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Editor’s Note: Human Powered

Editor’s Note: Human Powered

Uniting the adventure tribes Campfire memories from Sea Otter, 2017. ASJ editor, Matt Niswonger on the plastic horn. ASJ has a very unique readership. For nearly sixteen years we have sought to appeal to the type of person who participates in a variety of human powered adventure sports in California and Nevada. Among our readers are those who surf, mountain bike, climb and backpack. Over the years our readership has grown quite a bit, and we like to think we are the go-to resource for the multi-sport outdoor enthusiast who enjoys a little bit of everything. Maybe it was inevitable, but as our readership has grown, a conflict between readers began brewing. This simmering conflict finally boiled over when we published an article called The Battle for Bikes in Wilderness Continues by longtime ASJ contributor Kurt Gensheimer in our last issue. As a result of this article, a...
The Road to Devils Postpile

The Road to Devils Postpile

Discover the adventures near this basalt wonder in Mammoth Lakes By Leonie Sherman Devils Postpile’s waves in columnar basalt. The seasonally gated road. Where frustrated motorists see a barrier, intrepid cyclists see an invitation. Those thin metal bars keep out cars and create the perfect avenue for two-wheeled adventure. Every year there’s a magical moment when the road to Devils Postpile is closed to traffic but free of snow. That’s the time to grab a trusty chromoly companion and saddle up for a day or three of Mammoth back-country adventure. Devils Postpile was formed about 100,000 years ago by the slow cooling of a lava flow, leaving behind symmetrical columns of basalt up to 60 feet high. After plans to blast the dark cliff into the San Joaquin to make a hydroelectric dam were defeated, President Taft declared the area a National Monument in 1911. A hundred years ago...
Athlete Profile: Roy Tuscany

Athlete Profile: Roy Tuscany

Adaptive athlete and High Fives founder on freedom and hope By Domenica Berman Photos by Trevor Clark Roy’s infectious energy shows as he gets out of the water at Duke’s Ocean Fest. “Holy crap, first place!” Roy Tuscany exclaimed at the scoreboard minutes after his third heat of the day. He’d won first in his heat and advanced straight to the finals the next day in the Ventura Paddle Surfing Championships this past October. The Paddle Surfing Championships include “open” events for all athletes and also “adaptive” competitions for athletes who are disabled in one way or another. The adaptive athletes use waveskis, which are a mix of a kayak and a surfboard for maximum paddle power and maneuverability. When I asked Roy how it felt to win his heat he said with a laugh, “It’s really fun to win something again! It’s been a long time.” He went...
Documenting the Grit and the Grace: Surf Filmmaker Kyle Buthman

Documenting the Grit and the Grace: Surf Filmmaker Kyle Buthman

By Chris Van Leuven Kyle Buthman pulling into the barrel in Sumbawa, Indonesia (Buthman collection). Sometimes Kyle and his friends surf fast, accelerating through their turns, catching big air off the lip, gunning through barrels, slashing, carving and spinning out 360 aerials like they’re in a skate park. Other times they ride the waves peacefully, skimming along the water with subtle movements to keep their boards steady against the glassy water and straight on the line. To professional filmmaker and sponsored surfer Kyle Buthman, who’s been in the water since his dad got him into it at age five, it’s all about the ocean – if he’s not surfing, then he’s capturing surfing footage for one of his many projects that range from five to 30 minutes to up to an hour. “I’m trying to make people feel as if they’re there, to give someone the feeling of that...
Women of the Wild

Women of the Wild

These California athletes have put adventure at the center of their lives By Aloe Driscoll What is a wild woman? Wild is defined as “living in a state of nature” and “not subject to restraint or regulation.” And a wild woman is what I aspired to be when I set off from Santa Cruz to surf Central America during the summer of 2015, just as eager to break the prescribed boundaries of being a thirty-something woman as I was to immerse myself in the raw and rugged landscape of the Pacific Coast. Though I traveled solo, I wasn’t alone. Increasingly, more and more women are putting adventure at the center of their lives. And who can blame us? Adventure inspires us to forge a deeper connection with the natural world and the beings within it, to surpass the limits that others set for us and reach beyond our own...
What You Need to Know About  High-Water Rafting Trips

What You Need to Know About High-Water Rafting Trips

Paddlers and outfitters prepare for unprecedented high-water season on California rivers and beyond By Cari Morgan Whitewater fun on the Merced (James Kaiser/O.A.R.S.). For river guides and whitewater lovers, high-water rafting seasons in the western US are responsible for many a tall tale, told in celebration of big flips, upside-down boats, long swims and daring heroism. Thanks to an above-average snowpack across much of the Western US, the 2017 river season has shaped up to be one of those years, especially in California which received a record-setting amount of precipitation and snowfall. When is high-water season in the West? On rivers across the West, the high-water window typically occurs from mid-May to mid-June with the possibility of lasting longer during years with above-average snowpacks. “High water may last a few weeks in thin snowpack years, or prevail for a month or longer depending on how warm it is, how...
Return of the Wizard

Return of the Wizard

Bill Lee and Merlin return to race the Transpac By Paul Allen Photos courtesy Bill Lee The record setting “Merlin.” The cold 57 degree water sprays over the bow as the eight man crew stacks 13 heavy sails on one side for stability. Not long after the stack of sails is secured, it’s time to change sails. All hands are required to raise the new sail and pull the old sail down as the boat leaps over the waves. A crew member on the leeward side vomits over the side and quickly returns to his task, for there is no time for seasickness. The boat continues to pound and smash through waves into the night. The next day comes and another sail change is needed. This time it’s a sail change to accommodate downwind sailing. The boat begins to surf down the large following swell instead of smashing into...
The Lost Sierra Triple Crown

The Lost Sierra Triple Crown

A trio of challenging off-road bike events that raise funds for trails and local employment By Kurt Gensheimer Photos courtesy of Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship With 60 miles and 8,000 feet of climbing, riders earn their beer at Grinduro. For cyclists in search of the ultimate off-road challenge, the Lost Sierra Triple Crown should be on your short list. Consisting of the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder, the Downieville Classic cross-country  mountain bike race and Grinduro – a mashup of a gravel grinder and a mountain bike enduro event – the Lost Sierra Triple Crown rewards the most well-rounded riders who are as fit as they are skilled. In its second year, the Lost Sierra Triple Crown has more than doubled the number of riders vying for an actual steel crown that’s laser cut and fabricated by Terrence Martin of Jagged Edge Metal Art. Dreamed up by the folks...
Preparing for your Summer Endurance Event

Preparing for your Summer Endurance Event

By Martin Spierings Joining a training group or club is a great way to get some extra motivation and advice for your event (Michael Peck). Sometime last year, in a fit of inspiration, and perhaps a little too much wine, you snatched your credit card from your wallet and eagerly signed up for that endurance event that’s been sitting on your bucket list forever. Fast forward to spring, you find yourself with not many training miles in the bank and a scary event looming on the calendar. Sound familiar? Whether you’ve entered a multi-day adventure like the California Coast Classic Bike Tour, a marathon or the Death Ride, there are a few things you can do starting today that will increase your chances of success in the summer. There’s Still Time Ideally, you should have spent all winter diligently preparing an aerobic base for your summer endurance adventure. I...
Gear We Love: Issue 97

Gear We Love: Issue 97

1. Zamp Portable Solar Portable Kit The Zamp Portable Solar Kit is already off to a great start in amping up our ASJ Road Show (and beyond!) adventures this season. We’re using our kit to keep our travel trailer batteries charged for off-grid living, but it’s also great for charging RV, truck camper and boat batteries as well. So, no matter what your preferred adventure vehicle, Zamp has you covered. No mounting is required, simply fold out and hook to your batteries, or plug straight into the sidewall of your camper via the Zamp’s optional Plug and Play Portable Solar Kit Quick Port. Ranging from 40 to 200 watts of available power output, Zamp portable solar kits provide all the power of roof mounted systems, but are a more flexible option as you can place the panel in direct sunlight even when your camper is in the shade. The kit’s...
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