Mt. Moran Skillet Ski – My Bucket List (5 May 2019)

Really, the best time to ski the Skillet is early to mid-May. But, Jackson Lake is not frozen enough to cross, and not thawed enough to row. But, as I mulled over the idea of the Skillet with our friend Hans, I learned something new. Hans had moved to Jackson from Colorado in 2014, but we knew him from skiing in Colorado. He told me that he thought Mt. Moran could be approached from the String Lake Trailhead via Leigh Lake Trail, and that the road to String Lake opened up on May 1st. He hadn’t known anyone who had done it. But, looking on a map, it seemed easy enough – a 5 mile, mostly flat, approach to the bottom of the route and then a 5500 vertical foot climb from there. This would be a long one, but I’ve done longer, harder, steeper routes with greater vertical before. Avoiding Jackson Lake seemed like the way to go.

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First Finisher of TrailQuest!

In my two-season TrailQuest journey, I wrecked 3 pairs of gloves, replaced 2 drive trains on my bike, replaced 7 tires, broke 2 helmets, tore up multiple pairs of shorts, ruined a few pairs of socks, wore out the soles of two pairs of shoes, spent roughly $2000 in parts and maintenance on my bike, endured too many saddle sores, broke my tailbone, and broke my little toe. I suffered on multiple long rides, occasionally breaking down to tears. But I also experienced so much joy in the beauty of the lands that surround us and in finding new trails that were new to me that made great rides.

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Mount Rainier – Skiing the Fuhrer Finger (14 May 2018)

I have a long history with Mount Rainier. I was just 14 years old when our plane flew alongside her and I was mesmerized – so much that I decided I wanted to go to college in Seattle, just so I could be close to Mount Rainier. But, after visiting the University of Washington campus and being disappointed, I set my sights elsewhere and ended up in Boulder. Still, Mount Rainier hung in my mind. My dad and I eventually climbed her in the mid-90’s, fully guided with RMI. The famed Dave Hahn was our lead guide.

But, then became a ski mountaineer and my eyes gazed back to Mount Rainier. I needed to ski her. Two previous volcano-skiing trips to the Pacific Northwest were fruitful, but did not give ample opportunity for skiing Rainier. After missing last ski season due to injury, and coming back to a rather mediocre season in Colorado, I needed something. I needed a big goal, something that would be the highlight of my season. I decided that would be Rainier.

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