December 31, 2013

Oh San Juan ' ness - How Good You Are

Wrapped up 2013 with good friends and several crystal clear days among the always spectacular San Juan mountains.  We experienced rather stable conditions for the San Juan's allowing for us to safely enjoy the alpine. It had been quite a while since the last major loading event and the snowpack was largely settled and generally nonreactive. While the snow structure remains poor in most areas with our lovely CO persistent slabs. Slides appeared to of become more and more difficult to trigger.  All but southerly aspects below treeline seemed to mainly be made up of very weak faceted snow.  Which will likely cause a problem during the next major snow event. But for now the SJ's were Good to Us.

Here a view of the Sultan group which we we enjoyed on day 1 of the trip, riding three of the summits seen in the pic.

We started the amazing alpine tour at Molas pass with an ascent of the Grand Turk followed by a descent of a northern couloir to the basin in between the Grand Turk and Sultan Mountain. Next we climbed the SE face and ridge of the Sultan, then dropping into the basin via the Northstar Couloir. Followed by a final ascent north to pt. 12300', and a final run down the "Python" and back to HW 550.

Kendall Mountain seen from Mineral Creek after our decent of a northern couloir we called "The Bear Claw" off Bear Mountain 

An old ore Bucket Tram from Mayflower Mine upto Arrasta Gulch with the Sultan group lurking high in the background

Nia and Todd crossing the NW slopes of King Solomon Peak.  We spent a lot of the climb gawking at the impressive Turkey Chute seen just left of Nia.  Coming back for this one in the spring for sure!  Sultan's summit is also seen on right edge of photo 

Our first decent off the Grand Turk seen from the SE ridge of the Sultan  (The widening chute in the middle of the ridge line in the background)

John on the SE ridge of the Sultan with Silverton barely visible down below

Unloading our gear from the sled after Jack and his boy graciously gave us a bump up Arrasta Gulch on their way to their beautiful alpine cabin.  Saved about an hour climb and 500 vertical feet:)    

Nia with the days final climb up pt. 12300'.  Seen in the background is our descent down Sultan's Northstar Couloir ( directly above Nia's head)

Todd making his way down the east ridge of Bear Mountain towards the "Bear Claw" chutes, with the Sultan and the Python in the background

Todd with first tracks down the "Bear Claw" with Red Mountain Pass in the background

My Venture happy to be back in its birthplace.

John catching some air halfway down the Sultan's Northstar Couloir

Turkey Chute in all its glory

Island Lake Basin seen in background just left of center.  Kristin and I got engaged here in the summer of 2012 after riding our mountain bikes to the lower basin.

Todd topping out the steep climb up Grand Turk's SW col

December 23, 2013

OZ Snowboards - A Behind the Scenes Look

A few days ago Adam, mastermind and owner of OZ Snowboards shared a behind the scenes look to what I personally am calling one of the industries truly unique snowboard companies. The build quality and structural components of OZ boards are one of kind.  A few build points to highlight are:

1)  A solid non-jointed wood core:  Most snowboard manufacturers utilize finger jointed wood cores to cut costs, these finger joints act as weak spots in the boards core.  The amount of finger joints in a single board often vary from board to board.  OZ uses a solid wood core with no finger joints.  Another place manufactures cut costs is in the boards tip and tail.  Plastic is often used at the boards tip and tail rather then the wood core extending through the boards tip and tail.

2) Aerospace grade carbon fiber:  Most snowboard manufacturers use some form of fiberglass above and below the boards wood core.   All OZ Snowboards are made with tri-axial aerospace grade carbon fiber. This is the material used to build jets.  Carbon fiber is 5 times as strong and 1/3rd the weight of fiberglass and provides improved stability and control in a snowboard.

For more detailed info about the unique makeup of OZ boards visit the "Why Buy an OZ?"section of OZ Snowboards website.  

Lets just say my next board will be an OZ.  I've never been so impressed with the build quality of a snowboard.  And the weight, so light thanks to the carbon fiber.

Exposure1/125, Aperturef/2.8, Focal Length12 mm, ISO Speed250

Notice the finger joint on the left edge of the wood core.  This wood core is about to become one of thirty TommyKnocker Brewery Demo boards OZ made this year for some of the breweries events.  The demo boards that Oz makes are typically made using finger jointed wood cores and the tri-axial fiberglass vs the more expensive carbon fiber and solid non-jointed wood cores  

Exposure1/167, Aperturef/1.8, Focal Length45 mm, ISO Speed1000

CNC router milling out a future splitboard

Exposure:1/59, Aperturef/2.8, Focal Length32 mm, ISO Speed640

Bandsaw awaiting its replacement blade prior to trimming the freshly pressed TommyKnocker demo board seen in the background

Exposure:1/77, Aperturef/2.8, Focal Length16 mm, ISO Speed1000

Highly modified snowboard press - responsible for the unique camber / rocker profiles of OZ snowboards

Exposure1/167, Aperturef/2, Focal Length45 mm, ISO Speed500

Rob cleaning up the edges on a freshly made TommyKnocker demo board

Exposure:1/100, Aperturef/1.8, Focal Length45 mm, ISO Speed250

Adam placing the sidewall on a TommyKnocker demo board

Exposure:1/167, Aperturef/1.8, Focal Length45 mm, ISO Speed1000

Adam aligning a raw wood core on the CNC router 

Exposure:1/59, Aperturef/8, Focal Length29 mm, ISO Speed1600

Rob preparing to spread epoxy on the base of a TommyKnocker demo board seen in the background 

Exposure:1/167, Aperturef/2.8, Focal Length25 mm, ISO Speed1600

Alex tuning a freshly CNC milled sidewall

Exposure:1/77, Aperturef/2.8, Focal Length35 mm, ISO Speed1250

Rob cutting excess material from a freshly pressed TommyKnocker demo board

Exposure:1/100, Aperturef/1.8, Focal Length45 mm, ISO Speed400

Rob oxidizing a sidewall prior to attachment 

Stay tuned for more production photos as well as finished product photos 

December 17, 2013

The Mistress - Pasquini Livietta

Meet the mistress aka "Lev's".  She was introduced to the wife as a gift a while back.  I must confess, I often sneak out of bed early in the morning, while trying not to disturb the wife, in attempt to have some alone time with ol Lev's.  I've been accused many times, for perhaps bringing Lev's into our home for my benefit :)

Exposure1/59, Aperture: f/2.8, ISO Speed: 1250

December 16, 2013

City of Golden - Highlights "A Chilled Coors" on Webpage

Check out the City of Golden homepage below you may recognize a Legal Addictions photo :)

Also here is a quick link to the original photos

December 15, 2013

Fun with Drugs

Exposure1/100, Aperture: f/2.8, ISO Speed: 800

This was taken through the glass of the sterile prep hood, giving a cool reflective feel.  Here a cisatracurium drip is being made to provide skeletal muscle relaxation during mechanical ventilation

Exposure8 sec, Aperture: f/2.8, ISO Speed: 250

This was taken in a pitch dark room, using a very long exposure and a handheld flash remotely triggered upon throwing the bio-hazard bottle across the room.  Same technique used to freeze fast moving objects, like a bullet from a gun.

December 7, 2013

Wide Open Baby Bump Bibs - 3rd Trimester Begins

Last off week we again chased to the POW with some friends ending up in Steamboat Springs, CO. Below a picture of my beautiful wife and growing Baby Mac suiting up in their wide open bibs for a day in the pow. Kristin just started her 3rd Trimester, and is still doing quite well.  Baby Mac is a kicker and a very active little sucker, according to the frequent ultrasounds that K and her colleagues capture during the slower times at work.  Seems we are gonna have our hands full in a few months:)    

December 4, 2013

Arctic Temps for the Front Range - A Chilled Coors

The first week of December was....record breaking and bone chilling to say the least.  With the mercury plummeting well below zero, Denver set a record low for the 4th.   Not long before midnight, the temperature had dropped to -13 degrees. This frigid reading shattered the record low temperature for December 4th. The previous mark was -5 degrees last set in 2008.
I got the bright idea to hike up the southern slopes of North Table Mountain behind our house and take several long exposure shots of Coors Factory, in order to capture the town lights of Golden along with the busy beer production going on within the factory.  The longer exposure times allowed for the capture of the moving steam coming from the factory on this bone chilling night.    
Exposure: 13 sec Aperture: f/10 ISO Speed: 250

November 28, 2013

Legal Addictions' Upgrades - Olympus OMD EM-1

Below are a collection of random shots since the new camera crawled its way into my hands.  The camera is just getting warmed up for the arrival of Baby Mac.  The EM-1 is simply amazing, hopefully the images below will speak for themselves, if you need a more in depth written info / reviews on the brand new EM-1, here are a few very well done reviews


**All images are reduced in size for Web sharing**

September 29, 2013

Slickrock'n, Afterdark Arches, & the Enchilada À la carte - Moutain Biking, Moab, Utah

Yup, Im making it official!  If you mountain bike, then do yourself a favor and make a trip to Moab, UT.  Riding slickrock is crazy cool and super unique.  If you decide cranking up sticky rock just isn't for you then go check out the 100's of other great ride in the area.  This was Kristin's and my first trip to Moab.  Awesome! and will be going back.  The Massey's showed us the ropes and took us on several of the area's classics!  All repeaters for sure: Klondike Bluff Area Trails, Slickrock and "The Whole Enchilada"  as called by the locals.

The Whole Enchilada:  Often regarded as the ultimate Moab ride.  A link up involving Burro Pass, Hazard, Kokopelli, Porcupine Singletrack, and Porcupine Rim covering approx 30 miles starting from the La Sal Mountains, with 7000 vertical feet of downhill ended at the Colorado River.

Our version this trip Enchilada À la carte:   Thanks to roughly 4" of snowfall on Thursday night up near Burro Pass in the La Sal mountains.  We opted to start the ride at the Kokopelli / Hazard County trail junction (~8500').  Still an amazing ride and hey we skipped out on 2000' climb:)  all downhill on the À la carte version.  And we still got to experience some snow during the ride:)

Use the MTBProject interactive map below to zoom in and browse some of Moab's trails!

Mighty Colorado River Carves Below SlickRock

Slickrock Training Brigade - Anne, Thomas and Kristin on Baby Steps Loop trail

The White Dash and Rubber Marks Replace the Trail Cairn - Me on Slickrock trail

Slickrock Luge - Thomas on Slickrock trail

Refuel on the Porcupine Rim Overlooking Castle Valley - Kristin and Anne Porcupine Rim trail

The Klondike Bluffs at their Grandest - This overlook is only reached by a bonus hiking only trail off the Klondike Bluff 4x4 trail

The Endless Slickrock Romp - Kristin on Slickrock trail

Sunset viewing from high up in Window Arch - Anne South Window Arch

Mario Brothers take on Slickrock - Me (Luigi) and Thomas (Mario)

Slickrock Roller-coaster - Kristin and Anne

Tight Squeeze - Kristin on LPS trail

Mario's Personal Cheerleaders - Kristin, Thomas, Anne

The switchback method - Anne demonstrates with a successful burst up the steeps

The MnM Gang wrecks havoc on Sand Arch - a few days later the government shuts down and all National Parks close...hmmm curious - Sand Arch way past sunset, Arches National Park - Kristin, Thomas, Anne, and Me behind the camera