Jun 22 2015

G3 Expands Climbing Skin Connections

 

New minimal metal twin-tip tail hook from G3.

New Minimal Metal Twin-Tip tail hook from G3.

When it comes to climbing skins it’s important to be mentally prepared to split hairs when it comes to differences. Which is another way to say that if you’re new to the sport of backcountry skiing, don’t worry about who makes the best climbing skins, just get a pair. You need to get some time under your belt to be able to appreciate the differences between nylon, mohair, and blended skin fibers, and the multitude of glue formulas out there.

However, there is one area where you don’t need to be very experienced to appreciate differences between climbing skins and that is in the tip and tail kit. In that arena, G3 has recently come out with some first rate options for securing your climbing skins to twin-tipskis, or skins for splitboards, particularly where they attach at the ends.
Keep earning your turns

Jun 18 2015

Waterproof apparel formulas voluntarily change

Editors Note: This is a fairly technical report on a change that has occurred to the technology we commonly refer to as “waterproof/breathable” for outdoor apparel. The short version is the chemical composition changed from C8 to C6 while you weren’t looking. What follows is the reason why, and what it means going forward.


 

The nut of why we like PFCs.

The nut of why we like PFCs.

In 2005 an EPA Science Advisory Board report found PFOA to be a likely human carcinogen.

One year later Stephen L. Johnson, EPA Administrator obtained commitments from eight major producers of perfluorooctanoatic acid (PFOA), to phase out its manufacture. The EPA’s aim was to eliminate PFOA from “facility emissions and product content” and other precursors or similar chemicals that could break down or function like PFOA. Known as the 2010/15 Stewardship Program, the Agency’s goal targeted 2010 with a 95% worldwide reduction of PFOA and to eliminate it by 2015’s end.
Keep earning your turns

Jun 15 2015

Review: BCA’s Scepter ski pole

 

BCA's family of Scepter ski poles.

BCA’s Scepter ski poles.

Adjustable length backcountry ski poles have become a commodity. Now that everyone has figured out how to make their own Flick-Lock style adjustment mechanism getting a decent adjustable ski pole is as simple as figuring out what your budget is and buying the most conveniently available model.

There are certainly differences among the many brands and models, but the latest to the plate has what could be considered an artful blend of functional utility with a price that is bound to fit any budget loose enough to allow a dedicated BC pole.
Keep earning your turns

Jun 04 2015

Spring Skiing 2015

 

Ripping freshies at Sonora Pass, end of May 2015.  JeremyD photo.

Ripping freshies at Sonora Pass, end of May 2015.
JeremyD photo.

Even though we’ve been conditioned to think of June as Summer, since Memorial Day kicks off the summer vacation season, according to the calendar it is still Spring. For years I’ve maintained that spring skiing is the best season for BC skiing, not the cold wintry months of December and January as the herd believes.

It is true that if you get a big dump in those months the skiing is indescribably fantastic. Such conditions are neither guaranteed, or as it has been lately, even likely. More likely the snow will be thin with obstacles abounding, and generally cold enough to hold what little snow exists.
Keep earning your turns

Jun 02 2015

Review: The God of Skiing

 

An appropriate mug for The God of Skiing's cover - Fritz Stammberger.

An appropriate mug for The God of Skiing’s cover – Fritz Stammberger.

With a name like The God of Skiing you can’t help but wonder who or what Peter Kray has written about. It’s a heady title to say the least. After reading it I can say he does a stellar job of describing the experiences that are endemic to a skiers life, and some of the characters who have shaped the culture of skiing.

From the get go Kray misleads you into thinking he’s recounting history when he references an article from Sports Illustrated on the story’s protagonist, Tack Strau. In classic Kray style he pulls you through a forest of picturesque metaphors while meandering through incidents real and concocted that lull you into thinking you’re finally getting the inside scoop on a mythical figure you somehow missed. As the story unfolds, you realize that’s how Tack would have wanted it, even if he didn’t plan it that way.
Keep earning your turns

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

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