Issue 85

Ear to the Ground: June / July 2015

Ear to the Ground: June / July 2015

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region mikeyschaeferphotography.com Dean Potter dies in BASE jumping accident in Yosemite Legendary climber Dean Potter and his friend Graham Hunt died May 16 in a wingsuit jump accident at Yosemite National Park. The free-spirited 43-year old Potter was well known for his daring expression of what he referred to as “outdoor arts” which include solo climbing, wingsuit flying and slacklining. After being let go by sponsor Clif Bar last fall, Potter questioned the “homogenization” of the outdoor industry. ”Outdoor Arts are beyond sport and for many of us it’s our spirituality. The wilderness is infinite in what it offers. Shouldn’t we question when the leaders of our community try to manipulate our culture into a monocrop?” Yosemite has banned BASE jumping since 1980, but that has not deterred those passionate about the activity. Potter professed to BASE jump not to flaunt the law...
Editor’s Note: A Summer of Possibilities

Editor’s Note: A Summer of Possibilities

How will you create an amazing season of adventure? Founding Editor Matt Niswonger in Yosemite with El Capitan in the background. A few years ago I participated in a weekend seminar called the Landmark Forum. Standing in front of a room of about one hundred total strangers I was describing what my life would look like if I achieved my potential. Speaking into a microphone, I was tasked with sharing a mission statement for my life. Except that I was kind of faking it, and it showed. As I looked into the audience people seemed fidgety, and I could tell my words were not inspiring anyone. After a minute or so of failing to inspire even myself on the subject of my own life, the group leader walked over and held his hand up. I don’t remember his exact words, but the gist was that I was painful to listen...
EPiC: California FarmLink

EPiC: California FarmLink

Promoting sustainable agriculture by supporting the next generation of farmers By Ariana Reguzzoni FarmLink clients Chris Hay (of Say Hay Farms) with landowners Pat Meade and Jon Robbins of Yolo County. It’s an alarming yet well-known statistic in the world of agriculture that the average age of the American small farmer is 58. As our farmers retire, will there be younger farmers coming in to replace them? In many cases, offspring and heirs have moved from the farm and are not interested in returning. The next generation of beginning and aspiring farmers, many of them first-timers, face big obstacles to getting started and succeeding as farmers. The top two are lack of access to land and lack of access to capital. Without support from organizations like FarmLink, the next generation of small farms will cease to exist. As a result, the trend toward commercial agribusiness and away from family-owned...
Paddle Yosemite

Paddle Yosemite

Forget the trails, float through the Valley By Haven Livingston Paddlers with Sentinel Rock in the background (Dave Steindorf). Recently a select group of Yosemite visitors soaked in views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan and every other stately Yosemite Valley landmark. This sightseeing tour happened without setting foot on a trail or driving a car, and no, they weren’t looking at Google Earth either. They were floating down the Merced River in kayaks and rafts. I was honored to be among them, and now that the rules have changed, you can do it too. Back in September 2013, I reported for ASJ on the potential for Yosemite National Park to open access to paddling on Park rivers for the first time in over 40 years as part of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers Wild and Scenic Management Plans. The paddling population was anxiously hopeful for the final...
Taking it to the River

Taking it to the River

 Tips for new whitewater SUP thrills By Haven Livingston If flatwater stand up paddling isn’t providing the thrill it once did, take it to the river and test your finesse with downriver SUP. Before jumping in over your head, know that  river SUP is a potentially serious undertaking because the water can be relentless and overwhelming. This creates hazards that an untrained river runner may not expect or understand, so starting out with professional instruction should be number one on your list if you want to try your hand at river SUP. Once you’ve taken a swiftwater safety course and had a professional introduction to moving water, continue to get comfortable with how your board reacts to moving current. Rocking of the board should be absorbed by bending at your knees and being “Elvis in the pelvis” while keeping the upper body upright and stable. This keeps your weight...
The Dirty Sanchez

The Dirty Sanchez

A tale of hard work, determination and a positive attitude By Lauren Gregg Lauren rounds the corner through one of the many fast, muddy berms on The Dirty Sanchez course (Robert Lowe). I rolled the front tire of my mountain bike to the lip of the jump. Staring down at the edge where the dirt fell away, my eyes crossed over the deep divide to the landing. It was built up with massive logs that I envisioned my body crashing against if I failed to clear the gap. My heart raced. After retreating down the takeoff, I rode past the jump without hitting it. Continuing down the trail I was met with another jump, this one with a landing formed out of jagged boulders. Scanning down the trail I realized that once a rider cleared the gap, they had only a few seconds to prepare for another, larger jump that...
Follow Your Passion – You Can Race, Too!

Follow Your Passion – You Can Race, Too!

Pro rider Lauren Gregg shares her recipe for mountain bike racing success Lauren at the Granite Bay Grinder with two of the students she coaches for the Kirby High School Mountain Bike Team in the NorCal League (Dietmar Burkhardt). 1. Believe in Yourself First and foremost, you have to believe that you will succeed. Learn to silence the doubtful voices in your head and focus on believing 100% that you can do it! 2. Set Goals Goal setting is incredibly important. Goals give you something to work toward, and when you achieve them they give you something to celebrate. Reaching goals makes all the struggles and challenges worth it in the end. 3. Learn your Equipment Having a working knowledge of your mountain bike or other adventure gear is a key to success. We can only function our best when our equipment is working well, and knowing how to identify...
Angels on the PCT

Angels on the PCT

 “Trail magic” makes spectacular section of the PCT possible By Matt Johanson Though hundreds of hikers per year attempt the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail, my cousin Zach Padlo and I hit the wall around mile 26. We weren’t rookies but the first days are always tough when starting at high elevation, like 9,624-foot Sonora Pass. For two days, we labored in thin air under heavy packs, clearing the trail’s highest pass between Yosemite and Canada while attempting an ambitious pace of 15 miles per day. As much as we enjoyed the wildflowers and rocky scenery, the last miles leading to Ebbetts Pass beat up both our bodies and morale. Then we passed a cardboard sign inviting us to “trail magic.” After a short detour, we met a PCT veteran and three companions who welcomed us into their camp and offered us cold drinks and free dinner. How could we...
A Tale of Two Paddles

A Tale of Two Paddles

 It took me 18 years to forget the pain of my first  Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race in 1996 By Ryan Pingree Ryan approaching the finish of the 2014 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race (Johnny Kessel). I wanted to quit. It wouldn’t be the first time and most certainly not the last. By this point in the 1996 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, nearly 15 of the starting field of 64 paddlers had already given in to the channel’s merciless conditions. In the end, only 38 paddlers would finish the race. The wind, the waves, the ripping southerly current, and the unseasonably cold water…it was all just miserable. I had been paddling for over five hours and had only covered about 20 of the 32 race miles. I was in a cold-water hell. Perhaps sensing my resignation, my dad hailed me from my accompanying escort boat. His earlier boisterous encouragement was gone. This...
Below The Tahoe Rim Trail

Below The Tahoe Rim Trail

With water levels at an all-time low, it’s easy to imagine the  72-mile hike along Lake Tahoe’s shores By Tim Hauserman Near Emerald Bay. The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165-mile loop around Lake Tahoe. It traverses the side of lofty mountains, and meanders along ridgelines high above Lake Tahoe. It passes by sparkling mountain lakes and saunters through deep forests of red fir and western white pine. It’s well worth the two weeks it takes to hike it. But wouldn’t it be cool to hike a 72-mile version instead? Our recent drought has left Lake Tahoe well below its natural rim. The Truckee River, instead of being a bustle of watery energy, is now a shadow of its former self. While walking along Tahoe’s increasingly expansive shoreline this winter a crazy idea came to mind. What would it be like to actually walk along the shoreline of Lake...
X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -