mike she said I'll see you at 5. We had a great day skiing At Snowbird, even if they had half the resort shut down with 80 mph gusts.

When I'm feeling cagey I often think to myself that I was made to be exploring the frontier and that it's entirely possible that I was born 100 years too late. While i really enjoy my job...Spending 10-12 hours a day in my office has to be offset with some quality time outside. This past summer a good friend of mine broke his hip mountain biking. When I called to check in with him he told me he was going nuts not being able to get out and ride and that he was pretty sure he was clinically depressed! We lauhed about that together, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. Some of us dont take our meds out of a prescription bottle. We get our fix riding the frontier sitting in a saddle of different sorts. I cant wait for the trails to dry out.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

187 Minutes - Feature Length Film

As promised in my previous post. Here is the film footage of our most excellent adventure of being stuck on a chair lift for 3 hours on our 15th wedding anniversary. Don't worry Solitude gave us each a free ski pass AND a $5 coupon that we can spend anywhere at the resort! As the minutes and hours ticked by we were yelling back and forth from chair to chair deciding what the resort was going to need to do to make us happy customers again. This wasn't what we had in mind. Maybe I'll use that $5 coupon to get a drink the next time I ski there.

I don't know if this will be entertaining to anyone other than the people stuck on the lift. You get pretty loopy after being up there for a while. After I went back and watched it, I thought it actually was pretty funny. You be the judge.

187 Minutes from Jon James on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

187 Minutes - a true story

For those of you who haven't heard. Today Big Cottonwood Canyon had a tree break and fall taking out a power line that cut power to the entire canyon. It was a little before 1:00 and we had just made the decision to do one more run before heading over to the Stone Haus for lunch.

Here is the Trailer for the movie that will debut tomorrow. Its all true and yes it was our 15th wedding anniversary.  One we won't soon forget.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crashing is Fun!

So after a long week and an exceptionally hectic and challenging week at work an early morning Dawn Patrol seemed like a good way to clear the mind and blow off some steam. So Mike and I made plans to meet up for a little pre-work powder festival.

When we pulled into the parking lot across the street from Alta we knew it was a big day when we had a tough time finding a place to park. We looked up onto Flagstaff and could see dozens of headlamps working their way up the mountain. Its kind of crazy to to see how popular backcountry skiing has become.

 After both Mike and I agreed it would be a nice change to take it easy on the way up, we called a truce and took it as easy as you can while climbing a mountain. Once we hit the ridge we checked the time and decided that if we hurried we could do a lap on the north side and get me to my 9 o'clock meeting.

The Snow was so good! I was trying out a new pair of BD Megawatts. Ya they are pretty good in the powder (Ben you are never getting these skiis back). I couldn't believe how that rockered tip just plowed through things. 

 After hiking out of the north side we hit the ridge and headed back toward the car. About half way down we dropped into a little gully for some fun. I was riding the ridge, popping in and out of the gully, when I decided to go back on top, pick up some speed and air back in. When I popped off the lip I was surprised at how much air I ended up grabbing, but was more surprised when I hit and had my bindings pre-release and send me tomahawking head over heals down to the bottom of the gully. Crashing is fun. Its like getting tossed into a washing machine on spin cycle!

When I stopped one of my skiis tagged me in the back of the helmet.  The other one was nowhere to be found. Mike was above me so he skied over to probe the snow. After about 10 minutes of not being able to find it I turned around and took a look down the gully and noticed a single ski track following the bottom of the gully. Mike skied down a couple hundred yards to see if he could see it. There it was sticking straight up. Too funny.

No I didn't make that 9 o'clock meeting but I did have a smirk on my face the rest of the day. Life is good in the Wasatch.