Monthly Archives: May 2014

Skiing Triple Digits: Days 83-88, All. Vail. Love.

On Days 83-88 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I stayed close to the mountain I know and love: Vail. Even on Day 83, I began the day’s adventures with a few hours of skiing at Vail before skiing the Minturn Mile with a group of friends. Skiing the Minturn Mile is always special, and on this occasion, we celebrated Antony’s birthday après-ski at the Minturn Saloon. Vail, however, continued to be the beginning and end of my best skiing adventures on Days 83-88.

Day 83: Thursday, March 13
Vail and the Minturn Mile

A birthday hug on the top of Ptarmigan Ridge:

day 83-march 13

Day 84: Saturday, March 15

A common sight in an area called the Vail Shop Yard. I think it looks a lot like McMurdo Station, Antarctica…especially that area between MCM’s Heavy Shop and Waste Barn:

day 84-march 15

Day 85: Sunday, March 16

Taught a ski lesson on a demo pair of Nordica Wild Belles:

Day 85-march 16

Day 86: Tuesday, March 18

Worked in my home office in the morning…and then went out for a few hours of amazing afternoon pow followed by a playful walk with Kai:

day 86-march 18

Day 87: Thursday, March 20

Taught skiing and met up with Ant for an inspired end-of-day blue-uniform run together:

day 87-march 20

Day 88: Friday, March 21

Mesmerized by blue skies and Gore Range peaks:

Day 88

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest


Skiing Triple Digits: Days 78-82, Janet’s Cabin and Vail Mountain

On Days 78-82 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I had one adventurous day hiking/skiing up/down to/from Janet’s Cabin via Copper Mountain to visit a friend staying at the hut, and then I spent the other four days skiing on Vail Mountain.

Day 78: Tuesday, March 4
Janet’s Cabin

day 78-march 4

Day 79: Wednesday, March 5
Vail, Level II Training Day

day 79-march 5

Day 80: Friday, March 7

day 80-march 7

Day 81: Saturday, March 8

day 81-march 8

Day 82: Sunday, March 9

Day 82-march 9

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest

Hiking Cape Town: Table Mountain’s India Venster

1-signCape Town, South Africa is a great place for hiking because several classic peaks–such as Lions Head and Table Mountain–sit in close proximity to the city, so it’s possible to access them easily for quick day hikes. And the trails up these peaks also provide stunning views of the city and sea. I recently spent two weeks in Cape Town visiting family, and I got the chance to get out with Antony to hike the India Venster route up Table Mountain, which is one of the few trails he hadn’t taken to the summit.

For my first hike the summit of Table Mountain, India Venster provided some adventurous moments and challenges, for sure. The sign at the trailhead warns that ladders, chains, and stapels are a part of the route, and we also knew that the route requires some exposed scrambling with the potential for serious fall danger.


The route begins in a straightforward manner from the contour trail, but then it eventually winds up through a steep rocky section below the top of the cable car.


The rock scrambling began in this section, which required hand-and-foot climbing on mostly low-angle rock. Depending on experience and comfort level, some hikers might want to have a rope to help them through this section…or even a guide.

Traci J Macnamara India Venster 1

While the scrambling in some sections wasn’t very exposed…

Traci J Macnamara on India Venster

…other sections involved exposure and sharp drop-offs, and also jaw-dropping views of the city and sea.


The word “venster” means “window” in Afrikaans, and the route gets its name from a rock window along the route. We’re not sure if this window is THE window for which the route is named, but it offered a pretty cool portal for seeing the side of Table Mountain.


The view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain was certainly worth the effort involved! The India Venster route, especially, and most other routes to the summit of Table Mountain should only be hiked in good weather, and hikers should carry emergency gear, as the weather rolls in quickly up here. We only had a short time to make this hike happen, so we opted to take the cable car down, but Platteklip Gorge offers a safer descent than the India Venster downclimb.

Want to know more about hiking in Cape Town?
Check out this Learnist board I created to profile six classic Cape Town hikes, including India Venster:

“Cape Town’s Classic Day Hikes”

Cape Town Day Hikes

And…if you want to explore more of my Learnist boards focused on adventure, outdoors, nature, and sports, click here.

Skiing Triple Digits: Days 73-77, The Logan Academy

On Days 73-77 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I got in five more days of skiing at Vail. For three of these days, I skied with a team of superstar skiers as a part of Vail’s Logan Academy, which is a three-day clinic with a national team instructor, for which I was honored to be selected as a participant.

Day 73: Saturday, February 22

On this day, I taught a ski lesson to a four-year-old, and as I’m not used to teaching such young people, I think it was so traumatic that I forgot to take a photograph! If I had taken a photo, you would have seen me doing some extreme pizza wedging with a screaming child between my legs…

Day 74: Tuesday, February 25
Vail, Logan Academy

Herb, of the most excellent mustache:

day 74-feb 25

Day 75: Wednesday, February 26
Vail, Logan Academy

Taking the T-bar, Outer Mongolia:

day 75-feb 26

Day 76: Thursday, February 27
Vail, Logan Academy

Logan Academy crew under overcast skies:

day 76-feb 27

Day 77: Saturday, March 1

Yours truly, in blue:

day 77-march 1

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:

Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest