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Dreamtime LT Powderworks — DPS Fantasy is Life

By Bob Perlmutter | February 28, 2017  
The dream.

Did I really need this ski in my quiver? No, but so what. Some unseen force took over and before you could say, “blower dude,” all of a sudden a box appeared at my door.

Late summer every year, DPS fuels countless ski dreams with their annual Dreamtime offering. Part of Dreamtime is a limited edition Powderworks ski that offers a glimpse into the fantasy minds of the ski engineers tinkering and toiling somewhere in the depths of their Utah factory. Some brands call this their “race room” while others call it their “skunkworks”. Perhaps at DPS, it’s the “dream room.”

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Mammut Light 30 Airbag Backpack and Carbon Cylinders

By Lou Dawson | February 27, 2017  
Mammut Lite 30 with RAS 3.0 is a true 30 liter rucksack when using smaller carbon cylinder.

Mammut Lite 30 with RAS 3.0 is a true 30 liter rucksack when using smaller carbon cylinder. I rig mine with a carabiner on the leg strap and a small add-on camera pouch on the shoulder strap, no other mods, no razor blade action (which is amazing).

Carbon airbag gas cylinders (i.e., tanks, cartridges) are beautiful. About 327 grams (larger aluminum version is 666 grams). Smaller, so you don’t need as big a rucksack. These can’t be retailed in North America, but transport hacking them over here from the enlightened EU seems to work. What you end up with is a 30 liter capacity avalanche airbag backpack, Mammut Light 30, that weighs 2.1 kilos (4.6 pounds). That’s amazing, considering just a few years ago the “normal” weight for a similar sized airbag backpack was more along the lines of 3 kilos — a third more!

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WildSnow Weekend — Power of Four 2017

By Lisa Dawson | February 26, 2017  
First finish: 5:30:02, Brian Smith, Billy Laird

First finish: 5:30:02, Brian Smith, Billy Laird.

Power of Four ski mountaineering race is grueling — 24 miles with 10,000 vertical — and this year it was crushingly cold. Temperature at the 6/am start was in the single digits and barely climbed to 20F during the race. The finish was a bit quiet, as our best racers are in Europe and the Aspen Skiing Company wasn’t exactly making a big deal of it (there wasn’t even a sign at the finish stating what the finish was for), but good to see our local athletes giving it their best. It’s truly an amazing race that even includes a section of bonafide wilderness. We hope that some day, perhaps the Power of Four could be a World Cup comp.

2nd place racers, Mike Kloser and Eric Sullivan finished in 5:39:50.

2nd place racers, Mike Kloser and Eric Sullivan finished in 5:39:50.

2017 Power of Four results here.

Past week’s bloggination:

Austria — Proof of (snow) Life

ISPO 2017 — Scarpa, Trab and More

ISPO 2017 — Zerogear Air Insulated Emergency Clothing Layer

Atomic Ski Boot Flex Testing Machine

OLDER POSTS »

  Your Comments

  • jay: Seconded. Every blogger who talks about gear needs to have, at a minimum, t...
  • harpo: Bob, how big are you?...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Eric, I haven't had any durability problems, I would have mentioned. The bi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: See, regarding my own use of balloon pack, yes, I'd use one during many of ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I still think the plate has some real-world applications. In my opinion, pe...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Pete, the Vipec does not allow the boot heel to move to the side, so the ro...
  • Pete Rotheroe: What would be the negative aspects (if any) of using a Vipec toepiece toget...
  • Pete Rotheroe: Thanks for a great and very informative article. I especially liked the plo...
  • Eric B: I've been touring with this pack this season too, and while there is a lot ...
  • Filippo Gamba: subscription by Filippo, Italy...
  • Filippo Gamba: I also tested the NWP, see the report here: http://www.avalcotravel.com/wr...
  • ALW: Got this boot for rando race training after comparing the weights of the PD...
  • Louie III: They are mounted with old dynafit TLT bindings (with the old 5 screw toe mo...
  • Sam: Hi Lou, which bindings do you have mounted on the VTAs in the picture? I k...
  • See: I know “what if” questions are maybe impossible to answer Lou, but if you w...
  • Greg: I anxiously await your review of the new BCA pack. I have the original BCA...
  • Louie III: The carbon fiber cylinder is filled with nitrogen, and is not refillable (u...
  • Harry: I think I may be confused about this issue. You said you flew with the saf...
  • Nick N: Michael, Bob - thanks for the input on the Wailer 99's and alternatives. I ...
  • darinb: Been skiing the SLR Release for the winter. Beautiful piece of engineering...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Charlie, yeah, there is a physiological barrier for me when I can really fe...
  • Bob Perlmutter: Hi, Nick N., you might consider the Wailer 99 in the Tour1 construction vs....
  • AirVetra: Hi, everyone! Great review and discussion! I'm currently on decision...
  • Matus: I have been using this backpack from January 2017. Couple of tricks: I z...
  • Charlie Hagedorn: I think this is the strongest endorsement of an airbag pack I've yet seen f...
  • Harza: There is also short model, with back entry for ladys and shorter guys. At l...
  • JCoates: Thanks Lou. I meant a few cms longer--which after searching for "ultra" rat...
  • Lou Dawson 2: BTW, I'm NOT recommending any of this, just sharing what I did under what I...
  • Lou Dawson 2: JCoats, it's the Ultra Vector, we have a pair of 178 cm here, they measure...
  • Kristian: "I packed it in the retail box, inside the airbag pack." Brilliant! (Gl...

  Recent Posts


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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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. 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 templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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