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Date: Saturday, March 8, 2014

Locations: Sierra Crest, North Lake Tahoe Basin

Skiers: Colin & Nick

Photos: Colin & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: Armed with high-pressure, clear skies, a decent re-freeze the prior night and a light, Southwesterly wind, Colin and I decided to head out last Saturday for the classic Sierra Crest tour from Sugar Bowl to Squaw in the North Lake Tahoe Basin. I don’t think I am surprising anyone in saying that this season has been pretty bleak in Tahoe for snow accumulation, and I think a lot of the pictures below will show how thin the sun-exposed aspects are right now. Still, it felt great to get out on a longer tour and get some exercise. I particularly like these “meadow skipping” type tours where you cover longer distances to see a lot of terrain. I particularly like multi-day tours in the Eastern Sierra in the Spring, but this season (like last season) is looking like May will be more devoted to High Sierra climbing.

Warning – there are not a ton of action ski shots in a tour like this, but figured I have not posted a TR in a while so why not.

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TR: Snake Dike – Half Dome

Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014

Location: Yosemite National Park

Climbers: Jon & Nick

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: It is no surprise that California is really struggling right now for water and in an official drought. Calendar 2013 ended up one of the driest years on record for the Sierra. Up until this writing (when we are finally forecast to have a multi-foot snow storm occurring in Tahoe), the “winter” this year has been dry and warm. With forecasts for highs in 60s in the Valley and mid-50s at 8,000 feet, Jon and I thought the last weekend in January would be a great time to head to Yosemite Valley for some climbing.

During the day on Saturday we simply cragged over at Five and Dime cliff, trying some nice hard 5.10 routes and practice off-width climbing. It was unbelievably hot for January, and I was climbing in a tee shirt and desperately wishing I had shorts on.

Jon and I decided that a trip up to Half Dome to climb Snake Dike was the call for Sunday. We were both really excited to head up to the climb in January (a rarity as there is generally too much wetness from snow-melt this time of year).

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Dates: Saturday, August 31 – Monday, September 2, 2013

Locations: Trinity Alps Wilderness – Preacher Meadow & Swift Current/Granite Lake Trail to Granite Lake

Hikers: Sarah & Nick

Photos: Nick (unless otherwise noted as Sarah)

Synopsis: It has been a very busy Summer for Sarah and me, with a combination of work and planning for our wedding! We were long looking forward to an enjoyable weekend of backpacking over Labor Day up in the Desolation Wilderness in the Lake Tahoe Basin and had a trip all planned. However, the horrible Rim Fire in Yosemite has been blowing smoke up in a direct line towards Lake Tahoe, making for some pretty rough air conditions. I actually had triathlon scheduled in Lake Tahoe in the weeks prior to Labor Day that was cancelled due to unhealthy air quality. As an aside, a special thanks to all of the fire service workers that are out trying to control the Rim Fire. It is a massive undertaking and will be really interesting to see the effects heading into Yosemite next year.

Needless to say, Sarah and I were looking for a different plan and decided to head up to the Trinity Alps Wilderness in Northern California near Mount Shasta. I had never explored the area, but it has been high on my list for a while given the size of the wilderness area. The Trinity Alps Wilderness is actually the second largest wilderness area in California – it currently has over 600 miles of trails and embraces over 500,000 acres of land.

Sarah and I decided to hike into Granite Lake via the Swift Creek and Granite Lake trails. Our plan was to drive up Saturday afternoon and car camp in Preacher Meadows camp, which is relatively close to the Swift Creek trailhead. Then on Sunday morning we would wake up early and hit the trail to hike up to Granite Lake.

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Date: Sunday, July 14, 2013

Location: Sonoma County, CA

Photos: Sarah (unless otherwise noted)

Last Sunday I participated in the Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon, which consisted of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run, and was held in Sonoma County, California. This was my first half ironman distance and I had a blast! Thanks to the generous donations of friends and family I was able to raise $825 for Building Bridges Worldwide, a not-for-profit organization founded by several of my friends from college that is committed to constructing schools, orphanages, clean water wells, medical clinics, and bridges in impoverished communities both domestically and around the world.

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Dates: June 16, 2013 (SF Half Marathon), and June 9, 2013 (Folsom International Triathlon)

Photos: Nick (SF Half Marathon) and Sarah (Folsom International Triathlon)

Sarah and I had a pretty fun month of June with a couple of races – Sarah raced in the San Francisco Half Marathon and I raced in the Folsom International Triathlon (Olympic Distance). We both scored great weather and had a blast!

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Friday, May 17 – Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: We awoke Friday morning to clearing skies and what looked like a dusting of snow up on the high peaks. The clouds were still engulfed on the Sierra Crest, but weather forecasts called for a general clearing trend. Our plan was to hike in from Mosquito Flat trailhead towards the Rock Creek area to camp at a lake near the base of Bear Creek Spire, and get an early alpine start Saturday morning.

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Climbers: Jon & Nick

Dates: Wednesday, May 15 – Thursday, May 16, 2013

Photos: Jon & Nick (as noted)

Synopsis: Upon returning to our camp at Third Lake after climbing Venusian Blind Arête, we settled in for yet another 4 AM wake-up to go climb Moon Goddess Arête the following day. That night the winds were picking up pretty strongly, clouds were increasing and the temperature dropped pretty significantly.

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