May 21 2015

Upgrade details to Meidjo v.2

 

Meidjo v. 2, from M-Equipment. 2-pin tech meets NTN.

Meidjo v. 2, from M-Equipment. 2-pin tech meets NTN.

Those who stood by and watched while the first wave of Meidjos was beaten upon the shores of reality will be thankful they waited. The M-Equipment’s founder and inventor, Pierre Mouyade, recently detailed the numerous changes that have been made to improve the durability and functionality of Meidjo (pr: may’-zho).

Meidjo is the first telemark binding to connect to a boot via Rottefella’s patented NTN second heel and tech inserts at the toe. The result is a binding that has the touring efficiency of Dynafit, with step-in convenience, safety release (verified but uncertified), and moderately active telemark performance.
Keep earning your turns

May 18 2015

Mammoth shoot out: Outlaw VS Meidjo

Mammoth Mountain.

Mammoth Mountain.

The rule of Winter ’15 season has been to act fast when fresh snow arrives, otherwise there won’t be much left. A couple of late storms hit the Sierra last week. Though characteristically weak for this season their freshness coincided with fresh updates to 22 Design’s beta version Outlaw, and a host of revisions to Meidjo that will hopefully overcome weaknesses with the plastic claw assembly and the 2-pin tech toe. It was time to make turns to see if any new flaws were introduced as unintended consequences of fixing others.
Keep earning your turns

May 13 2015

Changing the claw on 22D’s Outlaw

 

New claw assembly for Outlaw beta binding.

New claw assembly for Outlaw beta binding.

Early feedback on 22 Design’s Outlaw, their new NTN binding, indicates that it skis great. Downhill performance was, as hoped, reminiscent of the Hammerhead in position #3 or #4 depending on how strong the spring tension is set to.

Touring is also very similar to an Axl, with the same basic limits to range of motion of only 45°+, but frictionless within that range. More ROM might be nice on occasion, like on a tight switchback on a steep slope in deep snow, but 90% of the time it is not a noticeable limit.
Keep earning your turns

May 10 2015

Solo Avalanche Safety

 
Are you getting fatigued from so much avalanche safety talk these days? It’s become a media obsession to discuss ad infinitum all the nuances of being safe when skiing in the backcountry. Which begs the the question of how safe you really are if you’re having too many safety meetings. There’s a tendency to think that as long as you’re recognizing the need to be safe, you must inevitably be acting more safely.

Timing is critical with avalanches, especially solo.

Timing is critical with avalanches, especially solo.


Ironic isn’t it, the more attention we pay to safety, and safe techniques, procedures, and gadgets, the less safe we may actually be. This is a tricky line to walk here and I’m not saying that learning about the factors that cause avalanches, from the snowpack to the human trigger, isn’t beneficial, it is. But with all this knowledge available and all this discussion of the topic you’d think that our hopes of at least reducing the number of avalanche deaths would be visible, yet it’s not.
Keep earning your turns

May 08 2015

Il Passo in Curva – Telemark

A quick little vid that shows why telemarking became fashionable. These guys make it look easy and they’re doing it on inferior equipment, or so we like to think. Don’t know much Italian? Just watch the skiers.

In case you’re in a dry state, here’s a little diversion for the weekend. If you’re in California, Utah, or Colorado, time to make up for lost turns this weekend.

Il Passo in Curva – Telemark (RAI – 1993) from Alessandro Comai on Vimeo.

Keep earning your turns

Apr 27 2015

Loveland’s 14th Corn Harvest

The band promised to play; rain, snow or shine.

The band promised to play; rain, snow or shine.

The 14th Annual Corn Harvest at Loveland ski area this past weekend wasn’t a harvest of corn, but there was a nice spritzer of fresh snow on a bed of lightly furrowed slopes off the top of Loveland ski resort. That plus another 200 skiers who registered, some in completely appropriate Hawaiian shirts for the occasion that were completely out of sync with current conditions. Regardless of the conditions, all registrants got lei’d and enjoyed marvelous ski conditions.

In the morning the fresh coat filled in the spaces between spray from yesterday’s tracks that created mini moraines of frozen cookie crumbs that weren’t so hard they deflected your tips, but they did add a crunchiness to each turn. They were substantial enough to require commitment to your edges or you would need good recovery instincts to avoid the lurking snow snakes hoping to trip you up.
Keep earning your turns

Apr 20 2015

BC Skate Skiing in Desolation Wilderness

There’s a group of Nords in the Tahoe area that love to get out and take extended skate tours in the backcountry. As with any other form of skiing, the majority of folks skate ski on a groomed track at a resort, a XC ski area, or Nordic Center. Conditions for good skating, a firm yet edgeable snow base, are most common at a resort, but when conditions are ripe, there is nothing better than a corn snowpack while it is still frozen, or maybe al-dente as it starts to ripen.

Skating across Aloha Lake, Desolation Wilderness, California

Skating across Aloha Lake, Desolation Wilderness, California. Photo by IMNXCGUY


At that point you get all the real ingredients of skating, with an icy surface that melts under the pressure of a ski edge, allowing the skater to glide large distances with each pump of the leg. Skaters know the thrill of that gliding sensation, but everyone else does not, including, or especially, alpine skiers for whom the act of skating is necessary on occasion, but laborious at best.
Keep earning your turns

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