Superpipe (for skiers and snowboarders — not a 4/20 post)

Copper Mountain opened the first 22-foot superpipe in Colorado for the season over the weekend.

More will follow suit soon — Colorado has superpipes and halfpipes (a superpipe is a big ol’ halfpipe) all over the place, including the secret Shaun White halfpipe at Silverton.

In the meantime, though, here are some pictures of shreddage on Copper’s superpipe (courtesy of Copper Mountain):


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Thanksgiving Tradition: The Beer Mile

Here are the rules of the Beer Mile: four beers, four laps on the track, penalty lap for puking.

If that’s not a formula for a fun Thanksgiving tradition, then…yeah, about that. It sounds like type-two fun. But the beauty of type-two fun is that it seems like a good idea before you do it, and way, way down the road, after the memory has faded, you might decide it was actually fun.

This isn’t a Boulder tradition (my friend Adam does this every year when he goes home to Indiana for Thanksgiving), and it’s not an outdoors tradition, either. It’s not news, and it’s not even a good idea. But it’s so ridiculous I had to share…

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Climbing the Naked Edge naked

Trying to write about naked climbing instantly turned into a reporting chase.

That’s because I decided that if I was going to write about it, I was going to find at least one person who had climbed the Eldorado Canyon classic The Naked Edge in the buff. I assumed someone had done it for two reasons:

1. It’s in the name and is thus begging to be done, and,

2. Climbers do dumb stuff like this all the time.

Along the reporting way, I learned many interesting tidbits (ahem) about naked climbing that didn’t make it into my column on the topic.

For example, I learned that one acquaintance of mine recalled the year and route details of his naked ascents, which he reported by email:

“…the first time being on the route “Magnolia Thunder Pussy”, a trad stemming corner at Granite Mtn. Arizona that begged for a naked ascent (’89), the second on the “Moonshine Dihedral” at Smith Rocks in (90) when we all (6)climbed naked in the full-moon night, and most recently in Corsica where we climbed roadside while naked- figured the french wouldn’t mind!?!”

I also learned about the Mojo Club via one of my Twitter followers. To become a member, one must climb naked in the three rock climbing disciplines (bouldering, sport, trad) and memorize all the words to a Mojo Nixon song.

While this was all entertaining, I still hadn’t found my Edge climber. A lot of people I asked said, ‘I don’t know anyone, but try so-and-so.’ Then so-and-so would point me to another so-and-so. Until I found Charley Bentley and Phil Benningfield, who both admitted to climbing the Edge naked in 1996, or at least, Charley thinks it was ’96.

Phil emphatically said, however, that true credit should go to two other climbers, Jeff Hollenbaugh and Cameron Tague, who did it from the base, and thus did it in better naked style, I suppose.

When I caught up with Jeff, he reported:

“Yes, the dearly departed Cameron Tague and I made the complete ascent of the Naked Edge. We were inspired by Phillip and Charley who we assumed had done the entire route. Later we were to learn they just climbed the Edge pitch. The look on the guys’ faces roping up for C’est la Vie as we strolled back to our clothes at the base of Redgarden was priceless.
Cameron would be psyched to have his name associated with this ascent, as am I.”

Jeff, I’m psyched to report it for you!

I’m also psyched to report that Phil has soloed routes in Rifle naked — but only the ones he really had wired, he said. Whew. Also, I hear from multiple sources that Charley has done a naked ascent of Rifle’s (roadside) Vitamin H, 5.12d, with a watermelon in a rope bag dangling from his harness.

The purpose of the watermelon in the rope bag remains unknown.

Ugh, yet another reporting chase…

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Pack burro racing..?

Burro racing, the official summer sport of Colorado?

If you saw our page three today, perhaps you read that Republican state Rep. Tom Massey says hey, if skiing is our official winter sport in Colorado, why not make pack burro racing the official summer sport of our state?

Why indeed. Watch the video. It’s sporty!


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Black Hawk bike ban goes to CO supreme court

Bicycle Colorado announced earlier this week that the ban on bikes through the town of Black Hawk, Colo., is going to the state supreme court. Here’s the release:

Dan Grunig, Executive Director 303-417-1544, ext.14
Black Hawk Bicycle Ban Appeal to Supreme Court
Denver (August 2, 2011)—In a move to ensure freedom to travel on Colorado roads, the ongoing Black Hawk bike ban case has been presented to the Colorado Supreme Court for consideration by the justices to hear the case.
The bicycle ban, which the town initiated in 2010, prohibits bicycle travel on most Black Hawk roads and cuts any paved bicycle connection between Central City and the Peak to Peak Highway. The ban also severs a national cycling route, with the nearest detour increasing the distance by approximately 27 miles.
The case escalated to the Supreme Court following a district court ruling against the three cyclists originally ticketed for riding their bicycles through the town.
“Bicycling contributes over $1 billion annually in economic revenue to the state of Colorado,” said Dan Grunig, Executive Director of Bicycle Colorado, the statewide cycling advocacy group challenging the ban. “This case has garnered a significant amount of negative media attention and is really a black eye for tourism in our state.”
The story has been widely covered by state, national and international media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, CNN and in newspapers as far as the United Kingdom and Thailand.
“With the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge soon being broadcast nationally and around the world—showcasing Colorado as a tourist destination—a ‘no bikes’ sign is not the impression we want to leave with potential visitors,” added Grunig.
Attorneys Paul Schwartz and Andrew Shoemaker of Shoemaker Ghiselli & Schwartz LLC argue that Black Hawk overstepped its rights as a local authority in ignoring state laws by not providing an alternative access route for bicyclists to follow. The town stated safety concerns as the reason for implementing the decision, but there were no reports of bike crashes on the road prior to the ban.
The Colorado Supreme Court requires that all cases be presented for consideration and review prior to case selection. A decision on whether or not the case will go before the court is expected in the next several months.
About Bicycle Colorado:
Bicycle Colorado is the statewide non-profit organization that aims to encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for cyclists in Colorado. For more information, please visit

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A local’s Colorado Trail Race

Jeff Kerkove and Sonya Looney pedal during the 2010 Claro Brasil Ride. Sonya's on another epic ride this week -- the Colorado Trail Race. Courtesy photo.

Sonya Looney, one of my favorite pro mountain bikers around these parts because of her wonderfully wacky sense of humor, started the Colorado Trail Race yesterday. Before taking off on the 470-mile self-supported race at altitude, she wrote about it here. And she sent out the following links for anyone who wants to follow her journey:

Live Tracking with everyone (Leaderboard):
MTB Cast news and callins:   I will try to call in once or twice
Bikepacking forum with real time race discussion,2.0.html
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Tour de France video game: je ne sais wtf

Je ne sais wtf?

The Tour de France video game just might be the most bass-ackward example of the sedentary pursuit of video games attempting to capture one of the toughest athletic endeavors in the world.

Now, before you get your panties in a Wii-Fit bunch — well, whatever, get them in a bunch. I don’t care. Getting exercise via a video game is better than sitting sloth-like, minus your thumbs being all atwitter, while staring at the boob tube like a mouth-breathing zombie, but it’s still lame. Especially if you live in Colorado. If you live in Mississippi and don’t want to leave an air-conditioned building to exercise in bazillion-degree heat plus bazillion-degree humidity, you get a quasi-exemption if your idea of a good time is to Wii-Fit or Xbox Kinect your heart out.

But thumbs atwitter for a Tour de France game? That’s just je ne sais wtf.

Here’s a description of the game from the website: “Manage your efforts during the stages in order to stay at the top of your form, work with your teammates, keep an eye on your reputation,…”

I’ll stop there, because if you really want to keep an eye on your reputation, you won’t be playing TdF on Xbox.

There are video games for other sports. Like football, basketball, hockey, baseball and blowing up aliens and shit. I’ll excuse this for sports like football, because most people I know who are really into football haven’t played since high school, if ever, and engage in other football-inspired sedentary pastimes, like fantasy football and tailgating.

People who are into the Tour de France tend to engage in pastimes like riding a bike outdoors for reals.

So who is this video game for? Well, it’s definitely not for people who get their pro cycling jollies here.

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Worst dressed, best naked

Moi, hauling the big crash pad for bouldering at Morrison. What matters: Crushing. What doesn't: Clothing. But there's probably Patagucci on the other side of that pad.

GQ has placed Boulder 40th on their list of worst-dressed cities. To which I say: It’s awesome to look good naked.

But first of all, GQ, what is up with these photos? The first time I clicked this link, you had a photo that clearly isn’t Boulder. It might be somewhere outside of town, up in the mountains. Maybe. But the over-exposed mountains in the old photo look a lot like the Canadian Rockies to me. You have probably never been there. Or here. It’s all part of the flyover zone, like Kansas or Ohio or Ontario, or those other “O” or “I” states. Ontario’s a state, right? You tell me, GQ, you tell me.

If this photo is outside of Boulder (it is), then odds are good these are tourists. Because people in Boulder don’t go to the scenic overlook. If you need a photograph of a Boulderite in a mountain setting, I’d tell you where to go, but I don’t think you’d risk walking through dirt in your Prada shoes to get there.

But whatever, because today your post has a new photo, of barefoot dudes either peeing into a bush or investigating a possible new medical-MJ community farm. However, I’m counting one mullet and zero dreadlocks in this photo. So again, I’m suspicious. I don’t think this is Boulder.

Now, follow this spelling lesson about Boulder fashion closely: My Prana pants (not Prada) have collected perma-dirt and a little perma-tree sap from climbing. I’ll wear them for apres-climb at Mountain Sun anyway, because after you’ve had two pints of the best craft brews you’ve ever had (and I just returned from Scotland — we have it better here), you don’t care about a little post-climbing sap on your pants, and neither does anyone else in Boulder.

See, Boulderites have special fashion concerns that the average GQ-type can’t appreciate.

Proper attire for A-Basin in July: bikini top, gloves, ski pass, sunscreen

For example, my last post here is about what to wear to go skiing in July in Colorado. So you know, I learned that what you wear is a Hawaiian shirt or bikini top and the ski boots you no longer care about, because they’re going in the pond if you don’t make the skim.

We don’t all wear Crocs; we might all wear flip-flops. The North Face is for sponsored climbers (we have many here) and some college students; Patagonia is the organic T-shirt and puffy-jacket brand of choice. Cycling shorts are worn with cycling shoes, not tennies, dipshits. And they’re only nighttime attire when you’re doing the Thursday cruiser ride, and in that case, you’re probably wearing a tutu on top of them, gasp.

And vegan cookies can be fucking delicious.

Boulder has an annual Naked Pumpkin Run. Because we look good naked. (Please put clothes on to shop at Whole Foods, though. I bet she doesn't have kale in there.)

Who cares about clothes, anyway, when you’re some of the thinnest, fittest, most educated people around. So the CU girls wear Uggs in the summer. Whatever. They’re probably badasses who ran barefoot through the winter. Just come visit and you’ll see we’re lovely people who can quote Kant, Keynes and the Buddha, all while looking awesome naked (at least you got that part right). If that doesn’t suit you, we have some hipsters running around on fixies that might please you.

But be warned that when you get here, some 85-year-old might kick your ass. (You got that part right, too.)

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Summer ski fashion problem

Tele goes Hawaiian at Loveland during the Corn Harvest, a spring-skiing benefit for CAIC. Photo courtesy Loveland Ski Area.

Ever since I decided to go skiing on Friday to check out A-Basin’s last weekend for the season, I’ve had a fashion quandary.

What does one wear to go skiing in July?

The last time I went skiing this season was in early April, on the last day at Eldora. It cold and windy. The latest I’ve ever skied is May…in powder. Neither experience was a good guages for conditions this weekend.

I happened to be in Zermatt, on the Klein-Matterhorn lift, for the first day of summer skiing a few years ago — not to ski, but to climb the Breithorn. The skiers on board were dressed for normal winter conditions, just like I was for my climb. Again, no wardrobe help there.

So I turned to Google, where I discovered photos of women skiing in bikinis.

Actually, there were only two photos of a woman skiing in a bikini. In the others, the women were posing with skis, not actually skiing. I’m pretty sure this is because it would really, really, really hurt to fall on crappy summer snow while wearing a bikini. The thought of snow-rash down my thighs makes me want my mommy.

To save yourself from snow-rash, you could ski like this in a bikini — snowplowing all the way down the hill probably tones your legs for bikini season anyhoo, right? But it doesn’t look fun. At all.

A good alternative seems to be to go Hawaiian. Like the guy in the board shorts at this blog. So I think I’ll dig up a Hawaiian shirt and a sunhat and, as one friend recommended, zip-off softshell pants (even though I’m pretty sure such a ludicrous technical garment does not exist).



Since I posted this, a friend of mine forwarded this link to me. It’s for Rab’s zip-off softshell pants.

So this ludicrous technical garment does indeed exist. I will not be buying a pair. That is all.

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Opening day at Valmont Bike Park

Jason Stella, of Denver, whips around a wall ride on Saturday, June 11, at the new Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. For more photos and a video of the bike park's opening day go to Jeremy Papasso/ Camera

…was rad. Do you need to know anything else (if you weren’t there yourself)?

Of course you do. The hub and I pedaled all the trails (multiple times — they’re short) and sprinted up the 5280′ run-up (perfectly spaced for sprinting whilst shouldering a bicycle). We watched the looney birds on mountain bikes and 20s fly off of jumps and ramps and whatnot.

I love those crazy birds. They dare to do what I fear and lack the experience to attempt.

It helps that they know how to fly AND land. That’s key.

But even cooler than those flying bikers were the tots riding the park. So I wrote about them in my column today. They’re the next generation. And they’re gonna be totally sick, as long as their families keep bringing them back to the park.

In the meantime, if you haven’t been out there yet, go ride it asap! It’s tons of fun, and it’s free. It might even make me buy one of these (I like the purple rims)

(My husband pointed out that this is a freestyle bike, not a dirt-jumping bike. He missed the part where I liked it because of the purple.)

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