I’ll lead off with the usual disruptive stuff happening in avalanche airbag rucksacks. At ISSW, this little argon cylinder was sighted at the Arva booth. Increased interior pack volume, decreased weight. Shopping for a ski touring airbag pack? Things are indeed crazy, but I don’t think you to need wait any longer. For example, when this cylinder becomes available it’ll fit an Arva pack you purchase this fall. Likewise, if you go with the sweet lightweight Mammut packs I’m betting compatible carbon cylinders will soon be available, as they presently are in Europe. Clearly, competition is breeding innovation.
Imagine you had a private jet 16 credit cards and a fat bitcoin wallet. Would you pick your lift served ski resort according to THE TOP 50 RESORTS? Ignoring such things, you’d probably trend to locals such as Chamonix, Zermatt, or Cortina.
But if you were short on jet fuel, you’d maybe wing it to Whistler for their vast natural terrain, or Aspen for the aprè and that little gem of a slope known locally as Ajax. Thus, cynicism aside, I think the recent edition of Ski Magazine actually nailed it by rating Whistler as number one and Ajax number two. The runners up can all bow down. Or wait. On the other hand, Alta at #23? I guess the raters didn’t like the stairs up to the bar, or the state of the carpet.
I got a handle on how Ski Mag rates the resorts, based on their chart for ranking the Top 10 Colorado. Examples of Colorado upper and lower ratings, with commentary:
Après — Aspen 1, Crested Butte 13 (That’s just plain weird, I mean, something wrong with Kochevars?)
Grooming — Snowmass 4, Steamboat 19 (They should reverse that rating.)
Challenge — Telluride 5, Breckenridge 23 (As it should be, are there even any bumps at Breck? Or, should we rate on the number of helmets headed directly for you at any given moment?)
Snow — Beaver Creek 8, Crested Butte 30 (Crested Butte, bring your rock skis?)
WildSnow.com — Aspen Highlands 1, Vail 20 (I had to slip that in. Highlands Bowl, need we say more?)
Global Warming in the news. Yes Virginia, the heat does affect us skiers. Easily noticeable in retreating glaciers — and here in Colorado, higher rain levels in December. Lots of panting media blather regarding the the Paris Agreement, which takes effect November 4. But, exactly what “effect?” Sounds like this is just another way to create larger bureaucracy and a bunch of finger pointing, as the agreement has no force of law and any actual changes countries make to their gas picture are entirely voluntary.
The whole thing sounds like a bunch of B.S., quite frankly. Interesting looking at the list of signatories. I mean, North Korea? Kim Jong-un is not going to sign anything he actually has to comply with, that’s for sure. Come to think of it, in Kim’s case, how about we start with his nuclear fire crackers? After that, perhaps he can tell us how he’s going to reduce greenhouse gas while increasing agricultural production so he can actually feed his starving population? Or consider our own country. If China grew all their own food instead of buying zillions of tons from us, how would that change the gas picture? Or how about this for a thought experiment: for an immediate significant reduction in greenhouse gas we stop all food exports and associated production.
Ok, I’d better go positive. Northern Hemisphere is getting snow! Check out the Teton Pass cam.
WildSnow Outer Local: On November 11, 2016, one of our esteemed guest bloggers, Alex Lee and his ski mountaineering partner, Nick Vincent, will be at our local shop here in Carbondale, Colorado, Cripple Creek Backcountry, presenting a slide show on their backcountry tour of the Eastern Alaska Range. See you there!
Other upcoming events at Cripple Creek Backcountry:
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.