For me, the toughest part of doing the European travel thing is the packing. This time I brought two pair of skis, DPS Wailer 99 and Dynafit Cho Oyu. By the time I crammed my planks into a light but still-too-heavy Dakine ski bag, that was twenty pounds. Cram in the street clothing and backcountry gear, fifty pound limit was reached as easily as loading our dishwasher.
Problem was, our rope and assorted climbing gear was all still piled on the floor, as were a few gifts for friends. Would the 8 pound Colorado marble stone cutting board have to be left behind? Perhaps not, as a third bag was mandatory no matter what.
So Lisa packed her ski bag to 49.8 pounds and we activated one more piece of luggage for all the extra accouterments. It wasn’t cheap getting all three bags checked through to Munich, but we do what we have to do. Or, rather, one’s plastic does what it has to do.
I’m no virgin when it comes to airline travel. Even so, for an extended trip I simply cannot get my bag weight down low enough to avoid that second suitcase. The skis are light. Heck, they don’t even have brakes. Three pairs of socks couldn’t add up to that much? Or the three pairs of pants and two shirts? But I did bring two backpacks: Dynafit Cho Oyu for longer days, and a CAMP bikini for resort uphilling and short days.
Ski pants and base layers can’t be left behind. I’ve got my usual Outdoor Research Trailbreaker pants balled up next to the ski bindings for for impact protection, and a couple of OR wool zip-T shirts are stuck in there as tight as tree roots in granite.
My favorite thing in the whole load are the B&D Ultimate Cuff Pivots I’m bringing over for gifting. Those things are just so cool they deserve international travel. Perhaps I’ll grab a $7.00 glass of United Airlines vino to celebrate what we did get packed. Come to think of it, I’ve figured out why TSA won’t allow liquids. It’s so you can’t bring your own wine.
I’m writing this as we glide over the Atlantic. We’ll gear jam a rental car tomorrow and try to GPS our way out of Munich. Perhaps packing isn’t that tough, come to think of it.
Update: Third bag missing at carousel but said to now be in transit. Perhaps TSA used the included rock slab for training. It was most certainly x-ray proof. Apparently they put the rascal luggage on a Lufthansa Flight after our United just took off. And in case you guys are wondering, yes we did attempt to fly the Luft but got baited and switched.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.