Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Ripping Groomers in Tahoe

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Its been unseasonably warm up and down the west coast this winter.  British Columbia and Alaska are buried in snow while mountains in Tahoe, the Sawatch and all over Colorado are looking barren.  Alex, Pete and I rode Heavenly and Northstar on January 28/29 and did nothing but rip groomers all day.



-Tyler Grubb

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Snowkiting Lake Dillon

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Megan got me a snowkiting lesson for Christmas.  Best present ever.  I flew out to Colorado in January and we got to head up to Lake Dillon where we met up with Antoine from Colorado Kite Force.  He showed me the basics of setting up the kite and getting it airborne without letting it whisk you right off the ground.  I flew the kite around for the first hour before it got super windy and a snowstorm rolled in.  The kite was more flying itself and dragging me face first across the lake at that point.  Those things are so powerful when you point them into the wind its not even funny.  It easily could pick you up, carry you 50 ft in the air and then drop you on your ass if you aren’t careful.  This guy wasn’t careful.  Snowkiting is a lot more like sailing than it is snowboarding.  Its 95% kite, 5% board but I loved getting out on the lake and experiencing it first hand.  Its only a matter of time before I get out there to try it again or rent a kite and get in the water.
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-Tyler Grubb

Rim of Yosemite Valley

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It was finally quiet. 
The moment I stepped into the woods behind Glacier Point it was the first thing I noticed.  There was no cable cars running.  A couple weekends ago I decided to take off and head up to Yosemite National Park to get outside for a day and enjoy some of the nice (and dry and hot :/ ) weather we’ve been having in California.  I took off from Russian Hill at around 5:00 am and got up to the park around 8:30.  It was perfect to watch the sun peak over Half Dome and shine into Yosemite Valley.  At Tunnel View, a nice family let me hitch a ride up to Glacier Point to hike the Pohono Trail that runs along the rim of Yosemite Valley from Tunnel View to Glacier Point in a ~13 mile stretch.  The views along the way turned out to be nothing short of postcard material.
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I had to take a few pictures of the pinecones that littered the forest floor.  This is a squirrel’s equivalent to a In-N-Out Double Double.P1140075
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This was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve done in awhile…Setting my camera to take a timed picture and then running to try to get onto a rock that dropped about 1500 ft off the other side.  Do not try at home.
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The day outdoors was a much needed break from the loud city and a fun time exploring some awesome scenery.  I’ll definitely have to make a return trip sometime in my life to tackle Half Dome when the cables are up (and if I can get a permit).
The day was pretty awesome but the drive home was not.  In between Mariposa and Merced, in the rolling hills of cow pastures, I came around a corner and slammed on my brakes to avoid hitting a Chevy pickup that was smoking in the middle of the road.  I was one of the first people on scene to a head-on collision between two pickup trucks.  The other I hadn’t first noticed because the cab of the truck was gone.  The engine block had been pushed all the way back to windshield and killed both the driver and passenger.  Another man in the other truck had his broken legs pinned by the smashed in dash.  Someone called 911 and we tried to comfort the guy stuck in the truck as others checked the pulse of the men in the smashed truck.  It was 20 minutes before fire crews showed up and used the jaws of life to free the pinned man and land a helicopter in the field next to my car to life flight him to the hospital.  I later found out that he would be ok. The whole experience was an eye opener to the consequences of driving fast, without airbags and with no seatbelts.  My prayers and condolences go out to the family of the two men in the smaller pickup.  They were right around my age.

-Tyler Grubb