|For two days we’ve had a high quality storm (WS10) here in Colorado providing copious nieve polvo for the betterment of humanity. Got out today for a taste and shot a few photos of Lynn S. feeding a healthy habit. A bit cold, but terrific conditions for November “gear testing.”|
As we were skiing with little avalanche danger, I used the BCA Alp40 pack instead of the Black Diamond Avalung pack. Alp40 worked well. Main feedback is that the waist belt pockets are useful, but somewhat small and located too far to the side for easy access to my larger point-and-shoot digicam (Canon A620). A smaller camera would fit fine. Not a big deal, as I’ll go back to a shoulder strap camera case, and use the side pouch for something else like my 2-way radio or GPS. As for the size of the pockets, much bigger and they’d hang down and bang your thighs as you plod, so they’re probably about as large as they can realistically be.
I didn’t test the BCA Nalgene sip tube system today, but did so last season when it was first released by BCA. I like the Nalgene system, but like anything its got pros and cons. Having a bottle instead of a bladder during backcountry skiing is much better if freezing of the sip tube might be an issue, as it’s easy to pull the bottle out, unscrew the cap and take a swig. Bladder is nice because it gets smaller as you drink, and larger bladders hold a ton of water. Jury is out on how reliable the breather valve is on top of the Nalgene bottle — we wonder if this could be forced to leak. More on that to come.
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.