Stealth Adventure
MIKE HALL, Adventure Sports, Travel, Backcountry, Avalanche, Snowmobile, Snowmobiling, Snowboard, Snowboarding, Sledboarding, Winter Fat Tire Mountain Biking, Mountain Biking, Ski Patrol, Motorcycle, BMW Adventure Motorcycling, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Jackman, Maine

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sundown Singletrack Mountain Biking & Sneaking Up on the Whitetail Deer

The theme of the day is to blend into the woods...
 Look close to see the Whitetail Buck in the brush.
 He's keeping an eye on me as he blends into the thick brush.

 As dusk settles in, the deer start to move from their daytime beds. This is the time of day that I slow the pace down and my senses become more acute and aware of movements off the trail.
 The deer do not sense me as a threat and get back to foraging for food.

 I used the flash as darkness settled in and it creates an interesting sight. I stayed on my mountain bike and remained motionless for about 10 minutes as I observed a doe and her 2 young fawns.

After I started riding again it was dark and I had a few miles to ride to get back to my truck.

Another 2 hour mountain bike ride today. With a 2 hour ride yesterday my fitness level is getting better every week. With December approaching I feel good about the singletrack mountain biking that I'm doing now.

The riding improves my reflexes and endurance for the full days on the snowmobiles and snowboard in the mountains and on the hill for Ski Patrol...and it is great to be on the bike in the fall riding singletrack.     

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mountain Biking the River Trail

Son and Grandson rolling along the river.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Minnesota River Trail Singletrack Mountain Bike Ride / 2.5 Hours @ 23 Degrees F

The raft to cross the creek. There used to be a large fallen tree to hike across, but it was washed away with the high waters.
 Heading west early in the ride. The temps were a bit chilly when I departed the truck, but once in the woods out of the wind it was good. 
 The trail was in great condition with a bit of snow along the way.

 The Beavers have moved into the river bottoms and the tell tale sign is hard to miss...

 Picking up the pace as I double back and head East back toward the truck and the cold Miller High Life in my cooler. With the sun dropping below the trees, I have the lights mounted. One light on the handlebar and a headlamp on my head give me a good view of the singletrack. I do enjoy the sunset and having the darkness set in. Most everybody is out before dark so it is my favorite time to savor the solitude and listen to the night noises. It can feel my senses become acute and aware of my surrounding.

I still have several miles to ride before I'm out of the woods.  

 Back on the raft to cross the creek heading east toward the truck.
After crossing the creek, it's one last stop and a bite of CliffBar before the final stretch.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Colorado Avalanche Report / November 11, 2012 Snow Storm


CGS: Colorado Geological Survey

  Statewide Avalanche Conditions
Issued: 11/12/2012 5:02 AM by Scott Toepfer
Expires: 11/13/2012 12:00 PM
The first major winter storm of the season hit Colorado on Friday and Saturday. Areas favored with snowfall from southwesterly flow did best from this storm. Wolf Creek Pass reported 19" of snow from the storm. Outside of Crested Butte 17" of snow from the storm, and along the Highway 550 corridor in the San Juans from 7.5" to 12.5" of snow was reported at historical snow stakes. Reports indicated significantly more wind drifted snow in wind loaded areas from all these areas. Strong winds accompanied the storm, and as you can expect, a number of avalanches were reported. We've received great observations today. You can use the Observations>Observation Reports>Weather Stations page to track the snowfall through the day at your favorite weather stations.
We all anticipated snowfall with this storm, and folks got out into avalanche terrain. It is easy to discount the avalanche potential when there is just a few feet of drifted snow, with grass and flower stalks poking through. Do not get lulled into a sense of complacency. It is time to start thinking about avalanches. Is your avalanche rescue gear ready, and is your brain ready? Some early season reminders from Montana, and in Colorado: Jones Pass, Mt Baldy.
If you're out there exploring the early season snowpack, please let us know what you are seeing.
Weather Discussion
The recent storm is moving east and is followed by much colder air. Winds have drifted significant snow into avalanche starting zones. With the cold temperatures expected, instabilities will linger for some time. There are only some weak weather disturbances expected for the early part of the coming week, with little new snow expected until later this coming week. Cold temperatures will slowly ease, but at this time of year, cold equals sugar snow development.

Stay tuned to CAIC Weather Forecasts that are updated twice daily. Computer Model Forecasts are updated continuously. If you are going into the Colorado high country use our Weather Stations by Zone page to check current conditions.
Snowpack & Avalanche Discussion
Avalanche season is upon us. If you haven't been thinking about avalanches and terrain consequences you should now. The first major winter storm of the season arrived Friday and Saturday. Dense snowfall and strong winds "shellacked" the high country of the San Juan Mountains, Elk Range, Grand Mesa and the Rabbit Ears Pass area. Human triggered avalanches were reported in the Red Mountain Pass area outside Silverton, from the Elk Range outside Crested Butte, and the west side of the Vail/Summit County zone. Most of these slides were not large, but some were big enough to produce serious injury if not worse.

The recent storm was a good snow producer for many areas. The old snow underneath the new storm snow has had plenty of chances to weaken. Even though valley floor temperatures have seemed warm, nights are long, temperatures have dropped well below freezing, and the old snow has become quite weak. In some cases a melt freeze crust has formed at the old snow surface. These are all bad things, and could haunt us well into the coming winter.
It is not unusual for avalanche incidents and fatalities to make headlines in our state long before most of us are thinking about the consequences of an early season encounter. Avalanche accidents have occurred in Colorado every month of the year. Avalanches in the early season are less frequent than in mid-winter, but they are possible once snow begins to accumulate. This means that you need to start thinking avalanche again as fall snows begin to accumulate. As the first significant winter storm rolls past Colorado, make sure your gear and your brain are ready. Replace the batteries in your beacon.

The CAIC has begun to monitor the 2012-2013 snowpack. It should come as no surprise that once snow begins to accumulate, avalanches, both natural and triggered, can be expected. It is common for us to see reports of people caught in November avalanches every year. An early season encounter with an avalanche will often come with a ride through rocks, downed timber, stumps and other obstacles which can quickly bring an end to your riding season. Always think of what consequences are possible if you were to get caught and take a ride in an avalanche.

Until daily public forecasts begin, here are a few things to think about as the winter snowpack develops.

°  Fall and a taste of winter have visited Colorado’s high country. Snow began to stick on the higher terrain by mid-September. Every season people have encounters with wintertime slab avalanches as early as August or September.  Anyone traveling in the mountains, including hikers, hunters, sledders, skiers, riders and ice climbers, needs to be aware of the avalanche threat as soon as snow starts to accumulate on steep slopes.
°  People are often misled when they see grass and brush sticking out of the snow surface. You should start thinking about avalanches any time you have snow resting on a steep slope. Remember, all you need is a slab resting on a weak layer of snow. The ground can easily act as a bed surface, even if it’s only a few inches below the snow surface.
°  Old summer snow fields can act as the perfect bed surface too. Hard frozen old snow with new snow on top are common culprits in early season avalanche incidents.
°  Early in the snow season there is not much snow on the ground. This means that rocks and stumps are near the snow surface. If you get caught in an avalanche you might get tumbled through rocks, stumps, and downed timber. These obstacles can do great bodily harm to backcountry users traveling through them at high speeds. Knee pads, helmets and full body armor may not be a solution to this problem. Even a very small slide can cause great harm if the terrain is unfriendly.Don't let an early-season injury ruin your winter!
°  Wind drifts will create thicker slabs. Strong winds can take a three inch snowstorm and quickly build an 18” wind slab. Areas with shallow snow may be very close to deep drifted areas. It may be quite easy to move from a very safe area to a very dangerous area without traveling very far. Wind drifts will be denser than the new snow and thick hard snow on light fluffy snow is a great setup for avalanching.
°  Once the sun returns after a storm cycle and warm temperatures cause the new snow to melt, look to see where the pockets of snow remain. The snow that lingers in sheltered areas and shady slopes could be the weak layer after the next snowfall. These areas could also become recurring problem areas throughout the winter depending on how the winter snowpack develops.
°  Pockets of instability can develop quickly above early season ice climbs. Climbers should know the terrain above their route as rapid warming or heavy wind loading can quickly work to build slab or loose snow avalanches which can nudge a precariously perched climber into a bad fall.
°  Hunters traveling across the high country need to exercise greater caution on steep terrain (steeper than 30 degrees with accumulated snow) when crossing ridges from one valley to another.
Archived Forecasts
Select Forecast: Valid

Link to this forecast:

Colorado Geological Survey
Calendar |  Site Map |  Search |  About Us
© 2008 - 2012 Colorado Avalanche Information Center. All rights reserved.
Powered by WeatherFlow       
Dept. of Natural Resources Logo

This is an Excellent Avalanche Test from Montana Avalanche Guys / CT Tutorial

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Singletrack Obstacles / Two Hour Mountain Bike Ride till Sundown

Another good day in the woods, obstacles keep the skills and reflexes sharp. Rocks and logs, the two things you don't want to see while snowmobiling in the mountains. Ideally there is at least 4-5 feet of snow covering the landscape, better yet as the winter season progresses we will experience well over 8 feet of snow.

So many of the skills one uses on technical singletrack mountain bike riding can be transferred to the skills and reactions one uses during backcountry snowmobiling. We are boondocking and weaving through the trees and climbing out of ravines. Route selection and the ability to react to obstacles is the key. One of the other benefits of mountain biking is the aerobic nature of the sport so I can ride strong all day long. It is the up and down out of the saddle and the powering up the climbs. I can feel my fitness level getting better each week.

 One of the rock gardens to negotiate on the trail.

 Add the speed and twists of the singletrack along with the flow through the Pines. All the different aspects in the woods make for a good adventure.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Biking the Fall Away

One week closer to the mountains and the snowmobile / snowboard season. Taking advantage of the great fall weather to log some good singletrack mountain bike miles. Another 2.5 hours yesterday on the bike and heading out right now for some more riding.