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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall yard sale...

All five ski for sale are pictured on the left side of this picture..

Part of last year's bumper crop.  Time for me to pull the bindings, change boots and move on...

Skis only no bindings.

All are in exceptionally good condition tops and bottoms.  One mount with Dynafit Radicals on the Protest, and Huascaran.  Speed Superlight were mounted on the 182 GPO.  Radicals and then Rossi Axial 2 on the 192 GPO.  There are no lemons here.

Add actual shipping costs via US mail to any of these skis or boots.  US sales only.   Pay Pal preferred.

Praxis Custom ordered ski:

Carbon GPO, octo top sheet, 182cm.  Once mounted with Speed Super Light to a TLT6 29,  $300.

Carbon GPO, sunset top sheet, 192cm.  Twice mounted with Speed Radical to a TLT6 29,  and recently with a Rossignol Axis 2,  $300.

Carbon Protest, Pompeii top sheet, 187cm.  Once mounted with Speed Radical to a TLT6 29,  $300.


Hauscaran, 192cm.  Once mounted with Speed Super Light to a TLT6 29,  $300.

La Sportiva

Hang5,  178cm, Once mounted with Speed Radical to a TLT6 29,  $300.

Spectre, size 28, $300,  No factory liner but two pair of custom liners included.  One wrap, one tongue, $300. for all of it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ya, that was a bad idea...

Not cleaning a binding and boot I suspect ended in this rather spectacular, dangerous and likely totally unnecessary fall.
Season after season I see the same things happen while skiing with my groups.  Silly little mistakes that lift skiers seldom if ever worry about.  The one in particular that drives me crazy is popping a binding off on the first turn.  It is a Rookie mistake.   And easily avoidable if you are informed,  experienced or simply willing to pay attention. 
Doesn't matter if the walk is across the parking lot or a 1000 meter boot pack, the process of getting into your bindings should always be the same.  Clean off both boot and binding.  Better yet have a partner help you with it as required.  Trust your ski partners to help you do it right.  If you are using a tech binding the problem is worse than a alpine binding.  But neither binding style is immune to the effect of having foreign material, dirt, rocks or simply snow and ice in the binding or on the boot proper.
Ski bindings are not made to work with foreign material of any sort between boot and binding.  Get it wrong and the binding simple will not stay on.

This is a classic situation where you have to pay attention and cleaning your off boots.  Better yet, think of where you'll be putting on your skis and the platform required to do it all safely not just for you but for everyone in your group.
Don't let the terrain fool you.  Snow and ice can be just as bad as dirt and rocks when it comes to eliminating the security of a good ski binding.  Alpine ridge boot pack or a set of steel stairs.  The attention you pay on cleaning your boots and bindings should not change.

Experience tells  me most will have the ski skills for this this long before they have the courage.  And for good reason.

In my experience most will have the ski skills to ski difficult terrain long before they have the fundamental knowledge of how to do it safely.
Blowing out of the binding on the first turn is your, your partner's and your guide's fault.  Everyone is responsible for each other.  Do that in difficult terrain or a no fall zone and the  risks go up accordingly.  Like a bullet sent down range with the pull of a trigger, there are no "overs".  You don't get to call a mistake back in the mountains and wish it weren't so.  You live or die by your mistakes.
With tech bindings work your toe levers every time you click in to clean your pin holes.  Don't let the peer pressure of the group skiing off on step in alpine bindings rush you.  Pay attention to your own mounting platforms while attempting to get your skis on.  Be sure you are capable of cleaning your boots, clicking in and NOT loosing a ski all at the same time.
Listen to your own intuition.  If you think some of your partners decisions are questionable...they more than likely, areDo what you need to do, to be safe.  Be well aware of the consquences of your actions and that of your partners.
And the conservative line and in a conservative manner in the back country.  Or at the very least think about how hard it would be and how long it would take to get the biggest bozo in your group off the mountain and back to medical care if they missed the next huck and things went terribly wrong.  Can you solve that problem alone if it goes bad?  Or are you relying on others to prop your sorry ass up and get you out?   
That doesn't mean missing all the fun.  What is does mean is thinking about the result a nasty fall could mean. 
If you have no clue...and nothing wrong with that, ask questions.  Everyone started this stuff at the beginning of the book.  If you need the Cliffs notes versions, listen to those that do have a clue and then act accordingly.  It aint rocket science.  It is easy to be a quick study.
If you are skiing with a partner you owe them thinking ahead, for everyone's peace of mind and ultimately everyone's safety.
 Hopefully this is a better explanation.  Look closely at the photo then dbl click.   Guide is high right on the slope in a yellow jacket.  He is hiking to retrieve the first lost ski.  You can see it just left of the little snow ledge on the rock cliff.  A second ski is below him stuck in the snow left of another rock.  At the end of the slope, his client, in blue, recovering from what I'd suppose mentally at least (she was unhurt thankfully despite all the rocks on this slope) was a fairly traumatic fall.

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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