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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

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

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The tail of two tips....Dynafit's carbon, Nanga Parbat, Cho Oyu and Denali

Whole lot of Dynafit love happening on the Haute Route!


I am a big fan of the Dyanfit's newest Nanga Parbat, Cho Oyu.  And I suspect the Denali will be just as good or better of a ski if you need the extra width.   But!   And it isn't a big BUTT... more like a irritating PIA.  One that should have been caught a long time ago by the designers and Dynafit testers.   There is this one small problem.

The tip on these skis suck.  Yes the new tip design takes Dynafit's excellent skins well.  And no. my bitch isn't a square tip thing.  Although one has to wonder why a square tip other than to cut weight or more than likely just to be different..

What is annoying is a little sharp edged bump where the ski's edge and the ski/skin  tip insert meet.

 

If you double click on the photo above and look at the left edge of the ski where the edge and tip meet you'll notice a little indent and the resulting bump where they meet just short of the ski's edge end.

Seems trivial when you look at it.  But for me it isn't trivial.  It is really annoying.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Light weight clothing...ski touring specific.



The morning this picture was taken coming out of the Vignette hut it was cold and windy.  To be honest I don't think any of us thought we would really be skiing into Zermatt later that day.  Weather was coming in, it was cold and all of us were tired from the last 5 days of skiing.

 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ski poles..me poles? A2.16 Pro Trailer, Mountian Pole! again.

Here is a pole drive by for ya....

My current pole collection dating back to the late '70s from right to left.
And until recently everything was still in use.  No more.
 
Good idea, but a poor understanding and  follow through on my part here:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The gear list?

going, going ...gone!


Most won't care.  But a few have asked.   From the many options I have here to ski and climb in what did I take to or end up using full time in Chamonix?  Each was carefully chosen from a lot of options.
Never been to Chamonix when I didn't want to buy or think I "needed" something.  Of course I did eventually!  But this is what I actually used this trip to great satisfaction.  And better yet, never thought I lacked anything for gear or clothing.  I went heavy on ski and could have left the Hauscaran or the GPO at home...but not both.  The other two I used a lot.  Boots as well.  All good choices I'd take again. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The ice axe......



My first lasting impression of "ice climbing" was a quote.  Don't remember where it came from now but most likely a European from the '30s who had spent some serious time on steep North Faces in the Alps.

"Where there is snow, we can go!"  

Westcomb Shift LT in Neoshell


 



Westcomb sez:
"Industry’s lightest Polartec® NeoShell® Jacket. The Shift Hoody offers no-compromise wind and water protection, in a featherweight shell. Designed so the gram counting outdoor adventurer can maximize experience with minimal weight."

For this year's trip to Chamonix I was determined to not over pack or take so much new gear that I would never get a chance to use it all.  I did exactly that last time.  Besides the over weight and excess luggage charges (which were as much as my original plane ticket!)  the entire process ended up a disaster.  Gear was lost or stolen mailing it back to save money and there was gear in France I never did get a chance to use.

PPP on my part.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Straps or brakes?




Entering the last gully on the Grand Envers


Rant mode on here and at full volume!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Peak Performance BlackLight Synthetic Puffy?

Sking into Zermatt.  Last day of the tour.  Clothing is sorted!

For those reading the  blog long term it is obvious I get pretty excited about my light weight synthetic puffs.  I own a bunch of them from different manufactures and at least attempt to use them all.  Arcteryx, Mountain Equipment, Mont Bell, Patagonia are some of my favorites.

But I am ever seldom happy for long.  The more you use the best gear available, the more it becomes clear on how to better it fro your own use.