Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Kit

As some had indicated an interest in the clothing we had made a few years back we decided to create a new design and have another run of kit made. We went with Podiumwear again as they have new, very high quality suits and jackets and do all of the production right here in the states. They are excellent to work with as they are responsive and helpful.

We are affiliated with The Utah Nordic Alliance so we opened the order to anyone with the assistance of Podiumwear's "Team Storefront". This allows people to go directly to the Podiumwear website, select and pay for the items they would like without the club needing to manage those activities.

We selected products in Podiumwear's Gold Line. They use very modern, high quality textiles and are very well constructed. They are true to size and the finishing work is top quality.

Here's the 3-D renderings of the new clothing from Podiumwear's site:

If you're considering custom clothing I recommend checking out Podiumwear based on their quality product, competitive pricing and low minimums.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wasatch Front/Back Grooming Reports on Twitter

FSM has created a service for pushing grooming reports via it's @fastsnailmob twitter account. Currently it is retrieving reports from The Utah Nordic Alliance and White Pine Touring in Park City. We hope to add other locations in the future. 

** UPDATED ** - Soldier Hollow added to list of grooming reports. 
                        Basin Recreation (Snyderville/ParkCity) added.

To receive the reports in your feed simply go to @fastsnailmob and click follow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Janksgiving in West Yellowstone

After a smooth drive to West Yellowstone on Tuesday night we were ready to roll early Wednesday with a few laps on the well-groomed Rendezvous trails.  Jonathan, Dru, Bill, Laurie and I all skied like kids who hadn't seen snow for awhile (because we hadn't) and won't for awhile (because this winter is off to a rotty start).  There were workouts followed by Huckleberry Martini parties, a Janksgiving Pie and even a SuperTour race for me in the short five days.

Bill took Jonathan and me for a ski on our classics on Wednesday, setting us up well for learning that discipline.  It's a beautiful technique to watch when it's done right, so don't watch us yet for sure.  However, it is certainly the root of the sport and I feel compelled to learn it. I also feel like I need to own up to my nice hand-selected pair of classic skis from Salomon and actually ski them right.

Thanksgiving meant the TUNA potluck for some, while some of us elected to sit around and eat from many delicious pies.  Jonathan crafted a chicken pot pie topped with cranberry stuffing all in one package.  It was a portable potluck and Jonathan dubbed it Janksgiving.

SuperTour 10km Freestyle Start
Friday's race was my season opener, and with a field of mostly national team members and NCAA athletes, I was hoping not to finish last.   They sent us off in 30 second intervals and I was the second to last skier to leave since I have no points.

I battled a wicked headwind at the start, having to keep from going all out for the long grind ahead. Dru, Jonathan, Bill, Laurie and the little TUNA Juniors were all out on the course yelling for (at) me, and I did notice! Two laps and 10 km later (the Garmin said 9.5km) I was hacking up a lung, happy to be done and 62nd out of the 70 skiers. Better, though, was my third place finish of those older than 30. For that I got to go to the awards ceremony, stand on a podium and get a medal.  After all those years of bike racing I am much more appreciative of those ceremonies, even when they are for very small things.  Especially at 38 and with one year of ski racing under my belt.  I'll take it.

Masters Podium for 10km Free
Dru, Jonathan and I enjoyed a great speed workout on Saturday down Cabin Hill.  If you've never skied the Rendezvous trails, Cabin Hill is notorious for taking out beginners (me two years ago) and even novices (me last year).  This year we were intentionally making huge pushes to get going at the top to hit the transitions at speed.  My what a difference a year makes!

When Sunday threatened to end our glorious time in the snow, Dru, Jonathan and I were determined to get that long ski in that we had planned.  Although it was MINUS NINE, we wanted to get an early start so that we wouldn't have to battle traffic back to Salt Lake.

We got up at 8 for dawn patrol on the full loop.  It was absolutely beautiful and serene, albeit cold and very slow.  It was an extremely hard-fought 24.7km.  Dru visited the special place for a moment and we had to bring him back with an emergency Clif bar, but other than that it was a glorious day.

Dawn on the Rendezvous

I will admit to (and bust Jonathan for) a trip to the Golden Arches for a Big Mac - something that is becoming somewhat of a tradition for us in West.  Then it was back to reality - work, schedules and a serious snow drought that had better knock it off!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Vertical Training with a Cherry on Top

Vertical training is important this time of year and hiking in the mountains is a great way to accomplish that goal... and why not combine that with connecting 12 months of backcountry skiing.

We arrived at the Timponeke trailhead around 8:30am and the lot was pretty full. Sunday morning in Provo?  I guess we aren't the only gentiles who had the idea.  We shouldered our bags and headed out with the intent of hiking to a snowfield 5km from the trailhead. Our sources told us there was enough snow to make turns that would qualify as "skiing".

It was a chilly start but it warmed up quickly as the sun began peeking over the ridgeline.  We stopped to remove some clothing when an old guy who I would liken to Jerry Seinfeld's athletic nemesis Izzy Mandelbaum (only more able bodied) approached us and started asking us questions.  We had already started discussing the possibility of extending the hike out to the headwall but decided to make that decision when we reached our initial objective.  

"Where you guys headed?" he asked, to which we responded with our conditional possible destinations.  He immediately started making statements that seemed to have additional meaning - think "Password" the game show.  "It's pretty icy", and "C'mon you guys... you gotta have a plan," he kept insisting.  I would not have been even a little surprised if he'd asked us if we thought we were better than him or shouted "It's go time!"  

We fell more or less silent, shrugged and just stared at him.  We weren't rude about it - he just seemed to have more energy and and in-your-face attitude than I could deal with or muster.  He felt the awkward silence, wrapped up his psuedo-helpful act and carried on.

Izzy - it's icy go time!
When we reached our initial destination at 5km we considered how nice a day it was, how much food and water we had and decided to continue on to the upper snowfield.  As we were noshing and removing a bit more clothing, up walked Izzy. We had passed him earlier when he stopped to shed clothes.  

"Are you the two I just talked to down trail?"  

Jen said,  "No, that was other people," and he believed her.  He then engaged us in a conversation about these two other people he saw down below who were also planning on going skiing.  Again we paused silently for a moment and then as gracefully as possible told him that in fact we, and those two he'd seen down below, were one in the same.   We told him that we were headed up to the other snowfield and he started with the remarks again.   Apparently the 'password' to getting him to stop was to let him know that we had crampons and axes.  Once we told him this his demeanor changed and it was clear that his reason for all the obtuse questioning was actual concern.  He said he'd been up to the headwall a couple weeks back and he had needed crampons for the last bit.

Last winter transitions into this fall right here.

When we reached Timpanogos basin we were amazed by the number of wildflowers around so late - but I guess that's a testament to the huge snow year this past season.  We were also able to see our objective and that it was certainly worth the longer hike.  We crossed the last talus field before we finally reached Emerald Lake.  

Emerald Lake
We arrived at the edge of the snowfield, swapped out our shoes for boots with spikes and began taking notice of rocks and other hazards as we walked.  There were two other people just ahead of us sporting packs with skis clambering up the headwall - I guess what's normal depends on your surroundings... Utah proves that on a daily basis.  Turns out they too were there in order to keep their number contiguous months on snow increasing.  We waited for them to ski on before gaining the ridge. 

Provo & Utah Lake
In addition to the two skiers there were two guys who seemed terribly out of place - they looked like hikers and not being familiar with the topography of Timpanogos, I was not entirely sure how they reached the saddle in regular shoes.  The top was extremely icy and without at least mountaineering boots it would have been nearly impossible to climb.  It turns out that they had received some bum beta (quite literally) and were told they could hike around to the top of the snowfield and glissade down.  Bum indeed.  They took the plunge and their behinds paid the price for sure.  Additionally, the ride was so rough, one of the two lost their backpack.  As we were preparing to ski down they yelled up to ask if we'd pick up the pack on the way down; we had planned on it even if they had not asked. 

Jen's eye view

Ready to go...
The first one or two turns were a little dicey as the "snow" was pretty hard and sun-cupped and it was fairly steep as well.  Jen jumped in and had a binding malfunction leaving her to ski on one foot until she could bring herself to a stop by traversing.  The other ski drifted down the face and came to rest nearly on top of the dropped backpack.  Jen made her way down to the ski on one foot and then I skied down to meet her.

I picked up the backpack, and I'm not sure what they were carrying but it was heavy.  Best guess is, it wasn't beer.  Unfortunately they took our agreement to pick it up as permission to keep walking.  I now had to ski with two heavy bags all the way down.  When we finally reached them and saw the pink stains on their pants we knew they'd received punishment enough, and returned the pack without the tongue-lashing planned.

We changed back into summer clothing and had some lunch while enjoying the perfect weather and scenery.  We took one last look at our adventure and started the 12km trek back to the car.