Here in Colorado, backcountry skiing news is a snowpack in some places that’s stabilized to the unusual point of being rated “Green” in terms of avalanche danger. It’s been like that in the Crested Butte area, as well as the western Elk Mountains. Key with enjoying such conditions is finding areas that still have quality snow rather than breakable crust. This past Saturday we got in another descent on Mount Sopris (our signature mountain near Carbondale, Colorado), but were not impressed with the snow surface. So yesterday we headed farther west and found everything with a northerly tilt to still have a coating of boot-top powder. Along with the above, few more photos from the weekend:
A quick gear note: I’m on about day 20 for the Dynafit TLT5P boots. My cuff lean mod is holding up and I’m loving my fine tuned forward angle. I swapped my original pair of Intuition Pro Tour liners back into the boots as I’d gotten a better mold with these then the pair I’d aggressively heated to try and reduce forward lean (by making the cuff thinner) before I modded the boot shell. I’ve been doing all this skiing without the TLT5 detachable tongue, and find that the reinforced tongue of the Intuition Pro Tour seems to provide just enough beef to make this configuration viable — though I do feel the need for a bit more forward beef in the boot when I’m on hardpack. Again, the elegantly engineered OEM liner for these boots is desirable if they fit you, but mine simply did not fill enough volume so instead of endless mods to compensate for that, I simply went to the the thicker aftermarket Intuition. Tradeoff is a bit less cuff articulation during the uphill, but for the type of skiing I do that’s not a big deal. Main advantage I’m still noticing with TLT5 is the lack of weight combined with surprisingly good downhill performance. It’s still hard for me to believe, but I’ve dropped about ONE POUND per foot by using these boots. You might not notice it when you save 5 grams by fiddling with your tech bindings. But drop a pound of boot on each foot, and believe me, it can change your life.
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.