Monday, March 8, 2010

Catching a little rest for the legs today, but had to write a quick note about snowboarding yesterday. Instead of splitboarding, we rode Steamboat Ski Area (home!) with a couple of hikes out of bounds thrown in for good measure. Met up with Matty G and Louise and proceeded to the top of Mt. Werner, where we found some great steep and deep snow at Gate D. It's a short pitch with a long traverse out, but fun and worthy enough. Matty and I then went over to Pony Express and did a hike out to the canyon from the top of the chair.

Under beautiful sunny skies, we made the short 10 minute hike out to Fish Creek Falls Canyon. I always get a little nervous dropping into the canyon because I don't know the area as well as most. Super deep snow, even on a light year like this one. It's very steep, north-facing with dense pine tree cover everywhere, so it's hard to see a clean line to ride until you are almost on top of it. The area is littered with hidden "alleyways" and rock drops and pillow lines. And cliffs. I've had my fair share of climbling down trees and sliding down rock faces (who hasn't in the canyon?) but have never been seriously cliffed out, although it is a possibility if you take the wrong line. This day, the Snow Gods looked favorably on me and I linked the best line I've ever had down the canyon. Close to 1000' vertical feet of deep, deep snow and trees and "pillow lines." Popping little airs here and there. Only in the last 150' did I have to stop and arrest against some small pine trees, sluff a little snow down a 15' chute and then slide down. Finished the last section by ripping through some tight pines, out and over a small rock into a small aspen stand and a few big slashes at the bottom, before the 15-20 minute traverse out. SICK. That's a guaranteed smile every time I think about it.

Did another short hike after re-meeting up with Louise off of Sunshine Peak. I forget what the local's name is for this area but it's a perfect place to take the splitboard and get turns in big, wide open powder fields and aspen stands. Kind of the opposite of the canyon in terms of topography.

Spent the next couple hours trying to keep up with Matty. It was no use. The man is just a machine when it comes to snowboarding. You should've seen this particularly ninja-esque 360 he casually threw as he dropped into a tree run. So styley. And he rides so freakin' fast. Anywhere, any conditions. I mean, I am a pretty good snowboarder, but Matty reminds me that there is a whole 'nother level to the sport if you have the drive, focus, passion and love for the Ride. A great friend and a fo' real rippah, brah.

Crushed my lactic acid threshold, for sure. Legs were so sore, even after a good hot tub soak, particularly in the back of my right knee and hamstring. I felt pretty good this morning and almost went for a run this evening but thought it was wiser to rest and hit it hard again tomorrow. So that's what I'll do.

Looking to the future, Collegiate Peaks is about 8 weeks away, so I need to get some long runs in. At least, a few 3-4 hour ventures. I forgive myself for not running the past weekend because I've had some great days of riding. Still, I need to increase my workday mileage a little over the next 3 weeks. Then, I'm going to Moab for a couple days with my homies and I want to do two long runs there. A few weeks later, in mid-April, I'm going to Florida to see my mother. That will be a perfect time to do some long, flat runs at sea level before coming back, tapering the next weekend and racing the next! Is it wrong to want the snow to melt so I can run trails? I miss dirt. Say it ain't so!

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