Sunday, April 29, 2012

phatpacking without the phatpack

So I took Los Compadres out for a phatpacking experience - without the phatpacks. Yep, just a day trip... a short 10 miles of phatpacking with 4224 ft of vertical. Not bad, except we left the singlespeed machines at home. Rules are Rules. Laws are Laws.

yeah, I screwed with every POSSIBLE knob when editing this pic
JUST wait - I'm gonna generate some B.P.R. algorithms for image enhancement!

So why phatpacking?
  • there are a few places in this world where singlespeeds are banned. No joke, jokester.
  • and I WILL travel every single inch of the Colorado Trail in 2012... 
    • so phatpacking is a must - there are wilderness sections. Dude, Dudette.

Los Compadres?
  • I usually travel solo, but gas prices are high. So, Los Compadres were enlisted to help fund the adventures.
    • seriously, this is a big change in my Mode of Operation. I don't talk on the phone, I rarely answer emails, I hate to text (but will) and I have no interest in making small talk.
    • BUT, with gas at 3.76 / gallon... gotta make some friends.
    • if you wanna be a Los Compadre... let me know.
Just to be CLEAR:
  • hiking is not a sport
  • backpacking is not a sport
  • talking about hiking and backpacking is not a sport
  • if you're heart rate is below 140 bpm, you are no better off than your cousin that's sitting on the couch and drinking Budweiser. AND your cousin is probably playing a banjo...
  • the B.P.R. Founding Fathers do not condone or support: hiking, backpacking and drinking Budweiser. But it'd be cool to play a banjo.
  • IF The Lt Col AND The Morale Chairman knew what I've been doing.... they'd call a special session of the B.P.R. Supreme Council, throw me out and promote Mad Rhino to Founding Father status.
    • remember, I AM: The Founder, The Leader, The Hustorian, The Philosophizer... BUT I can be stripped of all the titles by one quick vote. Dude, Dudette.
    • but I'm safe. The Lt Col and The Morale Chairman don't check out this B.P.R. blog anymore - it's all ancient history AND they are responsible family men.
Some more comments:
  • there is no such thing as 'it's a beautiful day for a hike'
  • there is no such thing as 'an awesome hike'
  • there is no such thing as 'a fun hike'
  • there is no such thing as 'a great hike'
  • AND you should never say "I can't wait to go on that hike"
  • it's all about phatpacking - it's all about doing what you gotta do to see that sites that you want to see. 
  • we, the dudes at the Back of the Pack, are single speed fanatics. And that's it. All the rest is just filler.
What's Next:
  • a few of us are heading to Chaco in a few days. One last 'training' trip for the Los Compadres before we hit the Colorado Trail in < 3 weeks.
  • BUT REALLY... I'm gonna scope out the site for the B.P.R. End Of The World Party - Dec 21 2012. And I'm not joking!
The Data - As You EXPECTED:

The Trail Up: The Tram Down

The Trail Up: The Profile

The Medallion Trees: Check this OUT & Research IT!

Elizabeth I Birth Tree: Germinated 1533

Theory of Gravitation Tree: Germinated 1684

The Pics:

the start

just a pic

Los Compadres: Farmer Lore, aka Rancher Lore and Prob-eee
I could say... The Los Compadres... but that would be bad English. get it!

the trail

phatpacking - no phatpack BUT fat style, obviously

some trees and the trail

just another pic

non naked yoga by the naked yoga hippie... Prob-eee

some rocks

a long way down - looking west

rocks & snow

snow & dirt

just rocks


looking west, again

the intersection

phatpacking at 10,000 ft, fat style

what are you looking at? my gut?

taking the Sandia Peak Tram DOWN!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

phatpacking the Grand Canyon

phatpacking the Grand Canyon. what is phatpacking and why did Prob-eee and I go out on such an adventure?

well, it's simple. i have a few big goals this year and when I set goals I dream up a few scouting missions to help prepare my body and mind.  that's right, you can win the Battle of Adversity if you show up mentally and physically prepared. and scouting missions are one way that I prepare for the big adventures.

the big goals for 2012 are:
  1. the Colorado Trail, end-to-end via bikepacking, 
  2. the wildness sections of the Colorado Trail via phatpacking, 
  3. the Arizona Trail via multiple bikepacking adventures. 
    • No, the Arizona Trail end-to-end unsupported is not something this phat dude will attempt.... in the near term. 
a month or so ago Mad Rhino and I started talking about a bikepacking trip on the northern sections of the Arizona Trail - which includes a hike through the Grand Canyon WITH the bike completely disassembled, per regulations. well, based on a few responsibilities we decided to to schedule the trip for May... or later. 

therefore, I had some time and motivation to do a scouting mission through the Grand Canyon - phatpacking style. I wanted to experience the massive hikes in the Grand Canyon to better understand the challenges associated this massive Natural Wonder.

so, Prob-eee and I packed up the gear and headed out for a simple two day adventure in the Grand Canyon. the plan was rim-to-rim-to-rim.... via the South Kaibab and North Kaibab trails. Easy 50 miles, huh?

side note: Prob-eee moved to New Mexico 30 YEARS ago and this was the 1st time he's been to the Grand Canyon! What? That's INSANE!

well, the two day adventure turned into a long single day adventure. we decided to do a rim-to-river-to-rim route. just because... because I am the leader and can change my mind at any given moment... especially during a scouting mission.

if you've never been to the Grand Canyon... then why not?

a definition: phatpacking.... noun \fat-pack-ing\
  1. ultra lightweight (or ultralight weight or ultra-light-weight) backpacking when the weight of one's pack equals the weight of one's gut... with a +/- 5% tolerance
  2. ultra lightweight backpacking when a dude (or dudette) plans to travel light for a 2 or 3 day trip BUT reserves the option to terminate the adventure after one long day.
the lessons learned - phatpacking in the Grand Canyon:
  1. make sure your GPS has a 'lock screen' option AND USE it. a random sequence of events COULD result in deletion of your tracks and waypoints.
  2. when phatpacking bring a spare set of gear - sleeping gear - for the night before the start. that way you can jump out of the sack and hit the trail, thus no packing the phatpack in the early AM.
  3. 2 mph is a good average for a long day of phatpacking. this average includes the necessary time for mid morning and late afternoon siestas
  4. if you have a new camera and think you know how to use it... well, you don't. just put the damn thing on autofocus and try to keep up with your phatpacking buddies.
  5. skinny dudes wearing Vans and Tevas and short shorts can hike way faster than those phat dudes wearing appropriate phatpacking gear. don't ask me why, it's probably a young kid hipster type of thing.
  6. Phanton Ranch is a CANTEEN not a CANTINA. remember this, otherwise you'll be depressed when you learn that Huevos Rancheros are NOT available at the bottom of the canyon. (and don't forget your reservations if you want to eat something other than YOUR food.)
the lessons learned - about pain prevention and pain management:
  1. tie your damn shoe (boot) laces appropriately before the 7 mile descent on South Kaibab trail. a little bit of damage to your feet early on will DESTROY your initial game plan.
  2. don't race down the South Kaibab trail. small steps and frequent stops to let those smoking' toes cool down.
the biggest lesson of them all:
  • PHATPACKING is not BIKEPACKING! Just because one jacka$$ (me) can bikepack across Colorado with ZERO damage to the feet doesn't mean a jacka$$ (me) can walk 6 miles into the Grand Canyon without foot damage.
a few thoughts:
so, bikepacking the Arizona Trail AND packing the bike in and out of the Grand Canyon? my 1st thoughts after the phatpacking adventure... no way am I carrying a damn bike through the Grand Canyon. But now that I've had some time to think about it.... i'll do it if you do it. BUT it'll take me 2 days. i'll plan to camp at Cottonwood Camp. only problem, gotta get permits so the rangers don't throw me (us) in the slammer.

some pics:
disclaimer: i have a new fancy camera. (i sold my soul to the devil for this machine!) AND I don't yet know all the inner workings of 'good photography'. so some of the long distance stuff may look washed out or over exposed. i have no idea what's going on. maybe it was hazy, maybe I'm just a photographic moron. but I'll get better at it.

the top of the south rim

 not a bad shot

prob-eee... phatpacking on South Kaibab

just a few switchbacks

the river... way way down there

a mule train

the river... way down there

a view of some canyons

the bridge on the South Kaibab Trail

looking down the Colorado River

Prob-eee doing what Prob-eee does... phatpacking

let's zoom out - see the old dude wearing red plaid? seriously

WARNING: don't do what we did

an example: smart phatpacking or STUPID day hiking... let's think about this

a final pic before my chaffage persuaded me to put away the camera

ok, i took another pic

an assembly of all the pics - with Delta Spirit tunes: That's right, I haven't been jamming out to the death metal lately. No KoRn or Static-X. Since my Antarctica Journey I've been sliding deeper and deeper into a peace-loving isolationist hippie wannabe. Now, that's a 4 day discussion that we could have.

and if you are really bored... the route:
  • Lot 1 to South Kaibab Trailhead
  • South Kaibab to the intersection of Bright Angel, South Kaibab and North Kaibab
  • a short cruise to Phantom Ranch
  • a long phathike up Bright Angel Trail

so, the official DELTA SPIRIT video:

and another:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

relax - just messing around

I'm taking a break from my alternate reality - recharging the brain by not turning over the cranks.

therefore I'm messing with the blog-o-sphere

SO THIS site may be busted or looking weird for a day or two

and please, send me an email if you really care, because I know you really don't....

and get your groove on with the Black Owls