Sunday, December 30, 2007

Spoiled...I Love It!

Lake Pepin has to be just the best place for kiting...and it's close to home for me. The ice is thick and covered with about 3 to 4 inches of fluffy snow. No tracks of any kind and just smooth for as long as you can see. Kiting today went great even though the wind died a bit too quickly for my kite. Sometimes...sometimes bigger is not only better but necessary. All in all I'm looking forward to another round tomorrow! If you're kiting Pepin...You're definitely spoiled!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

In Search of Ice

Christmas Day and I was really in need of some exercise to wear off the Holiday cheer so I hit the Cannon Valley Trail with my XC skis. I have been trying to figure out where I can find a local ice flow to play with now that I have my gear. I figured on a spot along the trail that has springs coming out of the bluffs. Well I found my springs and also watercress growing in the middle of winter! No ice flows but the local wildlife was abundant around the springs. Squirrels, a woodchuck, possum and alot of birds. I put over 5 miles on my Classic skis. I gave my skate skis a try today. I'm not sure if I like them yet or not. We'll see about those. BTW White Zinfandel wine with a couple of fresh crushed blackberrys is fantastic with Christmas dinner!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Verm Ice Conditions Today

The Verm doesn't look too good for a New Years paddle this year. Maybe the Kinnikinic would be a beautiful option. There are a couple of stern squirt spots and lots of winter scenery.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bluff Skiing

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old" Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian-Chech writer. These words really resonate with me as I find it's a basic need for me to get out and see beauty in nature every day if I can. I don't have to travel far from home as Red Wing has many beautiful places to go to. I skied the golf course track today. This is a nice intermediate route that takes you half ways up the bluffs. Not as gnar as the otherside of the road but still it has it's attractions. This week there's no wind forcasted...booo....I only have the mornings off so no climbing or downhill I'll be on my XC skis on the local trails near home. Now I may know where there is an ice flow...maybe...I'll be checking this week to see if it's there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Family Photos

I spent the weekend back in Wisconsin with my family. I got photos of my new Grandneices, Regan and Natalie. They were born three weeks apart. We had a good trip!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

White Bear Lake

After work today I met up with Lisa, a climber I met at VE, to introduce her to kiting. We met up at the same exact spot Bryan Z. took me for my first kite lesson. She did fantastic on my trainer kite. We met alot of the local riders today that were out making those jumps look soooooo easy. When I got there the wind was whipping pretty good so I didn't throw up my TD and when it died down to just perfect for my kite it was time to head back to Red Wing. The ice seemed good enough but there was some slushy water in spots.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Everything is Better Outside!

Oh yeah! I did my first outdoor climb today and it was during the Intro to Ice Climbing class. Everyone was so nice and real! I know I have an addictive personality and I know also what I like. Climbing has really caught my fancy and ice climbing today was WOW! Loved it! So much I added to my tools! Now I just need boots and crampons and I'm ready to go. Oh yes...and a rope..oh and...etc..etc..etc.. When you freefall into a new sport money seems to fly outta yer pockets! There is a big difference between indoor and outdoor climbing. Today I loved the challenge of making or discovering my holds. The Sandstone Ice Festival continues on Saturday and Sunday...don't miss it...Tony and Greg have done a fantastic job setting this up. BTW...I wear size 8 1/2 mens boots if anyone has a spare pair to sell.

These last photos are of me climbing two different flows.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


These first four photos are of one of the harder routes at the Y. It was a good night climbing!

You can see the last hand hold on this route. I came within inches of getting it. Maybe next time!