Issue 18

Trans-Sierra Winter Trek

Trans-Sierra Winter Trek

by Matt Johanson As we gazed over Tuolumne Meadows and countless snow-covered pinnacles on the horizon, we saw not a soul and scarcely a sign that people had ever been there. It was hard to believe we were in one of the world’s most famous and popular parks, visited by more than 4 million people every year. To reach the 9,450-foot summit of Lembert Dome in summer involves an easy hike, but to earn that same view in winter we had to ski for two days to even get close, and then trudge upwards through several hundred feet of deep powder. We had carefully hiked the final steps over rock and ice to reach a patch of bare granite atop the mountain of snow . The amazing view from the peak was our reward. The whole point of visiting Tuolumne Meadows in winter is to be one of the few...
SCUBA  DIVING FOR NEANDERTHALS

SCUBA DIVING FOR NEANDERTHALS

by Christa Fraser We were all perfect divers in the womb, our dive instructor, H, told us on our first night of scuba diving class. This made sense. We did once live in an amphibious state in the womb. Then he went on to tell us that because we were learning to dive in Monterey Bay, which some consider to be the Mt. Everest of scuba diving, we would be reborn as dive Sherpas by the time we passed the class. Let’s just say I wasn’t reborn as Tenzing Norgay. Learning to scuba dive isn’t just about becoming friendly with your air tank and schlepping 60 pounds of gear, it is mostly about training and using your brain. We were constantly reminded to bring our brains below the surface, like any piece of good equipment. The problem was determining which brain to bring—the modern, evolved one which allows you to...
Rippin’ Round the Palisades

Rippin’ Round the Palisades

by Seth Lightcap Driving up the road to Glacier Lodge last March, looming Mt.Alice looked huge. Flipping open a topo map and my tattered copy of Paul Ritchens’ 50 Classic Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Summits in California, I measured up Mt. Alice and our intended route. Scoffing past the, “Snowboards: Not Recommended” bit, I sought words of encouragement, and read aloud to my two partners, Nick Sovner and his dog, Max, “The circumnavigation of the Palisades is an arduous ski mountaineering MINI expedition through some of the most rugged alpine terrain in the Sierra Nevada.” I got no reply. I could tell they were both looking at Mt. Alice and the surrounding terrain. Mouths open, they stared at the vast landscape. There was nothing “mini” about it. Arriving at an empty trailhead around 1 p.m., the air was dank. The dripping pines glistened as the sun shown through onto the...
Are you ready for an adventure race?

Are you ready for an adventure race?

by Rebecca Rusch, Team Captain This is a question that should always enter your mind in any sport (actually in everyday life). Being prepared for whatever is thrown at you and being able to deal with it takes a lot of patience and training. With adventure racing, you are not only relying on yourself, but also on your teammates being prepared for a race. So, how do you do this as a team? Well, our team has been both over prepared and under prepared for races in the past. Obviously, the earlier races in my career are ones I felt less ready for than races we’ve done recently. There is A LOT to be said for just having experience. Just getting out there and getting your feet wet teaches the proper skills and mindset. That’s the beauty of adventure racing: it’s unpredictable! It’s often not the most physically prepared or...
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