Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Finals

This week was a great one for the Wasatch; the well-advertised storm now on our doorstep started surfacing in the models about a week ago, and since then it's been warm and glorious, inviting great outings on foot before ski season could arrive with a bang this weekend (3 feet progged for the central Wasatch; not only is it a strong storm, but the lake is nice and warm from the mild fall so our beloved lake effect could really add to the total). 

But before the storm, might as well get some last few high hikes and runs in.  Sunday Ash, Geoff Lane, and I went south and hiked Timpanogos from Aspen Grove; a classic UT hike, made somewhat unusual by the late date and relative lack of people (due to said late date and that date being a Sunday).  I forgot to take any pics, but Timp is always amazing; it's such a massive peak that creates and dominates Happy Valley.

On Tuesday - with some angst built up over my fear of the looming election results (more on that later) - I did a solo charge up Olympus.  It's easy to establish a new personal world record for something when you haven't actually timed it before, but it's difficult to verify with the World Personal Record Keeping Association (WPRKA) when you inadvertantly stop the timer prematurely.   ah well.  but got a sense of the total time via the time to the upper saddle (55 mins) and I know that I went hard enough to cause this:

that nice toe-stub-protector on the La Sportivas also apparently has enough traction to catch on rocks while the rest of the foot keeps going.....

A good reminder that our beloved winter season is also the season for inversions that form quickly during high pressure:

And speaking of gear, I brought these up to see how appropriate they'd be for Oly:

A little hard to see, but this is one of BD's carbon fiber trekking poles, which I've found to be really good for stuff that's steeper-than-runnable.  And when these things are collapsed they are super easy to run with. 

Yesterday I got in an awesome ride of Flying Dawg with Mike Hales; we - along with a bunch of other folks - got that nice window of time between the slow dry from the last storm and this one, which will likely shut it down until May. 

And today Charger and I went up Gobblers from Butler fork to check out the snow on the north slopes:
Butler Trees has even safer avy conditions than usual

  Also a great vantage point for the approaching front at sunset:

nice artsy shot by Charger (courtesy of Juan Grande Productions, Ltd)

Near the top of Gobbies the snow was pretty granular due to its age:
kudos to Charger for his willingness to grab a handful of snow;
my hands were cold enough in the howling wind that I was only willing
to nudge it with my toe.

So we felt that in high north shots where there are the (rare) contiguous snow patches (albeit small, and still pockmarked by rocks) there will be a poor bond of the new snow to the old, but it'll likely be pockety in nature. 

Charger and I then charged down to beat darkness - which we did, but only barely; it's still a little hard to grasp the new time - and decided that while stuff like this is fun:

it's time for winter!  

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