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The only place to stay current on the latest manic ramblings from Lakewood, Colorado.

Rudy Project, the exclusive eyewear of A2B

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DEBATED.....


On Friday, the endless winter of 2013 continued. A couple of days back up in Eagle were spent riding dirt and pave and then it was time to head back to Denver for the weekend to work, announcing the Rocky Mountain Series opener at the Ridgeline Rampage. Of course I decided to stop at Arapahoe Basin, The Legend, on the way down the hill for some world class spring skiing. The snow is amazingly perfect up there these days. The decision was made to do a couple of hikes on the East side and ski North Pole Plunge and then hike the 539 stairs up Willie's before heading to the metro area. Two chairlift rides later I was on top of the world and had perfect steep skiing conditions....it starts with a ride up Pali.
Turbo rock...the guy was a legendary skier, like butta.
"Shit for Brains" is filled wall to wall....just give it some time to consolidate if you are crazy enough.
The run that never fails, The Spine
Lower part of the hike to North Pole and other fun.
This douchenheiner would not let me pass him for about ten minutes,,,
Ready to drop Willies

On the way over Loveland Pass I decided to stop and walk into the sight of what is now the second most deadliest avalanche in Colorado history, the deadliest involving snow riders. I debated posting this struff, but it happened, and people are interested, and hopefully someone learns something from this. These images below are from the Steep Creek avalanche debris pile. It is huge. It is also very hard to understand the loss of life for five experienced backcountry enthusiasts. It's a creepy place to stand knowing that five people died here just a couple of days previous. So many bad decisions were made by this group, and with all due respect to the loss of life, it is hard to comprehend what they were thinking when you enter the site. It took me 2-3 minutes to walk across the path of the debris field, and all six people (one survived) were buried in this narrow gully. It is mind boggling to observe. I myself narrowly escaped death with two friends back in the early 90's because we did many things right that day, and I consider myself very lucky to be here today. That day ended my backcountry skiing adventures which took place for a dozen years or so. There was alot of disrespect for the terrain at this sight, especially considering what all of these people knew entering this area. It really makes no sense at all, it's tragic. This was the worst possible route selection during some incredibly unstable conditions....below I stand just a few feet from a spot where victims were recovered.
This picture shows the top of a hole where victims were dug out. The hole is fifteen feet deep. There was zero chance of survival. All of this snow in the background, as well as to the upper left of this photo is still hangfire in this area. Anything that slides above will end up in this gully as well. Just beyond this hole and to the left is the very small group of trees where more victims came to rest, as well as the survivor, who was trapped for four hours before being dug out, two of his friends passed just feet away from him. He is a very lucky guy.

Heartbreaking notes to the victims are on site in the debris pile..
This is the last view the group observed. Only a 60 second walk from the parking area, and another minute to the debris field which you can vaguely see just past the angled dead tree. The slide occurred from the slope to the right and traveled quickly downhill to the left crossing this opening in front of me. Very easy access, too easy. This area sits a couple of hundred yards above Loveland Ski Valley chairlift top.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

OK, ENOUGH ABOUT ME...NOT REALLY

Everyone and their brother continues to bitch about the cold and snowy weather around here, to which I reply, keep on bitchin ya all, I'm gonna go ski the living shit out of the best snow conditions we have seen all year in Colorado. The Legend is going off right now.
 

The drive up to Arapahoe from Denver was a chllenge to say the least, but so worth it. Snow EVERY WHERE! 

One of the super cool things about Arapahoe is the work ethic up there. Alan Hencroth, who runs the show now, shovels 13 inches of snow with the rest of the staff to get the mountain ready for it's best day of the year.....
A staple at the Arapahoe basin A-frame for a million years, the skiers breakfast. Hold the salt a bit next time guys would ya?

And of course it's all good in Eagle this time of year. Riding season has begun...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

SO TIRESOME....

5 "back country experts" yesterday on Loveland Pass in Colorado. Estimates are that the slide took place at roughly 1pm in the afternoon. Early reports say that the victims, along with one who survived, were heading up hill to ride some low gradient terrain. They were skinning up the bottom of a gully surrounded by steeper terrain. There are other experts who say they were doing everything correct to avoid danger. The previous week had severe south easterly winds with heavy snow in this area which placed exceptionally heavy loads on a shit base layer that has been there since early winter. I had spent parts of three days in this area the previous week and witnessed many naturally released slides, to the ground in this area. These slides were in plain sight of the highway which crests Loveland Pass known as Highway 6. They were there for any person to observe and see what extreme issues there were in the back country surrounding the area. These six people clearly ignored all of these signs, entered incredibly unstable terrain, were all clearly together in a bunch in a poor choice of route, and had no way out should there be a problem. 

About ten minutes prior to this event taking place, I was leaving Arapahoe Basin with my girlfriend heading back to Denver over Loveland Pass. As we left Arapahoe I noticed what appeared to be a solo skier or snowboarder at the top of the Little Professor which is directly across the highway and to the north of Arapahoe Basin ski area. We were on our way up the pass next to the highway department building by the upper lot and I pulled over and said to my girlfriend, "you want to see this guy die?" We sat there for a minute and realized this person was gearing up or taking a break and the crown of the bowl and would be a while so we drove on. Coming over the top of the pass I could not believe some of the skier and snowboard tracks I was looking at on top of the pass. Solo tracks right down the fucking middle of many of the classic slide zones on the divide on the north side of the pass. This was just about 1:10pm in the afternoon. As we came down the pass towards I-70 there were some CDOT vehicles up there looking inside a pick up truck that was parked at the switchback the leads into the Sheep Creek drainage. Alot of people were lucky on the pass that day, five were not. 

The mountains always win people. The mountains don't give a crap what your intentions are. You can make all the good decisions you want, if you make one bad one, the mountain wins, every time.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

SKIING ALL THE HITS. ARAPAHOE BASIN

Upper International, or what we used to refer to as Gun Barrel.

Everytime I drop in this line I remember Jay and what a crazy bastard he was, always a thumbs up out of respect when I drop this line. He passed in a helicopter crash so long ago. No music here, all though a Waylon Jennings tune would be appropriate. RIP forever our friend.
Gauthier
  

Turbo
It would be disrespectful not to drop this line on a powder day at The Legend at least once...the snow was perfect, the skiing like butta. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ALRIGHTY THEN

What in the fuck?
I want to see the fails of this one...

THE LEGEND IS.......LEGENDARY. SNOWPACK NOW 93% OF NORM. FIRST TRACKS FOURTH ALLEY

There are many things and moments in life that are not something that words, or even video, can describe. In this new world of incredibly instant gratification and the "me" outlook on life, which is on display daily in every resort community in the world, and which I am at the forefront more than most of the one uppers who know everything and have done everything better and bigger in the world (I can admit the obvious), we can still try and capture these moments somehow. Below is video of one of life's divine moments. On my journey to the front range to spend the week with my girlfriend Anna yesterday, I stopped at the world's greatest ski area, The Legend, to ski a reported 10 inches of new snow. I got there early, made the selection of the first row at the Pali Chair, and had dibs on whatever I wanted for my first run of the day. I decided to go old school classic style and just head straight to the Fourth Alley and The Waterfall for my first run on Pali of the year. It did not disappoint, and all the same rocks were in the same places where they sat from 1983-1996 when I skied there everyday of the winter, and the run was spiritual as it always is at The Legend, and I ran into old friends as always, and all though we have all grayed and put a pound or two on over the years, the mountain remains the same and it will for generations to come, and thank God for that, for it is like no other.
The Legend 4-16-2013 from Larry Grossman on Vimeo.

Since I left Summit County in 1996, my skiing soul has remained at Arapahoe Basin. My skiing heart aches to be there and ski it, everyday, because everything else pales by comparison......

RUMBLE AT 18 ROAD, FRUITA

This past weekend, right before the spring snowstorm from hell showed it's face in the high country of Colorado, the second annual Rumble at 18 Road in Fruita took place with a Cross Country race Saturday and short track racing on Sunday. The weather was very unseasonable cold and WINDY. It was a great way to start off the mountain biking announcing season as LTR Sports had asked me to be there to call the action. Where else would you want to kick off the season racing than right in Fruita? The hollowed grounds of fat tires...

The wind raged most of the weekend and the crowds were obnoxiously large and loud in the parking lot at Loma with about 50 cars in the lot late Sunday. I made the wise decision to boogie home early instead of waiting to Monday when the weather went all to hell and shut down much of the Interstate.

I missed closing day at Beaver Creek on Sunday, with 15 inches of new snow, but the previous week was incredible at the Beav, and I got all I wanted. I hope you did too.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

SPRING'S GRAB BAG....LIKE A DOUCHE BAG

This blog was built many years ago on stupid stories and images of where and when you should take advantage of your surroundings. My life has grown much more complicated during those years, but I remain passionate about riding my bikes often and in great places. Winter is trying to loosen it's grip here in Eagle, and some of the trails are getting close. People are riding, some of the riding is taking place a little earlier than it should, but whatever, you can't stop the d-bags. Anyway, now that the ski season is fading, it's time to get back to the roots of A2B and riding bikes, taking photos, riding with friends, and announcing bike races. I'll see you in Fruita this weekend where I'll be working the Rumble at 18 Road and riding on Monday. In the meantime I've been sneaking out on some of the low local stuff and turning some pedal....it's just about here, and I can't wait, either can some of the douche bags. And besides, I've got a new bike on the way, and it is bouncy in the front and back of the bike...real living.





Saturday, April 6, 2013

EAGLE OUTSIDE FESTIVAL IS GOING TO BE BIG, FROM MIKE MCCORMACK

Breck Epic Organizers Launch MTB Event in Eagle, CO 
$11,000 Cash Prize Purse Offered
(Eagle, Colo.) - April 5, 2013 - The Greenspeed Project, Inc., organizers of the popular Breck Epic MTB Stage Race, are pleased to announce the launch of the inaugural Eagle Outside Festival. Scheduled for May 11-12, 2013 in Eagle, CO, the event serves as a showcase for the community's extensive trail network and as a centerpiece for the town's destination tourism marketing effort.
"We've made a commitment to increase the quality and quantity of our already substantial trail network," states Mayor Yuri Kostick, "We believe that Eagle offers some of the best riding in the Rockies, all within an easy drive of the front range. The Eagle Outside Festival shines a spotlight on what we consider to be a perfect early season riding option for the Colorado mountain biking community."
 
Accurately described as a 're-envisioning' of Eagle's former Get Out Expo, the new event incorporates many new elements for riders, runners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. First among them is the inaugural Firebird MTB Race and its counterpart, the women's only Firebird la Femme. Non-USAC sanctioned, the mountain bike events take place on Saturday and Sunday respectively and collectively boast a $10,000 cash purse with equal payouts for men's and women's fields.
The festival also features the 1st annual Rocky Mountain Bike and Outdoor Expo, a consumer facing demo boasting some of the bike industry's leading brands. Santa Cruz, Pivot, Ibis, Felt, Niner, Specialized, Yeti, Ellsworth, Twenty Two Cycles, Orbea, Wilier, Ridley, BMC and many, many more will all be on hand with their latest models. The free demo invites consumers to test ride their dream rigs all day long on Eagle's signature climbs and descents.
"With three great coffee shops, a VERY good brewery, some killer Mex, dining options galore and a full grip of trails leading riders from town into the back of beyond, Eagle is sort of an undiscovered secret," says event producer Mike McCormack, "The racing part is obvious, and we're thrilled to have the town's support in offering a sizable purse. The current dynamic as dictated by USA Cycling is universally unpopular - hopefully another great race without their sanction will prompt them to invest additional thought into their recent decision. Then again, maybe it won't."
"The demo is a direct extension of the success we've seen at events like Sea Otter, Interbike and Outerbike," continued McCormack, "People LOVE to try the bikes they've only seen reviewed online or in a magazine. Events like these are packed with smiling people. With the industry placing more and more resources into dealer relationship and support demo-type programs, we think we've come pretty close to the mark in terms of offering a great venue along with tremendous energy and critical mass, all during the important early season purchasing period. And besides - what better way to introduce riders to Eagle?"
The event will also offer a no-cost set of Strava Challenges. Riders can test themselves on some of Eagle's signature climbs and descents, trying to best the local hammers and rippers for digital bragging rights.
There's more than just biking though. New for this year is the Mother of a Half-Marathon, a downhill road marathon that sees competitors finish in the heart of Eagle Ranch. In addition, there will be a 10K longboard push race, a "Chro-Moly Chef" competition, and a wide variety of Mother's Day activities including yoga, spa treatments, flower delivery, special meal offers from local dining spots and much, much more.

For more information on the Eagle Outside Festival, the Rocky Mountain Bike and Outdoor Expo or any of the events held throughout the weekend, please visit the Eagle Outside Festival site or contact Mike McCormack.
About The Greenspeed Project
The Greenspeed Project was founded in 2008 to utilize cycling events as a mechanism to underwrite trail improvements and enhance MTB access in the Central Rockies. The team has effectively harnessed the power of the collective cycling consciousness in service of demanding accountability and ethical discourse from those that would see mountain bike access greatly marginalized. Greenspeed has also been instrumental in validating the term 'companion designation', bringing it into the land protection dialogue along with the concept of the Wilderness B (Wilderness with Bikes), of which Greenspeed is the founder.Through these initiatives, the organization has played a modest role in the crafting of stronger, more meaningful land protections for all. While the group can be found most recently jousting at windmills in the Colorado Springs area, The Breck Epic, Greenspeed's signature 6-day MTB stage race event, is sold out for 2013.

Friday, April 5, 2013

APRIL 3RD, 2013, BEAVER CREEK, NOT VAIL

When you call Beaver Creek your home ski mountain, you listen to Vail Vail Vail all day long and sometimes must laugh, because you know how fucking good it is at Beaver Creek on those same days with zero crowds when the vail crowd just won't shut up, ever. And so when they heard 9 new inches of snow at Beaver Creek on Wednesday when Vail reported one new, the Vailers all were running their mouths again that the snow was probably heavy and not worth a shit. Well, you were right, the snow sucked at Beaver Creek, you should never ski there again...see how heavy the snow was in this video....from my head, sorry you missed these shitty conditions and zero crowd.....it was horrible.

Monday, April 1, 2013

IF CULT CROSS KICKED YOUR ASS, RUB SOME....


And congrats to Jake Wells and Karen Jarchow on their great wins ($300) at Cult Cross 2013,,,

RYAN TREBON WINS CULT CROSS 2013 IN EAGLE..

Not really, it was Jake Wells and Karen Jarchow. 
April Fools.