4FRNT Raven — Ski Review

By Guest Blogger | February 20, 2019  

Jamie Caudill

For the last four years, my go-to backcountry-powder-hunting weapon of choice has been a pair of 2013 4FRNT Hojis. This year, I decided to get with the times and hocked my old Hojis so I could snag myself the lighter, more technologically advanced, and slightly narrower 4FRNT Raven.

4FRNT Raven proved to be terrific for soft snow.

4FRNT Raven proved to be terrific for soft snow and saved weight on the uphill.

My first impression was that these new shred sticks, with a stated weight of 1600 grams per ski, were far lighter than the 2000+ gram Hojis, and noticeably stiffer. At 5’10” and roughly 150 lbs, I opted for the 177, hoping to make these an all-around backcountry powder–to–spring–couloir quiver of one; and I felt that shaving off 100 grams per ski was more important than the extra seven centimeters of fun (more on that later).

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Colorado Gets A New Hut — Sisters Cabin

By Lou Dawson | February 17, 2019  
Approaching Sisters Cabin, Colorado.

Approaching Sisters Cabin, Colorado. Six thumbs up.

Colorado’s newest backcountry skiing hut, Sisters Cabin, opened for business this winter. I visited a few days ago on a media trip. The architecture and location blew me away.

In Colorado, we lack lower angled, somewhat avalanche safe backcountry skiing, so hut sites for the typical backcountry skier are hard to find. But after working through 21 options for sites, Summit Huts received approval for a location on public land, just below timberline on the north side of a blunt hump known as Bald Mountain (near the resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado). A locals favorite for backcountry laps, Bald has a variety of ski options, from low angled to steep, timbered or alpine. Access to higher, steeper mountains is limited, though the summit of Bald is 13,638 feet — a worthy objective if you’re looking to tag a peak instead of lapping powder (or doing both if you’re strong).

Seeming as most hut customers in Colorado are seeking moderate terrain and easily reached huts, the place is perfect (the approach is a short four miles of low angled trail). Sisters is booked solid for the entire winter, proving the point. The $50/night per person fee seemed high to me as you’re not getting running water or meal service, but I found out $10 of each fee is put towards an endowment. That’s important, as these high altitude huts are expensive to maintain.

In all, I’m happy to report another fine addition to the astounding preponderance of more than seventy Colorado backcountry huts and yurts. Reservations. Check out a few photos, many more on the Summit Huts website.

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WildSnow Valentines — Lisa Gets Her Ski-Mojo On

By Lisa Dawson | February 14, 2019  

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.

A butt lift for Valentine's surprise? Read on to find out.

A butt lift for Valentine’s surprise? Read on to find out.

Lou always surprises me on special occasions with unusual gifts. I’ve received a cowhide tool belt for my birthday, a bug zapper for our wedding anniversary and a log splitter for Christmas.

But this Valentines Day Lou outdid himself and got me a new pair of ski legs.

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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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