Monday, January 30, 2006


That night was great. After hiking and digging for so long, we were all knackered; and when Jim had filled our bellies with Parmesan noodles and sausage, it was early to bed. I think Eric fought it off with a book, but I (as usual) was no match for the sleepy-monster. Eyes closed at 7:30. You'd think that at 7,000 feet on a wind-scorched frozen mountainside, we would be cold. Thanks to loads of gear, however, I think we all stayed comfortably warm throughout the night. In fact, at one of my roll-over intervals of groggy consciousness, I realized I was sweating. Thanks to my "Mr. Yuck" sticker clad nalgene, I was able to stay in my bag until 7:30 the next morning. Tricky, yet effective...and slightly disturbing.

After I relieved myself and dozed off again, I had a strange dream about being beaten by a junior high girl's basketball team. Thankfully, I awoke to the sound of Jim's voice, (which, by the way is quite disturbing when it come's out of the body of the little girl who was dunking over me) "Mike...Mike, wake up. I'm hungry." I snapped out of the depressing route, and opened my eyes. After some stretching, groaning, and an aerial steam-roller attack on Eric, I started cooking breakfast. Just like last year, I cooked Breakfast Burritos. Yum. They were eaten quickly.

We lethargically crawled out of our sleeping bags (which at this point I had been inside for 14 hours) climbed inside our snow gear and strapped on our boots, gaiters and snowshoes / crampons. Then we entered the vortex. Have you seen that commercial for the Dyson vacuum cleaner? Just imagine being stuck inside that with loads of snowcone ice. Now you know how we felt. Nevertheless, we trudged up the mountain toward Cooper Spur. I thought about Orville and Wilbur's mother a lot that day. She once told them to crouch down in the wind while bringing back the firewood. Smart lady. After a quick peek out over the Elliot Glacier, we made our way back to the hut.

[enter drama]

While Eric, Trent, and Jim were inside packing up their gear, I was outside organizing my sled. As I was yelling at some skiers who were huddling in the lee of the hut (that's the only way to be heard in that wind) Eric's nearby sled began to lift of the ground. Before it dislodged from it's resting place, I started sprinting, for I knew what was about to occur. One of the skiers yelled, "Uh Oh!" and the sled was off. I felt like a greyhound chasing the bunny-suited hunk of metal. Only...I was never that close. The actual velocity of the sled's departure has gotten quicker with each telling, but I SWEAR that thing took off at like 200 mph. I never had a chance of catching it. Within seconds, it was flying off a cliff a half mile away. Reluctantly (actually it was kind of funny to me at the time (sorry Eric)) I poked my head into the hut and said, "Eric, your sled is gone. I'm serious, it's gone." Obviously he wasn't too thrilled with the situation. Fortunately, my sled is the size of a houseboat, and Eric was able to put much of his gear inside his pack.

Since the A-frame was most likely vacant, we headed down the mountain toward a warm stove, a dry floor and some good times. Riding down the snowfield, I felt like Lewis (or Clarke...take your pick) canoeing down the Columbia. They had waited so long for the chance to be going downstream...wait, I'm boring myself. The ride down was cool!! It was a little rocky (not literally) at times due to the deep powder in the trees, but cool nevertheless.

We arrived at the hut and within a few minutes, all the day-hikers and previous night's dingleberries had cleared out, and the cabin was ours!

to be continued...

Friday, January 27, 2006


Our trip to the mountain last week was inspiring. Unfortnately, it started out poorly. The week before , I had left my brand-spankin-new gloves that Becky got me for Christmas in the ski-hill parking lot. Eric and I wen't back to dig for them in the 2+ feet of new snow. Even after Jim and Trent joined the efforts, we were unable to locate them. So sad.

But I moved on! I realized if I let it stick with me, it would ruin the trip. We headed the other side of the mountain to begin our hike / ski / sled (Jim was on backcountry skiis, the rest of us were on snowshoes pulling sleds). The hike in was great. The air was fairly warm, but snow was falling in mass amounts. I thought we were almost to our lunch stop at the Tilly Jane A-frame, but then we saw a sign that indicated we were still 2.5 miles away. That hurt. When we finally arrived, we met a cluster of people all planning on spending the night. This reinforced our desire to spend the night in the upper shelter on Cooper Spur. After a brief lunch, we donned our gloves and hat to continue up the mountain. This was the coldest period of the whole trip. Having secured my snowshoes with my bare hands, and having waited for Trent to attach his sled, my fingers would not warm up. Fortunately, just as I was about to cut off the frostbitten tips, they started to gain feeling. Crisis averted. So we made our way to the hut above the timberline. [wow...this is going to be long].

Upon arriving, we realized the hut was 3/4 full of snow. We began the task of removing enough snow to create sufficient sleeping area for the four of us. It was great fun, for the snow perfect consistency and the task was completed quickly. After about 2 hours of work we had created a 3 tiered bunk house for our snowbound enjoyment.

to be continued...

Friday, January 20, 2006

I wish you could do a search of blogs and see how many entries start with, "Wow, it's been a long time since I blogged." Well, add one more to the search results. I'm finding time to do this today because there are a few notable happenings in my neck of the woods.

First, Becky and I succesfully replaced the wall surround in our shower. The old one was warped and leaking, and constantly re-caulking it ever few months was getting tedious (for Becky...I must admit, she is the one who does it). So a few weeks ago, we decided to tear out the old one and replace it with a ready made wall surround from Home Depot. It's been a challenge, but it's up and the caulking is drying!! It should be ready to use in a few days. Yeah!

Second, the boys will depart for Cooper Spur tomorrow morning. It'll be the second time we've gone that route in the middle of winter. I can't wait to be snuggled up in a little stone hut at 6500 ft while the temperature drops to 17deg. Should be fun! But the best will be warming our noses and toeses by the wood stove at Tilly Jane on our second night (and watching Jim try to navigate through the trees on his cross country skis).

Third, my cousin Lauren just got hired as a temp in my team at work! She's excited, and my team is excited, and I am excited. It's a good thing. It feels good to be the inside man for someone trying to start here. Eric did it for me, and now I can do it for others. She starts on Monday, and it will bring an entirely new dynamic to my work life. Should be fun!


Friday, January 06, 2006

I've decided to initiate a new feature of Peaby and "J". We're gonna call it "Fun Game Time". [cheesy canned theme music plays]

Today's fun game is "Make Up the Etymology". [applause, cheering]

Let's see who can come up with the most creative etymology for the word: [drumroll]




Thursday, January 05, 2006

Quick recap on yesterday.

Around 12:30, I realized that with a fill-up at Shell, you can get 2-for-1 skiing at Meadows on Wednesdays. Guess what. Yesterday was Wednesday. I couldn't pass it up, of course. So Jim and I quickly wrapped up the day's work and headed for the mountain.

About 10 minutes away from Jim's house, we realized the Entertainment book had a coupon for 2-for-1 at Ski Bowl. We decided to do that instead, so we headed back to Jim's for the coupon and then motored up to the hill.

What a great night. Clear skies, warm weather, new snow...

I'm hooked (if you couldn't already tell).


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Heeeeeeere's Mikey!

Yes, at long last, I will post again. Here's the thing about dialup. It's not really worth logging on. apologies for the derelict posting. My vacation was great. I haven't been at this desk since December 23rd. Thankfully, I only had 80 emails waiting for me. Seeing as I was expecting somewhere around 300, I'm quite pleased.

Now back to the grind. The good news is the Posenjak's are coming down this Friday, and the work week is only 4 days.

A quick recap of my vacation:

-Christmas was great. Cherished times with family and friends.
-Snowshoed up, skied down in ZERO visibility.
-Slept in, played Half Life 2.
-Slept in, played Half Life 2.
-Slept in, played Half Life 2.
-Golfed in the rain with family.
-Slept in, played Half Life 2.
-OUTBACK ribs.
-Fell asleep at 7pm on New Year's Eve (Woke up at 10 to toast and then get in bed).
-Slept in, played MLB Baseball.
-Slept in, hit batting cages, played MLB Baseball and Half Life 2.

As you can see, quite a full schedule.

Unfortunately, it's been too warm on the mountain for snow. So I'm crossing my fingers for some great powder by the weekend.

PB (aka Gordon Freeman)