Some days the outing goes flawlessly and surpasses expectations. That was the case on Wednesday. Thursday was one of those days where everything wasn’t flawless. J-Bo had informed me during my recruitment efforts the previous day that he had to pick his parents up at the airport at such and such time.
Extracting promises that we could pull off a bit of fun and he would not be late to pick up the ‘rents, he agreed to join in. Know that this poor fella has completely missed an important business meeting and I-forget-what-else-but-probably-something-important (it wouldn’t be worth mentioning otherwise) in the past due to my overly-optimistic assessments of how fast we could get those days’ missions done. Once again I was completely confident that we could be out in plenty of time for him to shower, take the gear out of the car, and not arrive at the airport still dripping sweat, clad head to toe in highly breathable softshell garments.
Where did it all go wrong? Pretty much from the moment Continue reading ‘Against the Clock’
By now, everyone in the intermountain west is pretty much an old hand at this low bar winter. I think many have become adept at playing this year’s most popular mental game by now. You know the low bar game. It entails heading out for a ski day with the ‘expectations bar’ set so low as to virtually guarantee a successful day. ‘Ninja’s dropping out of trees on us?’ No problem. ‘Need to buy a new pair of skis after this one day of turns causes irreparable damage?’ We live in a disposable culture. ‘Pruning shears will be necessary at all low elevation exits?’ Standard Wasatch fare. ‘Bears are out?’ Bears in Utah are small. ‘No snow?’ Snow is a luxury when the globe is warming. As you see, (and probably know) – it’s all about managing one’s expectations.
Today, my personal low bar was set in the ‘I’ll ski Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, as long as it’s on a slight incline’ range. That’s pretty low – chicken noodle soup is rather chunky if you think about it.
Also engaging in the low bar setting philosophy today was Jon Swain, whose bar was probably set to ‘powder, please, even just two inches’ as usual. Just to highlight his powder dedication, I’m pretty sure Jon would walk the length of the Gaza strip wearing a large bull’s-eye if there were the promise of skiing powder once finished.
Swain brings his (higher) bar to the hills and enjoys the rewards.
Strangely, the powder gods Continue reading ‘Milking the Low Bar’
When the skiing is entirely forgettable – think isothermal corn turns – it’s good to have something else to fall back upon.. Fun day out there. Hope you had one too!
The 'ole between the legs shot.
A blue playground..
Picks that stick... dreamy.
Das boot plus das crampon.
Take a look at the helmets at any rando race starting line, and you’re likely to see several dark, yet bright, green helmets protecting the heads of some toeing the line. The CAMP Speed helmet isn’t quite ubiquitous, but it’s an increasingly common sight, both at races and simply out and about in the mountains. The Speed helmet is gaining popularity presumably because it offers those attributes that ski mountaineers prefer: safety in a lightweight and comfortable package.
The lightweight CAMP Speed helmet out and about in the mountains. Photo by Jason Borro.
CAMP bills the Speed as the world’s lightest UIAA certified climbing helmet. On my scale, it weighs a bit more than represented, tipping the scale at 8 5/8 oz., or 245 grams. CAMP claims 210 grams, so perhaps they weighed theirs – it’s a one size fits all model, at 56-62 cm head size – without the additional padding that lines the top of the helmet, the adjuster strap, and the chin strap. Regardless, the helmet weighs several ounces less than many competing models, while Continue reading ‘CAMP Speed Helmet Review’
As some of you have already heard – but hopefully not experienced – the Dynafit Radical Series bindings can suffer a climbing post breakage, in which nearly the entire top of the binding plate shears off. As noted in the link, once the pieces are found, one can be skiing on their merry way. Skinning for the remainder of that day, however, will be tough as the only position then available is the ‘flat on the ski’ heel riser setting.
Dynafit has looked into the issue and come up with ‘hydrogen embrittlement’ as the cause behind this occurrence. For those of you who might be wondering, hydrogen embrittlement is not a fancy way of saying, ‘metal too thin!’ Rather, it’s a manufacturing issue. For more details, I’ll turn it over to Jim Lamancusa, Director of Sales and Marketing at Dynafit:
Dynafit has seen a recent increase Continue reading ‘Update on Dynafit Radical Series Climbing Post Breakages’
All winter long, it’s been Europe, Europe, Europe (read, France) getting all the snow. Unfortunately, when a huge snowpack chooses to come down, it comes down in a big way. This video, shot at St Francois-Longchamp, France, is from Friday, March 2nd. It shows an avalanche colliding with an operating chairlift, knocking down several lift towers. You don’t see that every day.
Inbounds avalanche knocks down chairlift
Looks like those riding the chairlift were rescued successfully. Found some video of the resultant rescue efforts. I’ve watched practice rescues of this sort at American ski areas; they seem pretty straightforward..