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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Deep Snow Skiing on Modern Equipment by E.C.Greg

photo courtesy of DPS

PNW Deep Snow Skiing on Modern Equipment and Personal Reflections on Skimo Equipment Progression

Guest Blog by E.C. Greg

I had the good fortune to ski in the PNW last weekend at the tail end of this significant storm/snow cycle and try out four excellent skis, all with Dynafit bindings. The skis were: 177 Dynafit Huascaran, 182 Praxis GPO, 174 Dynafit Cho Oyu and 178 La Sportiva Hang 5. The PNW Mountains received 10+ feet of snow in the last week/while we were there. All the skis were lots of fun and appropriate for the conditions.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Heros! Charlie Porter 1951-2014


"Charlie Porter has died in Punta Arenas, Chile after heart problems.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ya, that was a bad idea!

Ever notice how things seem to  go badly when they start out, "Why not?"  "Betcha Can't!" or  "Watch this!"?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tracy on boots and tech gear...

I'm sitting here at Dane's computer wearing my One's and amazed how great my boots fit!  Gear today is such a completely different world.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Dynafit One PX-TF ski boot. Rich man, poor man?

Some times it is so easy to miss the obvious.   Last fall Tracy spent some time deciding on what boot she wanted to ski in this winter.  Typical of a lot of women she has a high arch and a high instep. 

Montana Ice

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PSA for the Eastside of Puget Sound boot fitters

Been to a few brick and mortar boot fitters lately. Shop personal seems to change yearly. Not always for the better. If you are anywhere on the Eastside, (Bellevue/Issaquah/Renton) Kevin and Zach at Gerk's Issaquah are doing exceptionally good work imo. Had them do 3 difficult fits today.

I've driven into Seattle and Bellevue several times this year for boot fits... most of them a waste of time. Much to my disappointment.

I've worked with both guys previous at other stores 4 or 5 years ago and had no idea where they had landed. Anyway, imo, they are doing good work on climbing, AT and Alpine boots.  Including all my double boots, both La Sportiva and Scarpa.  As you might imagine I can be a real pain in the ass fitting boots.   Both these guys have been awesome in every respect.

I've had them fit all three types of boots.  To date,  I have been very pleased on each fit.  Thrilled I found them again today.  Better yet they are even closer for me now.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Ya gotta stay dry to stay warm" Part 2 and the Patagonia Knifeblade Series

I think it fitting to start this essay with a picture of  Doug Tompkins climbing in Scotland from an old Chouinard poster.

"Ya gotta stay dry to stay warm" part 1

A -28C / -18F day, even well equipped, is verging on unpleasant out of the sun and in the wind.

I have had a problem with cold feet literally as long as I can remember.  Not the first episode I remember but one of the most vivid was having cold, painful feet was out fishing with my father late fall.  No easy way to build a fire in a boat.  That was in the 3rd grade.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chamonix Alpine Information Service?

Chamonix Alpine Information Service.

I quite often find myself answering questions about climbing and skiing in the mountains of Chamonix. I love helping people out with information or advice so I’ve decided to offer my knowledge and experience in the form of informal consultations. The idea is to meet up somewhere in Chamonix for a drink and a chat or talk over the phone to help with any questions you might have. 

Chamonix Alpine information Service
Email Dave here.

Editor's note:  Besides being a long time and frequent contributor to CT,  Dave is a truly gifted, writer, climber and skier.  Anyone headed for Chamonix and needing some hard won advice on either (in English no less) he's your man!

Two basic axes..two cultures

A tale of two ice axes
by Bruno Schull

This is a tale of two ice axes.  Or two cultures, or two climbing styles, or two ways of dealing with danger in the mountains.  Can we draw cultural conclusions from ice axes?  Many aspects of climbing vary in generally recognizable ways from place to place, for example, rating systems, environmental ethics, techniques and so on.  Why not ice axes? 

Lama in Alaska

Ya, about that mind control thing...

This is a  "step" beyond the typical hair ball solo....

Monday, February 3, 2014

Grivel Machine 3.0, a first look

Grivel was kind enough to loan me a Machine 3.0 recently. Fun to speculate on this one.

I'll let these two pictures from today tease you just as they have me.  Give me a few days yet and I'll have something written up about them.  To date I only bothered to write up a very few loaners.  This will be the first tool in that category.   

I've not been a big fan of any of the Grivel's ice tools.  And admittedly I may have been missing more than I was willing to admit.   A number of knowledgeable friends are BIG Grivel fans.   I was curious enough about this particular tool that I was willing to buy a pair from a photo  over 6 months ago now.  Sad, because at the moment you can't buy a single tool, let alone a a pair, yet.
Disappointing, as this one will go back to Courmayeur this week.

Shown are the resulting hand/grip angles pulling from vertical to a horizontal terrain so commonly the crux on steep ice.  Left to right, original Quark, original Nomic and the new Grivel, Machine 3.0