Friday, February 25, 2011

Reminiscing Friday

This mountain girl has never been so happy that it is Friday. Whoo-hooo time to get ready for the weekend. We're getting another load of snow today, so you'll all forgive me if I reminisce about slightly warmer times- won't you?

Looking Up

Toliet Papered in the Wilderness

Awaiting the hot water

My feet in the Pemi

Hanging Food from Bears

Stirring on the Whisperlite

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Interview Series

Feeling a little stuck in the ho-hum? Need some inspiration?

Get ready for Betty Mountain Girl's newest interview series where you will get to hear trail tales that inspire, bonks that sucked, and mountains that were conquered by some of blogging's finest. Our first interview is slated for later this week. Do drop back in!


If you are a mountain biker- no doubt you have heard of 29er bikes. With larger outside diameter of the wheel 29er bikes roll faster, tackle obstacles easier, and corner better- at least that's what everyone is saying. I have yet to ride one and of course there are the naysayers who want objective scientific data.

I'll give someone some scientific data if they give me a 29er. How's that sound?

Anyway, just wondering what you'all thought. Do you ride a 29er? Have you ridden a 29er? Know something more about them than I do? Drop a comment and share the wealth.

In the mean mean ride. Specialized's Myka 29er.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bike Season Freakout

Okay, it is time to officially start freaking out about biking season. It’s close. Very close. In fact, if you slacked off all winter eating bonbons at Christmas letting your bike trainer and bikes collect dust- you are officially feeling the freak out.

So what’s a slightly out of shape biker to do? Here are some options:

Mountain Biking Plank Bridge
  • Continue to procrastinate- it has worked so far
  • Read blog posts about how to get in shape for bike season- check plus- you’ve started this one already. See, I knew you could do it.
  • Buy a bunch of cycling gear- This way even if you aren’t the fastest or most nimble rider you at least look like you are.
  • Join the gym- Not sure how this is really connected to cycling, but surely looking at yourself in the mirror everyday for thirty minutes as you run on a rat wheel- I mean treadmill- will inspire you to get your wheels on the road.
  • Start writing about how awesome of a rider you are on bike forums- wait there are already enough bike geeks doing that already. You are better than that.
  • Look at old pictures of yourself riding- see you used to ride before it got all sub zero and snowy and stuff.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Liquid Mountaineering

Here is your inspiration for the day. The trick they say is "to believe that you can walk on water." That and the water repellent shoes apparently. I'm stuck half way between thinking sometimes a little far fetched is fun to sometimes a little far fetched is funny.

Either way- entertaining.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winter Snow Shelters

And before the snow melts I need to make me one of these fancy shelters. I'm still a bit torn over what would be the most comfortable type of snow shelter versus which would be the easiest to build. From what I've been researching it seems that the quinzee type of shelter might be a bit easier to build since you just pile all the snow up and dig out a little hole...

Quinzee Shelter:


What I aspire to do with decorating:

Quinzee drink

The video that inspired this post:

from @Easternmntn on Twitter

Also an endlessly valuable resource: Winter Campers website.

Still Need to Try Slacklining

I can't wait to see some green ground when this snow finally melts. This- is what I need to finally try this year.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Camping Recipes- Campfire Pizza and More

Since I've been revisiting some of my past posts lately, I thought I would reshare my camping recipes section. Still haven't tried Campfire Pizza yet? O- to the-M- to the G- try it! There is nothing like gooey Kraft cheese with that smoky campfire flavor.

Remember the time I tried to make a fruitcobbler on my Jetboil? Seriously- that post should be made into a consumer warning. DO NOT COOK FRUIT COBBLER ON YOUR JETBOIL! And for heaven sakes- do not do something foolish like trying to double the recipe!

Here is a recap of my camping recipes:

Chicken and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes While Camping

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bring Your Dog

Want to start bringing your pooch along on your trips? I think we should all resolve to find ways to bring our four legged friends along more often. Here is a repost combining all of my favorite outdoor dog reviews and tips all in one post. For the dog lover in you:

Misty in Tent

Crossing the Pemi

Misty Backpacking

You want me to put what in here? Says Misty

Trans Presidential Traverse

One of my goals this year is do the Trans Presidential Traverse in July with my brother. The best part is that I want to do it in one day rather than a multi day trip.

I've climbed several of the Presidentials and several in the winter months. So I'm familiar with the terrain and well aware of the challenges. As for the length of the trip- the longest single day I've hiked was 21 miles with very little elevation gain. So the traverse will be a challenge, but I'm so ready for it.

mt adams from jefferson

photo credit

Depending on where you start the traverse you can expect to cover anywhere from 8-10 peaks- all of them New Hampshire's finest including Mount Washington at 6,288 feet (I know it's pipsqueak compared to those out west!). You are very exposed to the elements at several segments of the trail- so the weather factor is a huge component on this trip. With some of the highest wind speeds ever being recorded right on Mount Washington.

Sounds like fun right? Read more at Backpacker magazine here and here for the winter lovers.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Limmer Boots

Have you ever seen a Limmer? These boots are the things of legend. I used to work at a footwear/outdoor gear shop that sold Limmer boots and heard many a' story about how long they last, how comfy they get (after they're broken in that is!), and how waterproof they are. I've never been lucky enough to own a pair myself, but given their New Hampshire roots I feel like they are an old friend!

Old Limmer Boots

Most Memorable Outdoor Moments

I spent some time recently thinking about my favorite moments outdoors. Funny, when I finally pulled together all these memories I discovered they weren’t about the biggest summits, longest treks, or glorious wins- although some are- most are about those tiny moments of freedom, pure exhaustion, or ridiculousness… So what about you? What are your favorite moments outside?

Crossing the Pemi

Racing to the shower station in a thunderstorm
At the tail end of my bike touring trip through Maine, we arrived late to our campsite in Acadia National Park. We were tired, hungry, and in desperate need of a shower, but with a huge thunderstorm pulling in the ½ mile bike ride to the shower station was starting to look daunting. Three of us braved the ride and decided it required us to go fast- really fast. So in a moment you probably would not share with your mother- we rode our bikes against 30+ mph winds, torrential rain, and giant- HUGE- puddles to take a freaking shower. It was stupid, but really fun.

First Rappell
As some of my long time readers may recall, I started my passion for the outdoors by attending Boy Scout camp as a kid. We didn’t just do archery at this camp either. Weeks were spent backpacking through the White Mountains, paddling through large lake systems, and pedaling down- or mainly up- old logging roads. My first rappell was terrifying and involved a lot of shaking and debating. Eventually I lifted off and trusted the rope, myself, and my belaying partner. I’ve been chasing down this incredible high ever since.

First Winter Camping Trip
My first winter camping trip was with the Boy Scouts in the Whites. Mt Madison. Freakin’ freezing night. Woke up the next morning completely shocked- I was alive! I didn’t freeze to death overnight.

My first mountain bike race win
After placing second and third race after race, I was hungry for a first place. As I started to learn about my strengths and weaknesses in racing I determined my best chance for a win required a particular type of course. The fast double track courses left me gasping for air. I just wasn’t fit enough to spin the big ring with the roadsters turned mountain bikers. I needed a course with lots of technical terrain to reach my goal. I also discovered that my slow starts (I take thirty minutes- easy- to get truly warmed up biking) were impacting my placing. On the start of the race a massive thunderstorm had come through and I was determined to get under the cover of the trees rather than standing in a field on a metal lightening rod called my bike. Needless to say- I got my strong start and since the course was the technical stuff of dreams I also took home my first and only win.

My many attempts to hike the Wapack Trail in one day
One winter I was determined to hike the Wapack in one day. This 21 mile trail is long- but not particularly steep and with the snow- I figured less negotiating pesky rocks that are strewn about this trail. Well let’s just say it took me three, maybe four times to successfully trek this trail in a day. But that’s another story.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Friday

Green Trail Through Green Hills

Whew! We made it through another snowy week. Whats another 20+ inches atop our already 20+ snowbanks? Here is to a happy Friday ya'll. Dream of good weather!!

Western Spirit Bike Trips

Remember my post on not waiting? Well, this is something I've waited on year after year. One year it was not enough money- the next year it was that I wasn't in good enough bike shape for the trip I was interested in. I think this may be the year I say frig it.

So take a peak at their trips and dream a little. That's what I am doing this Friday.



photo credit

Here are some of my handpicked trips:
  • Backcountry Hotsprings: Really I can't think of anything better than relaxing in a hot spring after biking all day. Well maybe eating a really delicious dinner. Wait they have that too!
  • Blue Mountain Singletrack: Days of amazing singletrack in the Abajo Mountains in Utah.
  • Colorado Singletrack or Crested Butte Singletrack: I came inches from going to grad school in Colorado. I poured over maps and books detailing trails in the area, but in the end stayed close to home for school. I still dream of riding my bike down some sweet, sickly fast singletrack in Colorado and these trips look like they bring it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We are nowhere close to Spring yet here in New Hampshire. With 3-6 more inches of snow today and another 10-18 inches tomorrow Spring seems very far off. In the meantime I've been searching for Spring on flickr for inspiration. Here are some pics to keep your heart hoping for mud on your wheels....

Spring Gondor

Spring Trail

View from the Hidden Springs Trail