What’s more, industry buzz is that various companies will be introducing new freeride boots this winter that perhaps do the best job ever of integrating uphill performance with downhill strength. It’s known that Dynafit has something new and innovative in the works, and the La Sportiva Synchro is a good example that’s been public knowledge since last winter, retailed this coming season. Interestingly, a quick look at Google Patents reveals Dalbello has a patent filed for the Lupo boot’s easily removable tongue — I thought that concept was basically public domain, perhaps they’re patenting the exact mechanism. In any case, cool to see.
Funny thing, I had a vivid dream the other night about what one of the new boots — WildSnow version. The “dream boot” resembled a snowboard boot, with nothing but an external BOA for closure and the lean-lock latch over on the side, just above the ankle bump on the outside. Probably whacked out fantasy triggered by sleeping potions and herbal tea interacting as a chemical soup, but you never know. We’ll see if I’m psychic.
GPS chips in smartphones are perhaps as important to ski touring as boots and bindings. As any regular user knows, sometimes the little icon showing where you are on the map isn’t exactly where you are on the land. That will change, and soon. Apparently a new super-accurate chip will allow GPS location within centimeters — with reduced power consumption. That’s having your cake and eating it too. Although I’d imagine getting the new chip will involve getting a new phone. More here.
Do any of you guys struggle with your health during the winter, fighting off a series of respiratory infections or worse that mess up your ski plans? We’ve found basic prevention measures can have big rewards. For example, frequent use of hand sanitizer and paying reasonable attention to exposure situations (perhaps stay out of movie theaters during flu season?). Next level, check out this alarming study on how much sicker people are who work in open offices. They’re saying people in open offices have 50% more sick days than those who work in “cellular” offices. One has to wonder, rather than really being sick, are people just getting tired of staring across an improvised desk at their startup! co-worker, day after day, hour after hour… I can’t imagine doing that — I’d last five minutes.
Most of us have known or know someone with a substance abuse problem. Our ski touring community is certainly not immune. It amazes me how addictive some of our favorite things are. Powder snow, wine, etcetera. A few years ago I did some work for our local private rehab center, Jaywalker Lodge (helped start their outdoors program, built their first website). They’re legit, in case any of you have a loved one or friend who needs that sort of thing (and has the insurance or cash to pay for it). Backcountry skiing is part of their program.
What got me going about rehab is I was web browsing this morning and landed on a Bloomberg article about Google doing a purge of bogus rehab advertising. It sounds like the recovery advertising ecosystem morphed into a ridiculous nightmare that was entirely useless to the consumer. Google of course made massive amounts of cash off that. Now they’ll move on to reaping Benjamins off the next hodge of totally useless advertising. What a mess. Note we are fortunate here at WildSnow; thanks to industry support all our advertising is either direct buys from legit companies, or affiliate sales that are equally as legit. I’ve experimented with Google’s programmatic “network” advertising. Incredibly lame. That’s what produces those toenail fungus ads you see pop up now and then in our sidebar, when I’m testing to see if they’re doing any better (never seems to happen).
Lindsey is back with her effort to race with the men. Apparently she wants to “beat some boys” and then retire. Sounds sexist to me, but I’ll of course tune in. Battle of the sexes!
I’ve been in a few tenuous huts and hostels. More than a few actually. Escape from a fire is the usual concern. Bella Vista hut on the Otztal traverse was the scariest. At least 40 people in an upstairs lager, with rickety stairs and a tiny window to escape, everything made from old dried out wood, kitchen one floor below. But at least the building seemed to be stuck to one spot on the mountain. As opposed to the Murchison Hut on Mount Cook (NZ), closed now because it’s hanging there on the side of the peak, having moved about 9 meters downhill and now primed to tumble down the mountain and “kill anyone inside.” Fascinating article here. Lesson: as well as fire escapes, check all hut foundations before entering.
Last thing. For those of you who’ve donned your thinking caps, and realized your helmet might be more psychological than real in terms of how much protection it offers, 2nd Skull is attempting to remedy that. Very interesting, though in a way tragic that an aftermarket add-on comes along to ostensibly remedy something caused by the stagnation of legal standards. Article here —– and 2nd Skull website here.
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.