Issue 65

Banff Film Festival

Banff Film Festival

Santa Cruz February 24, 25, 2012 University of California Physical Education and Recreation 831-459-2159 or 831-459-2806 kferraro@ucsc.edu Santa Barbara February 27, 28, 2012 UCSB Arts & Lectures at the Arlington Theatre 805-893-3535 Monterey March 2, 2012 REI Marina 831-883-8048 Berkeley March 3, 4, 2012 REI Berkeley 510-527-4140 Larkspur (Corte Madera) March 5, 6, 2012 REI Corte Madera 415-927-1938 San Francisco March 7, 8, 2012 REI San Francisco 415-934-1938 Los Altos March 9, 10, 2012 REI Mountain View 408-871-8765 San Diego March 17, 18, 19, 20, 2012 Adventure 16 Venue: San Diego Natural History Museum 619-283-2374 janet@adventure16.com Costa Mesa March 21, 2012 Orange Coast College Library 714-432-0202, ext 21058 Santa Monica (Los Angeles) March 23, 24, 2012 Adventure 16 310-473-4574 janet@adventure16.com Pasadena March 27, 2012 Caltech Alpine Club nstadie@gmail.com dvbrown@caltech.edu 602-363-8883 Redlands March 28, 2012 San Gorgonio Wilderness Association 909-382-2906 sgwa@earthlink.net Bishop March 30, 31, 2012 Wilson Eastside Sports 760-873-7520...
Unseasonably Sweet

Unseasonably Sweet

Roadside ice and rock climbing from the Sierra’s high passes makes for a memorable start to winter By Nick Miley Ice skating on Lake Tenaya. Photo by Nick Miley In many ways this winter in California has been completely out of the norm. It’s not like we had a six-week dry spell at the beginning of last winter. Oh wait, yeah we did. The difference: it was preceded by a few hundred inches of snow and followed by many more. This year, well, it was preceded by bare ground. It was crazy to see the mountains ringing Lake Tahoe almost completely barren into the middle of January, save for some strips of manmade snow at the ailing resorts. Despite the complaints of many, the acute absence of precip allowed for some very unique opportunities on the high passes of the Sierra. It was the latest ever closing dates for...
New Year’s at Red’s

New Year’s at Red’s

Backpacking into snow country to start the new year is a rare opportunity By Leonie Sherman My friend Chicory thinks the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” is the dumbest thing in the world. “Lemons are great,” he explains. “That’s like saying, ‘When life gives you money, spend it.’” So when life gives you a ski season without snow, what do you do? Go backpacking, of course. The author and the Ritter Range bask in "Juneuary" sunshine. Photo by Daniel Kangas Tales of Iva Bell Hot Springs deep in the John Muir Wilderness had enticed Daniel and I for years. This legendary primitive spa is 20 miles from the nearest trailhead, at 6500 feet on Fish Creek, all of which made it an undesirable summer destination for us. This year, thanks to the incredible drought and record warm temperatures, we figured it would be the perfect spot...
Gear for Rando Racing

Gear for Rando Racing

Racers in the Patrouille des Glaciers 2010, from Zermatt to Verbier, Switzerland, considered the most famous ski mountaineering race in the world. Photo courtesy of Dynafit Randonee racing/ski mountaineering requires some specialized gear. Most of it resembles standard alpine gear on a diet, save for some of the ultralight “tech” bindings that look a little more like an industrial contraption than a traditional ski binding. The bindings provide the critical functional difference for rando/AT skiers, allowing the heel to be free for climbing or fixed for downhill. In tour mode, they pivot at the toe. The lightest weight “tech bindings” popularized by Dynafit, which lost its exclusive patent on the design a few years ago but still dominate the market, feature two side pins, or jaws, up front that close onto the corresponding toe points of compatible boots with “tech fittings.” Most other AT bindings are plate-style step-in bindings...
Skin It to Win It

Skin It to Win It

Rando racing is growing in the U.S., even if California skiers have been a little slow to join the fray. With two upcoming races in the Sierra, that may be changing By AJ Johnson Rando racers in the European Championships. Photo courtesy of Dynafit Backcountry skiing has been on a strong growth spurt as evidenced by the increasing number of vehicles at the trailheads and the booming interest in alpine touring (AT) gear. Most skiers just want to go out on day tours or to find that remote powder stash, but like most forms of recreation, there is also a form of competition —randonee racing. Randonee — “rando” for short, or “ski mountaineering” if perhaps you’re a Francophobic politician — racers use lightweight ski gear to race up and down the mountain, pitting themselves not only against each other but against the terrain and the elements. The sport continues...
A Diamond in the Rubies

A Diamond in the Rubies

Is it worth the long drive to Nevada’s Ruby Mountains for backcountry skiing? A Tahoe couple goes in search of a legendary couloir Story and photos by Brennan Lagasse The Dogs lounging in camp only 30 minutes from the car. About halfway between Tahoe and Salt Lake City lies the hidden gem known as “the Rubies.” Unless you’ve traveled I-80 through the Nevada desert on a clear day, the only way I bet you’ve heard of the Rubies is because there’s a heli-op. It’s true. That’s actually one reason I always have questioned going. Imagine skinning all day, only to be a few hundred feet away from the top of your objective — and then a helicopter lands on the peak and your hard-won line gets poached! Not the sort of daydream that usually gets us to visit epic backcountry locales. Take that thought and add snowmobiles racing up...
Powder Pilgrimage To Hakuba

Powder Pilgrimage To Hakuba

How to find backcountry bliss in Japan’s Kita Alps Words and photos by Seth Lightcap So what’s a Sierra backcountry skier to do when the local snow pack won’t play along with your plans? Make a powder pilgrimage! Last February my wife Allison and I escaped the doldrums of high and dry conditions in Tahoe with a pow hunting trip to the Kita Alps in Hakuba, Japan. We chose to go explore Hakuba after hearing rumors of simple travel logistics, easy access to epic backcountry terrain and consistent snow. Turns out it was all true, and then some. Between the bullet trains, the pillow fields, and the daily face-shots, we found Hakuba to be one of the finest backcountry skiing destinations we had ever visited. Located about two hours northeast of Tokyo by bullet train, getting to Hakuba is a breeze by mountain town standards. Touring the magnificent peaks...
Dale Bard: “In The Dead Of Winter”

Dale Bard: “In The Dead Of Winter”

A selection from the new book, Yosemite Epics: Tales of Adventure from America’s Greatest Playground, compiled by ASJ contributor Matt Johanson. In the mid-70s, renowned “dirtbag” climber Dale Bard decided to take his first backcountry ski trip — a big one, some 250 miles along the Sierra Crest, in mid-winter with friend and wilderness ranger Nadim Melkonian. Over the next 44 days, they were pummeled by heavy snowstorms, narrowly escaped avalanche burial and courted starvation. But it was all part of a grand adventure, according Bard. …………………………………………………………………………. A fixture of Yosemite in the 1970s, Dale Bard became famous for both his bold climbing and his frugal lifestyle. Bard lived in a converted bakery van and sustained himself on peanut butter and potatoes for weeks at a time, earning kudos from Climbing Magazine for perfecting the “dirtbag” lifestyle. Though with first ascents of Half Dome’s Bushido and El Capitan’s...
PUBLISHER’S NOTE

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Running Toward a New Future Publisher and mother of three trains for her first marathon A few months back a friend of mine asked me to run the Big Sur Marathon with her. I had to think about that. Why not? Doing a marathon has always been on my bucket list, and with my 42nd birthday looming, I am actually a little disappointed that I have waited so long. Which made me wonder, why did I wait so long? After a decade of working in the outdoor industry, I have met some inspiring athletes, and have especially admired women who juggle motherhood, careers, and busy race schedules. Unfortunately for me, I have often felt insecure in the presence of these women. The pounds I’ve gained over the course of three pregnancies and the “birthing” of 65 issues of ASJ has allowed me to discount my own successes and has also...
Spontaneous Imprudence

Spontaneous Imprudence

Skiing to a ghost town? You might want to call ahead first Story and photos by Leonie Sherman There are no lukewarm plans hatched in hot water. You get your brilliant flashes and your ridiculous ideas and very little in between. Sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. Thus it was with the idea to ski out to California’s favorite little ghost town, Bodie. We’d woken shivering, in the icy coffin of a Toyota 4 Runner. The pain of emerging into the dazzling frosty dawn was quickly forgotten when we slipped into the steaming tub at Travertine Hot Springs. Soon we were watching the rising sun cast a peachy glow on the Sawtooth Range and the Matterhorn, contemplating our next adventure. It is so easy to exaggerate your tolerance for discomfort when seduced by the rising vapors of an East Side hot spring. Concrete concepts like frozen ski boots, frostbitten...
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