Archive for March, 2009

US Ski Mountaineering Championships

March 30, 2009

Saturday I toed up to the starting line at the 9th US Ski Mountaineering Championships at Jackson Hole, as I looked around all I could think is this is going to hurt. A few weeks prior to the race an announcement showed up on the USSMA homepage; it was a very detailed explanation about how the US Ski Mountaineering Team will be selected for the 2010 World Championships in Andorra. It continued to explain that the top two finishers at the 2009 US championships would automatically be given the first two spots for the team…. As I was waiting for gear check early on Saturday morning I overheard a very well known racer say to another “this may be the deepest field of US rando racers I have ever seen gathered at one race”.Anxious at the start (more…)

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Encore: Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim

March 25, 2009

In mid-February I started an 800-mile trek from Arches National Park to the western boundary of Grand Canyon National Park. I finished a day earlier than I anticipated, on Tuesday March 17th, and could think of few better things to do with an extra day at the Grand Canyon than running Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, a classic 42-mile ultra run. (For more info on running RRR, I’d encourage you to read the article I wrote for BackpackingLight.com about it.)   (more…)

Tongariro Circuit

March 1, 2009

An Award Ticket from UAL allows one free stopover. This is a key benefit to be aware of; a stopover adds major options to what already is a great deal. So on Feb 22 I boarded the plane in Sydney for my return to the States, got off in Auckland, picked up my Toyota Corolla at 9:15 pm, and drove until 1:30 am before pulling over and catching some Z’s in the back.

t-1Destination: Tongariro National Park, in the center of the North Island (and the 4th oldest Nat Park in the world). I had only 4 days in New Zealand (the downside to Award Tickets is you take what dates you can get). I had just come from doing the Overland Track and the South Coast Track – rated the #1 and #2 best trails in Australia – and the “Tongariro Circuit” is rated the best trail in New Zealand, and one of it’s super classic “Great Walks”. It circumnavigates two semi-active volcano’s; a 50 km track thru alpine terrain and fresh lava fields, all with big views.

So guess what I was going to do the next morning? OK, so I’m totally predictable … (more…)