About last season…

It was a good one! I was able to ski a lot… it felt like this magic window of time where Mother Nature delivered an epic winter and my kids weren’t quite old enough to want to hit the magic carpet every day. Here’s a quick edit I put together with some of the highlights!

 

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Turns all Year 2017?

Did you know it snowed a lot in 2017? Records were broken and the snowpack loomed into July. Mammoth had one of their latest closing dates ever, closing August 6th. Back in 2010-2011, I completed 12 months of skiing at least one time per month – referred to as “turns all year” in the ski community. However, I don’t think these 12 months fell in 1 calendar year… well, because humans are obsessed with numbers, I thought I might try to go for a calendar year. It just seemed too easy!

June 20, 2017 – Skied Shasta, Hotlum ridge from the summit, see previous post.

July 12, 2017 – visited Mammoth Mountain with my husband for our 9 year anniversary day date. Skied 8-noon, followed by some food and beers at the June Lake Brewery and adjacent Ohanas 395 Food Truck (best place ever). And some fly fishing. Possibly my favorite anniversary trip ever. I hope it keeps getting better!

August 21, 2017 – hiked and skied Lassen Peak during the solar eclipse. The sun was only about 90% obscured, but the there was a fun crew up there, a nip in the air when it happened and about 3,000 vert of decent summer skiing with a good crew!

September 9, 2017 – My new ski buddy from the Lassen adventure and I headed out to Ebbett’s Pass and shralped some turns and even fit in a pond skim knocking off the usually difficult month of September.

It’s October 1 and I just have to find a few turns and then I’m in the clear to get 2017 with turns all year. What a silly, meaningless exercise, but it’s great to have goals and nearly impossible to not have fun while doing something you love.

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Big Winter, Long Season, Still Going!

It’s been 80 degrees and sunny for what seems like months in Tahoe. Hard to believe we had a massive winter and are having an equally massive summer – if you can quantify summer by number of sunny 80 degree days in a row. If you haven’t been up here, come and jump in the lake, because despite runoff still cranking, it’s surprisingly temperate!

Lake is nice! Air is nice! Water ski season is in full swing!

Anyway, I really can’t let a ski season go by without skiing Shasta. I don’t know what it is about that mountain, but I love it! So, when a young friend of mine with only a bit of backcountry skiing experience called me up and asked me to take her up Shasta, I jumped at the opportunity!

We rallied up from Tahoe on a Thursday afternoon after borrowing everything we needed for her and arrived about 1 mile from the Brewer Creek Trailhead at 9 PM. We had to pop by Burney Falls because it is amazing! Worth the $8 entrance, don’t drive by this California State Park again!

Burney falls will blow your mind! The water is so cold, the air temperature drops 10 degrees when you approach it!

We woke up around 3 AM and starting hiking around 3:30 – a bit of a rough start in the dark… always surreal and dreamlike, but soon enough, we were on snow and Michael was skinning for the first time! 10 hours later, we were at the summit of Mt. Shasta! It was a long, hard, and hot hike, but Michael impressed the hell out of me!

Sun is rising, a ways to go!

Standing at 14,179′! First time on the summit since becoming a mom to triplets!

Michael slashing a turn on some grade A California corn!

Despite skiing about 2 hours later than I had planned, the snow was great as we chose a slightly more North facing line on the Hotlum ridge! Having skied Shasta about 10 times, it was a new line for me and that was really cool! It was also the first time I summitted Shasta since having the triplets. Last year we had to turn around due to hellacious head winds and post-holing 12″ at 13,300′. It was an amazing ski down though!

A great day on Shasta should always end with a jump in the McCloud River – turns out you can jump right into the Lower Falls!

All in all, I skied 3 x 14ers during the winter of 2016-2017. I had set out to ski 4 news ones, but only got 2. Shasta rounded it out so I skied 1 for each boy and I can’t be dissapointed with that! Next year I’ll try to get Williamson and Tyndall, but for now, back to summer!

The boys are such a fun age right now! Here is Beacan enjoying a surf with me!

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Tahoe Problems

Wow, what a season in the Sierra Nevada – it started snowing in January and really didn’t stop until March 6th. I skied my first groomer of 2017 in mid-March, that tells you something! A season like this has left me conflicted so many times. Ski powder or hang out with the triplets, ski powder or work, ski powder at the resort or in the backcountry… as a friend put it… Tahoe people problems.

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We got a lot of snow this year! 

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The triplets love playing in the snow too, but I wonder if they think this winter is normal

Yesterday I skied “the Cross” on Mt. Tallac – the South Shore’s gem of a mountain. There are so many lines on the Cross right now. I had gone in with the idea of skiing “the elevator” but seeing a few tracks in it, led me to a line that looked just as steep instead that was untracked. It didn’t go that well for me and I started a reasonable amount of slough and took me down for a few seconds. I was able to ski out of it, but I was shaken up a bit. It made me question my decision making ability and whether or not I should be in the mountains in precarious situations or home with my little guys. The answer is probably both, but I need to be happy with the decisions I make and also try to learn from them. I read this quote today, which made me feel a bit better:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

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When the mountain kicks your ass, it’s best to laugh it off. Exiting “the Cross” (Photo by First Tracks Productions)

I’ve had some victories and I need to remember those. I skied Halls of the Gods for the first time a line that’s been on my list forever and the conditions were pretty great. I skied Mt. Tom, hiking over 7,000 vertical in under 7 hours and skiing great snow all the way down. I skied the Eagle chute above Emerald Bay in powder. And I finally skied the Bear Scratch. In between some of these tick list lines, I had a lot of fun days skiing powder at the resorts and a lot of great backcountry runs with friends. There is still many days left in the season and if I keep putting this type of pressure on myself, I’m going to get burned out. I’m already starting to feel it. I love skiing and I can’t stop thinking about it. I was the same way with soccer and I’m the same way with triplets. In an ideal world, I’d be paid to ski until 2pm every day and then hang out with the triplets the rest of the day, but I’m not sure what kind of person that would make me. Would I then be immune to the struggles of all people, certainly. Let’s be honest, I have it pretty good!

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I got an AT set up this year which I’ve skied a handful of times, here I am skiing out of Halls of the Gods for the first time ever. Good to add a line to the tick list. 

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The summit of Mount Tom – skied from 12,800 down the Elderberry headwall to car at 5,600. Good to know I still had it in me. I missed my boys being gone just 2 days though.

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Luckily the skiing has been good close to home. Here my buddy Domi drops into one of the Emerald Bay chutes

After my little scare yesterday and my continued perception that I’m under performing in the mountains, I’m excited to spend a few weeks focusing on skiing with the triplets, skiing at the resort while it’s open, not comparing myself to some of the slayers on Instagram, and maybe getting out of the Tahoe bubble for a bit. I can always get back to objective skiing in late April or May – or in years to come. In saying this, I cringed a bit, knowing this is a once in 25 year season, but I need to accept that I am enough, I’ve done enough, and my decisions may not always be right, but they are better than making no decision at all.

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Skiing with Declan a few weeks ago! The boys have been skiing about 5 times each and last time was the best time yet! 

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Taking advantage of a warm week in March to hit the beach with my 4 favorite guys. 

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Season Recap via Video

 

About half way through the season, I had the goal of documenting my first real ski season as a triplet mom. I had an old GoPro that had likely crashed one too many times, so by the time I acquired a new one, it was late March. I still was able to collect a bit of footage and compile it into this Triplet Skier Mom Edit! I hope you enjoy it!

Kt Miller interviewed me for this story on Teton Gravity Research. It has more updates than I’m providing here!

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Desk Dreaming

After my morning routine with the triplets, I arrived at work at 8:30 and went through my emails and to do list for the day. I paused for a minute to dream of a generic great adventure, standing high above the world on a peak with amazing vistas, I inhaled the crisp clean air, imagining the challenges I overcame to get there. I snapped back to reality with a work related phone call and then decided to check Facebook where I saw that Matilda Rapaport had died after being caught in an avalanche in South America, undoubtedly the same type of adventure I yearned for. I cried – right there in my office chair. Paralyzed, I thought maybe I should take a break and walk my dog, but I decided to write this. I didn’t personally know Matilda, but she became the kind of person you thought you knew because we had a lot of mutual friends and I followed her on Instagram. I knew she was 30, just married. Though our lives are totally different, I can remember when I was 29 and recently married and all the great things that have happened since. I’m sad because she seemed like the kind of person that would’ve loved what the next chapter of life would bring. Last year, I had a similar reaction to the passing of Liz Daley, another beautiful soul who I may have only met once, but felt connected to. I don’t know why these deaths are so sobering. I feel I’ve gained a sense of risk adversity were I would not ski terrain in snow conditions where avalanches could occur – I mean, I won’t even bike scary things since having the triplets. As females, we’re also reassured in avalanche courses that we are more risk averse – statistics show it. But statistics do not mean it will never happen. I’m sad today for the years these women, who were smart, adventurous, loving, and fun, won’t get to spend on our planet, because we need more people like them now, more than ever. Sending love to Matilda’s friends and family.

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Travelin’ Triplets

We did it. We successfully took a real family vacation earlier this month to Kauai. My husband and I had been talking about going to Hawaii for years now figuring that we needed to take advantage of living on the west coast. We have mostly spent our vacation time and money visiting family in the midwest and on the east coast. I was committed to making Hawaii happen before the triplets turned 2 and would need their own plane tickets, so I started scouring the internet for cheap fares. The perfect fare from Reno popped up and I jumped at it!

Images like this are reasons why I wanted to take these babies on a Hawaiian vacation

Images like this are reasons why I wanted to take these babies on a Hawaiian vacation

After much research and internal deliberation, I decided on Kauai as it seemed ridiculously beautiful, somewhat mellow, and small enough to not feel like we had to seem a ton of things with triplets in tow. I figured we could book a house near a beach and try to walk most places – that way there would be an element of relaxation. Seriously, anytime you load triplets in the car, it feels like work! We rented a fantastic place in Ha’ena on the North Shore of Kauai off AirBnB that literally couldn’t have been more perfect for 14 month old triplets.

Triplets enjoying drinks on the spacious lanai at our rental.

Triplets enjoying drinks on the spacious lanai at our rental.

Kauai – go. It’s unbelievable. It has the perfect climate. You can swim, hike, snorkel with sea turtles, or just nap in a hammock. Hanalei Bay is probably the best beginner surf spot I’ve been too (summer only likely). The boys flourished in their new surroundings becoming more adventurous at the beach each day. Adjusting to the time change lets you wake early and see some incredible sunrises.

A bonus of the time change with early wake up time! Sunrise and a DOUBLE RAINBOW!

A bonus of the time change with early wake up time! Sunrise and a DOUBLE RAINBOW!

We didn’t do everything perfectly, but overall things went smoothly and here are some of my top recommendations.
1. Buy these zip car seat bags and pack a few more things in with the car seats. We used NRS cam straps to strap our Inglesina high chairs to the seats with a baby blanket. All airlines allow you to check a car seat and stroller per child with no charge.

Triplets after dinner in our clip-on high chairs we packed from home

Triplets after dinner in our clip-on high chairs we packed from home

2. If you rent a house, ask them to borrow pack n plays for you. If not, look for some baby rental spots in the town your visiting. Craigslist is a good spot to look.
3. We brought our own car seats, high chairs, and hiking backpacks to carry babies. We gate checked the hiking backpacks. You can pack some extra things in the backpacks. We can’t recommend the Osprey Poco enough! We have THREE!

The backpacks were useful for trekking to secret beaches and the Napali Coast hike!

The backpacks were useful for trekking to secret beaches and the Napali Coast hike!

4. We hit Costco when we got into town and stocked up on food for the week and bought a wagon. We figured that if we didn’t like the wagon, we could take it back before we went home. We liked it though and checked it as a stroller on the way home.

The wagon proved to be super useful!

The wagon proved to be super useful!

5. Bring a stuffed toy for each kid to snuggle with on the plane. Also, feet pajamas keep airport germs off more of their bodies and encourage sleeping!

Babies hanging out in SFO

Babies hanging out in SFO

6. Buy a few new books (indestructibles are good because they pack small) and some toys at the dollar store and pull them out on the plane.
7. Download some videos on a kindle or ipad. My kids wouldn’t wear earphones, so I just played it off the ipad and it was loud enough on the plane that others couldn’t hear it.
8. Snacks, duh.
9. Carry on extra clothes for accidents, extra clothes for adults too.
10. Bring extra bottles, sippies or straw cups, pacifiers and a few extra adults if you can swing it!
11. Pack some simple baby proofing stuff for your rental – plug guards, hair ties, zip ties, and cam straps were amazing and versatile.
12. If you have any space at all left in luggage, pack it with diapers and wipes. It just saves you a stop when you get there and money if you’re going to a place like Hawaii!
13. Make memories and have the time of your life!

Everyone is having fun in paradise!

Everyone is having fun in paradise!

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