Jake Burton tribute, skiing ’til 100, hardest skimo races
I was saddened to read about the passing of Jake Carpenter, the guy without whom we would not have snowboarding as we know it — and perhaps not at all. He’d been fighting cancer, was 65. Reading about Jake reminds me of the rich heritage underpinning our snow-sliding sports. From the 10th Mountain Division soldiers of WWII, who jump started resort skiing in the U.S., to our mountaineering heroes such as Bill Briggs and Fritz Stammberger, I never tire of learning about the founders’ lives. More on Jake Burton here.
A while back, I received BCA’s media about their new Tracker S avalanche beacon. Just now getting to talking about it. Said to be “stripped down…more affordable,” the little guy is 115 x 71 millimeters, with a claimed weight of 205 grams including batteries. That’s the same form and weight factor as Tracker 3, slightly reduced in size compared to, say, the original Tracker. Check it out here. Near as I can tell, the big selling point of the S is the $300 price point, which I’m sure will eventually result in surprisingly low street prices for this well featured transceiver. My take is it’s pretty much a Tracker 3 without motion-sensing and upgradable software. Evaluation is ongoing.
Canadian apocalypse watch: This past spring, two massive landslides ripped a small orbital moon’s worth of dirt and rocks of the slopes of Jofre. Apparently much of the area around Jofre will be closed to ski touring this winter. More here.
It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas, not the ski lifts opening, not a new pair of socks. No, nothing so exciting. Instead, it’s time for the New York Times annual coverage of uphill skiing at resorts. According to the Grey Lady: “New bindings that hinge at the toe for going uphill and lock at the heel for the downhill are also used, as well as lighter boots whose ankle hinges for the uphill and locks for the descent.” Who knew!? The article quotes our WildSnow brother Doug Stenclik. He says everybody has two ski setups, one for lifts, the other for uphilling. He insults my twenty-pair quiver. I await his apology.
Want to live to be a hundred? “Only if I can ski nearly all those years,” you scream? Get some tips from Klaus Obermeyer, who turned a century just days ago and skied for most of those years..
And staying outer local, our Colorado ski touring season is off to its normal start. The word is “facets” and facets is the word. The situation varies geographically. Some regions received early dumpage, which sat peacefully through several weeks of beautiful clear-cold nights. This of course magically transformed our beloved stellar dendrites into the deadly snow crystals underpinning so many Colorado tragedies. Avalanche pro Brian Lazar covered the situation in an excellent presentation he gave at the ski touring workshop Manasseh blogged about a few days ago. All Coloradans and potential visitors should know we’re in this situation — take this as a PSA. More here in our blog post, and check this Aspen Times article.
Do you wake up at night with your hands grasping for ski pole grips — a ball of burning panic lodged under sternum? Perhaps you were dreaming of of a skimo race, which if you won would make you the most badass skimo guy on the planet. But in the dream some guy was always just ahead of you, his sweat soaked stretch-clad derriere taunting, shifting, left, right, left right. “I might not beat him this race,” you think, “I need to find a harder race, where my special scientific diet will kick in and make ME the badass.” Your dreams are realized friend, challenge your nemesis to the Six Hardest Skimo Races in the Galaxy. Let the crushing commence. And please share your subconsciously inspired amazo diet in the comments below. Mine is based on oatmeal, sorry I shared that.
I’ve heard some weird mumbling coming out of Jackson Hole recently. Something about a different way to ski, a better way, a funner way. Please check, let us know if we’re missing coverage of something important here on The Ski Touring Website. And there’s an issue with what type of bindings are best for those planks.
Need another excuse to drop everything and go backcountry skiing? How about myopia prevention? Check out this long read in the journal Nature.
And lastly, we’ll skip our famed Gobal Warming Watch closing squib and instead stay with the Honnold Watch. This article leads off with the solo master, quickly delving into an examination of rock climbing history as an economy of technological innovation. I found it quite interesting, and surprisingly accurate as to the historical and cultural references.
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.