December 29, 2008

snow times

Even if we are in Orange County and you can wear shorts year round. . . it still gets cold. . . If you are not prepared you may even loose a finger or two.

That was all I was thinking about after a freezing decent down our Maple Springs ride on Saturday. Monique, Tiffany, Wes, Corby and I headed up a clear road with sunlight and had no idea just how cold we would get on the way back to the cars. We were climbing and chatting it up on the climb and just about when we got to the snow patches the sun decided to take a nap. Heated up and a little sweaty from the climb we had cool times ahead. . . but they were good times too.

I had to stop about every three switchbacks so that I could get movement back in my hands and grab some brakes. My fingertips are still numb and I got that all to familiar feeling of "I just wanna get back to the car". Fortunately, we were all in good spirits and after some Starbucks and food.

I also got in a "base climbing test" on the way up too. The first real "baseline" test I have ever done but it should help me gauge progress through the year to see what type of workouts are proving to be best on the bike for climbing and how things are progressing for VQ this year. Yes, I am training for VQ this year and am pumped about giving it a good go!

The next day we headed up with a good group to Baldy for another snowshoe session. Not as much pow pow as when Monique and I were there just a few days before but there was adventure to be found!

We also had much more time and quickly passed the turn around point that Monique and I reached on our last trip. The trail that was worn into the snow also quickly passed and we found ourselves scooting along a iced over field of falling particles . . . danger... a little bit. Just because the trail was not present and everyone else was turning around didn't mean that we had to stop!

It was not until we reach the saddle that we realized heading back down would be a new challenge. Monique, Joe and Wes took a nasty slide down the ice and we were all thankful that they managed to stop...even if they had to hit something to slow their momentum. Amazing how quickly you pick up speed on the ice!

The good news is that everyone was safe and we all learned a ton about efficient snow/ice travel. Having the right gear is key but having the right group of pals is survival. Good times and we are all starting to look forward just a bit more to the Big Bear Snowshoe race in a few months. Until then we are sticking to the pow.

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