I’m feeling relieved. Mind numbing presidential campaigning is over, winter is coming on strong, WildSnow.com is humming along with a functional design on our new server. We’re still making design and function improvements here, but the pace has slowed considerably. I have to admit to liking the geek stuff a bit, but I’d rather be blogging — or skiing. So good!
Gear rumors are flying. I heard someone might do North American distribution of ATKrace products, including their Dynafit binding knock off. I’ve always been interested in ATK’s stuff, but frankly was turned off by the binding being such a blatent copy of Dynafit.
Indeed, if you know the inside story of the sweat and tears that went into getting the Dynafit where it is today, you’re not inclined to be a fan of clones. On the other hand, ATK has made some interesting changes to form and function, such as the toe automatically locking in tour mode when you snap in. And the things are light. So it’s probably worth reviewing their stuff once it gets past customs.
From a business standpoint, one interesting aspect of this is that the ATK Dynafit clone is not DIN/TUV certified, which makes me wonder how it can be sold without concern of lawsuits. But then, they’ve sold all sorts of crazy telemark bindings over the years (I know one fellow who almost ripped his legs off when his no release tele skis got trapped under a log, for example), so I guess it’s possible to sell non certified bindings without fear of financial disaster.
Department of web confusion: A buddy came by the other day and asked me where the heck that link was to the website that gets all the British Columbia backcountry huts and lodges under one URL. Yeah, that got buried in our news ticker. Here you go: Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia. Take my word for it, if you’re goofing off at work with vacation dreaming, this website is rad. Just don’t tell your boss you found the link on Wildsnow.com! Otherwise he’ll probably ban us all!
Kootney Coldsmoke Powder Festival is scheduled for February 20 – 23 at Nelson, British Columbia. If you’re into this sort of thing, Kootney looks to be the must-attend festival of the year. The event includes everything from rando races to clinics, all blanketed by a puffy quilt of high quality polvo.
Department of radical expeditionism: I have to admit to trip envy regarding Andrew McLean’s plans to ski mountaineer off a cruise ship. Then the boat broke and his trip got aborted.
While I have full sympathy for anyone who’s adventure vacation gets wrecked by something so out of their control (Andrew is a good mech, but repairing a cruise liner is probably a bit beyond his kit), today I did get a chuckle out of this. I was reading about the currently happening Darwin Range Ski Traverse in Patagonia, which is kind of the antithesis to what Andrew was up to.
In the Darwin blog, they’ve got a definition for something they call a “Golden Anvil,” as “an IPOD or any other device that doesn’t work anymore but is too valuable to throw into a crevasse.” Seems to me that a broken Antarctic cruise ship is the ultimate Golden Anvil.
All that said, when is the next ship leaving? And how much gasoline does it take to get from here to Nelson in a Silverado with a snowmobile in the bed? Perhaps the cruise ship would be cheaper?
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.