January, 2010

Orange Balloon+Snow=Great Park Snow Day

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Finally a local event that doesn’t include any mountain driving. The Great Park in Irvine is kicking off the Great Skate with Snow Day this Saturday, January 30th from 11-4. Enjoy free sledding, snowman making, ice skating, hockey, crafts, and more. And yes, it’s all free, you just have to pay for parking ($8). You’ll also have to provide your own mittens/warm gear (it is snow after all). So stop on by PF to get your kids all decked out. Check out http://www.ocgp.org/2010/01/great-park-snow-day/ for more details.

Pow day with Power 106

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

This Saturday, January 30th, Power 106 will be hanging out at Bear Mountain with R&B star Iyaz. Enjoy the fresh pow and some live music. The event is free, but you’ll need a ticket to ride. Since it is the weekend I would recommend reserving your tickets online and leaving 30-60 minutes earlier than you normally would to account for traffic up the hill and the slow driving you’ll have to do with chains. Beat the crowds, get up there early and have a nice breakfast before you hit the slopes.

Fresh Pow! and road closures :(

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

As most, if not all of you know, our local mountains (Bear Mountain and Mt. High) were graced with a dumping of fresh pow last week. I hear this is the first of three MAJOR storms to hit us this year. Hopefully this means that our season will continue well through April. If you haven’t been up yet to enjoy the fresh snow, head on up soon. Even if you just want to sled down some random spot next to the road, there are plenty of areas to do that.

What I don’t understand, though, is why after 4 clear and sunny days, the roads into Big Bear are finally open to everyone. Yup, they opened today and what happened? It snowed, again. Barely, but still. How much business did Bear/Summit lose with the road closure? A LOT. I myself chose the easier, clear, chain-less route of heading up to Mt. High yesterday. As did most of the people up there, I’m guessing. Why deal with a “one way in, one way out, go 35mph the whole way up”, when you don’t have to? I don’t claim to be any kind of road clearing expert, but I don’t think it should take four days to clear 5 feet of snow. What do you think? Bring in some more snowplows and shovels. Clear those roads so that when we get fresh pow we can actually enjoy it!!!

Waterproof schmaterproof

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

There’s a lot of talk out there about waterproofing. What material is best, how much is needed, and really, what do all those little numbers mean?

First things first. Those numbers actually DO mean something. They refer to both the water resistancy coating of the fabric and the breathability (denoted for example 5,000mm/5,000g). Water resistance is measured by the amount of water that can be suspended above the fabric before water seeps through. Breathability is measured by the rate at which water vapor passes through. In human language, a breathable coat will allow your moisture to exit, creating less of a sauna feel for you. The higher the number the drier you’ll be for longer.

Honestly, for our local mountains, a 5k/5k coat will do you just fine. Go anywhere out of state or out of country, and you’ll definitely want to look at getting at least a 10k coat, if not a 20k.

Please keep in mind that the waterproofing/breathability of a coat has nothing to do with initially keeping you warm. That’s what insulation and layers are for! Yes, through keeping you dry it will keep you warm, but again, warmth is not a direct feature of your 5, 10, or 20k jacket.

What about material. What really is best. Every company is dealing with something different, from Gore-Tex to Dry Ride to DKDry, Omnitech, and DWR. You’ll find little differences here and there, such as wicking function, wind blocking, flexibility, and ultimately waterproofing capability. As with anything, the more you pay, the better the material, the more features it will have. Look for Gore-Tex to be on your list of higher end waterproofing. Dry Ride is specific to Burton, so you know you’ll pay a pretty penny for that one. DK Dry is featured on many Dakine gloves, and DWR is on just about everything as your last layer of waterproofing. Is there an ultimate waterproof material? I’m sure there is. I’m sure someone out there will tell you that THIS is the best and they won’t ride anything else. I say, if it fits you, your budget, and the conditions you’re riding in, then go for it. You don’t need the best of the best of the best to ride a night session at Bear, but don’t be caught at Whistler with 5k gear. Dress appropriately and you’ll have a great day of riding.

College Night at Mt. High!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Hey all you college kids. Head up to Mountain High this Thursday night with your college ID and ride from 5-10 for just $20!! (that’s a savings of $15 bucks, or 2.5 trips to In N Out for a Double Double, fries, and a coke.) Hit up the Bullwheel for some dollar hotdogs, drink specials, vendors, and giveaways. Enjoy the live DJ whilst watching the first of three rail jams. Check out http://www.mthigh.com/promo/college.html for more info.