Went through and gave away a TON of old clothes. If you are in the market for some assorted used clothing head over to the DI, they are stocked now. That felt great. Here's what came off my t-shirt shelf, I should have counted...
First big tour of the year today. Here's how it went down:
This season I am making the switch to AT gear for touring. I'll still run the split board from time to time but I made the decision based on ease of travel in the backcountry. Yeah, the transitions are slow with a split board and it's probably not the most efficient for hiking up but I think it works great and have done some pretty big tours on it. The problem is that flat run outs suck and getting around in deep snow while strapped in or one footed SUCKS! Enter Voile Insane 183's, Scarpa F3's and Dynafits.
I just finished setting everything up this week and was stoked to get out and check out the new gear this weekend. When The Samurai proposed doing the Interconnect Tour from the base of Snowbird to Park City I figured what better way to break in the new gear and get the skinning legs going than to get out for a 5-6 hour 8-9k vert tour. The Samurai has 40ish days touring this year so I knew I was in for it, and had my fingers crossed for now blisters in the new boots. I figured it couldn't be worse than the Stupor Tour
We started with the early bus up to Snowbird and were skinning up the Dick Bass highway by a little after 7:30. From there we were going to ski Mineral Basin, skin up to Alta, ski to Grizzly Gulch, skin up to Twin Lakes Pass, ski to Solitude, take the SolBright trail to Brighton then skin up Guardsman area and down to Park City.
The secret ploy:
Still holding a grudge from the punishment that Bart and I put him through an a couple of bike rides this summer Jared had a scheme brewed up to work me over.
Part 1: The Gear. Knowing I was going to be on some big (for a racer) fat skis he showed up equipped with some little 160 Dynafit race skis, tights, race bindings and euro carbon boots. These things are lighter than my carbon road shoes! Bart at least had some more normal pants and boots but still pulled out some little 160's. Uh oh, having skinned 1/2 hour all year and knowing how these guys roll I knew I was in for it.
Part 2: The steep ice hill. Knowing that I was new to my gear and didn't have skin edge to edge on my tips and tails Jared (or was it Bart?) suggested we punch it straight up the steepest (stupid steep) icy groomer we could find, with a snow gun showering light crystals on it. Almost at the top of the stupid thing I started sliding backwards and didn't stop till the bottom. 200 yards. High speed too, thought I was done for!
Part 3: The Binding. On the way to Solitude the heel piece of the binding that I coincidentally bought (but thankfully not yet paid for) from the Samurai broke in two and I had to ski the rest of the tour with one heel swinging free. Coincidence? You make the call.
Part 4: The Keys. Jared casually handed me a giant key ring with about 20 keys on it early in the tour and asked me to hold them for him. It wasn't until a few hours later that I realized he was trying to weigh me down...
On the run from the law:
Snowbird was super cool about us hiking up and skiing in bounds. Alta on the other hand was not and the girl at the gate heading over from Mineral was pretty rude and wouldn't let us through. She said we'd need to go back to from where we started and get Alta/Snowbird tickets... Yeah... We went around back of the shack and hid behind a hill where we ripped skins and then booked it across the cat track and tucked the whole resort. Good way to get the heart pumping, and practice my fast transitions...
On the way in to Park City we ran in to some more patrol/lifties who also wanted to foil our plans. This guy wouldn't let us ski down Park City and tried to send us miles out of the way in to Iron Canyon. Hmmm yeah sure. We went as far as the puke hill saddle then skied down to Shadow Lake and out the Spiro drainage. No arrests yet...
All in all a great tour. Killer weather and some good skiing despite staying within resort boundaries and out of avalanche terrain. We hit Mineral Basin at 8:45 right before the masses and got some fresh turns. That was a highlight for sure.
So I guess I need to turn more.
Good skiing down to Brighton too over on Millicent.
The new gear was great and the freedom of being able to traverse through powder and walk through flats was pretty nice. I think I would have hated that tour on a splitboard.
No blisters and only a couple pressure points in the boots. Just getting used to the gear so my transition speed is still a little slow and I got heckled for it all day. Other than that I hope I didn't slow those guys down too much, though I don't think they'd have the heart to tell me if I did...
Good times though, can't wait for more stable conditions!
When I was 18 I moved from the 802 to the 801 looking for bigger mountains and a college degree. I found both and I'm still here 10 years later as UT has a lot to offer. I still have my VT pride though, especially when it comes to maple syrup or cheddar cheese...