Really stupid...

If an idea is good, it's on the verge of being stupid. ~ Michel Gondry

I have always had this theory… get a group of people in a room, throw out a bunch of ideas and at the end of the night, look at your list to find the most idiotic and that's the one you should do.

This blog was spawned from one very stupid idea - run the Leadville 100. I gave that a shot in the summer of '07 - completed 73 miles - and survived. The blog lives on...

RunStuRun has moved to

Monday, January 28, 2008

Trip report - Utah pow...

Luke scopes the goods atop Solitude.

Now, this is the plan. Get your ass to Mars.
~ Hauser

Ah Salt Lake City. Home of the Jazz, perpetual smog and goodness a mere 14 miles up the hill.

Luke and I headed out early on Thursday. Rockin' the ocelot on Frontier. SLC is just about an hour from Denver. Barely enough time to whack down a beer if you are the large-headed gentleman sitting in 6C. Yes, nothing goes down smoother than a Coors Light at 36,000 feet at 8:30 in the morning. Get your vacation on, I guess.

Aside from Luke packing like a girl (his bag was a bit heavy on the outbound and we had to stow his extra pumps and handbag along with my gear), we made it out to SLC without incident. After gathering our stuff and getting into a bitchin' Sonata, we headed straight up to Solitude for a half day of goodness. Seriously, the Denver to SLC hop is the best thing going. We were literally at the area before half day tickets went on sale. Pretty kickass.

Typical of my Utah skiing experiences, there was plenty of snow (just shy of 100" base, something like a foot overnight) and the slopes were pretty much empty. Amazing. Luke and I were both nursing bum knees but the top was calling out so we headed up the ridge to grab some fresh tracks in one particularly tasty chute. Smooth as butter. But fluffier.

Utah is renowned for its long traverses and we took full advantage of these to get to never-ending pow turns. Solitude, as Luke describes it, is a little Alta and I would concur. There is a lot of amazing terrain and we spent the better part of 4 hours exploring around to find the goods. Seems everywhere we turned there was more great terrain just stuffed with great snow. Even with poor visibility due to a steady storm, this is definitely the place to be if you like it steep and deep.

Post skiing we headed to a local burrito joint for an early dinner then jammed down to Casa del Kenny and Jen. These guys are the best and always open their doors to the ski bum in need of a place to rest their head. Jen is a wee bit preggers right now so they aren't getting in many days out on the slopes. She is due in April so this season is pretty much a wash for them but they seem to enjoy living vicariously through those of us less knocked-up.

About 10 on Thursday, the neighbors plowed into our rental car, denting the driver's door and smashing the mirror. They were super cool about it and said they just didn't even look back as there usually aren't any cars parked in that spot. Avis said they would give us a new car and to just bring the Sonata back out to the airport at our convenience. Coincidentally, Saturday about an hour prior to our departure was convenient for us so that became the game plan.

Friday morning, we found a Wifi hotspot, got a little work done and jammed back up the hill for some backcountry goodness. Brighton has a special "One Ride" ticket for $10 that gets you to the top of the hill from where you can explore the sweet backcountry. This saves about an hour and a half of skinning, which is nice.

We got to the top and headed up Millicent Peak (I think). Luke is a machine and broke trail the way up (shit, the whole day, actually). It was seriously storming with steady snow and fairly high winds which cut visibility quite a bit. We had scoped some lines in Wolverine Cirque the day before but decided to stick to the opposite side of the ridge, which was a bit more mellow. The avalanche conditions, relatively stable for Colorado, were in the moderate range for Utah. There was some fun, lower-angle terrain to be farmed and we dropped in one short pitch prior to skinning the remainder of the way up Millie.

In case you hadn't heard, I am one sweaty Mofo and so I quickly started having some problems with my goggles fogging up then freezing. Good times. Frankly, with the blowing snow, I really wasn't missing much and dropped from the top skiing by braille. As soon as we got back down into the trees, I could see much better and just fully enjoyed the over-the-head face shots. Man, so awesome. I wasn't feeling super hot but kept up fairly well on the way back up. Interestingly enough, looking way up the hill helps for some reason. We met up with some snowboarders who were actually practicing solid backcountry technique (go figure) and were quite knowledgeable about snowpack, how to read conditions, and how to ride safely. Refreshing, actually.

I was pretty whooped once we made it back to the top and mixed survival skiing with blissful pow turns back down the killer, untracked terrain. More face shots and grins on the way out. By the time we finally made it back out to Brighton, both of us were seriously exhausted and friggin' hungry. We bee-lined it to the nearest Noodles, chowed down and then headed back to Kenny and Jen's for a nap.

Just as we got back to the house, we got a call from our buddy Ken (different Ken) who works at K2. He demanded that we come to the show to hang out so we changed and headed out to the OR (Outdoor Retailer) show. We were pushing the time limit on getting in and found a door that had been propped open through which we sneaked into the show. Great security. It took us awhile to find the K2 booth and we ran into several people with whom we used to work along the way. Good to see old friends. We hung out at the booth for a bit then hung out with Donna from Garmont and then grabbed second dinner with our buddy, Jonny Copp then headed home.

Saturday was allotted to going to the show and heading home. We made several key connections (K2, Garmont, Patagonia) and then high-tailed it out of there back to the airport. An uneventful flight home (blue heron this time), quick drive back up to Boulder, then back up the hill for me and back in my lady's luvin' arms by 11p.

Great trip. Seriously, get your ass to Utah.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Wasatch love...

No channels and nothing's on. ~ me

Heading up again this morning. Yesterday was awesome. Hit Solitude for
a half day of pow. Loads of fun. First true powder skiing of the year.

Today we are going back into Wolverine Cirque (I think) to spin some
BC laps. We may go to the show this afternoon but are playing that by
ear. Our shooting plans seem to have fallen thru but that is okay.
Good to just go make turns at this point.

More later.


via mobile

Monday, January 21, 2008


If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. ~ Mario Andretti

Headed up to the Rock late morning today to get in a few turns. Hoping to build on the successes of yesterday. It was cold but relatively calm today but conditions were far worse than yesterday's dreaminess.

I made a few runs back in Salto and was feeling fairly well... not as great as yesterday but definitely getting the flow of things and skiing relaxed. Pretty much what I need to be doing. On my third or fourth trip down through the glades, I stopped to help some poor monkey who was in WAY over his head retrieve his ski. This was shortly after watching him nearly take a header through the woods at an alarming rate of speed. Did I mention he was on one ski? Seems like I did. After he came to a stop, I skied down to him and gave him his missing stick, then made a couple of turns and proceeded to tweak my right knee a little. Nothing major but a definite set-back to my plans for world domination.

So now I am rockin' the ice shuffle, vitamin I, Arnica (which Pete doesn't believe in, kinda like gmail) and rest. We'll see how it feels Wednesday but I definitely am looking out for Thursday when we are planning to shoot in Utah. I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, January 20, 2008


Tenzing Norgay - Summit of Everest May 29, 1953

Lose a glove... lose a hand.
~ Russel Bryce

Spent some time with the family this week in snowy Gunnison. I haven't seen it like that for many years. There is a solid 2 feet at my parents' place and piles of the stuff everywhere. Gotta love that.

I drove over on Thursday morning and rolled into the 'Sack about 10:30 or so. My brother was there with his critter, Fisher, so it was fun to see them. Fisher (real name, Christian - but Rach and I call him Fisher because he looks like a Fisher Price person) will be 1 in a couple of weeks and learned how to climb the stairs while at my parents' place, which was pretty fun. I guess his mom may not be too thrilled with that new skill but I figure, he has to learn some time, right? He crawls like a champ but looks like a bulldog while doing so. Good stuff.

So I hung out in Gunnison for a couple of days. I was planning to ski at the Butte on Friday but it was bitch-ass cold, I got a late start and there were things to be done around the house so I bailed and got some work done instead. Jammed back home on Saturday to my lovely sweetie, Rach-tastic. We just hung out last night and did a whole lotta nuthin'.

I went up the hill to Eldora today and am really glad I did. I was skiing like a champ and the snow was actually a lot better than I expected. I am finally starting to put everything together and the results are quite satisfying, I must say. I charged Salto three times and each one was better than the last. Really can't say enough how pleased this makes me.

I met Pete and Edy up at the Rock and they were both doing well also. I got Pete to drop off one of the rocks at the bottom of Westridge, which was just awesome. Good to see him going for it. He is really starting to kill it out there.

Luke and I are off to Salt Lake on Thursday. Hoping to get a couple of days in skiing and shooting while there and hit the OR show. I am also hoping to get in a couple more days on the slopes before heading out and will keep you posted on that.

I watched Everest: Beyond the Limit - Season Two over the last few days. Really hammers home how much people rely on the Sherpa to get them up and down that mountain. Fitting that I watched it the same week that Sir Edmund Hillary passed away. Hillary summited with Tenzing Norgay and I really wonder if Norgay let Hillary summit first. Just askin'. Those Sherpa are machines. Not to take anything away from those that summit but the whole Everest thing seems to have become a high-priced commodity where rich people just pay to get on top and check another "adventure" off their list. Almost like a ride at an amusement park. Fork over your $50K and we'll set everything up so that you get your sorry ass to the top and back down. Just not sure how I feel about it. All the work that the Sherpa do to get the equipment up there, fix lines, shuttle people up and down... seems like a lot less of an accomplishment than it used to be. But what the hell do I know?

That is about it. Skipper had surgery on Thursday and seems to be doing really well. We also have a new bunny staying with us, Thor. He is.... um... feisty? But really cute.

Ok. Homework for today. Get outside and go to a place you have never been before. Doesn't have to be far, just go experience something new.

Take it sleazy.


Monday, January 14, 2008

More of a trot, really...

Can you use my rap name? Rhymenoceros. ~ Bret

Yesterday I hit the Beav again for a quick run. Felt great on the way down but a bit slower on the way back up. To be expected... Uphill with a head-wind is a bit more difficult than the opposite. I am definitely not ready to run any super-long distances but will keep plugging away with the goal of doing a couple of marathons (or at least marathon distance) runs in the coming months and perhaps a 50-mile ultra in July. There are a couple I am looking at right now and will probably opt for the new Leadville 50. We'll see how things go.

It is definitely more difficult running up here during the winter. Last year, I was commuting down to Boulder every day so running at lunch or after work was a snap. Now that I am working from home, I don't have the necessity to be in Boulder on a daily basis and really don't have plans to commute down for runs. Still trying to figure it all out. Apparently Jess is planning to run a marathon in the Spring so perhaps I'll just roll down on a regular schedule to tag along on her long runs.

I was planning to go skiing today but my legs are pretty spent so I am going to just take it easy, get some work done and try to get my tax stuff organized. Um... Good times? Tomorrow I have meetings scheduled then on to Larry's on Wednesday and then drive over to Gunnison on Thursday.

Pete hooked us up with Flight of the Conchords. Check it out if you get a shot. Pretty amusing stuff.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Keeps on ticking...

Flyin' at the Basin.

Get up, get, get, get down. ~ Public Enemy

So I jammed up to Eldora on Friday prior to a 12:00 meeting in Broomfield. I wasn't expecting much but when I got to the base was pleased to see that they had received 8 inches or so of fresh stuff. The steeper trees saw about a foot of really tasty pow. As I only had a few hours to spare, I headed straight to Salto and spun laps. Let me tell you, it was really hard to make it to my meeting. Needless to say, I was late.

On Saturday, Pete and I headed up to the Basin for some turns (shots above courtesy of Pete). The conditions were a bit odd on the Spine but tasty patches were sought out and skied with a vengeance. I was skiing fairly well. One thing that is common sense but nonetheless an interesting phenomenon is what I like to call the "Follow-Luke-down-ridiculous-shit factor" or the "Push me Pull you effect". (I don't really like to call it either of those things, actually. I just made that up to look smart.) Essentially, this is how it goes and I find it to be applicable to many things in life, not just tearing ass down snow-covered mountains...

Step One: Get to the point where you are frustrated on something that is at your ability limits.
Step Two: Get in over your head. Go somewhere else and get into some bidness that really pushes your confidence and skills. To the point that you completely flail but not to the point where you die.
Step Three: Move back to the point experienced in step one and feel the Gs, baby.
Step Four: Repeat.
That is about it. We are heading to Gunnison on Thursday this week. Nighthawks starts on Wednesday at the Rock. I am pretty much booked every day. Good times.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

From the slopeside office...

Ski fast. Take chances. ~ Old Skier's Proverb

Day 23 on the slopes. Luke and I went up to Eldora for a ski/work/ski extravaganza. Today was Nichole's first Women's Wednesday up at the Rock so Luke and I spent the day holding 7-9 minute meetings interrupted by sweet turns on Eldora's best. We skied for a couple of hours in the morning and I swear, we were the only people mining the goods. We were probably the first to drop in to Ambush, which was being blasted by snowmaking at that time. Untouched buff. Gotta love that. Then we just spun lap after lap on Salto, took a couple hour break to get some work done, then headed back out for some more afternoon turns.

I am skiing relatively well... having some issues when things really tip over but have moments of inspiration which I just need to channel. Something to do with not squaring my shoulders to the fall-line and keeping my hands up and forward. Gotta keep working on that.

We met up with Larry (from Larry's Bootfitting), his wife, Aleshia, and Michael (also from Larry's Bootfitting) and managed to get one run in with them before dropping down to the wrong lift and losing them for the rest of the day. Luke had a mishap on the last run of the day while jamming back down Ambush. We were mining the buff on the left side of the run when Luke high-sided and ended up tangled up in a couple of trees. I helped get him untangled but things were pretty wonky with his left leg. He did something undetermined to his knee but was able to make it down to the base area on his own. Post skiing, he said that his knee is very swollen but he is icing it and thinking good thoughts. Send some good vibrations his way.

Yesterday, we had meetings all day. Drumming up some more business and servicing current clients. Not too shabby. I actually got some work done as well, which was a bonus. Monday, I went up to Eldora for a few afternoon runs. Again, spent all of my time up on Salto.

Other than that, I am just staying busy and trying to get in ski days whenever possible. I am heading back over to Gunnison next week and may hit the Butte for a day while there. Luke and I are heading to Utah on the 24th so let's collectively get him feeling better so that we can rip it up out there.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bunnies and break-thrus...

Gentlemen... welcome to the Rock. ~ John Mason

Today was our regular day to clean cages at the Colorado House Rabbit Society. Aside from being half asleep, everything went splendidly and we were able to get things done without delays or distractions. Aside from the little monsters, that is. But they are always distracting a person. With their cuteness and their fuzziness. All contrived, mind you.

Post adore-a-fest, I got some things done around the house then headed up to Eldora for some late-afternoon turnage. It was snowing when I pulled into the lot and I quickly made my way back to Corona, braving the man-made "snow" the snowmaking crew has been blowing for the past 6 weeks. Seriously, someone smoked breakfast because most transition runs on that mountain are like yellow skating rinks right now. Really bad snowmaking.

Fortunately, once the good stuff opens up, I stay primarily on the steep stuff, onto which no man-made has fallen. Or splashed, as the case may be. I spun a few laps on Salto, getting progressively better, until my final run I felt like the old me. Apparently, I forgot how to drive my uphill hand and once I got that back under control, started making fairly worthy turns. I am still no Luke but getting there. Now that I know what was going on, I think I will be able to get things moving in the right direction again.

Other than that, we have been watching LOST: Season 3 which is at least as annoying as season 2. It is a bit of a train wreck but mindless entertainment when that is required. I also watched 300 which is definitely not gay at all - for a gladiator movie - which makes it still pretty gay. The effects were pretty special, however; and I did like the way they treated the whole film in sepiatone. And the Queen had great boobs. There. I made it at least 20% less gay.

Ok. Have fun. Take chances.


(Sorry for the lack of photos... I keep leaving my camera in the car.)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Two days...

Let's see how many turns we can make down this little pitch. ~ Luke Miller (I think...)

Rach always says that I am a much happier camper when I am able to get out of doors. When confined indoors, I am like a caged bear. So the last couple of days have been happy camperish, for sure. Though I do smell like a caged bear.

Yesterday I went for a run on the snowpacked road on which we live. Not super fast but it was good to get out there. There was some sort of weird inversion going on so it was about 40, which was nice. From our house to the end of the road is about 3.75 miles and about an 800 foot drop to the turn around and I spun pretty even splits. I was definitely whooped and a bit sore today but it felt good to get out there.

Today, I met Luke and Nichole at the Rock for a couple hours of skiing. Salto was open so Luke and I jammed out there for some of the good stuff. Conditions were weird and my legs were missing in action but it was fun to get some turns in on my favorite run at Eldora. I am definitely taking a break tomorrow... Hope to pick things back up on Saturday.

Nichole was doing awesome today. This is her second season (I think) and she is making great tele turns. Great to see her progress for sure. All in all a great couple of days in the high country.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead. ~ Aldous Huxley

When snow conditions are inconsistent, we call that "variable". When I ski like a champ one run then like a dog turd in a coma the next, I call that "weak". In either event, I had a fun day up at the Basin to kick off the new year.

Pete and Luke met me at Kermit's at 8:30 and we jammed up a freshly opened I-70. This major artery had been closed for about a day due to high winds, blowing snow and super-mega-extreme avalanche dangers. At least that is what CDOT said on their website.

Aside from one semi stalled in the right lane, driving up to A-Basin went smoothly. We were pleasantly surprised to find Loveland Pass open and were able to quickly make it to the area and get ready to make some turns. It was -12 when we pulled in so I pretty much wore everything I brought but with sunny skies and no wind, it felt a lot warmer than it was.

The recent high winds provided mixed conditions - from creamy pow to bulletproof ripples, we saw it all today. As I said before, I made some of the best turns coupled with the worst of the year. Some days are like that but I am trying to get to the root of it all so that I can be more consistent in the future. I was feeling good enough to drop some features here and there so that part of my day was actually confidence building. Even tossed in some drops as part of the flow (as opposed to stopping, setting up, then going off) which is a major goal for me this season. Good stuff.

I took one pretty spectacular fall at the bottom of the Rock Garden. If you had seen me, you would have thought I was trying to take a soil sample from China with my head. Serious auger. I think I struck oil.

All in all, it was a great start to the new year. I am not much of a celebrator of arbitrarily dated holidays but New Year's Day is one of the better days to ski. There is usually no one out on the slopes and arbitrary or not, it is a good way to start off the year.

I am also not much of a resolution-maker. If I need to make a change or start doing something, I don't tend to wait around until some time-stamp to do so. I do have some goals for '08, however. I haven't really vetted this list so we'll consider this a rough draft. For posterity's sake:

  • Build a garage (or get a new house with a garage): Living at 9000 feet, one's cars just get hammered by the harsh conditions. We really need to get Rach a new whip but I am committed to procuring better protection prior to doing so.
  • Ski the Enduro: This is an annual event at the Basin during which teams of two see how many runs they can complete in a day. Pali starts turning early (7ish) and shuts down at 5 and the team with the most runs wins. Another caveat, the teams have to complete runs in order from far skier's left to right across the front side of the mountain. Luke and I are planning to team up for this one.
  • Finish the Leadville 50 in 10 hours: This may be a bit of a stretch but I am planning to run this new event next summer. I may have to adjust the target finish time based on how training goes.
  • Use less fossil fuels than in '07: Shouldn't be too tough now that I work from home but I figure it is good to have a couple of soft goals on the list so I can feel good about accomplishing something.
  • Use less energy than '07: This may be coupled with adding solar to our home or something and may be tough to achieve with the planned construction but hey, gotta dream, right?
  • Start writing again: Okay, I know... I am writing now but I would like to start writing something more structured. Whether this takes the form of starting to write movie reviews again or just writing short stories, I don't really care. I would just like to generate some form of written material in '08.
  • Grow my toenails back: Yeah, still working on this one.
Okay, that is a pretty good list for now. I am sure I'll add to it soon.

We also watched The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada last night. I really like Tommy Lee Jones and he directed and starred in this film. Overall, I would say it was decent. Characters were painted with a pretty broad brush but it was an interesting take on friendship, commitment, and human relations. I wouldn't rush out to watch it but if you are in the mood for a slow-paced film, this would be a good selection.

Okay, go check out Pete's blog for some footage of our recent outings and if you are driving, don't drink, if you're drinking, don't drive.


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