Oct 01 2014

Fritschi fixes Vipec’s Toe Woes

 

Vipec's toe gets a make over. 1) Thicker pins: M5 to M6. 2) Spring-loaded locking pin. 3) Self centering jaws. 4) Improved toe clip

Vipec’s toe gets a make over.
1) Thicker pins: M5 to M6. 2) Spring-loaded locking pin.
3) Self centering jaws. 4) Improved toe clip

Based on feedback from retailers and early adopters, Fritschi’s Vipec, their first 2-pin tech binding, will see four modifications to the toe unit this season. The most noticeable change is to the pins, which will now be thicker, a tad longer, and with an improved adjustment locking mechanism. Less obvious, but perhaps more important, is the addition of plastic guides inside the pin arms to make getting in and out of the binding much easier. Lastly, a clip that snaps onto the toe release lever will now come pre-mounted for a better touring release with square-toed boots.
Keep earning your turns

Sep 30 2014

Avalanche claims Fransson and Auclair

 
It appears Andreas Fransson and J.P. Auclair were caught and died in an avalanche on Monday, September 29th, 2014 in the Auyen mountain region of Patagonia near the border of Argentina and Chile. The avalanche occurred on Mounte San Lorenzo (12, 159′), reportedly running 700 meters (2300′).

Mount Cochrane (12,159')

Mount Cochrane (12,159′)


Keep earning your turns

Sep 28 2014

Boot Review: Tecnica upgrades Cochise for 2015

 

Cochise gets a make over.

Cochise gets a make over.


One of the better boots to come out last year, with great performance on either side of the boundary line, was Tecnica’s Cochise. It’s a mid-weight boot with a stiff forward flex and good mobility in the cuff for touring. However, it favored feet with average width but a high instep.

That meant a good percentage of skiers would be so unimpressed with the fit they’d never experience the performance. This year that changes.
Keep earning your turns

Sep 26 2014

News: AvaTech develops Snow Profile Probe

Getting a snow pit profile with just a probe, AvaTech's new SP-1

Getting a snow pit profile with AvaTech’s new SP-1

Ava-Tech is a new company introducing two tools, the SP-1 probe and AvaNet™ cloud platform at the International Snow Science Workshop next week (Sept 29-Oct. 3) in Banff, AB, Canada. To the naked eye the SP-1 is a 150 cm probe with a tip that senses and records pressure as it is driven into the snow. With some brainiac software out of MIT the position of the probe as it relates to pressure is used to create a snow profile.

This isn’t completely new technology, a similar type probe exists in Switzerland for a cool $80,000. That price prevents widespread adoption. At roughly 1/40th the cost, AvaTech’s SP-1 is almost certain to be more widely used.
Keep earning your turns

Sep 22 2014

Review: Volkl’s BMT Series – 94/109/122

It was two seasons ago my preconceived notions about rockered skis, especially the too fat variety, were blown to smithereens. For me, that means anything wider than 110mm at the waist which simply cannot hold sufficient edge for good all round, backcountry skiing.

The example was Volkl’s V-Werks Katana, a magical mix of wood core and carbon fiber technology that not only demolished my notion that super fat skis can’t carve on ice, it also showed that camber wasn’t required to hold that edge, or rebound out of a turn, and it didn’t have the heft of a tank to deliver such performance. The biggest breakthrough though was how damp it felt, unlike most carbon-fiber skis.

Volkl's Big Mountain Touring series, BMT 94 shown. Less than 7 lbs./pr at 186cm long.

Volkl’s Big Mountain Touring series, BMT 94 shown. Less than 7 lbs./pr at 186cm long.

Keep earning your turns

Sep 19 2014

TR: Goodness in Gulaba, India

 

Skiing in Kashmir, India

Skiing in Kashmir, India

We exited our jeep taxi at the end of cleared snow about a third of the way towards the pass. The Indian Army’s road crew had begun the multi-month task of clearing snow off the road over Rohtang Pass, a critical connector north to the contested state of Kashmir. The road is a remarkable feat of engineering as just this south side gains about 5500’ in twenty-five miles of steep eroded switchbacks. Here at about mile nine, we began our manpowered ascent marching past the road crew’s morning blessing ritual. We were unsure if they were blessing the heavy equipment that they hoped would cut through meters of wind-packed snow or blessing themselves that they may live through another day of high altitude work in avalanche-prone areas where spring weather can change to winter in minutes. Soon we were off the road with skins on, making our way through the thinning trees towards the alpine.
Keep earning your turns

Sep 15 2014

Review: Scott-Sports Cosmos II & Celeste II

 

Scott Cosmos II. Light & wide.

Scott Cosmos II. Light & wide.


In their second year building Alpine Touring boots, Scott made a few changes to address issues with buckles breaking and improve the touring performance of the Cosmos and Celeste boots. The buckle change is disappointing; their ability to hinge out of the way made getting in and out of the boot a simple affair. Unfortunately, too many users asked for warranty replacements when they walked with the buckles sticking out to the side and accidentally broke them off. Since reigning attitudes say Scott should pay, they eliminated the likelihood of that happening by removing the ability to hinge open.
 
Keep earning your turns

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