If being new parents wasn’t enough to make this the most memorable year of our lives, we threw in a handful of superb adventures, races, and trips to easily secure 2014 year the title of BEST YEAR EVER. Below are some of the highlights:
- Pretty clear focus on learning how to raise a newborn. Mindy proves, yet again, how broad her amazingness is with her seamless adaptation to the role of mother. Truly incredible, it’s an honor to be along for the ride.
- Phoebe summits Grandeur at 4 weeks old.
- I was a judge at the Madeleine Choir School Science Fair and was blown away by the maturity of the students and the sophistication of their projects. Ranking them was difficult as they were all so good.
- A regimented training protocol, mostly involving running at night. The view of the city from the top of any of our amazing adjacent peaks never gets old.
- Family trip to Zion with Becky and Kil. Phoebe hit some classics : Angels Landing and Observation Point.
- Running Up For Air – Another great year. Tough conditions with high winds early on, a bit of rain/snow up high through mid-day, and then a very cold night. Unusually dry conditions below 6,500′. 53 different folks showed up for 89 combined total summits. I pulled off 12 laps again. Story and applicable links here.
- 2-day Zion trip with Buzz – Attempted the Temple Throne Traverse. Ended up linking Mt. Spry, Twin Brother, Mountain of the Sun, and Deertrap. Also ran Johnson Mountain and The Watchman, two superb peaks. Buzz’s story – My story – Pictures
- Barkley – Thrashed my way to another finish. iRunFar write-up – Simple blog post on door5 with links and info
- BoSho – Mindy runs the classic BoSho marathon, the first in an impressive line-up of races to get into shape for the Bear 100 later in the year. Pump stops and all she gracefully made her way to the finish – story & pics
- Family Zion Trip – Stellar solo linkup (Springdale -> Johnson -> Watchman -> No Mans -> Stevens -> Hepworth); Beautiful family hike up Many Pools canyon during a rainstorm. West Rim family hike, followed by an always-classic run up Lady Mountain. Story
- Zion with Ryan and Buzz – We pulled off an excellent route in a new (for us) area starting in the park, crossing over the East Fork of the Virgin, continuing south to Squirrel and Water Canyons (near Colorado City), and then back to Springdale via Transview Mtn and the Eagle Crags. 21.5 hrs of fun. Ran/climbed/scrambled Tabernacle Dome the following day. Story/photos
- Scout Mountain Ultra Trail – Mindy ran the 60km race in fine style
- La Sal Linkup – Finally made it down for this treasure. Linked together the nine 12,000′ peaks in the La Sal Mtns of south-eastern Utah. The views are stunning. Red-rock beauty far below and in all directions. Story
- San Juan Trip
- Run up Arrow and Vestal peaks with Brendan Trimboli, Paul Hamilton, and Scott Simmons. Strong dudes, great route.
- Hardrock 100 #9. This was likely the most fun I’ve ever had at Hardrock. A very emotional mother nature made everything feel much more alive. Rainbows, lightning, intense rain, running with good friends/family (Matt Hart, Ty Draney, Luke Nelson, Brad Knoles). Mindy’s family came to support, making it extra special.
- Speedgoat 50km – Mindy ran and I helped Karl with the timing again. A fun and long day.
- Millcreek 50km night-run – Super quiet and super fun, a true gem of the Wasatch Mtns.
- Rocky Mountain Power works to put in place a new Solar Tax, which pro-solar folks obviously retaliate against. Utah Clean Energy asked me to get involved, which I gladly did speaking at a downtown (SLC) rally, and discussing the issue with Brian Maffly from the Salt Lake Tribune. I learned a great deal as I listened to both sides of the issue and my perspective and opinions have been shaped in ways you might not suspect. This warrants it’s own blog entry…
- Standhope 60km – Mindy ran this new, beautiful, and challenging course. Dubbed “Hardrock Lite”, it’s only a matter of time before this gem is discovered by the masses. Ben Blessing puts on a great show in the Pioneer Mountains of Idaho.
- Idaho 12ers. – Luke and I finally strung together this fantastic project. My write-up : Luke’s report. 28 hrs 18 min
- A series of fun presentations:
- Davis High Cross Country Team – Beyond Limits : Life lessons through ultra-adventures
- Rowland Hall – Solar Savings : A practical approach to net-zero homes
- University of Utah – Solar – Solar Savings : A practical approach to net-zero homes
- Presentation at work – Lessons learned from 3 years in our experimental net-zero home.
- Wasatch 100 – Paced Ryan McDermott to his 10th (and fastest) finish. Ryan completely inspired me with how hard he pushed the final 10 miles and a near out-of-body sprint to the finish.
- Ran the Plain 100 – This had been on the list of events I wanted to experience for quite some time, mainly because it has a very unique ethic. It’s simple in principle : run a challenging 60 mile loop ending up back to your car/tent; get whatever you need from your car/tent; head out for another almost equally difficult 45 mile loop. Beautiful, low-key, challenging. Every step was new for me and I was fortunate to share most of the run with Gennadii Tertychnyi until he ran into struggles in the later stages. A burly alternative for those not into the “hoopla” of mainstream events.
- The day following the Plain 100 I flew back east for work. Presented at a Technology Exchange Conference and was completely honored to have won the “Best Paper” award.
- Bear 100 – 9 months after giving birth Mindy completes the Bear 100. It wasn’t easy, but she found the strength needed to push through. Totally inspiring.
- Lowest to Highest route (Death Valley) reconnaissance trip. I’ve always loved the idea of running from Badwater to Mt. Whitney using a completely off-trail and interesting (i.e. minimal road) route. I was on the tail end of a 2-week sickness and was operating at about -4dB. Despite my situation I thoroughly enjoyed this magical route with friend and hero Ben Lewis. Massive thanks to Mindy, Bethany, Aida, and Phoebe for embarking on this epic journey (and drive) with us. Ben’s write-up (a must read). Pictures here
- Zion – Talked a sizeable group of good friend into following me around the Zion back country.
- Presented to Jacobsen Construction – Beyond Limits : Life lessons through ultra-adventures
- Climbing! We hung up the running shoes and crammed our feet into some good ol’ sticky rubber. Mindy and Phoebe go head to head. The challenge : Could Mindy redpoint twelve new 5.12s before Pheobe could make a controlled walk. Mindy won by 1 day!
2014 Home Energy Summary
In 2011 Mindy and I built our “net-zero” home with the goal of creating as much energy as we use, including the “fuel” for our electric car. In 2012 we met our goal and were net-zero. 2013 we had to buy a small amount of energy and subsequently added a few additional solar panels to make up the difference. In 2014 we were back to net-zero. In the fall we added a ductless air-source heat-pump to our house in an effort to accommodate the increased heating needs (it has a much higher COP than a resistive in-floor radiant heater) now that Phoebe sleeps in a basement room. The device also provides on-demand back-up cooling for summer days over 95°F where our earth-cooled ventilation air doesn’t quite cut it. Below is a breakdown of our energy consumption and production.
- Total Energy Consumed : 10,154 kWh (roughly $914 retail value at Utah rates)
- 2,750 kWh – Home Heat (27% of total)
- 1,579 kWh – Hot Water (16% of total)
- 3,550 kWh – Electric Car (11,000 total miles; 3.1 mi/kWh) (35% of total)
- 2,275 kWh – Everything else (25% of total)
- Total Energy Produced : 10,329 kWh (roughly $930 retail value at Utah rates)
- 6,749 kWh – House Solar Array
- 3,580 kWh – Garage Solar Array