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| February 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

POV vid of Wallowa Skiing

I finally had a chance to edit down a vid clip from the Wallowas. I am still learning the ins and outs of the POV cam - like where to put it. I guess they call it a helmet cam for a reason. I took this one with it attached to my pack.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Backcountry Skiing in the Wallowas


Joseph, OR


touring up through the burn, wallowa mountainsskiing in the wallowas


I just pulled back into the office after a few days in the Wallowas in eastern Oregon. I am happy to report that winter is doing well there. There is about meter to a meter and a half of snow on the ground at seven to eight thousand feet.


Although the wind played a pretty significant role in the weather while we were out, there was plenty of good skiing to be found. Word from the crew at Wallowa Alpine is that they have a few openings left this season and they are offering an unguided option at their McCully basin camp. If you have been looking to get out there, now is great time. We day skied from Joseph, but there is more terrain to be had if you head up to McCully Basin.


Here are a few shots of the conditions. I will put up a link to a video that I took with a pov cam strapped to my pack as soon as i get it edited. My video skills are not the best, but I am learning.  I have several vids from this trip, but need some more time before I can get them posted.


I am back out the door to head to Coldsmoke up in Nelson, BC. Coldsmoke is a great event if you can get away this weekend. February is a great month for ski festivals  as Vertfest at Crystal Mountain in Washington is Feb 28th. I'll be back with more reports soon.


 gettin' the goods backcountry skiing in the WallowasNick gets the goods backcountry skiing in the Wallowas, Oregon

Monday, February 09, 2009

More OR trade show tidbits



Voile Insane and Asylum graphics for 09-10New Voile Drifter ski - with new school rocker . . .


There are still a few details from the tradeshow that I have not posted because I have been busy getting the fourth issue of the season ready for the printer, but I thought I would grab a moment this morning to share a couple items.


First, Voile unveiled new graphics for their Insane and Asylum models as well as a new rockered ski called the Drifter. It was not that long ago when the Insane made most of the other skis out there look narrow. Now, the other skis out there are starting to make the Insane (100mm underfoot) begin to look on the narrow side! Pretty crazy. I am still a firm believer that 90-100mm underfoot is ideal for general softsnow touring. The Insane stioll makes a hell of a powder ski.


Word from Wally (Voile founder) is that the Drifter is an all new experience. He actually compared skiing it to snowboarding. I have yet to ski any of the big fat rockered boards in really nice deep snow, but they do offer an incredible amount of stability and (obviously) flotation.


In other interesting news, Backcountry Access showed a new airbag avalanche pack. There is a fair bit of talk about avalanche survival these days (didn't the talk used to be about avalanche avoidance?). Anyway, on the subject of avalanche survival, the Avalung has been making headlines and there is a lot of talk about airbag packs. Many experts tout the airbag pack as one of the better options when it comes to survival. The packs help create a buffer around your head and neck that helps protect against trauma, and it also helps create an air pocket as it deflates after burial - not to mention that the pack is designed to help avoid burial alltogether.

BCA's pack was still in the develpment stages and I neglected to take a photo, but it looks promising. BCA also showed a new shovel/probe and shovel/saw system. The shovel is available with either a probe or a snow-saw option and stows neatly into the shaft. The idea is not new, but the execution of the idea is cleaner and more solid than past versions.


Shovel/Probe combo from BCA


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Avy Awareness / Out-of-Bounds Ski Survey

Given the high profile resort and sidecountry related avalanche accidents this year, The Canadian avalanche Association and Simon Fraser University are collaborating on a survey related to out-of bounds skiing. 

The goal is to develop better avalanche awareness material for this specific user group. If you participate in the survey, you get entered into a drawing for a variety of gear including, beacons, probes, packs, etc.

Check it out here

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Avalanche Incident Report

In late January, an avalanche near the Eisman Hut in Colorado's Gore Range buried three folks (one skier, two boarders) out touring. All three survived. The story is pretty interesting and worth reading. The guys involved did a variety of things wrong, but obviously, given their survival, they did a few things right, too.



Hopefully, the incident report does more than sell Avalaungs. Check it out here


The Big LePowski

The Big LePowskiThere is so much going on this time of year on the ski festival front that it can be hard to decide where to focus your time. Here's a new one to add to the "to do list", the Big LePowski.


The event is a a weekend of clinics, films, and parties based out of Big Cottonwood Canyon's Brighton Ski Resort.


Folks like Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Chris Davenport, and Andrew McLean will be on hand to offer tips on throwing 360's and accessing steep lines.


In addition, the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival rolls Thursday evening, and money raised from the weekend's events will go towards the Billy Poole Fund, established in the memory of freeskier Billy Poole who died while skiing in the Wasatch last year. Full details

Monday, February 02, 2009

Madrone Wall Benefit / MHM backcountry Access

I just got a short note worthy of passing on for Portland area skiers. Snowrider PDX project is participating in  the Madrone Wall preservation benefit in Portland on Thursday Feb 5.


The piece of interest to backcountry skiers is that Tom Spangler (Meadows GM) will be there to speak in a Q&A format about the ski area's howitzer use and how it is impacting access. This is a perfect opportunity to speak directly with the descision makers at Meadows about their new no uphill traffic access policies.


details on the event location and time are here

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