Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Heather and Kevin's engagement hike on Mt. Olympus


It has been a while since my last engagement session but I really like when we get to use a location that doesn't see a lot of action. If you know Utah then you know that Alta's Albion basin, Memory Grove park, Big and Little Cottonwoods can get really congested with family photo shoots in the height of wild flower and Fall foliage seasons. My friends Heather and Kevin also have two dogs, which makes shooting outdoors even trickier in the Wasatch. Today's session was more PJ (photo journalistic) then "stage and rage" which fit them just perfectly. I wanted to shoot light and fast so I kept it real simple, Sony A 6000, 16-70 F4, 10-18 F4 and 70-200 F4 all in my favorite action shooting back pack the Mindshiftgear 34L Panorama.
The trail to the summit of Mt. Olympus starts right at the edge of the valley and is an amazing place to enjoy sunset and watch the whole valley come alive.
There are several rock outcroppings that make for some great viewing spots in just the first 5 minutes of hiking.
That is Thunder mountain in the back drop, some 5000+ feet above the valley floor.
A little privacy for the happy couple.
Their two dogs were real troopers and would have kept going if it weren't for the dang photo shoot.
Not a bad spot for a break.
Happy happy.


Looking forward to a real cool Wedding in September at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City with a finale down the bob sled course!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

They call it "Timp".

Mt. Timpanogos is the iconic peak range most notable just east of the Provo section of I-15. It is part of "the Wasatch" range that lines the interstate from Ogden down to Spanish Fork and beyond. I recently decided to summit Timp after oogling it for over 3 years now. I have viewed and photographed it from all aspects imaginable including a couple of fly overs with the help of Delta airlines. Here is what I saw on my 15 mile loop 4800+ ft ascent to the summit (11,749 ft) of Mt. Timpanogos.
I chose the Aspen Grove trailhead instead of the Timpanooke trailhead as I hiked the latter last summer to Emerald Lake. You start out with a few of these cascades heading up Primrose Cirque.
Mid-way up the Cirque you start to see the Cascade Cirque nose which is where Emerald Lake sits at the base of.
You can't miss the "Jangus" shack as you pass Emerald lake, this is also the preferred lunch spot for most. The wild flowers really turn on just before reaching this area and hold on pretty steady until you head west to the saddle.
The summit shack is now only 1300+-ft higher then Emerald Lake, which means your over 70% of the way there! I am jumping ahead here just to give you the other perspective looking down 1300+- ft to emerald Lake.

Now you know I summit-ed, but it's just getting good.
As you make your way up to the saddle at an even 11,000 ft you'll notice that the flowers are saying good bye.
This is another point at which some hikers decide to have lunch, turn around or just rest for a while but it is the first time you see the Provo valley below.
I would bet millions have seen Timp from the valley floor below as they drive I-15 north and south, but this is the tipping point if you want to Summit.
 Less then a mile from the summit this is where the trail gets real technical. This 78 year old gentleman (white hat) just made the summit, so it's time to put your big pants on and get up there!
Not quite there but another great perspective of the trail, saddle and valley floor now thousands of feet below you.
I gave up on heavy leather hiking boots years ago and would not do another 14er, 13er or big summit without my hokaoneone.com. These are the ultimate in traction, weight, performance and stability. Try running a 100 miler in your old leather hiking boots!
The last schlog is less then a mile from the saddle but it tends to get pretty breezy at times, so be prepared and have a wind/rain shell.
I guess some "artists" just have to let others know they made it too. I believe that is what the register is for?
The clouds were moving in at a rapid pace but I had to show the view looking east towards Deer Creek reservoir and the snow field that I decided to ascend through on my return trip. 
Deciding at the last moment, I chose to take the south route along this ridge line down through the snow field and back to Emerald Lake. That is Spanish Fork  on the upper right side.
Just past Emerald lake you get back into the "flowers for ever" zone and into your final descent to where this all started. This is pretty much a whole day off excursion and shouldn't be missed if you love long, scenic, strenuous hikes! Bring plenty of water, photograph along the way and don't miss the gym one second.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Another week another jungle.

Every time we venture up American Fork, I can't believe it is this close to the city. The trails are rugged and the views always impress. I see why it doesn't get the mountain bike traffic when I'm sitting atop my dirt mover (KTM 200) and that's ok. It's all about Timp, Mt. Timpanogos and the sweeping valley below.
Most people that make it up here are on dirt bikes or horses and even that crowd is pretty low in numbers. The trails are maintained by the good folks at www.uintatrailcouncil.org/ and allow you to work for some pretty amazing lunch spots.
If you have been in the high country this week then you know it is good, real good.
My wife enjoying the views of where we are headed next.
At last, Mt. Timpanogos and the waist to chest high wild flowers.
The ride back down was pretty nice too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Emerald island of singletrack

Although I was on several assignments recently in Steamboat Springs (old hometown) I always spend some cardio-time on the amazing trails on Emerald mountain (AKA Howelsen, Quarry mtn, Emerald). This will go down as one of the greenest Summers in quite a while and the foliage is at an all-time high too.
The flowers were out early and the grasses were taller then I can ever recall in 28 years in Steamboat. I was also fortunate enough to work with yeticycles.com ambassador and professional snowboarder Justin Reiter and local ski racer/teacher Emily Colin.
A classic view of Steamboat from the bluffs on emerald.
The extremely tall grass on the lower Lupine trail almost slows down Emily in the switchback section. In addition to her biking skills, Emily also founded a really cool non-profit in 2010 pedalforchange.org. If you love to bike and give back to those in need, definitely check this out.
Oh, did I mention the ferns were tall too. This is the new trail (morning gloria) named after local entrepreneur  Gloria Gossard who donated the land allowing sections to be taken care of responsibly by making good sustainable trails for hikers, bikers and horseman.
Emily heads down a fern section of Morning Gloria as I feel like I'm in an Amazon jungle filming a documentary.
Back at the stables near the rodeo grounds a couple Colorado craft beers wait for some attention after an amazing couple of hours deep in the emerald jungles of Howelsen Hill!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Back in the Boat, Steamboat Springs Colorado.

 Summer has officially started and the travel is in full swing. First major tour was back to the old playgrounds in Steamboat Springs Colorado. As much of my work time was already accounted for I always leave space for the spontaneous, and today that was a SUP trip to Pearl Lake.
Even more then just Sup, it was a yoga Sup session with my friend Alex of yogacenterofsteamboat.com. If you ever get invited to do SUP Yoga, I would definitely give it a try.
The views can be a little distracting (in a good way) but the extra balance and skills that you gain are also worth the experience.
Another bonus is you don't even have to have your own SUP. Fortunately Alex works with Danny Tebbenkamp of steamboatpaddleboardadventures.com. He has several types of boards, mostly inflatables from another Steamboat local company halagear.com and is a certified Level 3 ACA Paddleboard instructor.
You can even try pairing up with a trusted friend for some "partner yoga". Any way you slice it, SUP Yoga is a great new discipline for your Summer adventures.
And remember, like most recreational sports it's all about the fun.
Get outside!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Draper cycle parks new jump and pump park opening!

Very excited to have experienced the new jump park at drapercyclepark.org last weekend. There were some local pros and a ton of great riders along with a cool raffle. The shenanigans lasted all day, but here are just a few of the highlights from the scene in Draper.
Lots of "duel" shredding and even the ribbon cutting tape is hanging on for a victory lap.
Loca lSpecialized pro rider Mitch Ropelato whipping his way under a Drone attack on the double black line.
Two GT riders Joey Foresta and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Mike Day working it out on another hit from the opening day celebration.
Style and amplitude was plentiful on the first hit as the two guys show that wheel size doesn't matter, it's just dirt. There were Groms galore, and plenty of girls ripping the lines all day too, I just wanted to keep this one short.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Another 2 wheeled addition to the family, say hello to "Cavita".

We recently discovered a unique old vintage (43 years old) style of two wheeled pull behind camper, aptly named the "Campster". After some research and a few classified ads we pulled the trigger on this little gem "Cavita". My wife coined this name after its cave like feel and rounded shape. It is a blend of mostly fiberglass on a steel frame with a center pop-up roof for the stand up cooking area which adds to the venting process. The weather was perfect for her maiden voyage to Mt. Timpanogos park.
Not even 10 feet long on the inside but compared to the back of my 98 Taco very comfortable and easy towing.
Not a bad view for her first trip under new management, and she can hold 2 bikes inside. Battery operated Christmas lights..........not included.
Room to stand, cook, eat, sleep and enjoy coffee out your back door.
The 2 bikes weren't just for looks we actually heard that Sundance Mountain has some really fun singletrack so after breakfast we drove down the road to the base of Sundance ski area.

Turns out they also have lift-served biking with a Swiss Apls feel to it!
Like most ski areas in Utah and surrounding mountain states, it is as lush as can be.
Wouldn't be complete without a little pedaling, just don't forget to look at the scenery.
Archies basin is a fun little loop around the southern boundary of Sundance Mountain Resort complete with the Timpanogos range in your rear view mirror.
Let's  see, lush singletrack, big mountain snow capped views and street tacos with your favorite honey. Yum!