Dec 16 2013

Review: Thule’s EasyFit Tire Chains


Thule's EasyFit chains - no belly aching necessary.

Thule’s EasyFit chains – no belly aching necessary.

Last winter I was introduced to Thule’s Easy-Fit Tire Chains. The idea sounds almost too good to be true. Even if the voluptuously enticing YouTube video of a bikini clad lass putting them on makes you wonder if they’re trying to pull one over on you, that same video evidence shows that they are easy to put on.

So I tried ‘em myself – the chains that is. Not in nasty conditions, but in real conditions, when I was running late and needed to get the rig out of the driveway and in to work with a minimum of tardiness. Of course, being rushed they were a bit harder to put on the third time than the second time for the camera. This time each second counted and in spite of the natural ability for the chains to snag a bit from each chain spinning in opposite directions, it untangled equally easy with a quick shake of the tensioning bar or pulling on successive ends of the magic hoop on the inside of the tire.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 29 2014

Backcountry Mag celebrates 20 years


Backcountry is 20 years old.

Backcountry is 20 years old.

Get it while you can because this issue will be a collectors item. Yeah, I’m talking ’bout my former competitor, Backcountry Magazine. They made the grade and lasted 20 years. What’s more, they’ve been following the mantra of a good backcountry soldier by just steadily chipping away and making their mag better with each and every issue. Oh sure there were a couple of hiccups in there, a couple of side steps but who’s counting? Actually, only they were and now the tally is one hundred; 100 issues in 20 years.

That’s a phenomenal achievement in and of itself. But here’s the clincher. This is a retrospective issue on all that has gone on in the corner of the world we call backcountry skiing. Truth be told, when you include the references in the articles reflecting back on the last 20 years this issue is a history of backcountry skiing from when it began in America, and in no small way is a tribute to my hero, and many of those who knew him, Paul Ramer. In case Paul isn’t your hero, that’s okay because I’ll bet your hero is somewhere between the covers in this issue too.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 27 2014

Black Diamond Tele-boots sentenced to die


Black Diamond's Push. Their most popular teleboot, but not popular enough.

Black Diamond’s Push. Their most popular teleboot, but not popular enough.

It’s unofficial: Black Diamond is adding a nail to telemarks demise by ending production of their telemark boot line. If you like their teleboots, better buy ‘em while you can because they won’t be making any more any time soon. That’s not official, I’m telling you it will be.

Insiders have been hinting at this for a couple of years now; not that it would happen, but it could. In the last six months though the words that have leaked through indicated BD couldn’t justify another production run on any of their telemark boot models. Word from a few retailers indicates that they won’t be available to order anymore either, except for what remains in their warehouses at the moment, which can’t be much.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 23 2014

Beans & Rice Freeride – SII, E1


Sakson in Jackson. Pow!

Sakson in Jackson. Pow!

Funny how some things never change. AT skiers love to deride telemarkers as dope-smokin’, tree huggin’ hippies with a license to suck. Truth is, the license to suck isn’t limited to skiing with a free heel, nor is anything else.

It is with a sense of humor that Jake Sakson and friends embrace being backcountry hippies. While the delivery of their lines won’t win any academy awards, the lines spoken are as apt as the lines taken in this short video; the first episode of the Beans & Rice Freeride series’ second season.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 21 2014

Review: BD’s Carbon Aspect ski

To behold the statistics of Black Diamond’s Carbon Aspect is to be tempted with a model of touring perfection. At least, to this ol’ guys perspective. Fat skis are the rage and weight is great and all that except that it’s not. In the backcountry extra flotation comes with a heavy price and for my purposes 90mm at the waist is enough, especially with a free heel.

Black Diamond's Carbon Aspect. 6 lbs. light, and white to resist snow sticking and adding weight back.

Black Diamond’s Carbon Aspect. ~6 lbs. light, and white to resist snow sticking and adding weight back.

Keep earning your turns

Oct 20 2014

Tahoe Mt. Sports moves to Truckee


Dave Polivy shows off this season's wares.

Dave Polivy shows off this season’s wares.

Since 2005 David Polivy of Tahoe Mountain Sports has been selling quality outdoor gear on the web and out of his Kings Beach storefront. During that time TMS built up a strong local following as well as a sturdy online base. With the opening of the shop’s new location in Truckee, the retailer turns a new page in its sales and service driven journey.

On October 22nd 2014, TMS celebrates its grand opening in the Safeway Shopping Center on Donner Pass Road. In attendance will be Mountain Super Athlete Conrad Anker who will sign posters and host informal discussions on his many adventures in the alpine. Additionally, Polivy and staff are psyched to welcome shoppers with their good old fashion customer service and community focus.

Last week Earn Your Turns caught up with a very busy Polivy via email to discuss his background, the store’s history and his goals for the future.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 16 2014

Review: Fischer’s TransAlp Vacuum TS Lite


Fischer's TransAlp AT boot

Fischer’s TransAlp AT boot

Considering how quick alpine brand reps are to dismiss the size of the backcountry market it is ironic how many have nonetheless invested the time, energy, and resources to offer AT boots. In Fischer’s case, not just that they developed the Ranger series of AT boots, but that they used their heat moldable shell material: Vacu-plast. Despite some growing pains with the molding process they doubled down this year by offering a lighter weight series of AT boots, the Trans Alp series, with tech fittings.
Keep earning your turns

Oct 13 2014

Review: Voile’s V6

The last two seasons have been tough on fat skis. In spite of that, Voile has managed to produce two winners in two years that not only give the sort of delightful response in soft snow you would expect from a company that develops products in Wasatch pow, but in real conditions too. In fact, prior to the V8 and this season’s V6, that might have even been considered a genetic limitation since it is far easier to build planks that deliver miles of smiles in powder than something that works in crud, mush, and on ice.

Voile's V6 - a slightly slimmer V8

Voile’s V6 – a slightly slimmer V8

Keep earning your turns

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