Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plumbing and the Internet

Our 2nd bathroom bathtub has not been working for several months now. It works it just puts out scolding hot water. Not real conducive to giving kids baths. Not to worry, we have other tubs and thats what we have been doing for said several months. I got a wild hair up my ass and decided I would try to fix it today. First, I had to figure out how to take the thing apart so I could figure out what was wrong. I basically needed to replace the valve. I needed to figure out how to take the valve out so I could take it to Home Depot and get a replacement meanwhile, learning how to put it back together once i have the part. Ya follow? Good, because Im not sure I do. Took about 45 minutes to get the thing apart. Would have taken half that time if the valve didn't get stuck half way out. Warning, this is NOT a tutorial.

These are the steps I needed to complete.
1-turn the water off
2-take the fixture apart to gain access to the valve
3-NOT lose any of the parts
4-take valve out (easier said than done)
5-take valve to Home Depot to purchase the right valve
6-return home
7-clean out valve
8-lubricate pipe (everything is better with lube right?)
9-slide valve back into place
10-put all valve pieces back together
11-turn water back on to test prior to fully assembling the fixture
12-test complete
13-reassemble the fixture
14-clean up
15-Give Hannah a hi 5 for a job well done.

Of course Hannah was there to tell me I was doing a great job and to tell me that it was O.K when I was getting frustrated. She's so good at giving encouragement.
Here it is all taken apart

old valve

new valve


halfway put back together for testing

my helper, actually she spent most of the time fartin and stinkin up the bathroom. She did hand me some tools though. 

All put back together

Hannah was so pumped that it was all fixed that she wanted to take a bath. The internet gave me just enough knowledge to get the job done. Thank you whoever invented the internet. Wasn't it Al Gore?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Roooooaaaaaddddds! (in a Tommy Boy voice)

The weather around these parts has been well, a little mild. Hasn't snowed in a week or so and with a day off yesterday I was either looking to get in a little ski tour up BCC or a road ride. I couldn't find anyone to ski with so I opted for a road ride since its not too smart to go in the backcountry alone. It was around 40 degrees and thats actually not bad winter riding conditions. Really, anything above 30 or so if its sunny isnt too bad. I did the usual route, south Suncrest to the Dry Creek trailhead, took a few scenic routes along the way and back up s.Suncrest. The southside is a good hill for early season, sustained, not too steep and long enough to get in a groove. I like the south side. Anyways, its always great to get out for a ride in the winter. I don't think I got out last year until late February. Yay me!
looking down the northside, lots of gunk down there

little break to enjoy the scenery

A little roooaaaaad time? Yes please.

Monday, January 24, 2011

More Pinkie

I thought it would be good for Brad to get out on a little tour in a place other than The Willows in BCC. I thought Pink Pine would fit the bill. Pretty mellow approach, some steeper climbing and some pretty cool scenery. Sunday was a great morning to get out. We arrived at the parking lot about 7:30 and there was only 2 other cars in the lot. By the time we got back it was overflowing out to the road. First, here's some scenery.

Once to the top of the ridge we were treated with a peak of the mighty Pfeifferhorn. Its an amazing peak. We could tell that the winds were ripping through the ridge the prior day because it was scoured and slick. Very different than the prior week. Once at the top I popped a few small cornices off the ridge, things were a little slabby up top. Didn't get anything to move much, probably because Dug and crew knocked it all out the day before. Thanks again! I kicked out a few turns then traversed over to the apron, the turns were very fast and very sweet. Have I mentioned how much I like my skis?

Brad forgot his poles. Its ok Brad, we all forget shit once in awhile. Thats precisely the reason I built my hooks. I want all my stuff in the same spot so I can hopefully minimize the possibility of forgetting something. I gave him one of my poles for the climb and we found him a good long stick to serve as his other pole. I rendered my other pole for the escape out since he was on a board and would need them more than I. I know, I am a great friend. I told him even the great ones forget a pole sometimes. He also had a few equipment failures but we weren't in a hurry. We got it all handled and enjoyed a nice morning with some sweet soft turns. Again, the views weren't bad either. I didn't catch Brads face afterwards but he was smiling from ear to ear.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A visit to Scotties

The moon sets and the sun rises in perfect harmony

Grizzly Adam took some AMAZING pictures that morning. I have never seen it so beautiful up there for a dawn patrol ever. Granted I have only been on a dozen and a half or so but still. It was one of those mornings that you were glad you pulled your head off your pillow. I wasn't feeling great. I had a hard time chokin down some toast in the morning but thought I was up so I may as well go. Worse case scenario I rip skins before the top and enjoy some turns. I only got one long decent in but the hike was worth getting up in its own. The turns weren't bad either. Pretty icy near the top, couldn't hardly keep an edge. We pulled the plug just before the summit and started the transition. Some fast dudes got 2 laps in and others just 1. Scottie's is one of my favorite spots due to the open bowl and the terrain features available. I spent most of the morning hiking by myself looking up at the trail of headlamps above. I forgot how many kickturns there were on Scotties. Some were barely the length of your skis.

There was a pretty big crew that got out. Mark, Rick, Adam, Aaron, Steve, Rob, John, Brandon (on his maiden voyage) and a few others but their names escape me. Pretty big group.

The turns were nice, there was about 8-10 inches of new snow on top of the stout crust. Dust on Crust is a good way to describe it. Once in awhile you would hit the crust but mostly you were able to stay up on top. I brought my gps but forgot to turn it on. Until next time.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I got tired of my ski stuff laying all over the garage on the floor so I decided to do something about it. I didn't get out as much last year so it wasn't that big of a deal, I was able to put my stuff away and it didn't lay all over the garage. Maybe I have more gear now? Who knows. I had an open wall and a spare 2x4 so I drilled it into some studs and got some hooks at Lowes and went to work. First I had to find my drill, then I had to charge the battery. I can't remember the last time I used it. My motivation would have to wait until the battery was charged. Damn!

Here is what it looked like before-
Here it is after one battery died. It doesn't hold a charge much. I think I got this drill as a wedding present 12 years ago. Might be time for a new one at some point.
I added a screw at the far left so the skis would slide out and fall over. This comes in handy for a few reasons.

And here it is in all its glory!
Next up would be a shelf over the top to store gloves, goggles etc. Maybe next year. I only have so many handy matches to burn in a year.

On another note, got out this morning with Dug, Steve, Tyler and Dugs 12 year old Holden. We headed out to Pink Pine Ridge. Thats a cool area to ski, we found pretty good snow up top on the n/e slopes. We got in 2 quick laps. Holden killed it on the up and boy that kid can ski. 12 years old! I wish I started skiing before I turned 19. Oh well. Can't turn back time!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tough Guy

So, I have been lucky enough to get some new gear lately. Partially due to some ffb winnings and partially due to a generous offering from my mother for Christmas and my Birthday. I thought it would be fun to give a review of some of those things. Not that anyone will care what my opinion is but someone might. Right?

Now, I am fully aware that Rick did a post last year about some similar gloves but after I read his post last year I thought to myself, would those really work as well as he says they will? So, I decided to look for something similar after a few tours this year where my hands were sweating. I usually used my ski gloves I bought from REI several years ago. Removable liner inside, leather exterior that came up on the forearm with a elastic closure. Typical ski glove. Works ok, I just seemed to get hot sweaty hands. 

I finally found a pair of gloves and they were cheap, 28 bucks so I thought what the hell, I'll give em a shot. I was pleasantly surprised. My hands were cold at first (they always seem to be) but after a few minutes of climbing they warm up. They are waterproof, I have good dexterity, so far they seem pretty durable but at 28 bucks you could buy a few pairs and still not spend near the amount of a nice pair of ski gloves just like Rick said last year.  

So, after a few tours with these gloves I am very happy with the purchase. If your hands get sweaty and wet while out touring you should try these out. If you don't like them you can give the gloves to me.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Yesterday, me, Sam, his brother and Plummer met up in the morning for some skiing. We originally were going to the Monitor Bowl in BCC but heard from some others that ski'd it the day before that it was no good and to stay away. We decided to drive up to Alta and hike into grizzly, take a peek at Silver and Days. Maybe a run in each depending on how it was. When we left the mouth of the canyon it was 13. At Alta 32 and sunny. It was a gorgeous morning as we skinned up into grizzly gulch. It got hot fast and we were all shedding layers. We got to the top and traversed the ridge to the west then came back towards the east to a nice North/East facing shot into Siver Fork. The plan was to ski a shot here and then a shot into Days on a similar facing slope. The top was a little more choppy than I was expecting but after 3 turns or so it was nice soft snow. This was a pretty fun line we ski'd. This was Sams little brothers maiden voyage. He was on Sam's old skis since Sam just got the Megawatts. His little bro rocked it. Very good skier. Like Sam, he is fast on the up too. On the bottom part of the slope things were a little tight manuevering the trees/cliffs. Brian went first and got a little too far back on his skis in the deep snow and popped his ACL. We reconvened at the bottom and decided Brian and I would ski out Silver Fork to Solitude and Sam with his brother would hike back up and ski back to the car and come get us at Solitude. A sad ending to very good ski shot 1 week after the last snowfall. Im still amazing by the backcountry, so much terrain, so much good snow even a week after the last snowfall.

looking west at Superior
The Pfeifferhorn in the distance
me sweatin my ass off

Sam and his bro. Sam was lookin for some Barry White on his iphone
I hope Brian has a quick recovery. This was my first tour with him and he is very knowledgeable and willing to teach. I love guys like that.

I am really enjoying my first full season of Backcountry. I am lucky to have so many friends willing to go with me and teach me their wise ways. Like Yoda and Luke. Take me to the backcountry you will hmmmmm?

On a 2nd note, on an email thred between Dug, Sam and I. Sam was expressing how much he loved his new Megawatts. I too am loving them. Dug so eloquently responds, "welcome to the orgasm that is Megawatts" That gets the quote of the week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Elk jerky

If only I had a gun, and nobody was around. Guess thats called poaching.

This heard was just below Montreaux at the bottom of Suncrest. Not too often you see a heard of Elk that low.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


As Dug pointed out it is lame to blog about a ski day that happened more than just a few days ago. Well, Im really lame because I am going to do the same. I took some time off between Christmas and New Years and I got a few ski days in. So, in an effort to not bore you and force you to click to someone else's blog I will paraphrase Dug. He said after 1 of our days, "I feel like I should talk to the Bishop". Now, Im not sure what Dug had goin on but, I agreed and laughed. I later told my wife what he said and she said, "did he jizz in his pants?" I said, well, i doubt it. Hope not.  Its like trying to explain sex to a virgin. Its impossible. Its one of those things you just have to experience for yourself. Here are some photos.

First, we had a fabulous day at Solitude. It was deep and I was wishing I had my Megawatts mounted.

Then we had a nice shot into Days across from Alta.

The badass mofos kept going for an epic day given to them by Reed Benson.

Me and Steve caught some air of this small cornice coming back down Flagstaff

More good soft turns coming down Flagstaff

 Topped it off with a little sleddin with Hannah. She loves sleddin and skiin, as long as she's outside she is happy!

All in all, a pretty damn good 10 days. I may be lame for blogging about it late, but I don't really care. It will probably happen again.