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Whole Food Energy Bars I Big Wave Surfer Bianca Valenti I Event Profiles

Feb/March 2016 Issue #89

Winter GeTS Real

snow biking

taking it to new terrain

cross country skiing classic vs. skate

preserving mono lake Krakauer’s Missoula

WINTER KAYAKING

pedaling the wild

gravel grinders


LOCALS MID-WEEK LOCALS MID-WEEK WINTER SPECIAL WINTER SPECIAL

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Table of Contents

departments

6 7 8 9 10 12 22 24

Editor’s NotE

Winter is calling

Photo: Ira Amerson

ArmchAir AdvENturEs

A review of John Krakauer’s Missoula

Photo: Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship/John Watson

EAr to thE grouNd

News & notes from the outdoor industry

Photo: Brennan Lagasse

tEchNiquE cliNic

features

Winter whitewater

EPic

Mono Lake Committee

AthlEtE ProfilEs Bianca Valenti

EvENt ProfilEs

A peek at some of California’s best upcoming events

EvENt cAlENdAr

Upcoming California events at-a-glance

11 13 14 16

Photo: First Tracks Productions

rAisiNg thE BAr

The evolution of sports fuel

tAkiNg to thE trAils

Classic XC vs skate skiing

sNow BikiNg

Fat bikers explore new terrain

wiNtEr rEturNs

Backcountry skiing in Tahoe

16 18 20

Photo: Mono Lake Committee

wiNtEr rEturNs

Backcountry skiing in Tahoe

Cover Photo

PEdAliNg thE wild

Brennan Lagasse getting barreled on the Westshore of Lake Tahoe. After four long seasons of drought, winter has finally returned to the Sierra by the powers of El Niño.

A look at the ban on cycling in Wilderness

thE Bright sidE of suffEriNg

Gravel grinder season kicks off

PHOTO by Ming T. Poon

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asj contributors el niño has arrived! what have you been doing to enjoy the rain/snow? PUBLISHING + EDITORIAL PUBLISHER Cathy Claesson cathy@adventuresportsjournal.com

leoniesherman 12 days surfing in Nicaragua! Climbed a volcano, kayaked a mangrove preserve, swam in the warm ocean and surfed the gentle beach break in front of my cabana every day.

EDITORIAL/MARKETING Matt Niswonger matt@adventuresportsjournal.com EDITORIAL/LAYOUT Michele Lamelin michele@adventuresportsjournal.com

havenlivingston With rivers flowing again I am reveling in having a choice of where to dip my paddle to find whitewater! Fingers crossed for the snowpack to build up and give us a long runoff season.

INTERN Avery Robins avery@adventuresportsjournal.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Kurt Gensheimer, Sarah Hansing, Brennan Lagasse, Haven Livingston, Avery Robins, Leonie Sherman, Dave Zook CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Brian Banks, Dusty Bermshot, Daniel Brasuell, Called To Creation, Anthony Cupaiuolo, Sachi Cunningham, Steve Fassbinder, Kurt Gensheimer, Lauren Gregg, Tom Kaeding, Ted Ketai, Brennan Lagasse, Murphy Mack, Marcello Mariana, Shannon Reporting, Matt Reynolds, Brian Vernor, John Watson, Beth Welliver

kurtgensheimer I’ve been skiing my face off, both backcountry and at Sugar Bowl, which is in the top 10 for most resort snow in the US right now!

sarahhansing I opted to NOT enjoy El Niño’s rain or snow and instead I’m on the other side of the world, enjoying summer and exploring the beaches, roads and trails in Sydney, Australia. It’s just terrible.

WEBMASTER Brooklyn Taylor brook@adventuresportsjournal.com ADVERTISING

brennanlagasse I’ve been enjoying snow to lake level and the best Tahoe backcountry ski conditions we’ve seen in four years!

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Cathy Claesson I 831.234.0351 cathy@adventuresportsjournal.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Geoff James I 415.828.8322 geoff@adventuresportsjournal.com

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EVENTS & DISTRIBUTION Steve Shaw steve@adventuresportsjournal.com All content © Adventure Sports Journal 2016. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the editors. ADVENTURE SPORTS JOURNAL PO BOX 35 Santa Cruz, CA 95063 Phone 831.457.9453 asjstaff@adventuresportsjournal.com

May 27–30, 2016

Spring Into Summer Yoga Retreat September 2–5, 2016

With El Niño’s return I have been returning to the snowboarding enthusiasm of my teenage days. In Tahoe “new” lines are becoming rideable nearly every day. We love it!

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Endless Summer Yoga Retreat November 12–13, 2016

Women’s Wellness Weekend

Suiting up for some rain runs!

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Thanks to El Niño, and finally having snow again, my splitboard is no longer collecting dust and skins are often drying out on the dining room table again.

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5


EDITOR’S NOTE

Winter Returns Are you willing to play?

A

s storm after storm pounds into California we are finally aware that the winter of 2016 is legit. For many of us, this presents a problem. The problem is that after a few lean winters we have grown lazy and unmotivated. As the Sierra snowpack continues to accumulate it’s almost like we don’t know what to do. Having spent so much time eulogizing about the death of winter and the good old days of skiing and riding in California it’s almost like we lost the ability to actually go skiing or riding anymore. Backcountry lines that haven’t been skied since 2011 are now just sitting there ... waiting. Compounding the problem is that the surf has been incredible all up and down the coast. Spots that normally see small crumbly waves in the summer are now seeing relentless sets of grinding barrels day after day. In a strange reverse of a time honored summer ritual, instead of driving around looking for waves that are big enough to surf like we do in the summer, many of us are driving around searching for waves that are small enough. Suddenly it feels like we have spent the last few years in a state of dormancy or semi-retirement. Winter is back, but who is courageous enough to play with her? In my last few editor’s notes I have been sharing some of my personal

6 ASJ ASJ—Aug/Sept — Feb/Mar 2016 2011

insights while participating in a series of professional development seminars that are offered through Landmark Education. The most recent course I took was called Being Extraordinary and part of the curriculum dealt with the role of courage in the lives of extraordinary people. What I realized is that courage means choosing to go for it when you decide the timing is right and handling the fear that accompanies this decision without sabotaging yourself. Fear is never fun, and courage is a description of the gut wrenching effort that is required to push aside the painful lethargy of fear and try your best in the face of uncertan outcomes. One of the many insights I got in the Being Extraordinary seminar is that while I was once an extraordinary Yosemite rock climber I am really only an ordinary mountain biker, surfer, and snowboarder. This distinction has been a powerful and humbling lesson in authenticity. In the world of biking, snowboarding and surfing I have achieved a level of proficiency that allows me to look good in certain limited circumstances and that’s about it. As soon as the drop-ins become too steep or the jumps become mandatory or the waves become too powerful I hit a wall that I won’t push myself beyond. This is not a bad thing, it just means that in the world of biking,

surfing and snowboarding I am totally ordinary and put forth an ordinary amount of effort. By contrast, I remember quite often being sick with worry when I was living the hardcore Yosemite climber lifestyle. The night before a big climb I could barely sleep and would slip into terrifying dreams of falling to my death while climbing and wake up gasping for air. And I am quite familiar with the amount of courage it takes to tie into the sharp end and tackle a thousand foot vertical wall in Yosemite. The courage I exhibited was extraordinary and the results were extraordinary as well. With the return of winter in California we are reminded that nature is more than just picturesque hikes and idyllic

sunsets. Winter has a dangerous side, a nasty side even. I’ll never forget the sight of the Yosemite Search and Rescue team pulling frozen bodies from the last pitch of the Nose on El Capitan over two decades ago. Two Japanese climbers were caught without bivvy gear in freezing rain. As an aspiring big wall climber I took this as a stern reminder. Winter is not always mild in California. Of course surfing, skiing, climbing and riding in the winter all require courage. How could it be otherwise? For people who play outside this is a chance to reach deep inside and become extraordinary – and that is the true gift of winter.

— Matt Niswonger

THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO LEONIE SHERMAN Leonie has been sharing her adventures in the pages of ASJ for nearly a decade. Over time she’s become a cherished voice in the outdoor community, and we’ve enjoyed watching her following of dedicated readers grow. On December 21, while stepping off a chairlift, Leonie got the news that she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and proceeded to have the best ski day of her life. Her initial surgery went well and she’s upbeat about her six week recovery. Leonie, you’re one of the most courageous individuals we’ve ever met and we feel privileged to work with you. You are an inspiration to many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We love you, Leonie. If you want to support Leonie during her journey back to health, please reach out to her at compostitos@hotmail.com.


live well & ski often

ARMCHAIR ADVENTURES

Rape on Trial Krakauer’s latest book is investigative journalism at its best By Leonie Sherman

D

eep winter back-country adventure means 14 hours of confinement to a mummy bag each night. A decent book is one of your most critical pieces of gear. John Krakauer’s latest, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, weighs as much as two liters of water, but is worth every ounce. On my most recent foray into the Santa Cruz mountains, I devoured 300 pages in a single night . Fans of Krakauer’s climbing and wilderness writing may be surprised by the subject matter of his most recent work, but they will recognize the passionate prose and meticulous research that we’ve come to expect from one of our favorite outdoor writers. And since the prevalence of acquaintance rape on college campuses has drawn federal investigations and national headlines while spawning Twitter storms and award-winning films, the topic will be

familiar to everyone. But Missoula is not an attempt to cash in on a trending topic. In 2012, Krakauer was shocked to learn that a close friend had been raped in her mid-teens by an acquaintance, and sexually assaulted by a trusted friend a few years later. “I was stunned to discover that many of my acquaintances, and even several women in my own family, had been sexually assaulted by men they trusted,” he explains. Krakauer channeled his anger into research, which has produced a sensitive portrait of a national epidemic. He brings an overwhelming topic into sharp focus by detailing events in Missoula at the University of Montana. Between December 2010 and December 2011, seven University of Montana football players were accused of rape. None of the alleged assailants were prosecuted. In response, UM president Royce Engstrom appointed a local judge to launch an investigation. The final report cited a “rape-tolerant campus with ineffective programming, inadequate support services for victim survivors and inequitable grievance procedures” which “threatens every student.” Just three months later, the US Department of Justice announced it was also looking into the eighty rapes reported in Missoula over the past three years, emphasizing that they would examine assaults against all women in Missoula, not just university students. This attention earned the moniker “America’s Rape Capital,” but according to FBI statistics, the occurrence of rape in Missoula is right on par with other American cities its size. Krakauer enters this roiling sea of controversy with the same approach that made Into Thin Air and Into the Wild memorable best sellers. He tells us stories about people we grow to care about. In the case of Missoula those are the stories of women who were assaulted and chose to press charges. These stories are the gateway to larger social issues, and Krakauer brings in attorneys and town residents to helps us understand the social context of a football-loving college town. While detailing several cases from bedroom to courtroom, he is unapologetic in his attempts to understand the perspective of those who have been victimized. But Missoula is not just about the repercussions of sexual assault. Krakauer tries to understand the shocking fact “Krakauer enters this that at least 80% of rape survivors don’t roiling sea of controversy report their assaults to police. In 1988, my first job was in a microfilm with the same approach factory. We processed the appeals for that made Into Thin a local court. Many were rape cases, which I read as I filmed. I quickly learned Air and Into the Wild what Krakauer and the reader come to memorable best sellers. ” understand in Missoula: women who accuse men of raping them are put on trial. Their past sexual relationships are scrutinized, their moral character questioned, their choice of wardrobe

and friendships challenged, while they relive a traumatic experience in front of strangers. Krakauer describes criminal cases involving a jury as “trial by verbal combat,” and notes that it’s “common for lawyers to deliberately make untrue statements in court.” This adversarial system, where according to Seattle-based lawyer Rebecca Roe “judges tend to hold prosecutors to a higher standard of truthfulness than defense counsel,” makes rape trials especially problematic. Only one of the women in Krakauer’s book obtains a criminal conviction against her rapist, and that’s largely due to a taped confession from the assailant. In a university adjudication process the harshest penalty is expulsion, the goal is to protect student safety and the standard of proof is a “preponderance of evidence,” not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Defendants must represent themselves, though they may seek legal counsel. For rape survivors seeking justice the proceedings are just as painful as a criminal trial, but they end in a guilty determination more frequently. Missoula convinced me that a criminal court is the wrong place to seek justice for rape. A ruthless defense attorney can easily cast doubt on a woman’s testimony and sow seeds of uncertainty in a jury, particularly when the accused and the accuser know each other or alcohol was involved – factors present in the majority of rape cases in the US. While I would certainly support a friend who wanted to prosecute her rapist, I wouldn’t recommend the ordeal to anyone. The risk of further damage is too high and the possibility of satisfaction too small. The Department of Justice investigations might lead to improvements in the way rape cases are handled in Missoula, but cultural shift moves at a glacial pace. The defense attorney for a star quarterback accused of rape relentlessly attacked the character of the alleged victim to obtain an acquittal for her client. She was later elected Missoula County attorney. UM regent Pat Williams told a New York Times reporter that “we’ve had sexual assaults, vandalism, beatings by football players ... the university has recruited thugs for its football team and ... has got to stop.” He was voted out of his post. I got home from my backpacking trip with fifty pages left of Krakauer’s book and sat down to finish them before I even took a shower. Missoula has the same compelling narrative and dramatic events that made me love Into the Wild and Into Thin Air. Krakauer’s latest book hits harder and raises more important questions than any of his previous work and should not be missed.

Live Well, Ski Often huge trail system striding • skating • snowshoeing

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7


EAR TO THE GROUND

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region

The US Forest Service is enlisting the help of all available stakeholders and members of the public to help plant 90,000 trees in the Rim Fire burn area this spring. In partnership with Tuolumne River Trust, the Stanislaus National Forest hosted public meetings in January to inform and recruit volunteers for tree planting days scheduled to take place seven days per week throughout the spring. 2013’s Rim Fire burned over 257,000 acres on the Stanislaus National Forest. Forest scientists/specialists estimate that without reforestation it is highly unlikely the forest would grow back in our lifetimes. Anyone interested in helping to reforest the area is welcome – individuals, groups, families. For more information, call the Stanislaus National Forest at (209) 532-3671 or the Tuolumne River Trust at (949) 533-2346.

Steven Hemphill Returns to Sierra-at-Tahoe Sierra-at-Tahoe recently brought Steven Hemphill on board as director of marketing and sales. Hemphill was previously employed as the resort’s communication manager before taking a position at K2 Sports. While at K2, Hemphill helped grow its digital presence and executed a wide variety of global digital campaigns. Hemphill has also worked at Freeskier Magazine where he was an assistant editor. In 2014, Hemphill was recognized by Ski Area Management Magazine as a top individual in the snow sports industry under 30 years of age. “Steve has a tremendous skill set that includes public relations, digital management, content production, customer service, athlete management and more. He also has a passion for people and getting them on snow. He’s 8 ASJ — Feb/Mar 2011 2016 ASJ—Aug/Sept

BSIM Conducts Youth Running Survey Thanks to sources like Running USA, a not-for-profit organization devoted to improving the status and experience of distance running and racing, there is plenty of data available about the number of adult runners who participate in organized events each year. However, when it comes to the nation’s youngest runners, quantifiable tracking is much harder to achieve. Last year, the Big Sur International Marathon (BSIM), a founding member of Running USA, set out to change that by conducting a Youth Running Program Survey. BSIM oversees the JUST RUN program, a nationwide, school-based running program that was named the Running USA National Youth Program of the Year in 2015. Long time BSIM youth programming volunteer Mike Dove explains, “We’ve been involved in youth running for many years, and created our JUST RUN program 12 years ago. We had absolutely no idea what to expect as to how many children were involved in organized school-based programs.” The survey, which individually targeted every school-based youth program the BSIM team could find, estimates that 3.7 million young Americans participate in organized youth running program activities annually. While that number

Photo: Melissa Wonders

going to make a great addition to the team and we’re excited to have him,” says John Rice, Sierra-at-Tahoe’s General Manager. Hemphill is thrilled to be back at Sierraat-Tahoe, enthusing “It’s an incredible mountain that embodies what the soul of skiing and snowboarding is all about. Whether it’s your first time or you are a local, Sierra-at-Tahoe has something for everyone. I couldn’t be more excited to continue pushing the mountain forward.”

California Enduro Series Announces New Initiatives

ASJ/Bontrager Photo Contest Winner Announced

The California Enduro Series (CES) has announced its 2016 race schedule and is on track to deliver another great year of enduro racing. A non-profit organization dedicated to promoting world-class enduro events that everyone from amateur to pro can enjoy, CES is renowned for fostering an exceptional sense of community, and encourages its participants to be involved in its planning. Over the off season, the CES team met with several riders across all categories for feedback on how to further strengthen the series and races. To that end, several exciting initiatives are slated for the 2016 season including the all-new Golden Tour (pro series triple crown within CES featuring the toughest courses, a massive pro purse, and elevated media coverage), added support for teams, improved delivery of race information, and a Rider ID registration program that enables CES to track series results more effectively. Visit californiaenduroseries.com for more information and complete race schedule.

Melissa Wonders of Santa Rosa was announced as the grand prize winner of ASJ’s social media photo contest. Wonders won an overnight stay for two at Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, two rental bikes of choice from Epicenter Cycling, a guided MTB ride for two with The Ride Guides, AND dinner in Santa Cruz with the legendary Keith Bontrager. A vast array of great shots were received, and nine additional contestants won the Flare R Tail Light courtesy of Bontrager.

High Fives Foundation Funds 100th Injured Athlete Lake Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation has now officially helped 100 athletes in recovery from life-altering injuries since it was established in 2009. The 100th athlete will be part of a group of military veterans injured during tours of duties overseas, taking part in the Military to the Mountains program, a multifaceted partnership between Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, High Fives Foundation, Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West) and Adaptive Training Foundation from Dallas, Texas. Each organization provides specialized services

Photo: Specialized/Beth Welliver

USFS to Plant Trees in Rim Fire Burn Area

to bring this group onto the snow. “When we started the Foundation, we had a goal to give grant funding to one athlete per year,” said High Fives Foundation Executive Director and co founder Roy Tuscany. “In seven years, we’ve blown that goal out of the water, but it’s really special that our 100th athlete will be part of a group of military veterans.”

Photo: Called To Creation

Photo: US Forest Service

may seem large at first glance, Dove believes it should be larger, and points to the total number of K through 12th grade school students– 54 million – as an indicator that “we have barely scratched the surface.” BSIM continues to collect data, and youth running programs are encouraged to contact Dove at mnjdove@aol.com to share their information.

Seek and Enjoy There’s a corner of the internet dedicated to finding the adventure inherent in riding, a site dedicated to showcasing the sublime and subtle ways we connect to this world via bikes, from the simple act of sneaking out to sleep under the stars for a night before returning to the daily grind, to carefully planned and executed expeditions that travel deep into the back of beyond. The site is called seekandenjoy.com, and it is where Specialized Bicycles is conducting an ongoing exploration into the possibilities that adventure presents. Fatbikes in the dead of Michigan winter? Packrafting through Alaskan wilderness? Touring across the US offroad? Riding the northernmost beaches of Scotland? Yes, and more yes. This is a site in search of something other than the classic arms raised crossing the finish line metaphor. Seekandenjoy.com is about that sense of limitless freedom that you felt the first time you rode a bike, and realized it could take you anywhere.


TECHNIQUE CLINIC

Winter Whitewater Tips for cold weather paddling By Haven Livingston hen Buck Crocket and Brian Banks arrived to kayak the first spring run of Gore Canyon on the upper Colorado River and found that the banks were still iced over and so was one of the rapids, Crocket did what any resourceful multi-sport adventurer would do. He reached into his truck and pulled out his ice axe. Getting into the river would be a slide, but getting out would require mounting a few feet of overhanging ice and snow. Paddling under these conditions may seem like a masochistic task, but consider the benefits: Instead of sitting in traffic en route to the slopes to ski groomers, you sneak off the beaten path to a lower elevation river and have the entire flowing wonderland to yourself. Rivers on the northwest edge of California come alive with winter rains and glow with the greens of mosses and ferns. When there’s storm chop on the ocean, wind over the ridges and rain on the roads, the rivers continue to slide by, offering the adventurous few endless options for whitewater fun. Lucky for California paddlers, many of our rivers are runnable all winter long without the need for ice tools. In fact, some of the best rivers only run during the winter’s rainy season, but you do need some common PHOTOS sense and the Main image: Bluebird right equipment winter day on the to make winter South Yuba Summit paddling fun. (Daniel Brasuell). The number one Below: Crocket and his axe after portaging priority – as in any winter sport – is to a frozen rapid (Brian Banks). keep warm.

Following is a list of must-have gear to keep in mind as you pack for cold weather paddling: Dry Suit The key ingredient to warmth, preferably with waterproof booties attached. One piece fleece “union” suits work best underneath to keep the drafts out. Bring extra layers to add. Skull Cap (Neoprene) Think about the worst ice cream headache you’ve ever had, then multiply it by your entire head submerged in sub-40 degree water. Pogies, Gloves, or Both! Pogies allow your normal grip on the paddle, but will flush with water, gloves result in a less tactile grip. Try Sun Mitts – an open palmed mitten – inside your pogies for extra warmth. Once your hands go numb you are helpless to yourself and your team. If your hands get really cold, try sticking foot warmers to the inner wrist of your fleece to wear under your dry suit. These keep the blood vessels toasty and flowing into the fingers. Ear Plugs Just like surfing, cold water flushing through the ear canal can cause exostosis, bone growth that will eventually close the ear canal and cause hearing loss. This can only be reversed with physically chiseling out the bone. Suck it up and stuff the plugs in.

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Thermos (or Two) Take one on the river with you filled with a hot drink and have one waiting at the car for you. Keeping warm and hydrated in the cold is easier with a warm beverage and it comes in handy for defrosting fingers so you can get the key in the car door. A few more tips as you head out on your winter whitewater adventure: If you’re likely to break a nervous sweat just driving to put in, change into something dry before you get in the water. Keep checking in with your buddies; slow onset hypothermia can start with numb fingers and lead to making stupid decisions before you even realize you are cold. If you’re having such a good time that you don’t notice your gear starting to freeze, remember this; bathrooms with blowing hand dryers are a great way to thaw out frozen life jackets and dry suit zippers so you can take them off. LOWA_ASJ_Feb16_Final.indd 1

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9

1/6/16 6:18 PM


EPiC: Environmental Partnership Campaign

Protecting Mono Lake Mono Lake Committee safeguards California gem Words by Leonie Sherman Photos courtesy Mono Lake Committee

O

n the edge of Yosemite National Park, fifteen miles east of Tioga Pass, Mono Lake shimmers like a jewel amid the vast monochromatic expanse of the Great Basin. More than twice as salty as the ocean and over ten times as alkaline, the lake hosts hundreds of thousands of nesting migratory birds and up to 80% of the state’s nesting California Gulls. Most visitors passing through have no idea how close this rich ecosystem came to complete biological collapse. “Mono Lake is the most significant environmental success story of its time,” says Lisa Cutting, Eastern Sierra Policy Director for the Mono Lake Committee (MLC). Started almost forty years ago by a dedicated group of visionary graduate students, the MLC has grown to thirteen full-time staff and acts as the on-the-ground watchdog of the Mono Basin. “Every conference we go to, every educational program we offer, every visitor we interact with – we assure them that grassroots activism can succeed,” Cutting continues. “Our story gives them hope.” That story began 1941, when the LA Department of Water and Power began draining the tributaries that feed this massive basin lake. With no outlet, lake levels began dropping, allowing predators access to nesting birds. Salinity and alkaline levels increased. The lake teetered on the edge of collapse. So that group of grad students, led by David Gaines, began advocating for the lake. “Dave used to say if he could bring everybody in the state to Mono Lake he could save it tomorrow,” says Sally Gaines, who was married to David until he passed away in 1988. So they did the next best thing. “In 1978 and ‘79, David and I went on an 18 month slide show tour of basically everybody who would listen, to tell them about Mono Lake. That’s how we got our grassroots support.” She’s clear that it takes a village to save a lake. “Dave and I were just the folks who happened to be standing in front of the camera when people started asking questions,” she explains. “We had lots of folks volunteering full-time to get this off the ground.” After almost two decades of campaigning they convinced the State Water Board to invoke the public trust doctrine and State Fish and Wildlife codes to protect “By fostering a the lake for future generations. The 1994 connection to the lake, State Water Board decision allowed LA to continue taking some water but protected MLC ensures that future Mono Lake through careful monitoring of generations will have the lake levels. Forecasting annual lake level is a complex patience, persisitence and calculation. LADWP was required to commitment necessary to restore the lake level to 6392 ft., which scientists and the State Water Board protect this treasure.” estimate will take at least until 2020. When the level is above 6380, LA gets

10 ASJ ASJ—April/May — Feb/Mar 2013 2016

16,000 acre feet of water a year. When the level falls below that level, as it did in 2014, LA is restricted to 4500 acre feet. If the level falls below 6377 ft., LA doesn’t get any water. MLC has won every legal battle in the lake’s favor since their first lawsuit, thanks to pro bono work by skilled lawyers, the hard work of the staff and the tireless support of a large member base. “We are a citizens group with 16,000 members,” says Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin. “85% of our operating budget comes from member contributions.” “Some people have been members for over ten years before they ever visit the lake,” says Sally Gaines, who is now President of MLCs Board of Directors. “The message we put out is clear, rational and scientific. We cooperate with LA, instead of fighting against them. Folks appreciate that collaborative approach.” “Our job is to do everything possible, from a management perspective, to safeguard Mono Lake,” explains Cutting. “Protecting Mono Lake requires constant vigilance.” It also requires a holistic approach. So in addition to legal work, the MLC assists visitors, offers educational programs, coordinates restoration projects, and conducts scientific research. “We work on a focused recreation model,” Cutting says. “We point people to pre-identified spots that can handle large numbers of visitors and have a minimum impact on wild life, which also protects visitors who want more solitude.” MLCs environmental programs run throughout the year, including free interpretive programs, canoe trips and field seminars that bring in ornithologists, botanists and native basket weavers. A three day bird festival draws 300 visitors each year. Weeklong environmental education courses for inner city youth bring in “kids from LA who don’t even know where their water comes from,” says McQuilkin. “Our watershed extends all the way to LA,” explains Elin Ljung, MLCs Communications Coordinator. “We’re dealing with a human created watershed, and almost every thing we do takes that into consideration.” Restoration efforts have stopped grazing on Cain Ranch, re-routed roads away

from Rush Creek PHOTOS and removed tamarisk from the Main image: A entire Mono Basin. glimpse of Mono Lake. Above top: California Work has begun gulls. Above middle: on a “hole-in-thedam” at Grant Lake Volunteers remove invasive plants from that would allow LA to release water creeks that feed the lake. Above bottom: into Rush Creek Los Angeles students even during lowlearn about the source flow years. “The of their water. Below premise guiding left: Guided canoe our rehabilitation tours give visitors a efforts is to close look at the lake’s wonders. recreate a functioning ecosystem,” says Cutting. “We focus on adaptive management, because this is not a static system.” The tradition of science guiding policy continues to this day. Local and visiting scientists conduct almost constant research, “We’re all about using science to come up with solutions that work for everybody,” says McQuilkin. By fostering a connection to the lake, MLC ensures that future generations will have the patience, persistence and commitment necessary to protect this treasure. “You might be a hiker, a photographer, a kayaker, a birder, maybe you’re just driving by and see the lake from the road,” says McQuilkin. “Just about everybody who comes here has some kind of amazing experience.” That includes the staff of MLC, many of whom have dedicated two decades of their lives to Mono Lake. “I work with a whole community of people who have chosen this place as home,” explains Cutting. “We’re like a family. Mono Lake brings us here and keeps us connected. We’re each giving back in our own way.” To find out more about how you can give back to Mono Lake, visit monolake.org.


NUTRITION

Raising the Bar Photo: VeloPress

The evolution of sports fuel By Avery Robins

W

e haven’t always had a dizzying array of energy supplements to power us before, during and after a long trail run or mountain bike ride. It used to be that endurance athletes would refuel with Gatorade, bananas, or whatever else was in their fridge. That was until 1986, when Cal Berkeley track coach Brian Maxwell and his wife Jennifer began tinkering with the concept of the energy bar. Brian was having trouble bonking at the 21st mile mark during marathons, so the couple began experimenting with different recipes in their home kitchen to find a solution. They started with a blender to mix ingredients like oat bran, milk proteins, fructose and maltodextrins into a thick sludge. The sludge would then cool into the more chewy consistency that we associate with sports bars today. After three years of experimentation the couple landed on a recipe that was palatable and provided an energizing combination of sugar, protein, and carbohydrates. Soon after, they used their life savings (as they were turned down by numerous potential investors) to produce and sell 35,000 bars – and PowerBar was born. The couple’s success laid the foundation for the sports nutrition industry as we know it today. Fast forward 30 years and the sports nutrition industry is booming. From

gels to gummies the options available to endurance athletes are dizzying in number. Despite the popularity of energy bar products, many people are now moving toward minimally processed foods that are somewhat less convenient but provide benefits like increased fiber intake balanced with overall less sugar intake. This trend is at odds with the classic bar formula that uses processed ingredients to achieve specific carb to protein ratios. We are discovering that the “other stuff” in unprocessed foods (like complete fibers, water, antioxidants, polyphenols, and carotenoids) make for a more well-oiled machine of a body. Excitingly, the industry is starting to respond. Bar manufacturers are slowly nixing out processed protein sources in favor of whole nuts, dried meats, and oats. Processed sweeteners like maltodextrin and maltitol syrup are being replaced by fruit bits, and real sugar-sweetened dark chocolate. Additionally, entirely new bar makers are cropping up with whole food offerings exclusively. However, if you find yourself in a whole foods desert or simply want to try making your own athletic fuel, try chef Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim’s recipe from their book Feed Zone Portables (see below). And don’t worry, we promise you won’t bonk.

Bitter Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bites Republished with permission of VeloPress from The Feed Zone Cookbook. Try more recipes at feedzonecookbook.com.

1 cup uncooked sticky rice (Calrose or sushi rice works best) 1⁄2 cup uncooked rolled oats 2 cups water 1 tbsp brown sugar 2 tbsp bittersweet chocolate (chips or shaved)

1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract Dash of sea salt Top with: 2 tbsp shaved bittersweet chocolate

1⁄2 tsp sea salt Combine oats, rice, and water with a dash of salt in a rice cooker and cook (cooking on the stove top is also fine). Let cool to the touch. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked rice and oats with the remaining ingredients. Stir to incorporate the flavor throughout the sticky mixture. Press into an airtight storage container or shape as individual bites. Sprinkle with chocolate and salt. (Be careful not to add too much salt here.) STORE: Press the sticky mixture into a shallow airtight container and top with plastic wrap. Simply cut and wrap bites as you need them. PACK: When you are ready to head out for the day’s ride, pack up your fuel in some wax paper with a little tape closure, or some plastic wrap. TIP: Oats do not contain gluten, but they are often processed in plants where wheat products are made. PER SERVING› Energy 101 cal, Fat 1 g, Sodium 197 mg, Carbs 20 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 2 g, Water 64%

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11


ATHLETE PROFILE

Big Wave Bianca Catching up with pro surfer Bianca Valenti By Haven Livingston

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or professional surfer Bianca Valenti the progression into surfing big waves comes naturally after 23 years at the sport. From the first scared moment of catching a stand up barrel, Valenti has been hooked on seeking bigger waves to satiate the desire for that same rush of adrenaline. Now a regular at the lineup at Mavericks, Valenti is progressing at a calculated pace to become one of the world’s top big wave women surfers. The 5'4" Italian-American charger moonlights as an Italian wine specialist, following in the footsteps of her master sommelier grandfather and chef father at the family’s restaurant in Marin County. Though she can charm diners in Italian, Spanish or English, when it comes to the ocean, she’s just as fluent in nature’s universal language of power. Her thrills come from stepping outside of her comfort zone. In the following interview, Valenti allows us to step inside the mind of a big wave surfer.

ASJ

What is the range of feelings you go through when challenging yourself in big waves?

BV

I keep myself pretty calm but optimistic before going out and I’m really just trying to assess the conditions and make the right board selection. Once I’m out there I’m really paying attention to the conditions and calculating what waves I want to catch. Nothing comes out of reaction, I’m doing everything with intention to try to get the best waves and push my limits in a smart way. When you get too excited you don’t think as clearly and your energy can get drained so I breathe calmly and I have a laser focus. The first wave makes my heart skyrocket the most, and then I start to calm down. I find that same adrenaline rush when I challenge myself on bigger waves later on in the session. When you get a good wave you just feel over the moon with joy. There’s no other joy in the world that can compare to the feeling of a ride where you were totally scared and confident at the same time and then you pull it off.

“Nothing comes out of reaction, I’m doing everything with intention to try to get the best waves and push my limits in a smart way.” 12 ASJ ASJ—June/July — Feb/Mar 2012 2016

ASJ

Having only spent a couple seasons at Mavericks, you’re a relatively new surfer there. What do you think your surfing there will be like in five years?

BV

I’m excited for that! I feel like I’m really skilled on big boards so I think my surfing at Mavericks is just going to skyrocket because every session I gain more confidence in the lineup. And Mavericks is one of the most challenging lineups in the world to feel comfortable in. I already feel a night and day difference from this season to last season. I don’t see a limit on my potential to improve at Mavericks.

ASJ

You’re an invitee at Super Sessions II, an exposition of women’s big wave surfing around the world in 2016 (see sidebar). What are the goals of Super Sessions II?

BV

The goals are to unite the women of big wave surfing and to get them out at sessions at different big waves around the world. When you get the best athletes together they’re going to push the envelope and progress the sport. The goal is to see the bar raised.

ASJ

What obstacles have you overcome along your quest to surf big waves?

BV

Obstacles are mostly psychological. The conditions are the biggest challenge in big waves. As a woman you have to put yourself out there a little more. You have to be thick skinned, persistent and stay positive and stay true to your passion and why you’re there. The community of big wave surfers is one of the best in the world and once you start putting yourself out there, you get what you give.

ASJ What’s your perspective on wiping out? BV The flip side (of successfully riding a big wave)

is that you could get a really bad wipe out. Those are intense and often painful. You usually get bad compressions. The energy of the force at Mavericks could probably light up a small city and that’s what comes down on you when you wipe out. And if you’re injured that’s a bummer, but if you’re not injured, a wipe out is super humbling and grounding. You feel how little you are in this world. It’s really amazing to feel that power and that energy in the world.

ASJ With everyone in

black wetsuits and hoods, how will we know it’s Bianca Valenti on a wave?

BV

PHOTOS Main image: Bianca goes deep while the crowd tries to tag along at Mavericks (Sachi Cunningham). Above: Bianca rides pink under the Golden Gate Charging big waves (Shannon Reporting). Circle: Getting ready for the next swell at Jaws in Hawaii (Sachi Cunningham).

I have all pink boards this year. Pink is a happy color and it pops no matter what the color of the water is. I like the association with breast cancer awareness. And I kind of have a power stance – like your most stable athletic squat – like nothing can knock me over.

ASJ Who are some of your most inspiring surfing

heroes?

BV

Ryan Seelbach – he’s a really good friend from Ocean Beach and inspiration. He charges in every way, shape and form. Keala Kennelly – she’s always stayed true to her love of big waves and putting herself on the line and taking risks. Sarah Gerhardt – not only a pioneer of the sport, she’s such a great role model for life. Paige Alms – I’m inspired by Hawaiians because they just charge hard and they inspire me to go bigger. These big waves are so big you don’t always know if you’ll make it, but if you put yourself out there something really good could happen. I just focus on the good.

Supersessions II Bianca is an invitee at Super Sessions II which launched January 1, 2016 and showcases the world’s best big wave women surfers at various venues across all oceans throughout the year. Unlike surfing contests, where conditions might be lousy and surfers use defensive tactics by strategically not catching waves, SS II is about progressing the overall good of the sport and building camaraderie among the women. Follow their progress on Facebook at Facebook.com/Supersessions2.


Over the Mountain and through the Woods A look at classic cross country and skate skiing By Avery Robins

A

re you looking to shake up your time in the mountains this winter season? Perhaps you are looking for a full body workout that fires up your core. Or, perhaps you need a break from the downhill ski scene, and are yearning for a way to soak in the tranquility of the backcountry. Look no further, because cross country sking could be the answer. Modern cross country skiing is strikingly similar to the original form of skiing that was invented in Scandinavia over five thousand years ago. Nordic people strapped on what they called “skíðs” (the Old Norse word for “planks of wood”) in order to transport themselves across large distances of snowy terrain. But don’t get us wrong, modern cross country skiing is no old school walk in the park. It is one of the most demanding full-body workouts a person can do. From your glutes to the rhomboids in your upper back, every major muscle group is engaged. Additionally, cross country skiing is a full aerobic and cardio workout that burns calories at a rate equal to running.

Within the sport of cross country skiing, there are two primary disciplines: classic cross country and skate. We talked with Paul Peterson, an experienced cross country skier and owner of the Bear Valley Cross Country & Adventure Company, about the differences between the two.

Classic Cross Country Skiing Classic cross country skiing is what most people picture when they think about the sport. Classic skis are long and narrow, with a hinged foot binding that allows the skier to lift their heel up and off the ski platform. Skiers take forward strides (similar to a walking motion) to propel themselves forward. These forward strides can range in intensity from a walking motion to an all out “kick and glide.” Additionally, classic cross country skiing can be done on both groomed trails and in the backcountry but skate skiing can only be done on groomed trails. Peterson recommends that those new to the sport start on classic skis with an experienced guide.

Skate Skiing

PHOTOS

The second discipline in the Circle: Image cross country ski world is skate courtesy Bear Valley Cross Country and skiing. In comparison to classic Adventure Company. skis, skate skis are shorter, lighter Top: Both images and fully attached to the foot. courtesy Tahoe This allows skiers to pick up the Donner. entire ski and propel themselves forward using a literal “skating motion” (similar to inline skating). Peterson says that skate skiing is extremely technical and physically demanding, so it is best for those who have a bit of cross country or alpine ski experience already. With regard to snowfall, this winter of 2016 is a phenomenal time to check out cross country skiing. It is the first time in five years that the bulk of resorts have gotten enough snow (some six to eight feet) to open all their trails. With this in mind, we can expect some excellent cross country skiing this winter. And don’t forget to pack your lunch!

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13


Snow Biking Fat bikes open up a whole new world of two-wheeled adventures By Dave Zook

F

at bikes are all the buzz. Those absurdly wide tires — sometimes over five inches of knobby, under-inflated width — does anyone know exactly what makes them so great? Regardless they are certainly hitting mass appeal as this variation on a traditional mountain bike has been growing steadily around California and the US for the last decade. More brands than ever are manufacturing them, giving riders options formerly reserved for the MTB or road riding crowd. Full-suspension rides are offered for the most cushy of experiences and even fancy components like carbon wheel sets can lighten the load, depending on your riding style — and the size of your wallet. Many riders become believers due to the bike’s ability to make some terrain more accessible. The traction is the key here and they “float” over most terrain aided by a low PSI, usually around 10 to 15, according to gearjunkie.com. Although they are known most for their snow functionality, they are making headway on sand, mud, and rocky landscapes as well. “I believe it’s great because you feel like a kid again. There is something about the ‘marshmallow’ ride and the ability to ride terrain with ease that a normal mountain bike struggles with,” said Matt Reynolds, a Tahoe rider who opts for the fat bike yearround. “It feels like cheating. I also call fat biking ‘biking for dummies’ because it’s hard to screw up.”

Access and opportunities are growing as well. Grand Targhee in Wyoming was the first ski resort to allow fat biking on its Nordic trail system in 2011, and many ski areas and Nordic areas have followed suit. In January Spirit Mountain in Minnesota became the first ski area to allow fat bikers to load the lifts for downhill trails, and Crested Butte also started allowing fat bikers on their lifts recently. In addition, events such as the newly formed Global Fat Bike Summit in Jackson, WY is another indicator these bikes are gaining momentum, and an article in Outside Online even cited the sport as one of the fastest growing winter sports in the country. This progress has gotten riders excited to take advantage of the bikes’ utilitarian advantages and push their riding into new and remote locations, where almost no terrain is considered out of bounds. From exploration in the Eastern Sierra to singletrack trails around Tahoe, riders are finding a way to stay on their bikes no matter what the weather is doing.

Flats to the Mountains Fat biking’s origin and subsequent growth is largely credited to places like the Midwest where very cold winters and relatively flat terrain created excellent conditions for grooming trails and creating the hardpack conditions that fat bikers find ideal. But out west, with steeper gradients and — ideally — a deep snowpack, riders are pushing into the backcountry. Anthony 14 ASJ ASJ—April/May — Feb/Mar 2016 2013

Cupaiuolo, an PHOTOS avid fatbiker Main image: First Tracks and founder Productions founder of First Tracks Anthony Cupaiuolo and his Productions dog Emmie are both pinned (see sidebar), on a Tahoe descent (First said he Tracks Productions). Above enjoys riding left: Jeff Glass roosts pow in a popular (First Tracks Productions). snowmobile Above right: Jeff Glass makes a first descent in the zone near Tahoe backcountry (First Kirkwood in Tracks Productions). Bottom South Lake Tahoe, because left: Lauren Gregg takes the “snowmobilers Fuji Wendigo out for a spin in the backcountry. pack the road down so that makes it really easy to ride into. And once you’re out there the zone opens up and you’re above treeline.” Riding through fresh powder still isn’t within range even for the fattest of tires. Snow needs to be somewhat consolidated — meaning packed down powder that allows those big tires to gain traction where a traditional narrower mountain bike tire would slip and slide. Therefore cold temps combined with packed snow create the ideal fat bike conditions.

Blessing in Disguise The last four winters were unkind to the powder skiing crowd, but the drought actually created ideal conditions for fat biking exploration, and for pushing the limits of what the bikes can do. The snow was shallow and firm throughout much of the winter, allowing riders to access


Photo: First Tracks Productions

Off the Beaten Path

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irst Tracks Productions, a South Lake Tahoe-based film production company, has been working on – and very nearly completed – the first full-length fat bike movie called Off the Beaten Path due to be released soon (check firsttracksproductions.com for updates). Head cheese at First Tracks, Anthony Cupaiuolo, gives us his take on fat biking. ASJ: Some people think fat biking is a fad. What’s your take on that? AC: If someone thinks it’s a fad, that’s cool, that’s fine, it doesn’t have to be for them, it’s not for everybody. I think if someone has the opportunity to try it, and it’s the type of situation where it makes sense to try it I think you’ll dig it, but I’m not a super advocate saying everyone needs to get a fatbike and make it their daily rider. There’s certain days where if I didn’t have a fat bike I’d be sitting on the couch and that alone makes it worth it. ASJ: What interesting and creative terrain are people getting into? AC: We found that for ourselves we were using the bikes to do some different things. We had one segment where we used the bikes to get to ski and snowboard spots. Where access was pretty much shot for skinning because the whole approach was pretty much melted with mud and puddles and ice. The fat bikes ended up being the perfect approach tool. You get into a zone and get into the bottom of the bowl or something, park the bikes, put the skins on and go up and do a couple laps. That was really cool because it was something I could see myself doing this spring for fun, totally unrelated to filming.

“The fat tires give me access to anywhere to ride in the winter and riding descents in the snow really feels like you’re flying!” areas that are normally buried under feet of snow. Cupaiuolo and his crew found themselves exploring the Eastern Sierra near Yosemite, discovering zones that would be inaccessible most years due to snow, but that hold limitless potential with their vast peaks. “We went down there in February last year to the eastern side of Yosemite, and went up Tioga Pass and didn’t hit snow until around 8500,” said Cupaiuolo. “A normal winter that would have been impossible, but with what we had to deal with last year it was necessary to get up to the snow.”

Because Why Not? Some forms of fat biking have been around since the 90s, with homemade experimentation leading to some funky and intriguing results. Bike manufacturer Surly brought the first fatbike to the market in 2004, and since then a steady stream of manufacturers — including some that were originally critics — have followed suit.

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The main complaint is that fat biking is perhaps a fad that will dissipate as the buzz dies down. After all, they are heavier and a bit more cumbersome than traditional mountain bikes. Plus they are pretty expensive (an entry level fat bike starts at around $1,500 and goes up from there). But enthusiasts are having none of it, and are pumped to see the scene ramping up, while being totally fine with the idea that the bikes aren’t for everyone. “A fat bike will never be for me a year-round bike, but there’s lots of things that it’s just super fun for. Long stretches in the summer when we don’t get any rain and I’ll take my fat bike out on the singletrack here because there’s improved traction when it’s really sandy and loose,” said Cupaiuolo. But as with many sports, hobbies, recreational activities, passions – or whatever may be the label – it’s a way to have a hell of a lot of fun. “You’ll be about five to ten percent slower on a fat bike than your friends on normal mountain bikes, but you don’t care and you’ll never wipe the smile from your face. You just need to get stronger,” enthuses Reynolds. Fuji Bikes pro rider Lauren Gregg adds, “I love how a my fat bike makes me feel like I can go anywhere and there is no terrain I can’t ride. The fat tires give me access to anywhere I want to ride in the winter and riding descents on the snow really feels like your’re flying!” www. advent ur espor t sjour nal. com

15


Winter Returns

El Niño gives Tahoe backcountry skiers a huge helping of powder Words and photos by Brennan Lagasse

“I

’m going to ski this super cautiously, island of safety to island of safety. Copy?” “Yes. I have eyes on”, my partner responds. Slowly, I dance my way into Emerald Chute, one of the most classic backcountry ski lines in the greater Tahoe area. Earlier in the day, Ming Poon and I had broken trail, methodically working our way up crystalline fields of powder until we crested the top of the line, which feeds directly into the iconic Emerald Bay. A couple of friends caught us as we were getting to the top, and together the four of us shared in one of the best runs any of us has experienced in our Tahoe backyard in at least four years. Our friends had to take off after that run, but Ming and I went back for more. Falling 2300' into Emerald Bay and adjacent to the Eagle Chute, the Emerald Chute is a prize. It’s barely been

“There is a collective happiness in Tahoe and the unmistakable powder smiles are everywhere you look.”

16 ASJ ASJ—June/July — Feb/Mar 2016 2012

touched over the past few drought years. However, as of mid January the high peaks around Lake Tahoe have seen about 220 or so inches of snow. That’s roughly the same amount they saw all of last season. Coverage is good and getting better, but in essence it’s the current quality that has stood out the most to backcountry users who seem to be celebrating powder day after powder day. This past fall, the buzz from the “Godzilla El Niño” predictions had all but brainwashed even the most jaded of Sierra veterans into thinking that this could be a year of snowy redemption for the Range of Light. I always say, never count it until we’re skiing it, and truthfully October was so dry I felt lucky to bag one enjoyable ski day in the Tahoe backcountry skiing off the top of our highest peak – Freel – after a small storm. If this was to be a season of salvation it sure wasn’t starting out very impressive. As November appeared there still wasn’t that much snow in Tahoe, but by months end around five feet had fallen breathing hope into forecasters’ predictions. As much as early season conditions can be difficult to negotiate in the backcountry the skiing was fun. Enter December and the faucet started opening up to the tune of more than twelve feet of new snow. Slowly but surely, iconic peaks and classic lines started to fill in like we haven’t seen in years. In actuality, Tahoe is hovering right about average in terms of annual snowfall right now. The same can be said for the entire Sierra Nevada range. But because the past few winters have been so poor the positive response amongst the community has been overwhelming. Brendan Madigan knows about the drought all too well. Beyond being an accomplished backcountry skier himself, he is also the owner of Alpenglow Sports, a Tahoe City gear shop specializing in outfitting Tahoe residents and visitors with the best backcountry ski gear on the market. According to Brendan, “After four winters of damage control it’s really nice to have a normal winter again. There is a collective happiness in Tahoe

and the unmistakable powder smiles are everywhere you look. Snow is crucial to the long-term health of our economy and we just hope things keep the established pattern well into 2016. When you run a ski business you’re a genius when it snows and a bit of a dolt when it doesn’t.” To me, Brendan’s sentiment has been salient concerning our excellent start to the 2015-2016 ski season. People are fired up, from

PHOTOS Main image: Jillian Raymond enjoys another prime powder day on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe. Middle: Making turns off the Peter Grubb Hut. Above bottom: The classic “Cross” of Mt. Tallac. Left: After four consecutive years of lean snow, snowsports enthusiasts revel in what feels like one long powder day. Opposite page, top: A happy crew gets walled in a pinner couloir in the Tahoe Basin. Opposite page, bottom: Fueling up for another fun day of perfect powder in the Tahoe backcountry.


ski resort staff, to local business owners and dirtbag ski bums. It’s been a steady, growing groundswell starting gradually in November, building through December, and cresting with the consistent snowfall we’ve seen thus far in January. It may not seem crucial to the untrained backcountry user, but January is a tricky month in the Sierra, especially in Tahoe. If you go back to our last big season of 2010-2011 Tahoe received barely a few inches of snow in January, but finished with a staggering 800+ inches on the season. We’re used to snow starved “Juneuary” conditions during the first month of the year, although savvy backcountry skiers and riders can often find prime winter corn if enough of the white stuff has fallen during early season storms. Luckily, as much as corn skiing is prime in the Sierra, no one has had to think about seeking out slopes that are more prone to softening with solar radiation so far this season. It’s been nothing but powder days, and if forecasters predictions hold, it looks as though a wet trend will continue well into spring. Back to the Emerald Chute, knowing Ming has his watchful eyes on me, I slide into my next turn popping out of the more narrow upper reaches of the chute. With a southeast orientation, this is not the easiest line to get in full

on powder conditions. I pull into a safe spot gaining the unique view of towering golden granite to my left, Emerald Bay a few thousand feet below, and perfect knee high powder coating the entire run. I’m as giddy as kid in a candy store, but I know we can’t celebrate until we’re at the bottom. Ming drops in, surfing his way toward me and my safe spot. “Ummm ... this is insane,” he says with a grin stretching wide across his face. “I’ve never had this line in such good conditions!” “Me either,” I respond knowing we’ve both ridden this line numerous times, but right now, in the moment, it’s by far the highest quality we’ve both ever experienced in this truly epic location. We continue our way down in utter awe at our fortune. Later that night, we talk to friends who were skiing in the Donner Pass area, the West Shore, and down towards Carson Pass that day. Everyone is saturated with powder fueled stoke. The energy is contagious, and the weather is pointing to nothing but more light, cold snow for our area. It’s always a good time when you’re in Tahoe, whether you’re a long time local, weekend warrior, or first time visitor, but this winter, right now, there’s no better place to be a backcountry skier or rider in the lower 48.

www. advent ur espor t sjour nal. com

17


Pedaling the Wild The quest to allow cycling in federally designated Wilderness By Kurt Gensheimer

B

icycles in federally protected Wilderness. Depending on who you ask, this is a linchpin issue for the future of conservation or you’ll get a blank stare and a “what about it?” Regardless of the reaction, the topic has been emotionally charged for decades, and as a result, there has been a lot of misunderstanding surrounding the original intent of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The issue of bicycles in Wilderness was recently rekindled when the Boulder-White Clouds region of Idaho, a coveted gem of backcountry mountain biking for generations, was designated federal Wilderness this past summer, shutting out mountain bike use forever. Despite the fact that mountain bikes have been proven through numerous independent environmental studies to be as low-impact on trails as hiking and far lower impact than equestrian use, bicycles are still banned from 110 million acres of Wilderness (a number that grows nearly every year), despite other forms of permitted human-powered mechanical travel aids like backcountry ski gear, kayaks with oarlocks, anti-shock hiking poles and a plethora of climbing gear. It wasn’t always this way. In fact, when the Wilderness Act of 1964 was originally passed, bicycles were permitted in Wilderness. The Rattlesnake Wilderness Act of 1980 specifically mentioned bicycling as “… primitive recreation, to include such activities as hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, horse riding and bicycling …” And between 1981 and 1984, the Forest Service (USFS) interpreted the law as letting it evaluate caseby-case where bicycles could go in Wilderness. But in 1984, after only a handful of public complaints, the USFS finally concluded the ban meant no bicycles anywhere, anytime. This blanket ban has remained in effect. Public pressure brought about this regulation and it will take public pressure to modify it.

Conservation and Recreation Congress passed the Wilderness Act in 1964 with the intent of conserving land from “expanding settlement” and “growing mechanization” while concurrently encouraging citizens to get out under their own power for the “… use and enjoyment of the American people …” One of the biggest misunderstandings of federally protected Wilderness is that it was created with the sole purpose of conservation, not recreation. But by simply reading the Act itself, it’s clear that Congress did not believe conservation and recreation were mutually exclusive. Both can exist. Besides, what good is conservation without the ability to experience protected lands in a low-impact, human-powered form of backcountry travel? The blanket ban on bicycles in Wilderness has largely centered on two words – “mechanical transport.” The pressure put on the USFS to pass the regulation banning bicycles in 1984 used these two words originally intended for motorized forms of travel, conveniently lumping bicycles into that classification despite the fact that the USFS actually allowed mechanically assisted human-powered travel like cycling. “Mechanical transport …” as defined by the USFS in 1966, “… shall include any contrivance which travels over ground, snow, or water on wheels, tracks, skids, or by flotation, and is propelled by a non-living power source …” The key word here is “non-living,” which clearly establishes that bicycles were not originally intended for exclusion from Wilderness. Despite all these clues proving beyond a doubt that Congress, and even the USFS for that matter, didn’t originally intend to exclude bicycles from Wilderness, what is the argument that has kept bicycles out since

1984? Unfortunately, PHOTOS nearly every argument against bicycles revolves Main image: Mountain bikers are proving to be a central around emotion and part of the conservation personal interest, not fact. movement (Blackburn/Brian For years, the Vernor). Top: Pedaling to argument was that remote spots allows cyclists bicycles destroyed habitat, to wind down “off grid” (Tom but science has since Kaeding). Middle: Although not disproven the validity of currently threatened, the Lakes that argument. Another Basin region near Downieville case against bikes is that could be proposed as future they ruin a non-cyclists Wilderness (Kurt Gensheimer). Wilderness experience Above: Drop bars and skinny when encountering a tires take well to the dirt on epic adventures (Specialized/ cyclist, which can simply Marcello Mariana). Bottom be written off as a case left: Stillness and peace in the of bigotry. Not liking backcountry (Matt Reynolds). another person’s form of Opposite page: Exploring paths low-impact travel is not less traveled (Specialized/ a valid reason for their Steve Fassbinder). exclusion. A third is that if Wilderness permits bikes, it will open the floodgates to hucksters wanting to “rip” and “shred” the backcountry, creating a safety issue. But the reality is this: those who desire bicycle access to Wilderness are respectful, responsible and conservationminded folk just like non-cyclists in Wilderness. Besides, “shredding” when you’re deep in the backcountry goes against the tenets of self-preservation, and backcountry riders don’t take unnecessary risks.

Presenting a Solution

“STC does not seek to change the original meaning of the Wilderness Act of 1964. All it seeks is to establish what the USFS was doing from 1981 to 1984: letting local managers decide where bikes can go.” 18 ASJ ASJ—June/July — Feb/Mar 2016 2012

This year a new organization, the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), was co-founded by a Marin County mountain biker and a respected attorney who’s done legal work for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). The STC has hired seasoned lobbyists to obtain a solution to the Wilderness dilemma. Contrary to what opponents are claiming, the STC does not seek to sue anyone, nor change the original meaning of the Wilderness Act of 1964. And despite alarmist claims, this update will not open the door to corporate greed and exploitation of Wilderness.


PHOTOS

In fact, all the STC seeks is to establish what the USFS was doing from 1981 to 1984: letting local managers decide where bikes can go. Of course there are places that aren’t appropriate for bicycles; John Muir Trail and trails in Yosemite National Park are two prime examples. But there are literally millions of acres of extremely remote lands like the Boulder-White Clouds where bicycle use is the most efficient and logical means of backcountry travel. Even if you are staunchly against bike access in Wilderness, there is still good reason why you should reconsider. The blanket ban is creating an involuntary anti-conservationist movement within the most devoted segment of recreationists. Hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers share a lot in common, and by working together, create an incredibly strong conservationist voice. But by banning bikes from Wilderness, that voice is weakened. And considering the continued growth of mountain biking, especially with America’s youth thanks to high school mountain bike leagues, the voice may continue to weaken if the blanket ban is not removed, potentially opening the door for future exploitation of resources. Secondly, mountain bikers have proven to be a critical asset to land managers and a central part of the conservation movement, working with agencies to build and maintain sustainable trails that promote health, recreation and connecting with nature while providing a vitally important tourism economy for remote mountain communities. Thirdly, historical trails in Wilderness areas are disappearing because of a lack of use and maintenance. Due to the highly efficient nature of a bicycle, riders will be able to more easily access these areas and prevent historically significant trails from disappearing forever, providing a benefit for all human-powered users. Trails are a part of America’s heritage, and just like the aspirations of federal Wilderness, they should be kept intact for future generations to enjoy.

Chime In

Visit adventuresportsjournal.com to answer our current Switchback question: Should human powered bicycling be allowed in designated Wilderness?

in Black & white

Top: Pitching in to build and maintain trails demonstrates excellence in mountain biking; Bottom: Using bike bells helps mitigate user conflict on the trails in Santa Barbara (SBMTV).

p In 1966, the USFS defined “mechanical transport” as a device propelled by a “nonliving” power source, further proving bicycles were not intended to be excluded from Wilderness.

p This 1982 USFS memorandum states the ban on bikes is an “editorial error,” proving the USFS intended to manage bicycles on a case-by-case basis, but due to only a few public complaints, the ban was never lifted.

p This 1982 USFS memorandum proves the agency was not opposed to allowing bicycles in Wilderness.

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19


The Bright Side of Suffering Gravel grinder season kicks off By Sarah Hansing

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ell, the holiday season is officially over. It was a glorious time of joyous celebrations and gratitude, festivities and feasts, family and … well, family. Which is to say, togetherness. The type of togetherness that can – at times – make you want to end your lineage. Because family celebrations in real life somehow never quite follow the storyline of those heartwarming holiday specials that no one can collectively agree on watching as a family. It goes something like this: Someone gets the short straw on hosting the meal. Extended family – who are absent the rest of the year – come together like flocks of politically, morally, and dietarily disagreeing birds. Due to the close quarters and possibly because of some minor incident that happened (perhaps involving Uncle Dave and his now ex-wife) cause a rift, which leads to an INCREDIBLY uncomfortable family dinner, which leads to the consumption of A LOT more eggnog, then wine, then vodka, then total dismay that the liquor cabinet is now empty, the stores are closed and it’s not even Christmas Eve yet. But it’s all over now. So let us take a deep breath and admire our capacity for suffering. Which does come in handy on the bike. It’s back to real life and back to bike riding; time to work through built up frustrations, survivor’s guilt (after all, YOU aren’t the one who agreed to host next year’s get-together) and finally, tactical holiday survival overindulgences. So grab your bike, put your cycling kit on (don’t worry, everyone “dried their kit for too long and shrunk it” this time of year) ... and start training. Because gravel grinder season is upon us. In a tour de suffering that is distinct from any other type of event, gravel grinders are the latest way to test your mettle. Put your legs and mental fortitude where your miles are, and go for the latest (and possibly most sadistic) type of race series cycling has to offer.

These long distance sufferfests have become a favorite of mountain and road cyclists alike, and as a result these once unsanctioned events have been slowly creeping to the spotlight. No longer a “Hey! I have a terrible (-ly AWESOME) idea! Let’s go find a 70-110 mile bike route with the most elevation, the most remote locations, and the absolute WORST road conditions possible ... and go ride it all in one day!” Gravel grinders have caught the attention of some of the best race promoters and the strongest mountain, road, and cyclocross racers in the country, and the discipline is rapidly on the rise in California (see sidebar). Though it does take no small amount of bravery to register for a gravel grinder and no small amount of determination and endurance to finish it, this style of racing actually IS for every kind of rider. That’s one of the coolest things about it, really. This isn’t cross-country racing where mountain bike technical skills and fast recovery are paramount, or enduro racing which requires both a bike and a rider that can conquer a gnarly downhill course, or 24hr racing which focuses on skills in sleep deprivation, pacing, and planning. Nope, gravel grinding is its own breed. The unpredictable outcomes of these events are a refreshing

change of pace from the PHOTOS race-for-fourth-place that is Main image: SuperPro so common in skill-set specific Racing’s Christon DeWan racing. lives the dream at the Tainthammer (SuperPro These unpredictably diverse Racing/Ted Ketai). Above: courses are the great Riders set out to navigate equalizer between cycling Lake Davis before dropping disciplines. They require a into Red Clover Valley on well-rounded cyclist to win the Lost & Found gravel – a rider can not exclusively grinder course (SBTS). be just a strong climber, a Circle: Seeing double on technical descender, or a the Tainthammer course fast sprinter and expect to (SuperPro Racing/Ted Ketai). Below left: Racers be successful. Race leaders take on a grueling 18-mile change based on the section climb before a sweeping of the race, and due to the 30-mile descent on the long miles and continuously Grinduro course (SBTS/ varying course conditions, John Watson). Below right: it’s anyone’s race to win or Inspiring vews of the Lost lose, and the mechanicals Sierra surround Grinduro and flats that can (and do) competitors (SBTS/John happen because of the rough Watson). pavement, dirt roads, and rocky sections add an extra element of the unpredictable. With all of the fresh offerings for new sights, suffering, riding styles, and locations that the gravel grinder has to offer, it has breathed new life and brought a new level of enthusiasm into the cycling world. Who knew that so much pain could bring so much pleasure?

“In a tour de suffering that is distinct from any other type of event, gravel grinders are the latest way to test your mettle.” 20 ASJ ASJ—June/July — Feb/Mar 2016 2012


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Photo: John Watson

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2016 California Gravel Grinders SuperPro Racing’s California Gravel Gauntlet Series

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) Gravel Events

Cycling’s quirkiest event promoter Murphy Mack brings back his popular Gravel Gauntlet Series for the 2016 season, adding two more rounds for a total of five events. These fast and furious gravel rides each rock a different personality, all of which test your skill, strength and endurance – and ultimately determine who’s the king and queen of the California gravel scene. The 2016 schedule is expected to kick off with the renowned Tainthammer on February 20 in Gustine. The Tainthammer features 110 miles of the worst California Central Valley roads that race organizers could find. Horrible pavement, compressed sand, gravel, washboard, potholes, and headwinds make up this sufferfest. Also back for 2016 is Menso’s SLO Ride to Hell on March 5 out of Santa Margarta, in which pro racer Menso de Jong takes riders on a journey of self-discovery and introspection. A 75-mile route with massive views, screaming descents, and twists and turns on backcountry mountain tops that will leave you dizzy. The series wouldn’t be the same without Rumble in the Ranchlands in Mariposa, taking place on March 19 and featuring an 82-mile rolling route through the Sierra foothills not far from Yosemite Valley. You’ll ride up and down scenic dirt roads and double tracks, in and out of steep river valleys, yielding to cows along the way. Toss in brand new venues Shevock’s Sierra Surprise in Foresthill on March 12 and the series finale in Panoche Desert Hills in Firebaugh on April 2, and you’re looking at one hell of a kick-ass series, sure to please even the most discerning cycling masochist. Each event will boast SuperPro Racing’s signature support including great food and prizes, fully stocked aid stations and more. Individual event registration is available or snag your Gravel SuperPass for savings on the entire series. The Series SuperPass also gets you a sweet California Gravel Gauntlet full-zip, water resistant jacket, great for those post ride times when your blood sugar is hitting the floor. For the series schedule, details and registration, visit superproracing.com.

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) – organizer of the wildly popular Downieville Classic cross country and downhill mountain bike races – boasts two gravel grinder events on its fundraising events line-up: the Lost & Found gravel road bicycle race and the Grinduro mountainbike-enduro-meets-gravel-road race. Now in its third year, the 100-mile Lost & Found Gravel Grinder is set to take place on Saturday, June 4 at Lake Davis. Riders competing in the full 100-miler tackle over 7000' of climbing on a route that is 80% gravel. Shorter 60- and 30- mile options are also available. A post event lunch party will be provided for participants after they finish along with awards, raffle and entertainment. Last year 484 intrepid souls lined up to ride a route that looped around Lake Davis, headed north through Red Clover Valley, then dropped into Genesee Valley before climbing back and returning to Lake Davis. The two-day Grinduro, which debuted last year, takes place October 8 in Quincy. Sponsored by Giro Sport Design with SRAM and Clif Bar, this more-than-justa-bike race event takes gravel grinding a step further, introducing a festival-type atmosphere with phenomenal post-race food offerings, bands, camping, and even a unique Bike and Art exhibit featuring the works of some of the best local frame builders, artists and photographers the area has to offer. In short, this race offered something for everyone – suffer-seekers and hedonists alike. Brand new for 2016, SBTS is offering the Lost Sierra Triple Crown, the ultimate challenge of both fitness and bike handling skills, tying together the Lost & Found, the Downieville Classic and Grinduro. The SBTS races are crucial components of their fundraising efforts. Proceeds go toward trail restoration, maintenance and building efforts. Trail crews are all locally hired, and the organization’s work not only benefits area trails, but also the region’s economy. For more information about the SBTS events, visit sierratrails.com.

Photo: SuperPro RacingMurphy Mack

Photo: SBTS/Dusty Bermshot

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21


Event Profiles a sneak peek at some of the season’s best upcoming events SANTA CRUZ PADDLEFEST March 17-20, Santa Cruz

BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL February 19-21, Santa Cruz

National Geographic and the North Face present the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Join UCSC Recreation and get set to explore the edge of believable with some of the best films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival as it brings amazing stories to the big screen at the Rio Theatre. Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters, and climb the highest peaks. Celebrate the 25th anniversary of bringing this event to Santa Cruz while also celebrating the 50th anniversary of UC Santa Cruz. This event benefits the UCSC Wilderness Orientation Scholarship Fund. Different films will be shown each night so come for one or all three shows. Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com or in person at Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz. recreation.ucsc.edu/banff.html

THE GREAT SKI RACE March 6, Tahoe City

The 39th annual The Great Ski Race is a 30K (18-mile) event that begins at Tahoe Cross Country in Tahoe City, winds through the forest and mountains of North Lake Tahoe on groomed trails, and ends at Cottonwood Restaurant in Truckee. Hundreds of ski racers, touring skiers, and disabled athletes turn out for the race looking for achievement, adventure, and the famous finish-line party, with live music, hot lunch, raffles, and beer for age-qualified participants. Proceeds from this fundraiser for the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue Team help purchase equipment and support winter survival education programs. Race entry includes a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments at two mid-course stations and hot lunch at the finish. thegreatskirace.com 22 ASJ — Feb/Mar 2016

Through the years the Santa Cruz Paddle Festival (SCPF) has held multiple World Championships for surf kayaking. These events have drawn competitors from all over the world: Ireland, Scotland, England, Portugal, Basque, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada, Australia, Jersey, just to name a few. This event now offers three distinct classes of surf kayaking—International Class Kayak, High Performance Kayak and Waveski—as well as a SUP surfing competition at The Lane and a SUP race that starts at Cowells Beach, heads out towards the fabled Steamer Lane, and then loops back towards the Boardwalk. santacruzpaddlefest.com

OAKLAND RUNNING FESTIVAL March 20, Oakland

The 7th annual Oakland Running Festival features races at both the marathon and half marathon distances, plus a 5k, kids’ fun run, and a four-leg team relay event. The Corporate Cup offers the Bay Area business community the opportunity to be a part of a one of the largest marathon relays in the USA, as part of the Team Relay. Race participants are invited to compete in the “We Run the Town Challenge” where runners complete the 5K at 7:30 am and then run the Half Marathon at 9:15 am to earn a special bib, an extra medal and a reason to say “We Run The Town.” Event organizers are gearing up for another great year. Once again, race day activities will be centered in Snow Park, located just off the shores of majestic Lake Merritt. This location provides plenty of open green space to allow runners, fans and sponsors plenty of elbow room as they celebrate their accomplishments. The Oakland Running Festival has won the People’s Choice award for Best Race in the West by readers of Competitor Magazine, was featured in Runner’s World, and consistently receives ratings of 95% or more for participants who recommend the race to a friend. oaklandmarathon.com

Do you have an event you’d like to see featured in this section? Contact us to learn about our event promotion packages – we specialize in raising visibility for YOUR events! info@adventuresportsjournal.com

ALPENGLOW MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL February 20-28, Tahoe City

Three years ago, Brendan Madigan, owner of Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City, fulfilled a dream bringing a world-class mountain gathering to the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. The first two Alpenglow Mountain Festival celebrations took place during drought years for the Sierra, with very little snow to accentuate so many incredible events scheduled throughout nine days. If you made it to either of these events, you know that the lack of snow didn’t matter one bit. Locals and visitors alike continue to champion past events as highlights of the season, and with winter back in the Tahoe area, this year’s promises to be the best yet. In what’s been called the premier mountain lifestyle event in North America, this year’s Alpenglow Mountain Festival is designed for individuals, couples, and families who are inspired by mountain recreation. If you’re thinking about when to plan a trip to North Lake Tahoe, this is the time. While the Tahoe community shines during the Alpenglow Mountain Festival, the events this year are of special interest. All levels of ability can enjoy guided backcountry ski/snowboard tours, Nordic events and yoga, and the festival is grounded in being fully accessible to the beginner and intermediate skilled mountain lover. Natural history excursions and avalanche education clinics will be back this year, and don’t miss out on the first 5Point Film Festival on Saturday, February 20 or Jeremy Collins Drawn on Saturday, February 27. These critically acclaimed films are top highlights for this year and will be enjoyed by everyone, not just mountain enthusiasts. Most events are FREE and there is something for everyone to enjoy. alpenglowsports.com


Adventure Events Calendar Visit us online for a full listing of upcoming California events. Go to AdventureSportsJournal.com and click on the EVENTS button.

Biking FEBRUARY 14 —MTB Challenge - Cross Country MTB Folsom Lake. www.tbfracing.com 14 — MTB Core Fundamentals Malibu 14 hours to master and improve your bike skills. Learn solid foundation skills: cornering, braking, slow speed, balance, body position, wheel lifts, variance of the skills, switch backs, basic drops, vision, and more. ASingleTrackMind.com 20 — The Tainthammer, Los Banos, 110mi of the amazingly worst Central Valley roads we could find. superproracing.com 27-28 — MTB Core Fundamentals Santa Cruz See Feb. 14 description. ASingleTrackMind.com

MARCH 12 — Solvang Century & Half Century 50/63/100 mile routes. Not a race! bikescor.com

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24 ASJ — Feb/Mar 2016

12 - 13 — MTB Core Fundamentals Marin See Feb. 14 description. ASingleTrackMind.com March 19 — Rumble in the Ranchlands, Mariposa, 82-miles through the Sierra foothills. Guitars, Cadillacs, and hillbilly music for sure. superproracing.com 21 — Menso’s SLO Ride to Hell San Luis Obispo, A 75-mile route with massive views, screaming descents, twists and turns.superproracing.com 26 - 27 — MTB Core Fundamentals Sacramento/Folsom See Feb. 14 description. ASingleTrackMind.com 21-27 — Solvang Spring Tour planetultra.com 28 — MTB Madness, Folsom Lake tbfracing.com

Climbing March 27-29 -- Red Rock Rendezvous Climbing Festival Las Vegas, Join and get an opportunity to climb with the world’s best professional rock climbers. redrockrendezvous.com

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Miscellaneous FEBRUARY Feb 9 — Patagonia Presents: Book Talk on “Yosemite in the 50’s” Santa Monica. A book talk with authors Dean Fidelman and John Long. patagonia.com

Feb 11 — Patagonia Presents: Booke Talk on “Yosemite in the 50’s” San Francisco. A book talk with authors Dean Fidelman and John Long. patagonia.com

March 6, 2016 · 9am

Tahoe Nordic Search + Rescue Team Fundraiser 30 km Cross Country Ski Race For All Ages + Abilities $60 (thru 2/20) $70 (2/21-3/5) $110 Race Day $25 18-under Refreshments - Hot Lunch Live Music - Prizes

Feb 19, 20, & 21 — Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz. The films will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories & adventure. recreation.ucsc.edu/banff.html

Paddling FEBRUARY Stand Up Paddling —Whether it’s your first time on an SUP or you’re looking to increase your skills, we have the class for you. Santa Cruz (831-479-1121) or Elkhorn Slough (831-724-5692) kayakconnection.com Sundays — Monterey Bay Wildlife Tour, Paddle into the bay to try to spot migrating California gray whales. Santa Cruz (831-479-1121) or Elkhorn Slough (831-724-5692). kayakconnection.com

39th ANNUAL THE GREAT SKI RACE TAHOE CITY TO TRUCKEE www.TheGreatSkiRace.com


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Paddling, cont. MARCH 18-20 — Santa Cruz Paddle Fest, Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz. An elite paddle surfing competition and paddleboard race with options for beginners and experts. Surf Kayak & SUP. santacruzpaddlefest.com

Run/Walk FEBRUARY

Discover the best of Santa Cruz’s year round mountain biking with our premier guiding and coaching service. therideguides.com

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15 — Rose Bowl Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & Kids Run, Pasadena. pacificsportsllc.com

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5 — Woodside King’s Mountain Half Marathon & 5 Mile, Huddart Park, Woodside. envirosports.com 5 — Way Too Cool 50K, Cool. 97% dirt trails and roads along the American River Canyon. run100s.com/wtc.htm 6— Napa Valley Marathon, Beautiful course. NapaValleyMarathon.org 12 & 13 — Shamrock’n Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Run, Sacramento. shamrocknhalf.com

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(March 13) Shamrock Run / Off-Road Ramble, Watsonville. Run a 5k or 10k race on the trails of Pinto Lake, one of Santa Cruz’s hidden gems! Featuring beautiful woodlands, a bagpipe start, and green beer at the finish. www.fleetfeetaptos.com/

26-28 — AIARE Level 1 A three day intro to the avalanche phenomena. Students will develop a good grounding in how to prepare for and carry out a trip, understand basic decision making. expedition.kirkwood.com/education 27-28 — Rhalves Banzai Tour, Kirkwood. Big mountain freeriding meets ski & boarder-cross strategy in a mad dash race for $80,000 tour prize. rahlvesbanzai.com

MARCH 1-3, 11-13, 18-20 — AIARE Level 1 See Feb. 26-28 description of course. expedition.kirkwood.com/education 5-6— Rhalves Banzai Tour, Sugar Bowl . Feb. 21 - 22 rahlvesbanzai.com 6 — 39th Great Ski Race, Covers 30 km from Tahoe City to Truckee. See event profile on page 22. (530)546-7393 or thegreatskirace.com 26-27 — Back Country Awareness/ Intro to Backcountry A great introduction to avalanche awareness. expedition.kirkwood.com/education

Looking Ahead April 2 — Golden Gate Headlands Marathon, Half Marathon & 7 mile. halfmarathons.net

April 14-17 — 25th Annual Sea Otter Classic, Monterey Worlds’ Largest 13 — Wine Country Half Marathon Cycling Festival seaotterclassic.com Run/Walk, 5K Run and 1/2 Mile Kids “Grape Stomp” WineCountryRuns.com April 23-24 — MTB Core 19 — Napa Valley Trail Marathon, Half Fundamentals Morro Bay See Feb. 14 description. ASingleTrackMind.com Marathon & 10K™, halfmarathons.net

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20 — Oakland Running Festival, Oakland. Health and Fitness Expo, Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay & Kids Fun Run. See event profile on page 22. www.oaklandmarathon.com

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13-14 — Back Country Awareness/ Intro to Backcountry A great introduction to avalanche awareness. expedition.kirkwood.com/education 20 — JazzTrax Snowshoe Stomp Fun 1K (9 & under), 5K (10 & up) and 10K (Adults) Snowshoe Races. BearValleyXC.com.

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26 ASJ — Feb/Mar 2016

20-28 — Alpenglow Mountain Festival, Tahoe City. A nine day celebration of human powered mountain sports. See event profile on page 22. alpenglowsports.com

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20-21 -- Tahoe Junior Freeride Series - International Freeskier and Snowboarders Association, Kirkwood. Regional competitive series ages 11 to 18. tahoejuniorfreerideseries.com

May 15 — Auburn Triathlon, Auburn, World’s toughest Half, International Full, and Mini Triathlons. auburntriathlon.com May 15 — MTB 1 Day Core Fundamentals Tahoe See Feb. 14 description. ASingleTrackMind.com May 22 — Surfer’s Path, Santa Cruz & Capitola Marathon, half marathon and relay along Monterey’s beautriful coastline. surferspathmarathon.com June 19 — Wild West Ride & Tie, Nevada City,. Two people, one horse, one tough race. www.rideandtie.org July 2 — Annual Ride & Tie World Championship Cuyamaca. Features meadows, mountains, and oak woodlands. www.rideandtie.org Aug 13-27 & Sep 10-24-- Tahoe Rim Trail, 165+ mile Loop Trail Around Lake Tahoe, Lake Tahoe. Silence. Nature. Friends. Experience this for 15 days with TRTA support while you hike the rim of the Tahoe Basin.tahoerimtrail.org


EXPERIENCE PURE WONDER

Yosemite/Mariposa County is experiencing one of its most epic winter seasons in years! There is an adventure around every breathtaking corner—whether you are hiking through a snowy forest, racing down the slopes of Badger Pass or ice skating beneath the sheer granite face of Half Dome. Bring the whole family or a group of friends and choose from a variety of roomy vacation rentals for a perfect winter wonderland getaway. Adventure County—affordable, accessible and remarkably unforgettable.

YosemiteExperience.com/Adventure

Adventure Sports Journal // Feb/March 2016 // Issue #89  

ASJ's backcountry issue features an article on the return of winter to California, as well as articles on snow biking, cross country skiing,...

Adventure Sports Journal // Feb/March 2016 // Issue #89  

ASJ's backcountry issue features an article on the return of winter to California, as well as articles on snow biking, cross country skiing,...