Issue 74

Life is a Thru Hike — Part 2

Life is a Thru Hike — Part 2

Editors’ Note: We received an email from Otter the other day. He finished the PCT and he sent us his last journal entries. Here are Otter’s final journal entries to his PCT Odyssey, unedited:  Click here to read Part 1. Otter at the southern terminus. JOURNAL: MILE 2660! ON Nice job people The last few days Breaks Decisions Ceiling and floors The pack track and turning back. 150 yds Not knowing outcome until end. spirit sunk Hung in there. First off, I want to say to all those intrepid hikers who went thru from rainy pass; Nice job. Some even came back to try again after they went home. It took guts and determination and it was quite a hike. Because of the weather, conditions, and difficulties presented IT WILL BE SOMETHING THEY REMEMBER THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. It made the ending even more special. After the storm...
Oyster Urban Adventure Race

Oyster Urban Adventure Race

September 28 • San Francisco • www.OysterRacingSeries.com Bringing the sport of adventure racing to the city of San Francisco, the Oyster Racing Series is coming to the city by the bay on Sept. 28th. Billed as the “Ultimate Urban Adventure Race” for its ability to combine athleticism with strategy, this series will have racers solving clues and performing athletic stunts in a race around San Francisco. Teams of three to six will use athleticism, strategy and technology to race by foot and by bike to uncover the mystery course.  The full course is a 20-30 mile top secret, high-adrenaline route through the city, with an expected completion time of four to six hours. The Half Oyster division delivers a scaled-down course at about half the length, but with all the fun! For those who are interested in team building or could use a breather during the race, they can regiser...
Biketoberfest

Biketoberfest

October 12 • Fairfax • www.BiketoberfestMarin.com A handmade bike show and brewfest rolled into one, Biketoberfest is Marin County’s premier bicycle event. Held in Fairfax CA, Biketoberfest is proud to be held at the birthplace of the mountain bike. The event caters to all bicyclists, including mountain bikers, roadies, BMX, cyclocross, fixed gear and transportation cyclists. The event draws over 5,000 cycling enthusiasts from all over Northern California and has great live music, bicycle vendors, and over 20 brewers serving 30+ beers! The event is held at Fair/Anselm Plaza, which is the most popular gathering place for on and off-road cycling in Marin and it’s the home of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), and Iron Springs Pub & Brewery. www.BiketoberfestMarin.com...
Tahoe Sierra Century

Tahoe Sierra Century

Sept. 14 • Tahoe Donner and Lake Tahoe Areas • www.TahoeSierraCentury.com The Tahoe Sierra Century Ride has earned praise for its scenic routes, challenging hill climbs, full support services, great food and incredible music. In fact, the ride is a Tahoe fund-raiser with all proceeds benefiting the Music Programs at North Tahoe Middle and High Schools.  There are three rides to choose from and all rides start and end at Squaw Valley USA near Lake Tahoe off Hwy 89. During the ride, Highway 40 will be closed to thru auto traffic at Donner Summit from approximately 10:30 am to 2:30pm. Choose from the 30-mile fun, flat ride to Donner Lake; the more challenging 60-mile ride up Donner Summit (2500’ elevation gain); or the 100-mile century including 6800’ elevation gain. The century ride begins in Squaw Valley, follows along the beautiful north shore of Lake Tahoe, then Brockway Summit, the...
Tahoe Fat Tire Festival

Tahoe Fat Tire Festival

Sept. 13-15, Squaw Valley www.TahoeFatTireFestival.org Mountain bikers from all over will come to iconic Squaw Valley for the return of the Tahoe Fat Tire Festival. One of the largest mountain bike events on the west coast, the festival is being brought back by the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association in an effort to promote recreational trails in the Tahoe area and to fundraise for trail projects. Presented by Michael Hohl Subaru in Carson City, New Belgium Brewing, and the North Lake Tahoe Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival will include cross country and downhill mountain bike racing, skill clinics, a just for fun poker ride, kids races, and a BMX jump show. Squaw Valley will be opening its bike park and trail network for the three days of the festival. The festival kicks off Friday evening, Sept.13, with a mountain bike film festival.  Saturday morning is the Cross Country race,...
Paddling Mendocino

Paddling Mendocino

Words and photos by Chuck Graham Paddling in town along Big River. Photo: Chuck Graham A dense ceiling of dewy overcast hovered above a redwood forest canopy, while the steady flow of Big River ran beneath me toward the icy Pacific. My carbon fiber paddle gently sliced through the glassy river, creating the only breach in silence as I followed the flight of an osprey. I could feel the tug of a low tide pulling me out of the coastal range and eventually along the breathtaking Mendocino Headlands. About two hours north of San Francisco, the quiet coastal town of Mendocino is a place where time slows down to a crawl along serpentine rivers that flow like veins running down a forearm to the Mendocino coastline. With a population of just over 87,000, Mendocino County is known for dense redwood forests, America’s greenest wine region, microbreweries, and liberal views on...
Downieville

Downieville

A short history of MTB gold Words & photos by Rick Gunn I had returned to mountain biking’s mother lode. Rider drops into Sunrise Trail. Staring out the window of a shuttle van as it groaned toward Packsaddle Pass, I looked past a sweep of pines to a tiny box of metal perched atop the hulking granite peaks: the Sierra Buttes fire lookout. Just to the west waited 14 miles of legendary singletrack—Downieville’s famous downhill. It had been a decade-and-a-half since my first ride here. Less a mountain bike ride than a reenactment of the opening scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan, the recollection of that first ride conjures a kind of two-wheeled PTSD. For nearly three hours I battled rocks, and exploded through creeks, only to be catapulted into a series of spectacular endos. Picking myself up off the dirt time and again, I wobbled off the...
Shaun Tomson: The Code

Shaun Tomson: The Code

A legendary surfer shares the secret to living life powerfully in his new book “The Code” Words by Neil Pearlberg • Photos courtesy of Shaun Tomson The famous beach at Rincon just south of Santa Barbara is composed of aged cobblestones piled loosely at the water’s edge. The ocean has effectively shaped each rock, shell, and coral fragment. It can be said that one of Rincon’s most recognized surfers has been shaped in a similar manner. He is Shaun Tomson, surfing icon, and a former world champion. Shaped by the world’s oceans, Tomson has become a man of faith, courage, creativity, and dogged determination. Listed as one of the 25 most influential surfers of the century by Surfer magazine, he is the author of Surfer’s Code, published in 2006. In this influential book, Tomson shared 12 simple lessons for riding through life from the collective wisdom of the...
Mt. Carl Heller

Mt. Carl Heller

Embracing the challenges of a remote Sierra gem Words by Leonie Sherman East Ridge of Mt. Carl Heller as seen from the top of Vacation Pass. Photo: Adam Long Spend enough time in the Sierra among mountain aficionados and you can’t escape hushed tales of Mt. Carl Heller. There was the El Cap climber couple forced to turn back. The Nordic ski champion who sprained her ankle on the approach. How even Peter Croft couldn’t make it back in time for fries at the Whitney Portal store. A USGS map will call this 13,211 ft. granite sculpture Vacation Peak, but every other map and guidebook calls it Carl Heller after the founder of the China Lake Mountain Rescue Group. Heller was an avid Sierra mountaineer, specializing in the obscure and aesthetic; he claimed to have climbed every peak over 12,000 ft. in the range. Apparently he took quite a...
First Big Wall

First Big Wall

Steve and Matt celebrating on top. A Yosemite climber savors a challenging rite of passage By Matt Johanson My turn to lead on Yosemite’s Washington Column arrived about halfway up the 1,100 foot rock face. The climb’s sixth pitch was a suitable choice because it’s the easiest segment of a route that stretched my modest abilities. After examining the rock features that led up towards the summit, I sorted through my rack of gear and picked out a metal stopper that I wedged into the granite crack before me. Next I attached a carabiner and aiders so I could stand on the stopper, reach above, place more gear and climb higher. Repeating this process a few dozen times would take me to the next belay point where I would anchor myself and bring up my partner. But things didn’t work out quite that way. The instant I stepped into...
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