This is a Contour Hybrid Skins Review and a rant on Black Diamond Glidelite skins. After struggling for several years with the terrible glue on Black Diamond Glidelite Mohair Mix skins, I bought a pair of Contour Hybrid skins. So far, they are an immense improvement over the BD skins. [Read more…]
I just figured out that the loops that come with Black Diamond skins are adjustable. If you have wide or narrow skis, you can adjust these loops to fit the tip. And it’s a very simple but clever idea. [Read more…]
Last year, I was forever changed by the Dynafit TLT 5 Performance boot, the quintessential backcountry ski boot. It is crazy light, walks like a hiking boot, and skis like a beast. Unfortunately, its narrow, low-volume last squeezed my 6th toe like a vise (6th toe is a bump or bunion behind your little toe). I could walk in them in relative comfort for a few hours, but on long tours of 4-6 hours, my feet suffered. And unfortunately, because of the flex toe on the TLT 5, it can’t be punched or stretched significantly in the 6th toe area. As a result, this season I have been through 3 ski boots trying to find one that fits and that walks as well as the TLT 5. [Read more…]
I got the fever to try new skis this year. After four seasons on the Rossignol Mega Bang, I bought some Black Diamond Verdicts . I really like the Verdict, but it was a big change after skiing on the Mega Bang. It also made me realize just how different a ski’s performance and personality can be. And it made me want to try some different skis. And then I found a great deal on some used 05/06 K2 Shuksan 174s. [Read more…]
I’ve been skiing on Rosignol Mega Bangs for three or four years now. Love the ski. But I’ve put about 250 days on them and they were starting to feel a little dead. The Black Diamond Verdict caught my attention when I saw it in a shop and picked it up. This ski is unbelievably light for such a BIG ski. One reason I kept using the Bangs was that I couldn’t see getting anything wider due to the weight penalties. Because most of my skiing is backcountry, weight is definitely a consideration.
Bruce Trempers’s Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain is an excellent book. I saw this book in a ski shop at the beginning of the season and thought, “I should read this book.” But I’m cheap and somewhat lazy when it comes to learning about avalanches, and the thought of reading a technical book about avalanches and how to survive them made me think of root canal surgery. So I put the book down and bought something a lot more fun: new skis.
My trusty old ski boots, Dynafit Tourlite All Terrain, started falling apart during x-mas week. Too bad because Chuck Bird, resident pedorthist at Neptune Mountaineering, had adjusted them over the years so I could walk in them all day with NO PAIN. Suddenly I was faced the daunting task of buying new ski boots. And because we were in a big snow cycle in the Tetons, taking days or weeks to choose a pair of boots was NOT an option. I needed new boots immediately.
I broke my old Life-Link adjustable poles and needed new ones right away. I was going to buy the Life-link adjustable poles without even shopping for others, but the only Life-Link poles I could find were around $95. First, let me say this: you DON’T NEED TO PAY MORE THAN $60 for adjustable poles. You will see all kinds of light-weight poles made from carbon fiber, titanium, non-obtanium, etc. And if you were to believe Backcountry and Coolwar, you’d think pole “swingweight” was really important and worth spending $180 to get it. I seriously doubt that you have ever thought, “If I just had lighter poles, all my skiing, or rather falling, problems would be over.” Ski pole swingweight is the least of your problems!
I’m on my second pair of Rudi Project Kerosene Sunglasses . I like them because they are light and stay put on my face, and it is VERY easy to change lenses. But more importantly, they have a great guarantee and they back it up with quick, friendly service.