Whoa~ Long time no Sparky Adventure...
Actually quite the opposite! Admittedly, I've been lazy on the writing front, but in reality, all too busy with life. Fall is over, Winter is here! I've managed a few long-ish October and November road rides, which were most excellent. I have also been trying to commute to work on my bike at least once a week, and I have also been Mountain Biking quite regularly.
So let's talk Winter! I spent a couple of hours last weekend for some Winter Climbing Gear Organization. Crampons, ice axes, helmet, ropes, rock pro, ice screws, snow shoes, the list is long, and the equipment heavy! I am actually looking forward to this winter and while I was sorting through the above quiver of tools for the trade, my mind wandered - as it often does - to many past adventures in the mountains with good friends. 2010 will be a better Winter than the last two, there are a lot of climbs to revisit and hopefully a couple of new ones to add to the resume, we'll see how the conditions and my skills move along. One really cool thing is, I just bought some new skis for my approach to the more remote areas and the weekly Wednesday night ski with the mountain bike crew. I purchased some Karhu 10th Mountain skis, 165 cm (short and sweet), and I will be using my Silveretta bindings. These skis are full metal edge, wax less, with climbing scales. I will also have skins for the steeper climbs. Thanks to Roland and the Neptune Mountaineering crew in Boulder, CO for the excellent customer service. The skis I am replacing are some 10 year old Rossignol Haute Route Extreme telemark skis which were heavy and not very touring friendly. Though, I will be saving them for sure! I skied the Tuckerman Ravine head wall with these, so they are slightly famous.
Baxter State Park recently relaxed the rules regarding winter access to Mount Katahdin, now allowing Solo Winter travel and no minimum party requirements. With regard to solo climbers, you are not allowed on technical terrain, where the use of a rope and protection would normally be needed. What I like hearing about these changes is, the ability to attempt a winter hike from the Abol campground and up the Abol slide to the summit, which I am currently considering, unless I can entice a friend to do a longer Chimney Pond ice climbing / hiking summit trip.
So Winter is here, not much we can do to change it now... I am going to embrace it and go outside and play in the snow!