Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Mom is a Diva!

Its not on the website yet, but my Mom won the Mountain Hardware Diva contest!

Beating out many attractive young outdoorsy ladies half her age!
Go mom! you rule!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pack Desigs

I've been kicking around a packraft specific pack design for a few months. Now that I'm a gimp I can put the time into making a prototype.
My tick list:
-Modular and adaptable drybag harness style pack
-able to handle loads up to 60lbs
-Removable hip belt.
-Removable frame sheet / bivy pad
-2 1/2 lbs normal, 1 1/2 lbs stripped
-very, very non water absorbant
-bushwack protection

what is out there now:
The WX tex pack - this seemed to be a cool packrafting pack, but its one compartment design with 4 buckles to open the top proved cumbersome. Also the pack lacks any points to strap stuff to the outside.

Next up is the NRS Paragon - This is a cheap solution for kayakers to carry heavy dry bags, or their boat on portages. Its simple, but lacks much shape and I've heard from friends that it can be not so comfey..

Next up was the Ula pack made for the arctic 1000 trip. This seemed to be a good solution, and Ula made a bunch for sale afterwards. The production pack however left a bit to be desired in my book in that the shoulder straps attach to the weak tabs at the bottom of the WXtex dry bags. I've ripped a few of these corners out through normal use, not even using it as part of my back pack. Also, not much protection for the dry bag on bushwacks... seemed expensive too.

So I started the hip belt for a prototype last night... the design I'm working on is closest to the Ula of the three, with more mesh, different suspension and different features all together. Here is the start, pockets upsized from last years ski pack:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

About 7 years ago I was totally obsessed with baking. I learned as much as I could to make these bueatiful artesian loafs of bread you find at the fancy places. Getting books on french baking from the library, I went through alot of flour back then and thrashed many a kitchen...

I dont bake much anymore, but it still comes in handy for times like tomorrow..

yumm - people that say you can't live off bread alone are lying!

oh and knee surgery went well. I was really nervous going into it, like "do I really need to do this?" The Anesthisia sucked, a night of puking, but I'm getting back into the swing of things. Had my post-op today and my doc said he resectioned one nasty plica with a load of scar tissue right at my medial femoral condyle. I was planning on posting the digital images from the orthoscopy but this will have to do:

I'm stoaked, its what we were hoping for then, good cartlidge, no real chondromalacia. Should be back at it in a month or so as I get into recovery mode. At least its raining and I'm not tormented by great snow conditions...

Sunday, November 18, 2007


So the WFR course is done, Pretty awesome - highly recommend it for anyone that does practically anything outside. There were countless times during the course that I was like - "shit I wish I knew that when that happened..." Head injuries, spinal assessments, shock, Epi, the list goes on. The scenarios were pretty amazing, some of the group would be "patients" and the rest would be responders. The first was the most intense, car wreck with no seatbelts, combined with a violent drunk and a sledding accident - all at the same time in the ER nature center parking lot. I ended up with the severe brain & spine injury and got puked on with a granola tuna mixture. Chaos, smoke bomb under the car, 10 degree temps in the snow at night.. couldent get more real.

Anyway to keep with the busy streak I'm getting long awaited knee surgery tomorrow. This has been seven years in the making when I first injured it during the 2000 Montezumas revenge in Colorado, then finally really inflamed it during the 2005 Alaska Ultra Sport Race to McGrath, Just hasent been the same since and has progressivly been getting worse despite my attempts at becoming a world class swimmer in the APU campus pool. So I'm pretty nervous since everyone has been guessing at what's wrong and the Doc. is about 70% sure its this one thing. So a tad bit exploratory / diagnostic as well. But thats fine.. I can spend the next month or two recovering from surgery, or just doing the same limiting crap I've been doing. So this is a good thing (at least I'm trying to convince myself that). Wish me luck, I'm kinda just going for it, hoping for the best.

Sooo with a few days off work this week I should be able to catch up on sewing projects - a few Frame bags, and a Poggie design that has been revolving around my brain for wayyy tooo long now. Need to get it out.. here are the raw materials along with my old one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Been taking an intensive wilderness first responder course out by the Eagle River Nature Center for the past 3 days. No phone, no internet. really nice. The class is intense but the 12hrs days go pretty quick. Over a foot of fresh poweder fell on saturday and sunday and I went for some pretty fun nighttime runs on the trail to Echo bend.. yes runs. I actually went running.
Going to be a busy week as now I'm working and taking the class at night. I dont envision much sleep...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

2 years ago

There is something about remembering the day you went to the airport to embark on a big trip.

The excitement, the anticipation, the knowing that the clothes you are wearing are going to be the only ones for many months.

maybe its time to get out the maps again...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A very sad post

Jasper the Linus passed away yesterday - he leaves his family that loved him dearly behind.

He was a very sweet and loving cat that lived the dream life for a cat. Lini was much more than that though, he was a friend, child and source of comfort for my sister who struggles with chronic Lymes disease. With my Sister's love, creativity and humor he was a personality, a voice, and was an infinite source humor.
He will be missed dearly.