PNW Early Season Ski Touring is Alive and Well

By Louie Dawson | December 10, 2018  

It is wonderful most places in North America have had excellent early-season skiing. Here in the PNW, we’ve not had it as good as some of you. Still, over the past few weeks we’ve managed to find a few powdery spots. Here’s the photos, just to show we’ve still got it.

Finding some nice pow in the North Cascades.

Finding nice pow in the North Cascades. Click images to enlarge.

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Interesting Ski Huts Discussion — Aspen Event

By TheEditors OfWildsnow | December 9, 2018  

For you locals in the greater WildSnow.com area, the news is we are having a “hut history” night:

Huts panel discussion.

Huts panel discussion.

 

G3 — Stomp Pad and ZED Binding Gaposis Breakage

By Lou Dawson | December 8, 2018  

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.

In downhill mode, showing stomp pad.

G3 ZED in downhill mode, showing stomp pad gap exceeding their now recommended 1.5 mm gap.

I’ve never been entirely convinced on the use of stomp pads with classic tech bindings such as G3 ZED. (Stomp pad being a block of material under the boot heel, with a small gap that closes up when the binding heel flexes downward under high loads).

A couple of reasons for my skepticism: Mainly, I knew that boot’s vary in shape, so getting the correct stomp pad height is difficult (leading to the dread medical condition known as “gaposis). More, stomp pads are a kludgy solution to inherent binding fragility.

I’d rather see a binding be strong enough, and not need the pad for all but the biggest, most aggressive skiers.

Thus, while doing my examinations of the G3 ZED, I gave a sagacious nod to the stomp pad, figuring “well, here we go again, but I’ll shut up and see what happens.” Apparently, what happened is indeed the ZED fixed-height stomp pad ran up against the reality that the ski touring boot industry doesn’t have much truck with the DIN-ISO standard for ski touring boots. (In my opinion a good thing, as we wouldn’t have the plethora of cool boots if they had to conform to 9523).

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

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