Dash Board Empada winter 2011

19 01 2012

Dash Board Empada

Dash Board Empada is the name of a kayak porn, which if watched like all kayak films and any adventure films will make you feel invincible. This winter has been a good season for grounding some of those feelings of invincibility.

Not long after Christmas, Karen and I met with her family and headed to Winter Park Colorado for some ski action. While they are all expert skiers I would like to take a moment of reflection on how I learned to ski. It all started in advanced gym class with and Matt Henry and Drew Downey, telling me it’s no problem as they pushed me down the hill, not yet knowing how to stop or turn. Flash forward to this past December I felt good keeping up with Karen and her brother Bobby, as they led Tyler and I down the slopes. On day two Karen and I devoted it to skiing with the younger crew and making them feel at home.  While skiing with the younger kids was rewarding I felt a little bored so I blazed my own trail off trail, coming back under the ropes I met my demise and crashed. It was a good time. Ski season lasted for the majority of January and February in Ohio, with the Amherst Jr. High Ski Club; we even had an 8” pow day on the slopes! Good times.

During the winter season I look forward to ice climbing in both Ohio and New York, as always it was a great adventure in the Adirondacks. This time around Mike and were looking to try some new climbing area and attempt to leave the crowds behind at the road side.  On our December scouting trip we managed to find the Canyon and some of the climbs near the beer walls. On our return in February with Karen we opted for some back country climbing on the first two days and headed towards the North Face of Pitchoff Mountian. The trail into the NFPO was along the Jack Rabbit ski trail and thus you have to snow shoe or ski in to avoid damage to the one of the great cross country ski trails.

Day one led to higher temperature than normal close to 50* and sunny which made the ice very wet and close to unsafe. We plodded up on climb and then decided the unsafe conditions were no joke and decided to explore the area and soak up the sun.

Day two the temps returned to normal for the High Peaks Region, the day started in the 20’s and all day they  dropped to around zero and with 20 mph wind, it made for a cold walk out.  The climbing was great though and we sent two routes, Arm and Hammer and Tendonitis before we headed back to the truck. The climbing was a little slower than normal due other parties on the climb ahead of use but during the wait we met some guys from Perrysburg Ohio, who turned out to be pretty cool. Like most crags these we stuck up some conversation with these fellas about lodging and eateries, as it turns out we were staying at Cobble Mtn Lodge this time around verse Art Devlins. They told they have stayed there in the past, and let us in on sweet secret…tales of a grand sauna ( we had no idea about that little gem!) let me be the first to say with cold hands and -20* windchill I could not contain my excitement.

For the last day of climbing we headed to the Chapel Pond Canyon to see what it had to offer.  Mike and I scouted it out in December but it was snowing so hard that we could not see beyond 15 yards. It was a cold morning but sunny for the first part of the walk in until the canyon walls blocked out the sun.  We found a climb called Hot shot and I was feeling saucy. This turned out to be the hardest lead climb for me to date. It was a really good time once I made it to the top, Karen followed along with Mike.

Now as the spring has sprung the ice has melted and the creeks and rivers are flowing with a new vigor, Kayak season is here at last! As compared to last spring I have not been on the water nearly as much but it is beginning to come around.  To date I have had the chance to paddle Slippery Rock Creek, the North Brach of the West Branch of the Rocky River, The Cuyahoga River Gorge,  The Black River and finally Tinkers Creek.  Last season I met some really good paddlers and began to kayak with them on Wednesday nights.  Jon started the Wednesday Night Paddle Session, and following his graduation from Akron University, moved to Minnesota. I decided that I would keep the paddle group alive and interest in the local watersheds.  Along the way I have met some great paddlers this season alone, last night was exception. The crew headed to Tinkers Creek for some fun and scary times following a bad swim, better eat your wheaties. See you next time.

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