Rock Climbing from Your Couch

Rock climbing is a fun sport, but it can really beat you up. When you don’t have the time, money, or friends to go with you, there’s another way to get your adrenaline fix. Video game rock climbing seems kind of like a cop-out, but with new tech like Virtual Reality, it’s getting more and more realistic. It’s so awesome it will make your palms sweat like you are standing on a ledge.

Check out some of Google’s cool projects with street view rock climbing for El Capitan and Mont Blanc and Crytek’s new game coming for Oculus Rift.

While you won’t get the wind in your face, Crytek comes pretty close with jaw-dropping views and sound effects.

So for those days when you can’t be bothered to leave the couch, you can still enjoy the great outdoors!

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Spring Cleaning: 3 Great Workouts

Now that winter is coming to a close, it’s time to focus on the adventures spring has in store!

I’m thinking lots of rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running, and maybe a couple of lazy days at the lake.

While skiing helps keep me strong for spring sports, I like to throw some specialized workouts in there to keep my arms and back strong for climbing, my legs strong for mountain biking, and my endurance up for running (skiing 4 miles > running 4 miles).

Here are some great workouts and ideas to get you started:

http://www.outsideonline.com/2007426/how-do-i-improve-my-pull-technique

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa21.htm

https://www.trailrunnermag.com/training/cross-training/article/1769-5-workouts-to-build-trail-race-ready-strength/page-2

 

 

3 Crazy Endurance Races that Push the Limits

Sometimes I finish a really long run or a strenuous hike and think that I’ve exhausted myself to my very limits and can’t push anymore. And that might be true because once I wildly underestimated the amount of water I would need on a 10-mile hike and considered drinking from a (not so clean) stream at the end. That was miserable.

But I like to push myself and see what I am capable of, and doing that is a long process of learning and failing and eventually succeeding. I found some articles about some unbelievable races that are designed to push humans to their very limits.

This boat race covers 750 miles in variable conditions. The only rules: No motors and no support along the way.

This 100 mile foot race in the mountains of Frozen Head State Park, TN is designed for failure. There’s no map, no GPS, and just making it to the start line is nearly impossible.

This race has you ascending and descending four peaks on skis. You better be ready to bring your uphill game.

As cool as it would be to participate in one of these, I think I’ll stick with my shorter races. But who knows?

Bucket List Update

Made it through the first two months of the year! At the end of 2015, I shared my bucket list with you all here. My news years resolution was to ski as much as possible this year, and I think I did a pretty good of staying true to that. (Not the hardest resolution I am aware.) As spring comes along, I’m making some more goals for myself since I can’t keep skiing once the snow is gone…

Number 1: Get in good shape for running. I haven’t seen my good old friend the gym much this winter – although I’ve tried. Skiing helps with endurance, but getting those miles in isn’t going to be fun at first.

Number 2: Go hiking! In my opinion, living near the mountains is a waste if you never make time to enjoy the outdoors. Hikes long and short always help me de-stress and appreciate the world I live in.

Number 3: Go on adventures with friends. I’ve gotten a lot of people to come skiing with me who normally wouldn’t. They were willing to try something new, so it’s my turn! Whether they want to go white water rafting, backpacking, road-tripping, I’d love to learn something new with my friends and fam.

Skiing: Frequently Asked Questions

As a diehard skier trying to spend every day that I can on the slopes, I get a lot of questions. When it’s chilly out, I can never complain because people always ask “You’re a skier, don’t you like being cold?”

So I thought I’d do a little Q&A with the questions I frequently get from friends and family.

 

Q: Doesn’t being cold make skiing less fun?

A: I enjoy skiing so much that cold doesn’t bother me, but I don’t want to stand around in -10 weather.

 

Q: Isn’t it boring to ski green (easy) or blue (intermediate) trails once you are an “expert”?

A: I enjoy the advanced terrain, the moguls, the deep pow, but I also like a nice meandering trail with a view or a freshly groomed beginner trail with no one else on it. Skiing for me is about having fun – whatever the condition.

 

Q: Is ski racing an event where everyone lines up and tries to get to the bottom first?

A: That sounds kind of like skier-cross, which includes banked turns and jumps as well. I would totally give that a try. However, traditional ski racing is a little more organized and looks like this

 

Q: Doesn’t gravity do all the work for you? Why do you need to be get in shape for skiing?

A: Gravity helps, but there’s technique involved. It’s a workout, and the mountain sure knows how to kick my butt. Getting in shape helps make the ski season more fun.
What are the most common questions you get about your hobbies?

A Skier’s Dream Car

A Skier’s Dream Car

I’ve been looking into new (to me) cars, because mine is rugged and sturdy, but I want something that is actually fun to drive. Mine is going on 110,000 miles and I think now might be a good time to sell.

This one looks like a lot of fun, but unfortunately its top speed is 40 mph because it is meant for driving on ski slopes…

That one is out for practicality purposes.

Which brings me to these beauties, which unfortunately are also out for financial reasons, and possibly because they aren’t the best for commuting to work everyday.

And my car is pretty good in the snow, but no way could it ever do this.

I’ll probably settle for something a little less flashy and look into something a little sporty, a little practical, and a lot more fun to drive than my clunky old CR-V.

The Weekend is Almost Here

Who else is looking forward to some powder over the holiday weekend? I remember skiing small, crowded resorts on holiday weekends as our yearly family ski vacation. While it is nice to have the mountain to yourself, nothing beats having some friends stay for a long weekend, and skiing in a group, regardless of ability, or crowds. The ski bum life isn’t for everyone, but it’s nice when everyone can get together and ski bum it for a weekend!