Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quick Hit

Exit chute

Chris, Wes and I went up to Freeman on Saturday to get some vert in before noon. I really like getting in some vert and turns and still having a day left! At the parking lot we met Jared and his dog. We hiked up the road and started to skin up the ridge. Some most excellent person has reset the skin track to follow the ridge up. This is my preferred route up and the person that set this track did very well!

There was a post on about instabilities in the Mores Summit area, but we found very stable slopes. Warmer temps today (Sunday) may change all that. We made three laps and the temps started to rise so we called it a day at around noon. I wanted to check out the exit chute off of the skin track that leads almost right down to the parking area. Wes and I skied down the ridge and dropped in. Conditions were most excellent and we didn't have to walk down the road to the truck!

We went into Idaho City and ate cheeseburgers and drank a pitcher of PBR. Wes bought lunch and the pitcher. Thanks Wes! I feel much better this weekend. Hopefully I can get something bigger planned for the upcoming weeks.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Skiing the New Rig

Chris and I went out to Freeman and skied some laps on the N. ridge. The steeper faces were stable and the chutes at the bottom were "dust on crust". Enjoyable. We went up early since we both had things to do later. We were able to get 3000' in before noon and went home.

I just mounted up a pair of Dynafit Seven Summits with Dynafit STs. I skied them with Dyanfit Zzerro 3s. In case you didn't know, the Eco-Lounge in Meridian is a Dynafit dealer and can get anything you need in no time.

I haven't skied the Seven Summits enough to give an honest opinion. These things are light! I think a trip to Copper will suss out the rig nicely. Now if I only felt better. Damn illness...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Skin Waxing Kit

This past trip up Copper made me think about about how going from sunny snow to shaded snow can really ice up your skins. It's not even like the springtime mush that clings to them, this is full-on ice frozen to skin material. But it's easy to remedy if you are carrying a simple, and I mean simple kit.

It's nothing more than a gift card and a broken off chunk of skin wax. My favorite is Black Diamond Glop Stopper Wax. There are other products to help treat your skins, but they are less portable.

When you get your chunk of Glop Stopper, put it over a sharp edge and break off about a 1" section. There is no need to carry the full bar and grams accumulate! The next component of the kit is a gift card or expired credit card. You could carry an actual wax scraper, but it would be heavier.

When you start to feel resistance, STOP! You might be able to kick off some of the ice as you skin, but it's a losing battle unless you stop and wax. Take off one ski, and scrape the total length of skin with the gift card. You're going for a "squeegee" effect. Once you are satisfied, take your glove off and rub the skin wax the length of the skin. I usually give the portion underfoot a good back and forth rub. Click back in and repeat for the other ski.

Stopping and waxing is a pain, but it's like the deal with the guy cutting a tree down with a dull axe. He doesn't want to take time to fix the problem, so the work is even harder and even more time is spent.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Copper Traverse Trip Report

John and Bob have done this traverse before and I was very grateful to have the opportunity to follow them. Chris and I left town at around 6 a.m. on Sunday in his Trooper and decided that we would take the way through Horseshoe Bend. His wife had gotten hit a few weeks earlier so the rig has some body damage. As we drove down Eagle Road we passed a cop and since we had only one headlight (with a marker light on the side that's out) he whipped around and pulled us over. We were glad that he let us go, I theorized that you could probably get a ticket in Eagle for driving an undetailed vehicle, and without shiny wheels we would have really been in trouble! We were also thinking that we should have said that the vehicle was fine when we were leaving the bar. Which would have been appropriate, since the cop asked if we were aware of the body damage. "Well no officer, we were unaware that the fender fell off. I guess we should go look for it." Finally we were in the woods! We were rewarded with a sighting of a mountain lion in the road. We stopped and watched her meander down the hillside. We arrived at the parking lot right at 8:30 a.m. I amused myself by throwing snowballs at the restroom while John was in there and then gear was donned and dumped and transferred to the shuttle vehicle. Bob and I took off, with Bob breaking trail. A short while latter, John and Chris caught up.

We made it onto the ridge of the first peak and started up. The conditions were very good for skinning. It was nice and cold and the snow was not too deep.

After about two and a half hours we were on the summit and eyeballing the terrain. Oh! The terrain! Don't even ask me where some of this stuff is. Well, you can, but I'll lie! We ate lunch. I had my usual; whatever anyone didn't want. Which was a score since it was one of Chris' most excellent turkey wraps. First rule of Mooch Club: Don't feel guilty about taking what's offered. After lunch we skied some most excellent terrain!

After gaining the saddle again we continued up to another peak and skied off the ridge and onto a flat traverse that gained another saddle. We skirted around a peak and onto Copper's face and up to the summit.

Once on top, with light fading and energy running low we were moving with purpose. Bob and I were going to ski from the summit since there is a glitch in our brains that makes us crave directisimo. John says it's lack of intelligence, but I think it's really just a mild case of blissful ignorance.

I transitioned from skinning to skiing and stomped a gap in the summit cornice to access the chute. Chris and John skied down onto the shoulder and took a sweet looking line down. I slowly slipped down through the gap and cut a small windslab loose. After that is was one turn to the right, then another to the left and so on. Bob boarded through the gap and was next to me in no time. We then survival skied out to the shuttle vehicle and ended a most excellent day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Copper Traverse Video

Yay! YouTube is up and running. I posted a video from this Sundays traverse of the Copper ridge. It was great to go with John and Bob. They knew right where the best stash was. I am still in awe that the stability was what it was in February! I will post a trip report as soon as I can. Platt has his trip report up on his website.

Here is a link to the Copper Traverse video. Sorry for the poor quality of Bob's run. I had zoomed the camera in thinking it would be better, it wasn't.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Soldier Mountain Backcountry

Just a quick post to drop the link for the video from Saturday. I'll post more about the conditions: