Month: November 2020

Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu + More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum + Purja on K2

Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter expedition to Manaslu – by Stefan Nestler /Explorersweb
More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2 — Explorersweb
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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/simone-moro-and-alex-txikon-winter-expedition-to-manaslu/ — Stefan Nestler — Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu.
https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/breaking-moro-and-txikon-to-winter-manaslu/ — Moro and Txikon to Winter Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/more-skiers-head-off-piste-to-winter-karakorum/ — More skiers head off-piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2

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Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter expedition to Manaslu – by Stefan Nestler /Explorersweb

More Skiers Head Off-Piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2 — Explorersweb

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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/simone-moro-and-alex-txikon-winter-expedition-to-manaslu/ — Stefan Nestler — Simone Moro and Alex Txikon : Winter Expedition to Manaslu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/breaking-moro-and-txikon-to-winter-manaslu/ — Moro and Txikon to Winter Manaslu.


https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/30/more-skiers-head-off-piste-to-winter-karakorum/ — More skiers head off-piste to Winter Karakorum including Nirmal Purja on K2

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NH 4K: Mount Garfield via Mount Garfield Trail (Cate’s 48 Finish)

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Mount Garfield is the odd one out of the Franconia Range. It dwarfs the ridge peaks, but its summit views are probably better than its brethren (in my opinion). After doing this trail in September, I came to the conclusion that it is a lousy summer trail but a great winter trail due to erosion.

This was a very special ascent for my friend Cate, who was due to finish her 48. Unfortunately we had no views all day. But we only saw a handful of people and the trail was mostly in good shape with light snow cover from top to bottom. There were definitely some sketchy icy spots though, but those will soon cover.

Once we breached the 3000 foot mark, it was pretty much completely snow covered, but there was ice under a fair bit of that snow.

It was quite windy on the summit, so we didn't spend too much time. But as always, the ascent on Garfield is steady and not too steep.

Total Time: 4 hrs..

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Mount Garfield is the odd one out of the Franconia Range. It dwarfs the ridge peaks, but its summit views are probably better than its brethren (in my opinion). After doing this trail in September, I came to the conclusion that it is a lousy summer trail but a great winter trail due to erosion.

This was a very special ascent for my friend Cate, who was due to finish her 48. Unfortunately we had no views all day. But we only saw a handful of people and the trail was mostly in good shape with light snow cover from top to bottom. There were definitely some sketchy icy spots though, but those will soon cover.


Once we breached the 3000 foot mark, it was pretty much completely snow covered, but there was ice under a fair bit of that snow.


It was quite windy on the summit, so we didn't spend too much time. But as always, the ascent on Garfield is steady and not too steep.




Total Time: 4 hrs 43 minsTotal Distance: ~9.8 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~3400 vertical gain

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Nepal to Run K2 This Winter by Alan Arnette + Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya Barefoot Free Solo +

Nepal to run K2 this Winter – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog
Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo – from Gripped Magazine
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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2020/11/27/nepal-to-run-k2-this-winter/ — Alan Arnette — Nepal to run K2 this winter.

https://gripped.com/news/watch-cold-feet-trailer-about-mount-kenya-barefoot-free-solo/ — Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo.

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Nepal to run K2 this Winter – from Alan Arnette on his detailed blog

Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo – from Gripped Magazine

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https://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2020/11/27/nepal-to-run-k2-this-winter/ — Alan Arnette — Nepal to run K2 this winter.

https://gripped.com/news/watch-cold-feet-trailer-about-mount-kenya-barefoot-free-solo/ — Watch Cold Feet Trailer about Mt Kenya barefoot free solo.

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What if No One Has Actually Summited All of the 8000ers ? + 10 Profiles to Follow on Instagram +

What if no one has actually summited all of the 8000 ers ? — from Explorersweb.com
Ten profiles to follow on Instagram — from Montagna.tv — English translation also
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/27/what-if-no-one-has-actually-summited-all-the-8000ers/ — What if no one has actually summited all the 8000ers ?

https://www.montagna.tv/150272/i-10-profili-da-seguire-su-instagram-se-hai-la-montagna-nel-cuore/ — 10 Profiles to follow om Instagram.

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What if no one has actually summited all of the 8000 ers ? — from Explorersweb.com

Ten profiles to follow on Instagram — from Montagna.tv — English translation also

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/27/what-if-no-one-has-actually-summited-all-the-8000ers/ — What if no one has actually summited all the 8000ers ?


https://www.montagna.tv/150272/i-10-profili-da-seguire-su-instagram-se-hai-la-montagna-nel-cuore/ — 10 Profiles to follow om Instagram.


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Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu + Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 +

Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu – from Explorersweb.com
Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 – from Explorersweb.com and Montagna.tv
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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/25/ama-dablam-2020-climbing-in-an-empty-khumbu/ — Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu.

https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/26/breaking-nirmal-purja-to-attempt-winter-k2/ — Breaking : Nirmal Purja to attempt Winter K2

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Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu – from Explorersweb.com

Breaking : Nirmal Purja to Attempt Winter K2 – from Explorersweb.com and Montagna.tv

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https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/25/ama-dablam-2020-climbing-in-an-empty-khumbu/ — Ama Dablam 2020 : Climbing in an Empty Khumbu.


https://explorersweb.com/2020/11/26/breaking-nirmal-purja-to-attempt-winter-k2/ — Breaking : Nirmal Purja to attempt Winter K2

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Potter Hill Meadows, Williams Preserve, Brigham Hill Loop (Grafton, MA)

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Grafton isn't a place I've explored for trails. There are quite a few properties managed by the Grafton Land Trust, and slowly but surely I will get to them all. The first one I visited was Potter Hill Meadows/Williams Preserve/Brigham Hill Loop. A great map can be found HERE.

This hike begins on Potter Hill Road, though there are a number of trailheads, one of which I failed to find on Brigham Hill Road. I eventually found it during my hike though. One must be mindful of parking on these narrow roads in the proper area, so pay attention to the map.

This was the first snow of the season, a beautiful Halloween adventure with snowshoes. I probably could have gotten away with microspikes, but it felt cool to put the snowshoes on in October.

I played around in the expansive trail system, hitting most of the trails in these three separate tracts. There's also another trail system..

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Grafton isn't a place I've explored for trails. There are quite a few properties managed by the Grafton Land Trust, and slowly but surely I will get to them all. The first one I visited was Potter Hill Meadows/Williams Preserve/Brigham Hill Loop. A great map can be found HERE.

This hike begins on Potter Hill Road, though there are a number of trailheads, one of which I failed to find on Brigham Hill Road. I eventually found it during my hike though. One must be mindful of parking on these narrow roads in the proper area, so pay attention to the map.

This was the first snow of the season, a beautiful Halloween adventure with snowshoes. I probably could have gotten away with microspikes, but it felt cool to put the snowshoes on in October.

I played around in the expansive trail system, hitting most of the trails in these three separate tracts. There's also another trail system called the Martha Deering Wildlife Management Area adjacent to these tracts, but I'll save that for another day. This entire trail system is quite expansive, even connecting to some trails in Millbury which can make for a long day of hiking if one gets creative with their route.



What I enjoyed the most about this trail system were the open-ish woods with easy grades. It was somewhat hilly, but nothing crazy.




And the best part was being one of the only people in the woods. I saw one other person the entire time I was there. It does seem like it could get busy though, especially in the warmer months.


Total Time: ~1 hrTotal Distance: ~2.3 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~282 vertical gain

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John Snorri in Winter on K2 – Take 2 + Dolomites : Pale di San Lucano : Big New Climb B. Tyrolean Mountaineers

John Snorri in Winter on K2 – Take 2 – from Stefan Nestler on his Adventure blog
Dolomites : Pale di San Lucano : Big New Climb by S. Tyroleans – PlanetMountain.com
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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/john-snorri-in-winter-on-k2-take-two/ — John Snorri in Winter on K2 – Take 2 — from Stefan Nestler's blog

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/dolomites-pale-di-san-lucano-big-new-climb-martin-dejori-titus-prinoth-alex-walpoth.html — Dolomites : Pali di San Lucano : Big new climb by South Tyrolean mountaineers.

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John Snorri in Winter on K2 – Take 2 – from Stefan Nestler on his Adventure blog

Dolomites : Pale di San Lucano : Big New Climb by S. Tyroleans – PlanetMountain.com

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https://abenteuer-berg.de/en/john-snorri-in-winter-on-k2-take-two/ — John Snorri in Winter on K2 – Take 2 — from Stefan Nestler's blog

https://www.planetmountain.com/en/news/alpinism/dolomites-pale-di-san-lucano-big-new-climb-martin-dejori-titus-prinoth-alex-walpoth.html — Dolomites : Pali di San Lucano : Big new climb by South Tyrolean mountaineers.

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Ski Fit

In the 90s, when I worked in southern Oregon, our workplace was blessed with a gym. Not a fancy gym, but it boasted a weight machine, two treadmills, and one of those old school Nordic track ski machines. Myself and two old guys–who really weren't that old, now that I am approaching their ages–were the only people to take advantage of the gym. Jim insisted on the oldies station, so that was what we listened to. He took one treadmill and I took the other, and Dave manned the ski machine. We made fun of him for it, but he insisted it was a good workout. Now I am thinking he was right.

It's the same every year. Even though I know it's coming, the first big snow brings a scramble. Where is the maxiglide? The musher's secret for Ruby's paws? What do I even wear to ski? At the same time, the depressing seasonal reality sets in: you can be fit, but ski fit is something completely different.Outings are completely different now; friends that used to go skiing don&#03..

In the 90s, when I worked in southern Oregon, our workplace was blessed with a gym. Not a fancy gym, but it boasted a weight machine, two treadmills, and one of those old school Nordic track ski machines. Myself and two old guys–who really weren't that old, now that I am approaching their ages–were the only people to take advantage of the gym. Jim insisted on the oldies station, so that was what we listened to. He took one treadmill and I took the other, and Dave manned the ski machine. We made fun of him for it, but he insisted it was a good workout. Now I am thinking he was right.


It's the same every year. Even though I know it's coming, the first big snow brings a scramble. Where is the maxiglide? The musher's secret for Ruby's paws? What do I even wear to ski? At the same time, the depressing seasonal reality sets in: you can be fit, but ski fit is something completely different.

Outings are completely different now; friends that used to go skiing don't want to go anymore. "After the pandemic," they say, or they say nothing at all. I've learned through this who my true friends are. It is going to be mostly a solo winter, but a few friends in my Covid bubble still hang in there.

A and I push our way through the perfect kind of snow. Some people dream of groomed trails; we like breaking it through fresh powder. We spy wolf tracks in the deep snow. Strangely, nobody else is out. We take the road up, and even though I run it in the summer, it is harder on skis. A feels the same way. "I'm so out of shape," she says, even though she isn't. It's just ski fit.

We check out the pond. It looks frozen enough to skate on, but we don't have the nerve to test it. I want to go further–I always want to go further–but A wants to go back, and so we head down the steep trails toward the ski area. Typically I scream down these in fear, but today in the powder, they are manageable.

The next day I go out solo and break a longer trail. Any tracks are gone, polished by the wind, so I navigate by memory. There's a long climb, longer than I remember from running this route in summer. Did I really run up this steep hill? I guess so. I only feel confident about my route when I see the trail sign and start heading back toward the pond. A hunter has postholed in on an old ski track here, ruining it, but there is plenty of room to safely descend the big hill. I arrive wind-blown at the ski area, where a few die-hards are skinning up.

The next week, an odd storm will blow in, bringing 60 degrees and 80 mile an hour wind gusts. This hardens the snow into a gnarly crust, no good for skiing or snowshoeing. I try, get annoyed, and retreat. A friend texts: "Are you backpacking in Arizona this December?" No, I say. Even though I see friends traveling all over the place, it doesn't seem responsible right now. She isn't going either. "I hate this in between," she writes. I do too. The trails are icy, nowhere to run, the gym is closed, we wait for snow.

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Hodges Village Dam and Buffumville Lake (Oxford, MA)

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I don't go mountain biking solo often, but I decided to visit a local spot that I had run before on our Midstate Trail section hike. Hodges Village Dam/Buffumville Lake is a large conservation area in Oxford. It's not a place I would necessarily go back to a bunch, but if you're in the area it's fun to explore a few times.

Part of the reason I don't have high praise for it as a biking area is a lot of the trails are beaten up with loose gravel and rock that isn't super conducive to biking. It's a good running area as well, but the terrain is quite eroded.

There are some beautiful single track sections however that were probably illegally cut.

And a couple cool bridges to cross.

But all in all, you can get a good amount of miles in here either on bike or on foot.

Total Time: ~52 minutesTotal Distance: ~5.79 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~278 vertical gain

Buy my new novel Take to the Unscathed Road now! Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
I don't go mountain biking solo often, but I decided to visit a local spot that I had run before on our Midstate Trail section hike. Hodges Village Dam/Buffumville Lake is a large conservation area in Oxford. It's not a place I would necessarily go back to a bunch, but if you're in the area it's fun to explore a few times.

Part of the reason I don't have high praise for it as a biking area is a lot of the trails are beaten up with loose gravel and rock that isn't super conducive to biking. It's a good running area as well, but the terrain is quite eroded.

There are some beautiful single track sections however that were probably illegally cut.


And a couple cool bridges to cross.

But all in all, you can get a good amount of miles in here either on bike or on foot.

Total Time: ~52 minutesTotal Distance: ~5.79 milesTotal Elevation Gain: ~278 vertical gain

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Riverside Nurse Stranded on Mt Whitney for 2 Nights Found Dead + Capitol Butte and the Sedona Kitsch Vortex – Arizona

Riverside Nurse dies after hiking accident strands her on Mt Whitney for two nights.
Capitol Butte and the Sedona Kitsch Vortex – Arizona — Trip report with pictures from Seano
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https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-11-13/riverside-nurse-dies-after-mt-whitney-hiking-accident — Riverside nurse dies after hiking accident strands her on Mt Whitney for two nights.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cassandra-bravo-nurse-dies-fall-mount-whitney/

http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/11/23/capitol-butte-and-the-sedona-kitsch-vortex/ — Capitol Butte and the Sedona Kitsch Vortex – Arizona — Trip report with pictures from Seano

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Riverside Nurse dies after hiking accident strands her on Mt Whitney for two nights.

Capitol Butte and the Sedona Kitsch Vortex – Arizona — Trip report with pictures from Seano

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https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-11-13/riverside-nurse-dies-after-mt-whitney-hiking-accident — Riverside nurse dies after hiking accident strands her on Mt Whitney for two nights.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cassandra-bravo-nurse-dies-fall-mount-whitney/


http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/11/23/capitol-butte-and-the-sedona-kitsch-vortex/ — Capitol Butte and the Sedona Kitsch Vortex – Arizona — Trip report with pictures from Seano

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