Athletes in today’s action sports industries have increasingly taken on the role of entertainers. Do you think this overall relationship between the athlete and the audience could be an avalanche risk factor as well?
There was a great article in Wired Magazine recently that the use of social media has clearly caused a large increase in gang violence in Chicago’s South Side. Gang bangers regularly post their exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and it often causes huge spikes of related violence within hours and days of a prominent post. They regularly pose with their guns to show off. Does any of this sound familiar? When the GoPro came along, we noticed a big uptick in the rad lines that people would hit right after storms when it’s most dangerous.
"Thursday I dug my friend's body out of the apron of pucker face. Check in with Bridger Teton Avalanche in the next week or so, where you will find a thorough recap on what went wrong, what went right and what our main take aways were from this tragic loss of our good friend Mike.
We share because we care and we don't want anyone to ever repeat the mistakes that were made yesterday.
And just an FYI, we weren't a group of uneducated kids out the gates. My self and most of my partners are experienced, avi 1 and 2 certified back country enthusiast that spend more time in gtnp and other remote ranges then you could imagine. The village sidecountry was new terrain and mistakes were made and we paid dearly.
On the red flags and warning signs:
- Yes, there had been avalanches on similar terrain, but most of these slid 48-36 hours to the event. Yes there were slides on the apron of no shadows and pucker but when we were hiking up and we passed Jackson Hole Mountain Guides with their clients heading to no shadows and 4 shadows, we got a false sense of safety.
- Yes,it was warming up but with the winds on that ridge we did not feel the actual temp the face was affected by.
- Cracks and whoomps we're not noticed on a similar aspects earlier. There was no way we could get onto this face and check with out putting our selves in harms way. When we cut the cornice I was roped up on belay just in case but I wasn't about to get on that face with a parachute cord attached to my waste.
- Yes, we had significant wind and snow loading 48+ hours before the event.
We made a ton of mistakes and ignored a lot of signs we shouldn't have. As a splitboarder who spends most of my time in gtnp, i was thrown off by not being immersed in a climb where I spend hours and countless tests/observations regarding what is safe to ski and not. Being unfamiliar to the sidecountry, I should have studied up on pucker because it is obvious we should never have been on that face and we paid dearly with the loss of a great friend.
Another problem was group mentality. We were a group of 6 which progressed our comfort on the line. We're we comfortable, no, we were all a little bugged out and even went over SAR scenario if it slid. Right before Mike dropped he asked if everyone was alright and committed to the line and everyone agreed. In reality I think we a had doubts but did not want to speak up being a group of 6 who had spent the last 40 minutes on top of a line.
After it slid is when good decisions were made. We all watched for visuals or a last seen point. A partner was on the phone with ski patrol in 20 seconds. I looked left and right , checking for hang fire and made the decision to descend the face, by snowboarding at the top and climbing/billy hosting down the rocks just above the apron.
Once I got down I started the grid and with the help of Dave Miller (lead guide) probed mike in 6 minutes. Once we had him probed there were more guides and clients all helping dig in a organized V formation. We got Mike's air hole cleared in something like 15 minutes but with the way he settled at the bottom, he didn't have an air hole or room to even expand his lungs.
We had two doctors, ski patrol, guides, everybody reacted so quickly and efficiently. CPR was given for 35 minutes but Mike was flat lined. The rescue effort and everyone involved deserves serious props. In many cases we could have saved a life.
This has been one of the toughest times for our party, Mike's family and friends. Please send positive vibes to Mike and learn from our mistakes. "
Even just a couple of years ago I figured any ski goggle was just about like any other ski goggle. If they got enough ventilation and you took care of them any goggle pretty much performed on par with each other for my own use. I had used Smith and Scott goggles almost exclusively for decades. With the odd pair of Bolle goggles thrown in. The Bolle lens always seem a step or two ahead of the US technology. Great lens for climbing but for skiing likely not worth the extra expense for me.
Skip forward a decade or two and I still had the mind set..."pretty much any decent ski goggle will do." Some of the decent ones I had bought on sale for as little as $15 on sale but only $30 at full retail! They were goggles I didn't mind giving away to friends in need.
Then I got a pair of Julbo ski goggles with a Zebra lens on sale from Steep and Cheap. Took just one run that day for me to realise "NOPE! All goggles aren't created equal!"
Talk to anyone that needs a ski goggle full time and they usually have a favorite. Try to pin them down on why it is their favorite and things seem to get fuzzy.
"They fit me so well." "Been using them for years." "They are cheap."
For me goggles are like glasses. The only reason I wear them is to see better. So while I might understand and agree with the "they fit me so well", I really need more to make an educated choice for eye protection, vision enhancement these days. A decent fit I'd require from the get go. If my goggles/glasses aren't enhancing my vision I'll want something different and something better.
Thankfully the frames on Julbos goggles and glasses fit me exceptionally well.
Enter the Julbo Zebra and Camel len's stand out technology.
Both lens style share these attributes: Anti-fog > prevents condensation and guarantees maximum longevity Oil-repellent > reduces finger marks from hair; makes water slide over lens; facilitates cleaning
Lens by name:
Camel®—all-terrain optimum vision / Lens developed for the Mountain range and Julbo Goggles, recommended for mountain, desert and snowy terrain. Visible light transmission 5 to 20%. Protection 2 to 4.
Camel lens in a Julbo Trek
I still have a number of really good sunglasses and ski goggles in my gear room. And with each passing season I continue to be swayed more and more by the Julbo technology. At the full on nuclear blast level of a white sand beach or bright mid winter sun on hard icy snow I keep going back to Julbo. Took me a while to be convinced there really was a difference in technology. Now I am fully convinced. When I go outdoors now Julbos go with me.
Brian used a pair of the Zebra lens for the first time last Spring.
"spot me a pair of sexy Julbo Trek glasses with cool photochromic lenses. Rainier is a big peak with bright sun so glasses are obviously critical. But when you move into the shade of a couloir, dark lenses are annoying. I was able to leave mine on as the lenses lightened, maintaining some of the protection from falling debris."
I have blue eyes and have been sensitive to bright sun from literally Day 1. But as my eyes have aged I have used and liked a lighter lens better than the darkest shade possible. Specifically the Zebra lens has been a rare find for me. And it has become exceptional protection for my own use 12 months of the year.
As I have written about the Zebra lens readers have suggested over and over again to try the Julbo Camel lens. Late last Summer I decided it was worth making the Zebra/Camel comparison. To be honest I figured (thinking I already knew the answer...as always) I'd find the Zebra my solid choice every time. I really value the attributes of the Zebra that Brian mentioned in his blog, "when you move into the shade of a couloir, dark lenses are annoying."
Another shade or two in darkness with the Camel and the lens not getting light enough in the shade looked like I would have a very short and opinionated review between the two lens Julbo lenses. Ya, I was about to be surprised...
Zebra offers a visible light transmission 7 to 42%. Protection @ a level of 2 to 4.
Camel offers a visible light transmission 5 to 20%. Protection @ a level of 2 to 4.
Same basic level of protection and half the light transmission in the Camel in the shade. It wasn't a promising comparison in my mind. But the lens contrast, at least with my eyes, in the shade seems better with the Camel lens.
Turns out (much to my surprise as always) on a bright sunny day, when skiing from bright sun to deep shade I actually prefer the Camel! That kind of revelation is what makes gear tests really fun for me time and again! Skiing along at 30 or 40+ mph and how quickly your lens choice changes from bright sun to deep shade is important. And a real safety issue. I suspect the advantage for my own eyes are only having to react to 1/2 the change in light transmission. Not sure all that is actually true, just my off the cuff guess at the moment. I'm using the Camel lens in the Julbo Trek, which is one of my all time favorite outdoor sun glasses/ faux mini goggles. Julbo offers full on ski goggles and other styles of sunglasses with the Camel lens if you have an interest. Fun when I get this surprised. Sad if you already own a couple pair of the Zebra lens and find you prefer the Camel lens. :)
My "best use" guess is this; for the really bright days use the Camel. For the full on storm days, stick with the Zebra. Glad I have an option. Both versions are exceptional lens IMO.
This is a fun lens comparison from the Julbo web site:
Julbo sunglasses are more than lenses; each model is equipped to intensify protection, stay on in all conditions and ensure absolute comfort and functionality.
Specific features are tailored for each outdoor activity. With the shape of the frames, noses, temples, grips and ventilation, Julbo pushes back the limits of the performance levels of its glasses. Look at the Key Features symbols on the product pages of the eyekit web sit for a list of benefits associated with your selection.
Julbo lenses offer 100% protection against UVs: UVAs, UVBs, and UVCs. Classed as OPTICAL CLASS 1, their quality is guaranteed by international standards. All Julbo eyewear meets European, American and Australian standards, guaranteeing visual reliability and safety.
Julbo NXT Lenses
Julbo's regular NXT lenses in standard thickness meet the impact requirement defined by the NSI Z87.1 standard for industrial application. See our information section on ‘Which lens material should I use’ to learn about the properties of NXT materials compared to others.
Julbo have five NXT lenses as follows:
ZEBRA® Photochromic Lenses: Ultra Reactive NXT®
The Zebra® photochromic lens darkens or lightens depending on the light’s intensity. It can change from a light transmission rate of 45% to just 6.6%! Its anti-fog coating, directly integrated via laser, guarantees maximum efficiency and long life. Zebra® is recommended for mountain biking, trail biking and climbing.The Zebra® lens has a very quick activation time: the lens reaches 50% of its capacity in just 28 seconds.In the undergrowth, the Zebra® lens changes to category 2. In bright sunlight, it provides category 4 protection.
ZEBRA: From shade to light features are :
Adaptation to variations in light intensity.
NXT material - unbreakable, optically superior, half the weight of glass, solvent resistant.
Photochromic lens. Protection changing from category 2 to category 4. Will change from a a light transmission of 45% to 7% in somewhere between 22 & 28 seconds.
Exceptional antifog coating - No condensation, maximum longevity.
Hydrophobic coating on the outside - Prevents marking and facilitates the removal of water.
Brown lens - accentuates relief.
Ideal for mountain biking, trail running and mountaineering.
CAMEL: Cameleon® Polarizing and Photochromic Lenses: NXT® Two-Fold Performance
Photochromic and polarizing, the Camel® lens offers evolving protection, darkens and lightens according to the intensity of the light, provides anti-dazzle protection and high definition vision. The anti-fog coating is ideal for active sports.
Polarizing + Photochromic lens: 2 perfectly mastered and highly reliable specific technologies. Contrasts, light, dazzle, colours, etc. – Camel® glasses meet all needs.
Camel Cameleon® lens features :
Adaptation to variations in light intensity.
NXT material - unbreakable, optically superior, half the weight of glass, solvent resistant.
Polarized – elimination of glare (99% of reflected light) to ensure purity of vision.
Photochromic Lens - Protection changing from category 2 to category 4. Will change from a a light transmission of 25% to 6% in somewhere between 22 & 28 seconds.
NTS technology - The lens gets darker or lighter regardless of the temperature.
Exceptional antifog coating - No condensation, maximum longevity.
I haven't seen or played with a pair in person yet but my guess at the basics having seen earlier prototypes, are:
Slightly lighter in weight than Fusion (no hammer on the Fuel so a given I suspect)
Better balance by ditching the hammer.
Assuming from the BD comments as a "more all around/better ice tool it will be delivered with the current Fusions "ice specific" optional pick. 2 degree drop in pick angle is going to climb like/will be closer to a Cobra than a Fusion. Numbers don't lie.
Looks to have a more open pommel for your little finger, which will better the rotation for ice. (hopefully it is more open..just guessing by the pictures I have seen) Might just be an optical illusion however. Reference Raf's comment below. Grip/spike design has always been solid. I'd be surprised if that basic design was changed much. Hand grip angle looks changed a bit, steeper I think. But it's a guess as well. If so, it's really going to be interesting how that effects the over all angle of the tool handle, pick placement and and resulting use.
Lower profile spike than the Fusion (removable as is the Fusion's I'd assume).
Black oxide finish? No more loose head bolts and picks. (chrome plate was a rookie mistake)
All issues noted on the original Fusion @ its debut.
Retail is unknown but assume it will be comparable to a Fusion. No clue when they will be available to the public. Likely Fall of 2014 if they are presented at Winter 2014. Long wait if you need new/want tools this season. Nice on BD's part to give us all sneak preview at the 2013 Bozeman Ice fest.
The current Fusion, the tool the Fuel is based on in part
I've climbed with the Fusion a good bit and written about it several times. The Fusion isn't and wasn't intended to be a beginner's tool. The Nomic is very versatile/ A good many climbers rightfully though/hoped the Fusion would be as well. The "ice specific" pick has helped. But the Fusion is still a full on race car. Not the family sedan. If the design fits your needs, great. If not, better to look else where for a ice tool to make everything fun. If you throw/ envision a figure 4, I susepct you'll have all this sorted out aready. There are enough good tools out these days that you won't have to look far. I suspect the Fuel is a 2nd attempt with the original Fusion design/redesign to gain some of the Nomic's obvious market share.
I hope they have succeeded. Always good to have options!
Looking forward to trying a pair myself when they become available. Keep an eye out! There should be any number of good reviews coming from the sales samples BD is handing out right now.
Me? I really like the color combo ;-) And all this is just my best guess, reality and YMMV!
I learned much about technique from "Bonfires" as I stared to climb leashless. Truely one of favorite alpine ice/adventure videos even today. I love the soundtrack. Make sure you dbl click for the big screen and full value./
There seem to be a gazillion modern ice tools available today. And all of them will climb ice to good effect. Some might even climb ice or rock better than others. Usually not both rock and ice better at the same time how ever.
From the very first post here at Cold Thistle I have been hesitant to suggest any one ice tool is better than the next. Took me 10 months to enter the discussion the first year. The result is linked below. I still think it all applies to the conversation today.
I try not to cruise the Internet climbing forums these days. I read about crampons "breaking" because the owner has no clue on how they actually should be attached or to what kind of boots they were designed to be used with. Or for that matter how a crampon is actually suppose to work. Different from crampons, actually breaking. Be nice if some would actually gain that education prior to bitching about it in public. Everyone wants a voice on the Internet!
I am not fluent in Spanish but I do appreciate a pretty picture, good skiing and fine climbing (and a good meal ;) I also know how to use Bing translation software! If you are of a similar mind set or can actual read Spanish and not have to just stare at the pretty pictures. I suspect like me you will find Fernando Calvo González's blog interesting!
Typically this post gets revived every Jan/Feb. Been that way since BD started using stainless crampons back in the Fall of 2010. This year the warning comes a little earlier. Typical email...for a stainless failure.
today we were climbing high above Thun, Switzerland on the Stockhorn. A limestone peak with a small northface - and a cabin that brings you up&down, Chamonix-Style :)
I saved what I think is one of the best AT boots for one of my last boot reviews of the up coming winter and new ski season. This last flurry of boot reviews has been my attempt at a "buyer's guide" for the best of the current AT boots. I'll do at least one follow up on the Spectra, my stripped and lwt TLT 6 and a full review of the Dynafit PDG a bit later after more time on all of them. But this is my last full size AT boot review. Tracy has her own review coming mid winter on ONE boot as well. Her story of a newbie to AT boots should be interesting for anyone contemplating switching full time to tech bindings and AT boots for lift and side country skiing.
I am knee deep in gear and clothing. But not enough room to store it all. I have a hard time using let alone wearing everything out. I'd rather see it go to a good home than sit idle in the gear room. If you are my size, aka a large jacket, a size mens 12US, 45 Euro or a 28 Mondo for boots, there are some screaming deals to be had if you are quick. A few tools and some technical gear as well. I'll ship it anywhere you are willing to pay for. Gloves, goggles, packs, stoves, pads, snow shoes, old tools, avi shovels and tents go up tomorrow night.
Tim Friesen climbing, photo courtesy of Dave Cheesmond, 1982.
With all the ski nonsense lately I thought I add some real climbing content.
Last and crux pitch, original route, on Deltaform's Super Coulior. Rockies (IV, 5.9 1000m) established by George Lowe and Chris Jones in 1973 .The Super Coulior in NA. 'Nuf said.
Admittedly this is a tough blog to write after the last two on the newest AT ski boots available. Easy thought because I spent the majority of the last winter's ski season and well into Spring and early summer skiing the Scarpa Maestrale RS. Lots of reviews out on the RS by the time I got mine. Many of them well worth reading.
Much more to come on my impressions of this boot. I didn't intend this to become a full blown review. But if you are looking for a easy walking and "stiff ski " boot you'll want to check this new guy out. The Spectre is stiff as 110+/- flex rating. Think Scarpa RS here for flex. All buckled up tight I'd say 110+ but a very progressive flex on the plus side. The farther you go forward the stiffer the boot. No on and off here. Which I really like. Easily the stiffest and most progressive boot I have had on, ever. High and supportive with a lovely single latch walk mode...that is simply (no chit) impressive. Quality of both the inner boot and the buckle system shines through. Although it may take a bit of time to really appreciate the buckle system. They are worth the effort to figure out. Fair warning there how ever :)
La Sportiva Spectre! One boot to rule all? May be.....just may be.
All the pictures are courtesy of and stolen from the various http://www.a2-16.com/ web site and links. My apologies for the blatant theft of the photos. I hope the bog post generates some additional sales for all involved. I think it is a very worthy concept.
Please pardon what might first seem a duplicate of the prior post. But I thought the original idea was worthy of more info/study and consideration. I first saw these unique ski poles being used by a Guide in a trip report skiing in and around the Chamonix valley.
There is nothing I like more than the newest super light technical gear. Especially the newest boots. But there is always a bit of disappointment on my part with every pair I take out of the box. Like most of us these days I own several pairs of alpine boots. Lwt Singles and warm doubles at the very least if you can afford them. And an additional "super gaiter" boot to fill out a full 4 season "do every thing" quiver.
Encapsil down high on Huascaran Sur, Cordillera Blanca
Photo courtesy of Jd Merritt and Carl Dean
Patagonia sez: "The finest down parka ever made. The Encapsil™ Down Belay Parka is 100%
independently baffled and differentially cut, and insulated with Patagonia’s
Encapsil™ down - a proprietary, plasma-treated, water-repellent down with an
unprecedented fill-power of 1000; numbered, limited edition."
OK, up front, ya I want one. This after playing with a loaner from Patagonia for a couple of weeks. And not something I ever thought I'd want to admit to. Just can't get past the $700 buy in.
So I am not much into pants for what ever reason. I like them to stretch and fit well. I like to be able to hook them with a elastic cord under my boots and not shred the cuff even if that takes adding eyelets myself to hook them up. I want them warm. But not too warm.
I have a copy of "Training for the NEW ALPINISM" hot off the presses! I will get a chance to read and review it shortly for C-T. But having seen a bit of it previous and knowing the authors...like many do already...for our sport this is going to be an amazing book!
I am looking for resole info on the Dynafit TLTs. EVO/ DyNA boots this morning. Anyone had it done? Called Dynafit yesterday. No replacement soles available. Recorder at Rocky Mountain Resoles in CO. Steve at Komitos has/does them with a Vibram 1276 sole. Anyone used Komitos for a TLT or any Dynafit boot? Dave Page locally was not encouraging.
I've got a pair of DyNA EVOs I want to resole. Suggestions?
Spring '13 Dynafit demo boots above...the most well used TLT6 boot I have a picture of.
An buddy of mine stopped by over the weekend. He is a partime ski instructor and a full time materials engineer (but obviously knows very little about plastics) about to start his ski season. During his visit the conversation eventually turned to new gear. I handed him one of my new TLT6 P as a comparison for his TLT5 P. Within a few moments he handed the boot back asked with some concern. "are your boots broken?!" Noting to me what seemed like plastic mold/mixing marks in the base of the tongue at the lower rivets. After a close inspection, I was pretty convinced myself (as my heart sank) that my newest boots were indeed "cracked and broken".
Ya gotta hit the link and read the story below from Topher's blog.
Some great pictures to tell a great story.
I've already skied a couple of days on prefect snow. But that is skiing. This is ICE and it is here now. Seen a few glimpses of it here and there but this is too cool not to share! Congrads to the Topher and Kevin for an a awesome bit of climbing.
My version which is the original with bigger knit cuffs
I actually got this jacket by mistake. Took me a while to wrap my head around a use for it. The idea originally was to do a review and comparison of a few of the synthetic hybrid jackets. Atom LT, the Mtn Equipment Bastion, Rab Vapour-rise Stretch Top and the Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid are good examples of what I was thinking originally.
Annapurna I holds the highest fatality rate among all 14 eight-thousanders: as of March 2012, there have been 52 deaths during ascents, 191 successful ascents, and nine deaths upon descent, which means that "for every three thrill-seekers that make it safely up and down Annapurna I, one dies trying." That same ratio is at or above six-to-one for all of the other eight-thousanders, except for K2 and Nanga Parbat. Climbers killed on the peak include Russian Anatoli Boukreev in 1997, Spaniard Iñaki Ochoa in 2008, and Korean Park Young-seok, lost in 2011.
The first solo climb occurred in October 2007 on the south face by Slovenian climber Tomaž Humar."