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Backcountry Skiing Snow or Water — Meier Skis First Look

By Guest Blogger  

Colby Christoff

After a little bit of engineering work involving duct tape and pool noodles, the Meier skis are ready to take to the melted alpine snow.

After a bit of engineering work involving duct tape and pool noodles, the Meier skis challenged a big pond of melted alpine snow.

Another in the phenomenal explosion of “boutique” skis, Meier skis have been manufactured in the Roaring Fork Valley (home of WildSnow.com) for several years. Matt Cudmore, owner and operator, began building backcountry and resort skis in the one-car garage of his home in Glenwood Springs. Over the past few years he developed and grew the company into a new warehouse, with state of the art machines and technologies. Read more backcountry skiing

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Let the Buzz Begin — Is Marker Birthing a Tech Binding ?

By Lou Dawson  

Update: We just got the following (condensed and lightly edited) email from Jonathan Wiant, CEO of the Marker Völkl Group. This is big news, not only because this is a tech binding from one of the biggest binding companies, but they’re also claiming their new tech binding (we’re guessing it might be called “King”) will have TUV certification to the ISO 13992 standard for ski touring bindings.

Hi Lou,
We have made significant efforts to keep the lid on our development of a new ski touring binding. …So far our efforts of clandestine testing has been successful. Until the most recent “sighting” as communicated by Mr. L.R. from Austria on WildSnow.com the market is full of anticipation and rumors but no concrete evidence. …Our final step for testing had the misfortune of involving 3rd party testers and to make this test convenient and accommodating to fulfil test objectives we had to risk a public appearance. Yes, we have been “outed”!

Caught on the Stubai Glacier with the German TÜV Süd organization we were in the final stage of testing toward certification for ISO 13992. And yes, I am proud to announce that Marker is the first company to receive ISO certification for our new PinTech touring binding… (Editor’s note: Actually, Dynafit Beast may be the first such binding to receive the ISO 13992 — it’ll all come out in the wash in a few months, see comments below for more about my feelings re TUV binding certs.)

Best Regards, Jonathan Wiant

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Humble Pie Picnic in the Bugaboos

By Louie Dawson  

 

Cooper hiking into East Creek below the massive South Howser Tower

Cooper hiking into East Creek below the massive South Howser Tower. Click all images to enlarge.

After a few days of spectacular climbing (see Bugaboos Trip Report Part 1, Splitter Classics!), Coop and I took a day to laze around Applebee Camp, before hiking over to East Creek Basin below the Howser Towers in Canada’s spectacular Bugaboos.

I glanced at the weather forecast as we left Applebee. Still 100% yellow circles for the entire period. Sweet!

But the Bugs had other things in mind, like teaching us a lesson about the accuracy of weather forecasts and what gear we should be carrying for alpine rock climbing.

 

Such promise!

Such promise!

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Sheeple, People, and Aspen — Backcountry Skiing News Roundup

By Lou Dawson  

Sheeple or people? It’s always interesting to me when backcountry user restrictions finally trickle down to us human powered denizens of the outback (first they took our ATVs, then they took our skis, then they took our socks!).

In the Jackson, Wyoming area a study of bighorn sheep winter range shows the noble beasts intersect with backcountry skiing routes in some zones. Using what appear to be the intriguing (to put it nicely) cause-effect assumptions of conservation biology, as well as a dose of preemptive caution, the idea of more sheep habitat restrictions on backcountry skiing range is being floated as a result of the study. (Note the Teton skier restrictions began some time ago, this is just a continuation of the process).

The study biologist said (according to Jackson Hole News) “I want to reiterate that the population is small… it [presence of backcountry skiers] does put them at risk, but it’s currently stable.” So, the population is currently stable but at risk?

We’re all for reasonable efforts at wildlife conservation and it may well be that the Teton bighorn need a winter environment with no humans within their threat zone (some areas are already restricted). Yet clearly the extrapolation and guesswork in this sort of thing is worrisome. Moreover, one has to wonder if helicopter mugging and collaring about 23% of the small sheep herd might be at least as bad as the presence of backcountry skiers? Avalanches. Read more backcountry skiing

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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