As 2011 rolls out, I can’t help but think that I miss the stuff in the following picture. You know, snow. Lots of it. Everywhere. Maybe a little better comes our way in 2012? My reverse seasonal affective disorder is beginning to stir..
Monthly Archive for December, 2011
Ryders Eyewear has been celebrating 25 years of operations throughout 2011. During those two and a half decades, Ryders has operated with one aim: good products available at a good price. This lands them somewhere between ultra-high end eyewear – often on display in a locked glass case – and your average convenience store rotary sunglass display.
You might wonder what makes a pair of sunglasses better than the essentially disposable, $5-15 dollar variety. The majority of sunglasses in the lowest price bracket are geared towards curbing feelings of sadness should they end up destroyed. That’s good. Should a pair fall off one’s head or be sat upon accidentally, one can smile, pick up the pieces for disposal, and move on with little regret.
But if you want to step up to better sunglasses, midrange eyewear is stuff you’ll want to keep in one piece. Its superior design is obvious from the moment one slides a pair of sunglasses onto their head. In the case of Ryders, glasses such as the Hijack or the Rockslide present a glimpse of what the entire product line offers. I’ve been reviewing a pair of each for months, in temperatures ranging from the cold of winter to the intense summer heat of Utah’s desert climate. Let’s look at what Ryders bring to the table.
It’s little wonder that after I wrote a series on 12 Reasons I Ski the Backcountry, the snow gods saw fit to prove that resorts also have their place. Oh ha ha, good one, Ullr and cronies! I can laugh about it too, since the whole scenario appeals to my darkened sense of humor. That, and I still have frequent memories of near-drowning experiences in backcountry powder from last season. It all equals out to an average year, over a ten year timeline…
However, facing the facts this year has led to a disproportionate amount of inbounds uphill travel. The fact is, this season, backcountry travelers face very thin snow and plenty of rocks in late December. Trying to ski the slightly thicker snow levels in many steeper chutes and couloirs is like playing Russian Roulette with three bullets in your six shooter. Conditions there just aren’t prime.
So, people who still want to ski in the fashion to which they’ve become accustomed – some uphill effort preceding their downhill skiing – have had fewer than the usual options. Conditions have pushed bc users, if with reluctance, inbounds. Grooming machines have packed the snow down tightly, so that’s where the snow has remained. And all this grooming has provided safety from the multi-layer death snow sandwich currently sitting on the hills. With Continue reading ‘Brighton Implements Uphill Policy’
Maybe way back hundreds of years ago when cameras needed to be loaded with film to operate, they contained less electronics. I’m not sure: taking apart a camera wasn’t on my agenda then. (I didn’t really have an agenda back in Abraham Lincoln’s time, it’s true.)
However, I dropped my Panasonic Lumix the other day when carrying a bunch of gear to the car. With each of four fingers on one hand holding a separate object, all hidden from sight by the coat then draped over my hand, I let go with the wrong finger when trying to release my car keys. Whoops.
A solid thud ensued.
It was no surprise Continue reading ‘Cameras are Computers, Too’
The clothes that I wear for backcountry skiing usually come with washing instructions. Since skiing sans chairlifts tends to produce a fair amount of sweat, those instructions come in handy. While I’m not obsessive about it, I do tend to launder my gear often enough to remain a reasonable step ahead of nasty stench buildup. Despite my efforts, I’ve shown up to ski with a sweat-stench-infused coat on occasion. Hey, I’m human.
While my clothes remain relatively clean and tended to for the most part, I do on occasion face this moment: “Wow, something stinks! Bad! I just did laundry; did they sell me placebo soap?” Then the lightbulb turns on. “Ah, must be my backpack.”
And so it is. Backpacks, due to their unfortunate design, trap sweat between the pack and the user’s back. Sweat evaporates out of our breathable layers, only to be captured, day in and day out, by our backpack of choice. In my case lately, that’s often been a CAMP Rapid 260 pack. Accumulated sweat does not age like fine wine. It become more and more rank with time. To get your backpack clean again requires washing.
But I’ve never seen a washing label on a backpack. Is it safe to wash them in a standard washing machine? Continue reading ‘Washing a Backpack’
Ready to rev up your appetite to burn off the next high calorie holiday feast overload? Once again, Wasatch heartbeats will race prior to holiday food indulgence at the next installment of the informal rando race series. Get on over to Brighton on Christmas Eve morning: Saturday, December 24th at 7:30 a.m. Congregate by the Milly lift. Race format may be determined on the spot, but one thing is certain – all are welcome. Bring whatever gear you use to navigate the backcountry and set your personal speed record. Or just burn off a solid chunk of calories…