Out of Practice

When you have been away from a sport for a while, it takes a few tries to get back where you left off. I decided to go to a sport-climbing gym to get some routes in before I try to head outdoors this spring, and man was that a good idea.

I tend to forget how much of a toll climbing takes on your forearms. Four days of stretching and they are still feeling tight! Makes desk work during the week a bigger pain than it already is!

Even though I was a little rusty, I got some good practice in and even learned a new gym game where you climb up a route on a slab (meaning the rock face is at an angle less than vertical) without using any hand holds. Definitely makes you get creative with your route and aware of where your center of gravity is.

How do you get back into shape when you’ve been away from something for a season?

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?

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.

Outdoor Enthusiasts to Watch

I started this blog to connect with fellow nature lovers, whether they too live in Colorado, are on the other side of the country, or even living out their own adventures elsewhere. I love to read about other people’s adventures, and get ideas for my (smaller scale) future treks.

Here are some of the places where I find my inspiration:

The North Face

Skiing Twitter

Team Makalu

Whether it’s skiing, climbing, hiking, or running for hundreds of miles, hopefully you can find some inspiration here too.

Throwing It Back to My Days As a Racer

So I never really thought I’d be a competitive skier, but I did have a few years of recreational racing in college. Mostly I liked it because I had a group to go skiing with at least 4 days a week, and people that didn’t mind skipping class for a day of fresh powder. Racing was always fun, and it made me a much stronger skier, but I never cared too much about the clock or how I was placing. 

So it is kind of funny to think that I might be racing in a rec league again this weekend! Pray I don’t blow a knee, I’m not as young (or reckless) as I used to be.

Staying Motivated

Days are getting longer but it is still tough to wake up in darkness, and leave work in darkness.

I hate getting out of bed when it is still dark, only to pull on my warm running tights, shorts over those, my warmest shirt, gloves, a hat, and lace up my shoes to get in a few miles before work.

I could hit up the gym, but getting up another 20 minutes earlier to run on the dreadmill just seems so unappealing.

This article has some good tips for those days that you hit snooze no less than 12 times. I may or may not have done that twice this week. These tips can be easily adapted to any workout routine, not just running.
What keeps you going when it’s cold and dark?

Another Instagram Adventure

Some more cool skiers to follow on Instagram:

Scrolling through my feed in the morning helps get me through a long day of work by pumping me up for the lines I’ll make on the mountain on the weekend.

Cody Townsend has got some sick pics that will make you crave the slopes. Check him out here.

 

 

Brad’s Essential Ski Gear

Now that the holidays are over and everything is on sale, and winter has finally hit the east coast, you guys might be looking into some new gear!

These are my essentials for staying warm on those bitter cold days when sane people won’t even go outside.

Buff headwear. I don’t love being frozen solid while I ski, but I especially hate getting sweaty under all those layers. You get colder on the lift, and it just makes you uncomfortable for the whole day. These extra long, multi-use neckwarmers are thin and lightweight. They keep the frigid air out, but allow you to breathe and feel a little wind on your face.

Ski socks that are warm, but thin. In your tight stiff ski boots or snowboard boots, you need air to circulate to keep those feet warm. Layers of socks won’t help, but a high quality wool pair will. Spend a little more to get the good ones.

A windproof/waterproof shell. Seems like a no brainer right? You’d be surprised how many people I see out there in puffy down coats, or what looks like their everyday winter jacket. Down or synthetic is a great mid layer – but it won’t stop howling winds. Also down won’t stay warm when it is wet.

Glove liners. These changed my life. Seriously. My hands are the only thing that gets frozen numb. I added a pair of synthetic glove liners to my mitts, and I’m good as new.

When all else fails – go to the lodge and grab a hot chocolate, and maybe a beer. Then get back out there!

A Darker Side of Skiing

I found this article from a little while back and thought it needed to be shared.

Nothing beats the quiet of backcountry skiing when it is just you, the mountain and the trees. However, this is some seriously upsetting news. Skiers should be trying to preserve the environments where we ski, not tearing them down. Cutting down a few trees to create a new trail may seem harmless, but this article talks about many consequences that people obviously aren’t thinking about.

Respect the environment, after all without, we couldn’t ski, hike, or bike without it.

What Inspires Bradley Nierenberg?

Why do I love to be outside? There are many reasons. Hiking, biking, camping, skiing, running, and climbing are all ways for me to push boundaries and find out what I am capable of. The wind in your face is enough to right all the wrongs of the day. The sense of accomplishment looking at steep incline or sheer face you just tackled is unlike anything else. The adrenaline of heights and speed is addictive. And knowing you did it with your own strength.. It’s an incomparable feeling.