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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Time Travel? A chance to experience it...

"Hey all!
   Just trying to promote Simon McCartney's slide show at Neptune's, Thursday,
September 4. It's absolutely free, and you can bring alcohol! I think it starts
at 8:00...guess I should have double-checked! But I KNOW that all of you will
LOVE this show (I think, anyway!). Just a bit of backstory, just in case. Simon
and Jack (Roberts) climbed the North Face of Mt. Huntington (in Alaska) in 1978,
and then the Southwest Face of Denali in 1980. Both of those climbs were
ground-breaking for their times, and to my knowledge, have yet to be repeated in
their entirety. BFD. After the epic on Denali, Simon withdrew altogether from
climbing, completely and totally. He and Jack saw each other that next summer,
but never again, nor did they ever have contact again. Jack used to "look" for
Simon for years, but finally gave up. But Jack talked to me a LOT about Simon,
the climbs, etc, so I kind of felt like I knew him. He so wanted to see Simon
again. Years passed, Jack died. I was on Camino in Spain when I received an email
message, "Simon McCartney looking for Pam Roberts." Long story short, Simon had
finally decided to come out of hiding from the climbing world, and tried to
contact Jack. Found out he had died, found out he had a widow, and set about
trying to find me. We connected....he wanted to write a book about their climbs.
I have all of Jack's journals from those climbs, and the photos. In the ensuing 2
years, Simon has written a book (unpublished as of yet) of these 2 climbs with
the help of Jack's journals and photos, and we have become friends. He's been
wanting to come to the States to reconnect with various people from that time
period, and so part of that time will be here in Boulder. He's really excited,
and excited to give a show. This is a big deal for him, and I have to say, it
would be the most significant thing for Jack, were he still alive, so it's a very
big deal for me. I'm just "tagging" you all because you are friends, because you
"get" climbing, and you knew come if you can! It will be a never
before seen experience...not even Jack got to see this! Invite anyone you
want........I'd love to see a full house!
pam (Roberts) "

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dynafit bindings ramp?...if you are on them think about this...

Next time you buy or snap into your Dynafit bindings.

Or the next time anyone wants to tell you ramp angle isn't a problem on b/c ski bindings.

The difference between a Dynafit rental heel and a Dynafit Speed Super Light heel is 21mm.  Or just over 3/4",    .789" or there abouts.

Then think about just how well you would ski if you stuck a 3/4" lift under your heel.   Sure you can shim the toes as Dynafit does with their spacer or use one of the B&D versions.

Or you could actually use a combo of toe and heel that has the least amount of ramp from the get go.

My suggestion? ZERO ramp.

Some asked so here ya go guys.

A couple of Dynafit combos I am currently using that I really like.  Not easily put together here in the States but easy enough else where or if you travel/go on the Internet early season.  Either system is easy to use, super strong in any alpine situation you'd use a touring boot and most importantly to me, proven reliability. 

I'd bet these guys would be happy to put it together for you given some notice.  Tell them I sent ya :)

These combos give you +4mm to a -1 depending on adjustment plate or toe shim used.

Speed Superlight toe, no shim and a race heel (-/+ 0)
Speed Super light toe, no shim and a adjustment plate w/race heel (+4.5mm)
Speed Radical toe, 6.5mm factory toe shim and Superlight heel (-1mm) (toe is hell for stout)
Speed Radical toe, 6.5mm shim and Superlight heel with adjustment plate (+4mm)

Even the worst of the combos above is a full 9+mm less ramp than a current Speed Radical.

Once you have skied @ -0- it is really unappealing to go past even 3 or 4mm.   And that isn't even taking into account stack height on the bigger ramp angles and the traditional shim fit to get closer to a -0- ramp.  All of which I find almost as annoying but in a different way.

My go to binding set up for most skiing of any sort is a race heel and a Speed superlight toe.  No shims.  But if you want a adjustable heel and low ramp, use the Dynafit Speed Superlight heel with track, and add the factory 6.5mm toe shim by cutting the top clip off.  Works perfect.

I unintentionally skied a good part of my season last year on the Race binding and the back adjustment track ending up with 4.5mm of ramp.  While I would have preferred -0- ramp the 4mm wasn't annoying.

As Linnaeus noted boot board ramp angle and boot forward lean is also an import factor here.  The most modern boots I think will perform better and you as a skier with less binding ramp angle.  Pretty common stuff in the alpine world.   The BC boot and binding makers have different priorities.  My take on that is it isn't helping anyone to ski better to use more ramp angle on their bindings.  Good skiers can work around a lot.  Others not so much.

More here on ramp angles of Dynafit bindings:

Speed Radical toe, 6.5mm shim and Superlight heel with adjustment plate (+4mm of ramp total)   Not a heavy binding set up by any means but not a super light either.  Just a STOUT binding system by my standards with as much ramp angle (4 or  5mm of +) I am willing to use on a daily basis.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Thalay Sagar....

Damn it!

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from Patagonia">Patagonia> on Vimeo.">Vimeo.>

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Alpine Mentors - Pacific Northwest Regional Program Start!

Opportunity for Young Alpinists

Alpine Mentors and the American Alpine Club invite young climbers to apply for a two-year mentorship program. Applications are due July 1, 2014. The regional program starts Fall 2014. As part of Alpine Mentors and the American Alpine Club’s commitment to promote competent skills among young climbers, this program is offered with no enrollment fee.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Old school, New school....lost and found?

Hess and Deborah from the North.

In the late spring of 1976, I and 3 others did out first Alaska trip.  Not flying into KIA but going farther north into what was then a little visited area.  David Roberts, Don Jensen had come before us as had others we didn't know and hadn't read about.  For us it was a good adventure