Tim's Blog About
This blog is where I occasionally
post entries about Alaskan backcountry cross country skiing news,
issues, ideas, gear reviews and other random stuff that doesn't fit the
format of my yearly trip report web pages.
|Late December 2014:
It was time
to pass on stuff we had either not used in a long time, our dog
sled, or planned on not using, a snowmobile. Thanks to
craigslist, these items quickly landed in new and happy hands.
Hopefully the new owners will have as many good adventures with
these items as we did.
You may have seen this dog
sled in a few pictures on this web site. It was the dog
sled my wife and I would use with our 5 Malamutes. We put
many miles of mushing and "ski-mushing" (see above right
picture) on this sled. The sled had not been used in over
10 years, since the last of our buddies passed away. It
was emotionally tough selling this sled. But dog sleds
aren't made to hang in a shed forever. They are made to
make life fun for people and dogs.
Now our sled is owned by two
Iditarod mushers in Knik. They will be using it as a
training sled to save wear and tear on their expensive race
sleds. Hopefully it works out well for Charley Bejna and
Anna Berington. Anna said there is a chance this dog sled
may be in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod this year.
For the ceremonial start, mushers use larger sleds that they can
carry paying passengers, Idita-riders, in for the trip from 4th
Avenue to the BLM landing strip. That would be cool if
this sled is used for this purpose. I will post a picture
if it is. I don't think a dog sled has ever been used in
the Iditarod that was once regularly pulled by a skier (who was
very happy to be part of a wonderful Malamute dog team).
I also sold our Polaris
WideTrak snowmobile. This was another emotional sale.
I loved this beast. But I got the inkling to upgrade, and
I don't need two beasts now. This snowmobile appears a
bunch of times on this web site. It was used for ski trip
support a lot, and of course, for travel to our cabin.
Lots of furniture in our house is made from burled logs this
beast hauled out of the boonies for us. And ... this was
the snowmobile that appeared quite a few years ago in a silly
viral YouTube video about a cross country skier stealing a
hotdog from a hotdog cooker inside a snowmobile. A hotdog
cooker won't fit on my new snowmobile, so we (and other skiers)
will miss the succulent caribou hotdogs this snowmobile cooked
on its muffler for us.
|Mid December 2014:
Anchorage Ski Trail Grooming, 30+ Years Ago
look on ebay for historical pictures that might be good for the
Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project web site (www.alsap.org).
Recently I noticed this xc skiing-related picture that was for
sale on ebay. It's a
picture of Eric Tikka and his grooming equipment in 1983.
In earlier times, the Anchorage Nordic Ski Club (now the NSAA)
did not own their own grooming equipment. Instead, they
contracted out the trail grooming services. In the early
80's, Eric Tikka, a member of the prodigious Anchorage ski
racing Tikka family,
was the track-setting contractor. Besides being a good
guy, the tracks he set were always well done because he was a
ski racer himself. I believe Eric set the tracks for the
1983 World Cup race that was held in Anchorage. So, Eric
likely set tracks for the highest caliber xc ski race that's
ever been held in Anchorage.
Former xc ski racer and Anchorage
Nordic Ski Club contract groomer Eric Tikka, and his grooming
equipment, in 1983
|Mid December 2014:
Your Bungees, Or Someone Else Might End Up With Your Stuff
For years I
have picked bungee cords up on winter trails. Now I must
have 50 or so of them in a box in my garage. I have all
these free bungee cords because people use them wrong.
cords work okay if they hold down a stationary load. But
once the load starts moving, wiggling or bouncing - bungee cords
are destined to fail. The hooks bend, break or come loose,
elasticity is lost in the cold, the bungee becomes unattached
and often the load falls off soon thereafter.
once mushing our dogs and coming across a bungee cord. And
then another bungee cord. And then a cooler that had
fallen of the back of a snowmobile and spilled out a bunch of
turkey sub sandwiches onto the trail. Our five Malamutes
sure loved that find. And the funny thing is, when the
dogs noticed lost bungee cords on the trail after that incident,
their ears would perk up and they would pick up the pace.
Because they just knew that bungee cords meant turkey sandwiches
were soon to be found down the trail!
So when it
comes to tying down loads on snowmobiles, snowmobile sleds,
freight sleds, kayaks on boats, kayaks on car racks or anything
of value that can shift in shape or position while traveling ...
never use bungee cords. It's better to use compression
straps on rigid items and bungee rope on items that can compress
is great. It's strong and works well in the cold.
And it's easy to make bungee rope tie downs. Buy 12 to 16
feet of 3/8 inch (1/4 inch is too weak, 1/2 inch is too thick
for good knots) bungee rope from a hardware store (like AIH in
Anchorage) and then tie a double figure eight knot in one end.
Fasten the loop first and then pull and cinch the bungee rope
around your cargo and tie it off where necessary.
A recent find of yet another bungee
cord (Old Hunter Trail in Willow).
(Left) a bungee rope tie down with
double figure eight loop knot, (right) bungee rope ready to be
converted to tie dows, (bottom) some of the many bungee cords I
have picked up on trails.
Bungee rope being used to tie a ski
bag and a gear bag onto a snowmobile.
Compression straps are good for
static loads, like these propane tanks. In the background
you can see bungee rope in use to tie down a ski bag and fuel
tanks and shovel on the back of a snowmobile.
Bungee rope is strong. It can
tie down an injured snowmobile (broken suspension shock) to a
freight sled. Yep, that was a bad day. Luckily such
days are few and far between.
|Mid December 2014:
Warped Soles On Brand New Salomon Pro Combis ... Not Good
I use combi
boots quite a lot for early season trail skiing. They are
a good deal when you don't know if the ski route you will be
doing will be classic, skating or a mix.
several pairs of Salomon Pro Combis over the years. This
year I got a new pair. I was happy to see that the tongue
was once again semi-breathable in these new-gen Pro Combis.
The last generation had an air-tight vinyl-covered tongue flap that
didn't let any moisture pass out of the boot. So the old boots
were very clammy. I was also happy to see that the pointed
tongue stiffener, that would dig into your toes when you classic
skied, was gone. This had been a problem since 2008 or so.
I always had to cut the tips of the tongue stiffeners off in
previous Pro Combi boots.
opinion of these ski boots went downhill when I took them for a
first skied in these boots, I noticed my right boot was not
setting over the footplate squarely. I figured that the
binding on my right ski was not aligned correctly, so I switched
skis. But same thing, my right ski boot would often not
settle over the footplate properly.
When I got
home I clipped my left boot into a ski and looked at the
footplate to ski boot channel alignment. It was fine.
Then with the same ski, I clipped in the right boot. Sure
enough the boot was warped and not aligning with the footplate
(see pictures below).
got a brand new pair of Salomon ski boots ... that are
defective. Great. And people wonder why I buy 15
year old ski boots off of ebay and ski in them. Hmmm ...
maybe I do this because 15 years ago Salomon had much better
quality control than they do today. Yep, that's the
reason. Unfortunately they didn't make RS9 combi boots
back in the day. So I'm stuck with having to buy modern
day junk for combi boots.
to buy a pair of Salomon Pro Combi ski boots, size 10.5 US?
Near new condition, only been used once. (And will probably
never be used again).
learned: Before buying a pair of ski boots, always take and hold
ski boots sole to sole to make sure the boot channels line up
and the boot soles are not warped. I did not do this
because I bought the ski boots off the Internet. I didn't
buy these boots at my favorite local ski shop because they do
not carry this model of Salomon ski boots. From this bad
experience, I'm through buying Salomon ski boots off the
Internet. If I ever buy new Salomon ski boots again, it
will be a hands-on purchase.
2014 Salomon Pro Combi ski
With the same ski (and the
same binding, of course) - the left boots aligns correctly with
the footplate. But the right boot is warped badly and does
not align with the footplate.
|Late November 2014:
Anchorage BLM Campbell Creek "Critter Cam" Images
bear photos were taken by a Bureau of Land Management Alaska
game camera along Campbell Creek in Anchorage, AK. They
were taken during the early morning on November 16th. The
bear was hanging out along the creek eating spawned-out salmon.
So, if you were skiing the early snow we had then on the gas
line trail at Hillside, you were probably less than a mile from
this big guy. If you were biking the Rover's Run trail
that night, perhaps you were 100 yards from him/her. Check
out the rightmost picture below and look at the claws.
These pictures show that you are often closer to real Alaska in
Anchorage than you may suspect.
Photos property of the
Anchorage office of the Bureau of Land Management
|Late November 2014:
Trick The Snow Gods! Pretend That You Don't Care!
when the snow gods are not delivering the goods to skiers in
Anchorage, the usual course of action is to burn an offering of
skis, pray to Ullr or maybe find bear dens, crawl in them and
wake the bears up. Because damn it, if we can't ski you
stupid bears shouldn't be able to sleep! Okay, maybe I got
carried away on that last one ... just a little no-snow stress
sometimes we take the ugly route, like throwing stuff and
screaming and swearing at the TV when Jackie Purcell, the KTUU
weather lady, comes on and says it won't be snowing for the next
week. "Damn you Jackie, what do you f*ing mean it's not
going to snow!"
know, the snow gods see all of these desperate actions on our
part. And when they see this stuff they laugh at us.
And then they decide to mess with us even more, and delay snow
for a few more days, or weeks, or ... Yeah, the snow gods
can be sick jerks at times.
So you have
to fight back with reverse psychology. You have to make the
snow gods think you don't give a damn if there is no snow or
not. You should do summer things in the winter. Like
mowing your yard. And when you are doing it yell out stuff
like: "Hey this is awesome! I love mowing my yard in the
middle of the winter! Whoo hoo! Sure hope it doesn't
snow this winter!"
That really will get the snow gods attention. It will piss
them off. And then they will conspire to "punish" us with
huge snow storms. Yep, reverse logic is the ticket.
this reverse psychology last winter (see picture below). It kinda worked. Not too long after I mowed my yard in
January we got snow. Today I found out that Malamute man
Bob Sutherland, the renown NSAA ski tour leader, was performing
his own yard-mowing trickery on the snow gods. If it snows
within the next week or two ... it will all be thanks to Bob!
keep quiet and don't talk out loud about this to anyone.
Cuz if the snow gods ever hear that we are trying to dupe them
... then we Anchorage skiers will really, really be screwed!
Me performing reverse psychology on the
snow gods last winter.
Bob Sutherland recently gives snow
god reverse psychology a try.
Four days after Bob did the snow god trickery lawn mowing ... we
got enough snow to ski! Ha ha ... the snow gods are pretty
easy to fool. Yep, Bob sure scored one on Ullr! But
shhhhhh ... don't talk about this, can't let the snow gods know
that Bob pulled a fast one on them. If you see Bob and his
malamutes on the Powerline Pass Trail, give him a thumbs up and
mouth the words: "Thank you Bob!"
|Late November 2014:
A Sign Of Ghosts At Kincaid Park!
Looks like the ghosts of Kincaid have been active! On a
recent bike ride I noticed ghosts had resurrected a ghostly sign
of the past.
|Late November 2014:
The Shady Business of Early Season Snow
The short: If there are no
low-snow places to ski in Anchorage, the local xc ski season is
shorter (and life sucks when you can't ski). In other
words, and explained below: No shade, no snow. No snow, no
The long: To be able to ski
in low-snow conditions, like we quite often encounter in
Southcentral, Alaska, you need what little snow you have to
last. If exposure to sun and wind quickly melts the snow
on your ski trails, your skiing window will be shortened.
Narrow and wooded trails help shade and wind-protect ski trails
and allow the snow to last longer, and for you to ski for a
longer period of time.
But should you make such trails wide instead, with little shade
or wind protection, you will not be able to ski as long on these
trails during periods of low snow. So, you don't
want all of your ski trails to be super-wide. A balance of
old (narrow) with new (wide) trails are needed to cover a wider
spectrum of snow conditions, and ensure that you have somewhere
to ski when there is little snow.
local low-snow skiing venues is important. However, in the
past 30 years we have lost a number of low-snow venues in
The Glen Alps to Powerline and back 2 km loop was often a
mainstay for poor snow years. As this loop was shaded by
the brush that lined it and was perpendicular to the wind,
drifting snow would be caught here. And so skiing would be
possible on this small loop even when the main Powerline Trail
was wind-scoured bare. UAA held many time trials on this
loop. But recently a parking lot and access road was built
on part of this loop and this low-snow loop was lost.
to be a 2 km
loop above the Glen Alps parking lot on a patch of tundra.
Flattop Mountain shaded this cold location and it didn't see
direct sunlight from late October through January. Great
for making a thin snowpack last. Some years this would be
the only place you could ski in Anchorage, for up to two months.
But warmer temps have caused brush to grow heavy in this area and it
is no longer ski-able.
golf course on Fort Richardson used to be a great low-snow
venue. The Alaska state high school championships were
once held here on a few inches of snow. In the 80's
Chevron Cup citizen races were held here (I remember racing in
them). But when the Army outsourced the operations of this
golf course in the 90's, skiing has since been banned here.
the Jodphur lighted loop in particular, used to be a great
early-season and low-snow venue. Then 20 years ago, the spruce
bark beetles came to town. The beetles ravaged Kincaid and
killed most all of the dense mature white spruce that grew
there. Trails through the old Kincaid forest were once
shaded, dark and cold. Perfect for preserving snow.
But when the spruce trees were lost to the beetles, the forest
opened up dramatically. Shade vanished. And wind
protection was lost. Now any snow that falls at Kincaid is
much more vulnerable to the warm Turnagain Arm winds that batter
this part of Anchorage. Because of the loss of forest,
ski-able days at Kincaid are now fewer than in the past.
And usually 2-4 weeks less than at the Hillside trails.
Loop also used to be a good early season ski loop. I even
remember racing in a 15 km APU race that Jim Galanes held on the
Spencer Loop on October 25, 2001. But this year sections
of the trail were widened to meet modern racing requirements.
And in doing this, shade and wind protection was lost. The
impact of this trail widening could already be seen this year.
A small, late-October snowstorm allowed three weeks of skiing on
the lower Hillside Trails, like the Besh Loop and Service
connector. But skiing only lasted one week on the Spencer
Loop, even though it got more snow. Sun and wind took
their toll, quickly. The Spencer Loop has now been lost as
a low-snow loop because of this trail widening.
widening on the Spencer Loop was a NSAA homogulation project.
Doing this allows the course to be FIS certified for ranking
points. This is an important issue for 1 percent of the
skiers in Anchorage. The other 99% worry more about just
having trails, with snow, to ski on. To the vast majority of
Anchorage xc skiers, ski-able snow is much more important than
funny when you think of all the money and effort that has been
channeled into smooth surfaced, super-wide, homogulated race
course trails in Anchorage. And then you see that not one
of the homogulated trails was ski-able in early November of this
year, when the old-school, cut in the 80's, narrow Lower
Hillside trails were the only place in town you could ski.
Hillside is one of our last low-snow skiing venues in Anchorage.
These old trails prove that shade and wind-protection are the
keys for providing early season and low-snow skiing. Widen
these old, narrow, dark, shaded and often snowy trails in
the future, and all xc skiers in Anchorage will be getting the
The mid-day sun barely filters
through the forest of Lower Hillside trails. Because of
shade and wind protection from this forest, ski-able snow lasts
This picture was taken 10 minutes
before the picture on the left. It shows a newly widened
section of the nearby Spencer Loop, now with much less shade and
protection from the wind. Do you notice any difference
in snow coverage?
|Mid November 2014:
Post Meltdown, Icy Trail Exercise Options
A few weeks
ago we were living the dream. A mid-fall snowstorm. Trails in
Anchorage came to life. We were skiing every day. It was rock
skiing, but so what. It was skiing, and we are skiers.
meltdown hit. Rock gardens blossomed on the ski trails. Game
over. Time to return to the exercise rituals of the common folk
(those that donít dream about xc skiing every day). ;-)
your local trails turn to ice, what is the best way to get a
workout in? By ďbest wayĒ, I mean an outdoor cardio activity
that elevates heart-rate, challenges your strength and increases
trail exercise options are running, hiking and biking. Plus,
letís throw Nordic blading into the mix. The best option for
you will of course be driven by your preferences and interests.
But here are some of my thoughts about each of these options.
hiking on icy trails is an easy option. Get a pair of Ice Bug
spiked-sole shoes, or stud your own shoes, and you are ready to
go. Forget about any traction device that slips or straps onto
your shoes. They might be good for walking, but not for
running. When running at night they always seem to fall off
when you donít realize it. And then whey you really need them
you are surprised they are gone.
running shoes are great for flats, uphills and gentle downhills.
But on steep ice, like which can form on ski trail hills, they
arenít that good. They are OK, but you often have to gingerly
go down hills so you donít slip. And in doing this you spend
more time than you may want with your heart rate going
low-range. Hiking on icy trails with studded shoes is the
same as running. Going up - no problem. Coming down
- more potential for problems.
blading mimics ski skate motions well. This activity can be a
great alternative ski workout when you can't ski. Nordic
blading is great exercise when the skating is good. When the
skating is not good, itís entertainment more than it is
training. To really benefit from training on Nordic blades, you
need to be able to skate with abandon and push yourself. But if
you have to worry about thin ice, cracks in the ice or frozen debris
on the ice surface Ö you spend too much time navigating and too
little time focusing on technique and training level.
have biking on iced-over trails. This is a favorite of mine.
During post-meldown, ice periods I do a lot of this. The key
ingredient for this activity is a pair of studded tires for your
mountain bike. Iíve got a pair of Nokia studded tires that work
amazingly well. I also wear my Ice Bugs in case I have to get
off the bike. And I use platform pedals with spikes on them to
keep my feet from slipping off (and so I can use my Ice Bugs
that don't have pedal cleats). You donít need, and probably
donít want, a fatbike to ride ice trails.
biking, your heart rate can get much higher on hills than with
running, as you often have to push hard or you will tip over or
spin out. And you get the downhills over much faster than
running, so you are onto the next hill before you know it. You
will find that the bumpy single track trails of the summer
smooth out a lot after snow melts into the depressions and
refreezes. The end result are some smooth, fast and fun trails
for ice biking.
of these activities are good options for post meltdown icy
conditions. But alas, none of these options beat skiing.
Studded tires, studded shoes,
studded (non-slip) pedals. Ready to bike the ice.
|Mid November 2014:
A Surprise Link To My Skiing Past
did some "weeding" of my wife's and my ski rack.
And hidden in a
far corner I found a pair of 1977
Lovett racing skis (see picture above). Surprisingly, these
skis were still un-mounted and in the plastic sleeves they came
in. Near-mint condition, 38 year old skis!
these skis triggered a few memories. Though I donít talk about
it much on this web site, because this is a backcountry cross
country skiing web site, a long time ago I used to xc ski race a
lot. When I was 19, I was on the United States Ski Team and was
sponsored for a season by Lovett skis. I used Lovett skis
on the domestic racing circuit, and for international racing at
the Jr. World Championships in Switzerland and at World Cup
races in Scandinavia.
were made back then by the Lovett family in Boulder, Colorado.
John Lovett founded the ski company and a number of USST
athletes raced on Lovett skis in the mid 70ís, until John sold
the company in 1978. Lovett was likely the first US producer of
fiberglass composite xc racing skis. Hexcel made fiberglass and
honeycomb xc racing skis for a year or two near when Lovett
started up. But I'm not sure which company was actually the
first US composite Nordic racing ski producer. K2 made xc
racing skis later in the 70ís. Since the early 80's, no one has
made xc racing skis in the United States.
line about being sponsored by Lovett skis, was that it was a
really cool experience. You got to go to the ski factory and
learn how to make skis, you got to be involved in how skis were
designed, you met the guys that would be building your skis, and
if you had an idea regarding ski design* Ė soon you would be
skiing on that idea. The skis were good, the support was good
and heck, the first pair of skis I got from Lovett had serial
number ďTK1Ē Ö so how can you not love a ski company that did
stuff like that!
that this was a pair of unique skis I had unearthed, and a
rarity because they had never been mounted, I posted a picture
of them on the web. More specifically, I posted a picture on a
Facebook group that Stacey Moon of Anchorage started: the
Vintage Nordic Skiing Gear Facebook group. This is a fun
group where folks, mostly old-timers like me, post pics of gear
from the glory days along with comments. The 70's and 80's
were really interesting times in Nordic skiing history, as there
were so many radical changes in ski equipment during that time. Iíve learned a bunch
of cool stuff from the members of this Facebook group.
posted the picture of my Lovett skis, Steve Soitsman from Homer
posted that my skis showed the nice work related to ďhis
neighbor Bill and my neighbor AndreĒ. I was confused by this
comment, so I asked him to explain. Come to find out, the
brother of John Lovett moved to Alaska. Now Bill Lovett lives
in Homer. Bill worked at the Lovett ski factory back in the
70's. And Andre Lovett, his son, now ski races at Alaska
Pacific University in Anchorage.
I felt a
little embarrassed for not knowing this. I guess I havenít been
paying very close attention to local ski racing the past dozen
years (as you can probably tell from this web site).
thought to myself: ďWhat the heck am I doing with these skis?
These skis are Lovett family heirlooms. The Lovetts should have
these skis, not me.Ē
So, I met
up with Andre Lovett and gave him my Lovett skis. It only took
about 15 seconds of talking to Andre before I realized he was a
likable guy. And that he was proud of his familyís ski making
history. Then I remembered, thatís about how long it took me to
like the crew at the Lovett family ski factory back in the day.
And they too took great pride in the skis they built.
There are good skis and there are magical
skis. Magical skis are good skis that are made by special
people. Lovetts were magical skis. And it was fun to
have a surprise re-connection to the days I ski raced on these
Me, Lovett racing skis and Andre Lovett
* I mentioned
that Lovett ski was quick to try out new ideas. Here is an
example. I had this idea of making a ski with a groove
that came down to the start of the wax pocket and then stopped.
Then a stiff wax pocket under the foot would have no groove to
increase the waxable surface by 20%. The ski would then
have three grooves from the back of the wax pocket to the tail
of the ski. The extra grooves would help with tracking and
reduce surface tension. I told the Lovett guys about this
idea. They said it sounded good and within 10 days I was
racing on such skis (and they worked out well). How many
ski companies these days would listen to a 19 year old kid and
make custom skis for him or her like Lovett did? You are
right ... none. This is just one example of what was
special about Lovett.
|Mid November 2014:
Ski Gear From Where You Wouldn't Expect It
comes time to buy skis, boots, bindings and poles, I never
hesitate to go to Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking. I
don't like paying lots of money for ski gear. But I
realize there is not much in the way of cheap options for higher
end ski gear. I have no problem swiping my card for
purchases from AMH, because owner Paul Denkewalter is a
wonderful person that has supported xc skiing in Alaska for
when it comes to skiing gear accessories, I like to look for
products where you don't expect to find them. The bottom
line is price. For example, I can't see spending 60
dollars for a pair of gloves made in China for 5 dollars.
The same Chinese factories make similar gloves for many other
companies that mark up the price of the $5 gloves way less then
Swix, Salomon, Fischer, etc.
blogs on this site (see below), I have posted where to find
sports glasses (light safety glasses) and gloves that can be
used for skiing ... at hardware stores in Anchorage, Alaska.
Here are some recent finds of stuff that can be used for skiing
that come from non-skiing shops in Anchorage ...
"Winter Armor" gloves. Have been skiing with
these gloves for
three weeks now. Really like them. $21 at O'Reilly's
Auto Parts on Northern Lights in Anchorage. At Lowe's for
Dynasty" fleece hats (w/ micro fleece liner). On sale for
$11 at Cabela's in Anchorage. Super comfortable, great
shape and fit.
Nordic skiing!? Hell yeah! It's about time!
Plus, I will get more respect while skiing snowmobile trails if
I am sporting camo!
Anchorage xc ski racer and UAA
professor Travis Rector made me aware of a new product called
duct tape on steroids ... "100 times stronger than duct tape".
To repair a broken ski pole I'd think this stuff would be good.
Catch is, you need to first dip it in warm water. So it
would be good for repairing a pole at home. Less so if you
were out on the trail. You can buy FiberFix at
More on Gear
got a pair of SmartWool skiing socks. They were OK and would be
good for xc ski racing on days it wasnít super cold. But they
donít have anywhere near the cushioning of Thorlo Mountaineering
socks, which I have been using for skiing for 25 years now.
Cushioning and warmth are positives for long backcountry trail
skiing treks. Thorlo was way ahead of the field when they first
made these socks. And, in my opinion, no one has caught up
yet. Their thick cushioning also means warmth. Thickness is
warmth. Here is a place that has deals on Thorlo Mountaineering
socks (50% off 2nd pair) AND doesnít charge extra to ship to
|Early November 2014:
Will Be Skiing With Jeff On My New Skis This Winter
I got a new
pair of skis from AMH to replace my worn-out trail skiing
boards. The first thing I did to these
skis when I got home was
to put Jeff Dusenbury memorial stickers on them.
one of those few people in the world that are genetically
programmed to be nice. Not a fake nice. Not a nice
just when you feel like you should be nice. But so exuding
of a real nice and a genuine decency that it was impossible not to
like the guy.
I first met
Jeff while mountain
bike racing. I really didn't know Jeff that well, but for over ten years I would see him
constantly on trails around Anchorage. And every
time we'd meet on a trail, he would always be quicker with a "Hi Tim!"
than I would be with a "Hi Jeff!" That was Jeff. For
me, and I'm sure for many others, the trails of Anchorage will not be the
same now that
Jeff is gone.
|Late October 2014:
In the past
I have posted how to recycle ski wax, see
link. I have suggested not doing this process inside
to avoid fumes from the molten wax. Instead, I suggested
melting the wax scrapings outside.
wax melting outside has its risks too. The uneven heating
of a Pyrex measuring cup on a gas grill can cause it to crack
and explode. I recently found this out (see picture
above). Luckily this happened to me when I only had a
little bit of wax in the cup. What a mess. I had
melted wax on this outdoor grill a couple of times before.
But this time there was definitely a surprise in store. Now I
understand how people burn houses down and die from fires that occur in meth labs!
much safer than using a gas grill would be to use an electric
hot plate. And to use it outside. A hotplate will
heat the Pyrex cup less intensely and more evenly. And the
molten wax won't catch on fire, because there is no flame
I got a hotplate and finished recycling last year's wax scrapings,
in a much safer manner ...
Using a hot plate outdoors, much
Tip: If you want a hotplate to melt
fax faster, wrap a camp stove wind screen around the container
of wax scrapings and put something, like a board, on top to trap
|10 October 2014:
The Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project - 10 Years Old On 10/10
10th marks the 10 year point for the
Alaska Lost Ski Areas Project
web site. If you haven't visited ALSAP in a while, you can go to
www.alsap.org, peruse the
update logs and see what has been added since your last visit.
There are now 141 historical
skiing sites identified on the ALSAP web site. I know of 3
more (2 XC, 1 Alpine) that I will be adding when I get the time.
1970's Vintage XC Ads
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