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i_like_sun

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About i_like_sun

  • Rank
    veteran
  • Birthday 05/16/1984

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  • Occupation
    Exercise Physiologist
  • Location
    Bellingham
  1. Patellofemoral Pain

    Hey guys, Thought I'd post in here, as I'm sort of running out of ideas on how to attack this damn patellofemoral pain.I'm a snowboard alpinist, and specialize in steep, technical lines. Been doing it coming on 20 years. I also did research in exercise physiology in grad school, so I know my training and orthopedics extremely well. I've bumped into a brick wall though, and need some feedback.... Back in late January I was doing some snowboard training, working on "brink of destruction" heelside carving. This is a key skill for us shredders, as the heelside turn on big exposed faces is critical. It takes a moderately deep squat, and puts your lower extremity under tremendous load. I noticed a sharp "TWING" in my left knee on a couple turns, so I backed off. No pain after, and was shredding pain free for several weeks after. Fast forward to late February, and I did a regular zone 2 / 3 trail run. It was a mid day "lunch lap", and so I kept it mellow and short. Just 5 miles and 1,400 vertical over 1 hour. I've done this run over a hundred times. The next day I had quite a bit of pain in both patellas. This is totally new for me, as I've been one of the lucky ones who HASN'T blown his knee out. Rested a couple days, then was out on the splitboard and the pain got A LOT worse. Its been coming on 3 months, and I keep finding myself in these "rest / rehab until minimal pain, then test the waters" cycles. In this time I've developed a new crepitus (crackling sound) in my left kneecap, and I can't seem to get away with even mellow spins on the mountain bike or "walk / jog" exercise without it getting pissed off and feeling like I'm doing more permanent damage. Its also completely stopped my splitboarding dead in the skintrack, and even mellow climbing is off limits because I can't walk downhill without it becoming very painful. I'm extremely well educated in patellofemoral tracking, hip & knee mechanics, proper footwear for pronation etc... I don't think my problem is a mal-alignment issue so much as it is a tissue overload injury. I also know that chondromalacia on its own is not a "strong" statistical predictor for anterior knee pain, as much of the asymptomatic population has some degree of cartilage wear / tear. So the pain has to be coming (probably) from an overload of the subchondral bone or synovium. It feels like bone pain though... My question for any other athletes, PT's or athletic trainers on here, is what is your guy's / gal's experience with the prognosis for moderately severe patellofemoral pain syndrome? And what strategies have helped you or your patients / clients? Lastly, what kind of timeline have you all experienced with this damn problem? For reference I'm 35 years old, so I'm not made of plastic anymore, but still at my peak physical powers and still full of angst to get rad in the mountains! Its a damn frustrating injury. I feel that my fitness has been peaking this year higher than any previous year. I had a Liberty Ridge climb planned, and several other super fun and interesting steep snowboard objectives in line for this spring that are now as far as I can tell, totally fucked by this injury. I'm concerned now that this damn knee pain may severely hamper my mountaineering career, if not has the potential to end it completely. I mean, shit man, I survived a rollover car crash that broke my back and blew out a disc, and this knee pain scares me more than THAT injury did! Thanks so much for any insight / guidance guys!!
  2. Edmunds Headwall route on Rainier

    The Edmunds HW is an incredible route. I climbed and snowboarded the thing a few years ago in middle of July. It might have been the single stupidest decision I've ever made, because crevasses were absolutely yawning open, and the rock fall was just constant and terrifying. It was also too late for good corn snow, because it was basically 2 inches of slush on top of blue glacier ice. Almost lost my edge a couple times, and ended up down climbing a certain section that was super exposed to the giant cliff lining the base of the face, on looker's left. Since that experience, I just want to go climb it. From there, do a carry over and snowboard the Finger on the south side. The face itself is a sustained 45* with a couple 50 degree parts. Its absolutely perfect for hybrid french / american crampon technique. Oh, also, the most dangerous part of the day BY FAR was climbing up the giant pile of rubble shit to regain lower Ptarmigan Ridge. I had a car size rock roll over my toes after it pulled loose when I yanked on it. Only reason my foot wasn't catastrophically destroyed was because of how soft the volcanic "sand" was in that particular spot. It just mushed my foot into the soft shit. That was sketchy!
  3. Before I start this writeup, I need to say that this Trip Report is entirely dedicated to my dear friend Liz Daley (LizDee on SB.com). She and I had talked for years about tagging the first ever snowboard descent on Mount Shuksan's Hanging Glacier Headwall, and without her infectious stoke even in her afterlife, I doubt that this trip would have happened. She was better and more proficient at this game of snowboard alpinism than all of us combined. Love you forever, Liz!! Okay, enough of the sappy shit: This past week I took a couple days off work at Karakoram to go tag a couple lines I've been dreaming / drooling over for the better part of a decade. My buddy Adam called me at midnight on Tuesday and said, "bro, it snowed 4 feet, its stayed overcast and cold, and has only snowed another 4-6 inches in the past 72 hours. I think its time get radically steep on The Shuk". As always, the Pre Gnarfest anxiety began to build. As she was looking 3 days before departure: Overnight packs are stupid: First view of the HG Headwall on the approach: Sunsets are not stupid, but extremely badass: Beginning the day at 6:30am, we traversed out the arm and accessed the lower White Salmon Glacier: Crevasse crossings were pretty fat at higher elevations: Finally at the top of the Headwall of the Hanging Glacier. All I really have to say, is that the place is BURLY. You're looking down a slope that starts at 50 degrees, rolls to damn near 60 degrees, and all the while you're above a 4,000 foot potential fall. Here is Adam taking a few steps into the route to check stability. Moments after I took these photos, I insisted that we set up an anchor and do a full snow assessment on belay. After we decided that it was stable and that we were going to ride it, I decided to go first. At this point I pretty much stopped taking photos, and focused on not dying.. I entered the route on my toe edge, with 2 ice tools. As I gained the main spine the rest of the route comes into view, and quite literally overwhelmingly steep. I dropped into the primary rollover a few feet, and quickly discovered that I was on top of 4-6 inches of powder that was sitting on top of blue water ice. At one point I lost an edge, and had to self arrest with my tools... Liz would be proud! Anyway, after running into the ice, I decided to avoid turning until I was away from the main fall line of the cliffs below. Once I was about 1/3 of the way into the route, I could start to open it up and make steep, fun GS style turns on the 55 degree terrain. Looking back up, after "landing" on the Hanging Glacier. Here is the route as seen from the top of the ice cliff: The traditional exit ramp for the Hanging Glacier route was not in shape this year due to significantly lower than average snowpack. So instead we climbed up through the primary ice fall of the hanging glacier. This proved to be pretty hard work, as it was deep trail breaking on steep, ~40 degree terrain, with a huge looming serac above us most of the way up. I'm glad no blocks of ice wiped us out.. We gained the top of the NW Couloir, and we were STOKED: Adam set the traverse above the cliffs, then I dropped in first. I am the tiny dot (photo by Adam): By far, the best turns, on the best line of the year. It was extremely reminiscent to riding huge lines in Valdez last April... Looking back up the NWC: Looking back up at the Headwall above the Hanging Glacier: All in all, this trip was significant in two major ways: First of all, I had previously attempted to ride the Northwest Couloir 7 different times, over 6 friggin years! Each time I had either run into a creepy wind slab that left me sprinting home, or, found the route too bulletproof to ride. Getting to drop into the route with full confidence in the snow stability, and to be able to crank high speed turns, was really sometime amazing. Secondly, and this is not really important, but this is likely the first snowboard descent on the rider's right variation of the Hanging Glacier Headwall. My buddy Seth Holton pointed out that the skier's left variation was ridden in 2011. Either way, the Headwall is an amazing place to be, and the physical position of being on your snowboard, literally hanging thousands of feet in the air, is truly mind blowing. I'm not a religious dude, but somehow I felt a little closer to our fallen sister that day. Thanks for watching over us LizDee.
  4. Body Fat Testing

    The question you really need to ask is "why the **** do I need to know my body fat?" Seriously, there is no functional purpose other than for clinical assessment of obese individuals, or for those who are extremely lean or anorexic. If you are a highly athletic male, BF less than 8% can actually be dangerous, and for females this cutoff is 12-14%. Remember, adequate fat percentages support the production of testosterone, and this is critical...
  5. Science Fiction Ski Descent?

    Me and Kyle Miller have plans to do the first splitboard traverse of this crater
  6. [TR] Kulshan - North Ridge 8/6/2010

    That video was great!
  7. US Men's size 8. Only used once on a 7 day expedition. All on snow & ice. Sole and liner are in perfect shape. Little to no scratching on the plastic shell. Basically brand new boots! I'm selling them because my feet have swelled in my ripe old age, and I'm no longer slogging down mountains. $200 or best offer. See: http://www.koflach.com/en/parsepage.php?tpl=tpl_index Feel free to call or email, as for Russ: mtcunner@gmail.com 425.941.6617
  8. Snowboarder help needed!

    Yaah bra, fah sho, totally say "nuked" if you wanna mean "burned". Gettin' nuked means you got ragdolled, tossed, tomahawked, stuffed, whatevs, it all means "burned". But then again you could just say "shitsmacked". Gettin' all up in dat knar! Hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha
  9. [TR] Kulshan - North Ridge 8/6/2010

    My thoughts exactly, Mr. Capone
  10. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Sunset Ridge 7/15/2010

    You guys, as always, are my freaking heros! Say hi to Eric Wehrly for me! As you say, he IS the man...
  11. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Liberty Ridge 7/7/2010

    NO SHIT!! You guys are my heros!! That's about the scariest line in the State.... VERY VERY sick sick work dudes...
  12. Mt Adams, N Face NW Ridge

    Trip Report: July 10, 2010 Ski descent, Mt Adams Northwest Ridge, North Face It all started with Adam Roberts calling me last week saying “hey man, wanna do something roudy this weekend?” With a tentative response I said “uhh, SURE!” The objective: Climb the North Ridge seen left center, summit, top out the West Peak, and drop the line directly right of center. North side of Mt Adams, seen from Randle, Wa. And a full truckbed: A few years ago I began to encounter a recurring problem. You see, I’m a passionate alpine climber, but I am also a diehard snowboarder. Generally speaking the snowboard industry is pretty much funded by an abundance of overhype and gangster baggy pants. This means that for those of us who call ourselves splitboard mountaineers, the lack of communication between climbing companies and the snowboard world has forced us to be a bit more creative. Because of a relative lack of snowboard wankers who enjoy slogging, the vast majority of my outings are with those who consider themselves truly hardcore and dedicated: skiers. I guess this is okay… Adams Glacier Icefall: The good news is that within the past 10 years the discipline of splitboarding has undergone fantastic evolution with the beginning of Spark R&D (.com) and the mainstreaming of rider-built splitboards. Despite these great advances, a few of us are still wanting more. Namely soft-boot binding stiffness and responsiveness, touring edging performance, and as light weight and sexy as possible. I mean, skiers get Dynafits, and splitboarders need something as revolutionary! Enter Karakoram (.com): “Innovate, Ride, Explore”. What else could be sicker than designing and engineering your very own splitboard interface, only to take it to its physical limits in the most demanding and beautiful places on Planet Earth? That’s right, NOTHING is sicker than that. At least in my biased opinion. So when Adam called me wanting to get “roudy on Mount Adams”, it seemed like a great chance to try and destroy some prototype bindings (thanks Bryce and Tyler). The plan was to climb the North Ridge, summit and traverse to the West Peak, then descend the North Face of the Northwest Ridge. I believe it was first completed by the Hummels in the late 90’s, although there is a rumor that the late Doug Combs skied the line in the mid 90’s and never told anybody. The Hummels: http://cascadeclassics.org/MountAdams/North/Spring03/NFNWR/NFNWR_Spring03.htm As the weekend began to take shape, I got a voice message from Liz Daley. It essentially said “I’m needing some knar right now”. Okay, so she’s coming too; and her buddy Reed Pervis, who had recently skied the Fuhrer Finger on Rainier. A team of 4 seemed pretty solid! Slogging began late Friday evening (around 6:30pm). We made tree line around 8:45 and decided to set up base camp before total darkness ensued. A nightmare several nights before about falling over 500 foot cliffs into a crevasse and dying a cold lonely death had me a wee bit on edge. This injected a twinge of nervous restlessness all week long, and had me awake by 3:45 in the morning. After melting snow for 30 minutes I made the decision that this party needed to start. That Liz Daley chick was bivied out under the stars looking rather cozy, and so I chucked and ice ball at her. With an exceptionally cute sounding and high pitched “YAAAALP!” she woke the other two wankers as well. I thought to myself “geeze, that worked great! Just get Liz to squeak and everybody is up!” At 5:00am it was official, we were slogging again. We gained the North Ridge Proper around 7:00am. Lava Headwall seen on left. Adams Icefall The line: pictures from this angle do not do it justice.. Despite the usual Adam Roberts complaint of “having a headache and feeling like shit” he still managed to look pretty darn sexy. Just look that that chest! The Lava Headwall: who in their deranged mind would want to ski this thing? Oh yes, the Hummels… Those silly tele skiers and near death antics… (http://cascadeclassics.org/MountAdams/North/Spring02/LavaHeadwall/LavaHeadwall,Spring02.htm) I believe we took 4 breaks total on the way up and were crossing the summit ice cap by (I think) around 11. The Adams Glacier Headwall and icefall were looking rather phenomenal. Lower ½ of Lava Headwall: The NW Ridge, and Adams Glacier: The summit was a nice break. On the way to the West Peak: Legs started feeling it here… That Liz Daley is so hot right now! Adam Roberts on the West Peak: How do you say 45-50 degrees with a scary as hell rollover? The snow was “near perfect”. If you weren’t careful with your sluff, it would build into a ball under your board/skis and make you slip. Also, a firm icy layer underneath made it bumpy in places and added a twinge of seriousness to each turn. Overall however, the corn was a perfect combo of firmness that wouldn’t slide big, but still soft enough to edge well. Despite good snow, the fall line was HUGE… Both Adam and I described feelings of vertigo: The thing about riding steep, big lines, is that each tiny motion of your body takes on the utmost significance. I found the prototype Karakoram Bindings to deliver a very high degree of responsiveness and support, and in all honestly am not sure I would have felt comfortable riding this line with my Spark Fuses. They just don’t offer the same degree of fine board control. About halfway down I found myself thinking “I need to make it off of this think so I can go kiss my mom and girlfriend again.” To say the least I was practicing a very high degree of caution with each turn. Steepness: The crux and exit of the route were the most fun for me. I could see myself living once again, and so my movements became looser. Reed seemed to be the most comfortable and skied the most normally out of all of us. Adam and I on the other hand seemed to be scared shitless and did significantly more side slippage.. The exit is very interesting traverse underneath cliffs, followed by a quick point over a crevasse bridge. Once back on the Adams Glacier it becomes pretty straightforward, but you still need to be conscious of 100 foot glacial cracks. Sometime in the previous days a huge icefall came down…. Once off the mountain the line reveals itself in entirety, however, photos rarely do justice to the steepness and exposure, or to the emotional toll of accomplishment. We were back at camp by 5:00pm, and skiing out by 6:00pm. We had plans of swimming and drunken stupidness, but coming across a hiker with a fractured ankle delayed us to well after dark. All in all, 16 hours of continuous movement had us feeling pretty psyched on life. The next day was spent swallowing ice cream and napping at Adam’s house. Before heading back to Seattle I managed to get a “cooldown” tour up to camp muir. Laying out full-speed turns on mellow slopes felt amazing. No longer was the fear of death looming in my brain. Stats for the weekend were 12,600 feet of elevation gain, with nearly exactly 12,000 feet of snowboard descent. Not too bad! It always amazes me how much BIGGER, and more MASSIVE Mt Rainier is than everything else… There simply is no mountain in the lower 48 that rivals its mass or degree of glaciation: Nisqually Ice Cliff: Next project?? Thanks Adam, Liz, and Reed for killer companionship! And thanks Bryce and Tyler, for the opportunity to pound on the bindings!
  13. Sad news from Yellowstone

    When did this happen? There is nothing in the news about an accident.
  14. [TR] Mt. Baker - Park Glacier 5/12/2010

    Coleman Pinnacle, from 1/20/2010 Park Headwall, from 1/20/2010 How did crevasses look on the headwall when you were there?
  15. [TR] Mt. Baker - Park Glacier 5/12/2010

    Them's fightin' words!
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