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, January 28, 2014

Backcountry Snowboard / Snowshoe Adventure @ 10th Mountain Hut

Left Minnesota on Saturday night, drove 170 miles through a blizzard.

 200 miles later pulled into a wayside rest stop at 3:45am, temp was 48 degrees and slept for 3 hours.
 Sunday, put the hammer down and clicked off the miles on dry roads.

This was just crazy...We pull off the interstate at Ogallala NE to get gas, I am in the gas station and look out the door. A trailer full of mountain snowmobiles is driving through the station and I spot my buddy Larry's Ski Doo on the front of the trailer. They were on their way back from a 4 day trip to Colorado. Crazy!! Had a quick chat with them and we parted our ways, one west and one group east. 

 Out on a warm-up hike the day before the snowshoe hike up to the 10th Mountain Hut.

 We got 8 inches of fresh snow today, it was great to be in a mountain town Winter Park, Colorado. We went driving some backroads around Winter Park.
My backcountry pack with sleeping bag, food, and supplies for 3 days at the backcountry cabin. It is about a 6 mile snowshoe hike to the cabin. Our goal is to hike up to the 13,000 ft. peak and ski and snowboard down...Hike On!!  

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Surley Pugsley + -15 Degree Temp / Moonlit Winter Night + 3 hours on the Trail = Good Time

Riding along the river trail on a late winter afternoon. With temperatures at the start of the ride -13 degrees and dropping down to -15, the preparation is very important. I am making small changes to adjust to different temps. I bought a new lightweight shell jacket that has been a great addition to my winter mountain biking gear. I have been on subzero rides for the past month, so I have been able to fine tune my clothing.

There are going to be details like fingers and feet getting cold, they go through a cycle of cold and ya move your fingers and they warm up. With the feet, I just get off the bike and hike along for a bit, they warm right up. It has alot to do with regulating your body heat, you don't want to sweat. A couple of clothing rules that I follow are, wind protection, layer, having a vent system to move your body heat so as not to build up sweat. On my feet I wear a lightweight polyester / rayon sock. My boots are a mid weight Gore-tex boot, I don't want my feet restricted or sweaty. Over my boots I wear a neoprene boot cover that slips on easily.

I stop and snack on high protein snacks along with zero sugar energy drinks, Monster and Rockstar. Calories and caffeine keeps the blood warm, yeah!

It's not a race. It's just out enjoying the winter and as darkness settles in, the dark is my favorite time to be out, the woods are awesome. The moon was out tonight and with the bitter cold, there were tiny ice crystals floating in the air. I would stop and take a break, listen to the Hoot Owl in the distance. It's all good as long as I'm in the zone and have the proper mix of quality clothes.          
 Riding the snowmobile trails tonight along the river.
 This a 3 sided shelter with firewood and a fire pit. It was a good place to take a break after a climb out of the valley. My body was totally adjusted to the weather. The moon was bright over head.

 There are some massive logs laying on the ground along the river. So I can't resist climbing up and looking around. Kinda a neat view of the Pugsley below. 
 The face shot, a bit frosty tonight @ -15 degrees after 3 hours out on the trail.
 The High Life with snow crystals floating in the air.
Dashboard shot...Ride On!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Last Week of 2013 / Couple of Pugsley MTB Rides on the Snow Trails in Sub Zero Temps

Snow biking the last week of 2013, the snow is deep and the temps are cold. With temperatures below zero degrees and a couple days of fresh snow it has been a blast to get out and have a winter adventure. Last week I had the -7 night and built the fire. That was all good.

Had another good ride on Christmas night with a few inches of fresh snow. I decided during that ride that I needed to try platform pedals and see how they would work compared to the step in cleats. Christmas ride was in fresh snow and I had to pop out of the pedals a few times and it was tougher then it needed to be.

On Monday, the last ride of 2013, there was about 2 inches of fresh snow on top of a solid base singletrack trail along the river. I used platform pedals and found that with the platform pedals, I was able to keep my feet warmer. I used my pack boots. Also, I could dab my foot quicker and keep my balance a bit easier riding on the narrow packed trail. I will be riding on the platform pedals any time that the conditions are tough and for sure on the narrow singletrack trails.  
 Every ride and hike down along the river, I am amazed at the trees and their shapes. This is the tree of the day.
 This is a fallen log that I came across, with it's roots in the air and the size of the tree, it must of shook the ground the day it toppled. It makes one wonder why one tree is uprooted and it is surrounded by trees that are still standing tall.
 I got a birds eye view of the Pugsley below. It was a dark night and the temps weren't as cold, about 2 degrees below zero.

As I was standing atop the massive fallen tree, a coyote began to bark and then progressed to an all out howl. He was close, maybe 30-40 yards away. I couldn't see him in the dark, I believe he was down along the river, just below the river bank. It was all good and I remained standing on the log and just listened to the night noises. It is at these times that I feel connected to the weather, landscape and any critters that happen to be in the area.

 The view from the saddle using the flash in the dark. Below is the view from my headlamp.

Here's looking to 2014 and more adventures to come...Ride On!!