Did a classic but not too extreme dawn patrol this morning. Up at 4:00 AM then a few laps in Little Cottonwood Canyon with Louie and friends Poly, Andrew and Penn before heading to the trade show. I’d forgotten that when you actually ski powder in the dark you need a decent headlamp, and ended up skiing the first lap blind (nearly dead battery with tiny BD Ion lamp) and laughing my head off as I flailed around. It was like skiing in a whiteout with a blindfold, only with even less sense of equilibrium. Thankfully the sky lit up after that, or my humor would have worn thin. The snow was good so that helped. Met several friendly Wasatch boys on the trail — good to chat with all of you, and yeah, I’ll be replacing 10420 (a ski tour in my book “Wild Snow“) with something more appropriate.
|From left to right: Blogger Lou, Penn, Andrew, Louie (Poly went to work).|
Outdoor Retailer Trade Show:Today was the show’s last day. We managed to catch a demo of the Ortovox S1 prototype avalanche beacon, due out in October. In previous blogs I’ve said that beacons could stand for plenty of improvement, and they could start providing some other electronic features. Judging from its prototype, S1 will deliver on both fronts. It eliminates the final grid pattern that most beacons require, so you can simply follow the LCD readout all the way to your final probe placement. More, along with an avalanche beacon the S1 will provide a digital inclinometer, compass, and thermometer.
|Gary Bard of Ortovox shows Louie the new F1 — but where is the MP3 player? Next year?|
In a previous blog I mentioned that one disappointing theme of the OR show was that most new AT gear showed a trend to the heavier side. Dynafit follows suit with this by offering their new Freeride Vertical binding, which is really just a Comfort model with some added plastic and some sort of connector between toe and heel that ostensibly will enhance performance (we shall see). Kudos to Dynafit, however, for making all their 06/07 boots with Pebax plastic. This saves weight without sacrificing stiffness.
|Dynafit Freeride Vertical binding is heavier, but might have a look that’s more attractive to the “freeride” crowd. Binding is shown mounted on a weird stylized demo board, try to ignore that as you examine the photo. Click for massive enlargement.|
|We search every show for the weird and wonderful. This Snomobike took the prize. Want one? It prevents global warming.|
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.