Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell Festival 2012

Last night Laura and I decided to take advantage of the last day of the 2012 and stack a few of our favorite activities.  Laura came up with the name "The Farewell Festival."  Not really a festival, but a seriously fun day of outdoor activities.  Ideally we plan to continue this in upcoming years as well.  Here's my recap of our great day!

Phase 1 - Skiing, Seven Springs resort (Somerset Co.)
First activity of our festival was to get in some skiing at Seven Springs.  Ice climbing conditions have been dismal thus far, so we've been enjoying some local man made winter and decided this would be the first activity of the day.  We left home in time to make a run down from the North parking lot and hit the lifts at 9:00AM when they first started running.  We skied for about a couple of hours enjoying the best conditions of the season thus far.  There were no mojo sapping crowds as in previous holiday mornings up there, just perfectly groomed, fast running slopes.  Yesterday we had 7" of fresh snow which had skiers and boarders swarming the mountain like bees on a hive.  We usually only stay until the lift lines take longer than the runs down the hill.  Yesterday was a very short day.  If we hadn't planned multiple sporting events for our farewell festival day we definitely would've stayed longer to take advantage of short lift lines, fast conditions and fun jibs.  Laura and I cruised some hills, hit some rails all the while filming our hijinks!  Alas we had to move on to the next phase of our festival which required considerably less clothes than our phase 1 jibwear!

Phase 2 - Ice climbing, Ohiopyle State Park (Fayette Co.)
After Seven Springs, we made a pit stop at home to exchange gear and clothes.  After a quick change out of our baggy ski attire into more trim fitting climbing duds.   We packed up the Subaru and set off to Ohiopyle.  Meadow Run was our destination.  We filmed more pre-climbing stupidity in the car then set off for the crag.  Not much ice was to be found, but we managed a few laps each on Season Finale M6.  I was anxious to see how my injured shoulder would handle dry tooling.  I've been resting it for several weeks now under the care of my good friend Dr. Andy.  It seemed to work fine for the limited climbing we did.  Also to make my climbing day sweeter was that I finally tried my new Lowa Ice Comp "fruits".

Lowa Ice Comp GTX
They were quite fun and much lighter than my standard mixed boot and crampon combo of Lowa Mountain Expert GTX and Petzl Darts.  They should prove to make for some fun climbing this season!  With still more festival fun ahead we had to pack up and move on to even funnier looking outfits and phase 3.  NOTE:  Visiting climbers looking for ice.  Next weekend should have some drips forming up.  Check for ice condition updates both here and on

Phase 3 - Winter Running, Mammoth Park (Westmoreland Co.)
Running is a great interest of mine.  I've been running for a number of years now and have logged many, many miles and lots of elevation on both trail and roads.  It's a great way to keep your cardio in tip top shape (be sure to focus on hills for climbers).  Laura started running this fall and has been working hard while following a safe, proper training schedule.  Today was proof how much effort and dedication she's put into becoming a runner.  Conditions were less than ideal, but she crushed her 30 minute workout today in proper style.  We made the short drive to Mammoth Park, a local county park that has a nice 1.04 mile brick exercise path that is usually kept clear of snow for users.  The thermometer in the car read 35 Degrees with gloomy skies.  The path was plowed, which resulted in removing the snow, but in its place remained ice.  Running it required careful and attentive footwork.  Several times I found myself having flashbacks to my morning rail slides at Seven Springs.  It was a great run to end the year.  Laura followed her program and ran 3 laps like a champ completing a 5k for the first time in winter conditions.  I ran 4 laps in a slippery 29:42 then running an easy mile to cool down.  We walked together and filmed some running segments for future laughs.  We had an amazingly fun day of activities.  We're going to be heading out early in the morning to follow our New Years Day climbing tradition.  We're heading to the Higher elevations to see if we can't find a New Years first ascent!

Farewell 2012... Hello 2013!

Happy climbing,
Tim and Laura

1 comment:

  1. That's such a fantastic idea, Tim! And you're a total sweetheart ;-) Happy New Year!