Ski Touring News Roundup January 2018

By Lou Dawson | January 19, 2018  

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.)

Backcountry ski touring news.

Backcountry ski touring news.

Austrian ski touring news is always a good stop on the web train. Look for their issues with resort uphilling to increase stateside, and check out these safety statistics. Enlightening. From the Bergsteigen article: “…ski resorts are realizing that there are two products to market, the lift ride and the slope…but two separate offers.” When you use cold logic on this, the reality becomes apparent. When you uphill a resort you are using their vegetation clearing and snow farming services, not to mention depending (during operating hours) on their paid ski safety people to help if needed. Money talks. Look for more resorts to charge a fee for using their slopes — even if you do not ride their cable. (Google translate works fairly well on these pages.)

Apparently at least one resort in Austria had the clever idea of including a single lift ride in their uphilling fee. In some situations that might be smart, perhaps when you’re luring customers to a mountain-top restaurant, and you want to avoid losing potential diners after they’ve done a lap and don’t fancy a repeat. Or how about a day of uphilling, and a bit of lift riding? I do that occasionally, fun.

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Black Diamond Helio 76 – First Look Ski Review; BD ATK – Binding Peek

By Dr Alex Lee | January 18, 2018  

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.)

The 2018 Black Diamond Helio 76

2018 Black Diamond Helio 76

I love skiing pow as much as the next ski goof, but sometimes it’s nice to go as fast as you can uphill, carry around heavy things, or take skis to silly far away places. Fast, light, and versatile ski mountaineering gear helps in such pursuits. With that in mind, Black Diamond has some very interesting ski mountaineering gear coming our way.

Disclaimer: This is a first look. I have only had a chance to spend a couple of days on the Helio 76. I skied the 171 length mounted with Vipec Evos (understandably heavier than most will have set up on this ski) in La Sportiva Spitfire 2.0 boots. I skied it both on-piste and in the backcountry, but given how few runs I have had on the ski, these are only initial impressions.

Black Diamond has been making the Helio ski in 88, 95, 105, and 116 underfoot sizes for two seasons. I am a big fan. They are fast on the up and stable on the down. The Helio 105 has been my go to touring ski of late, and the Helio 88 is my go to spring ski. Both skis rock.

Along with the other Helio sizes, BD has made a ski for most skiers, however the skinny ski has made a comeback, and 88 is just not that small. The BD website says that the 88 is made for “ski mountaineering races, high-altitude objectives, and long-distance tours.” I have put it to use in Alaska and Colorado for expeditions, hut trips, and 14ners a plenty — but skimo races? NO WAY.

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Lost Machine of Archimedes? Tecton-Evo-Vipec Teardown

By Lou Dawson 2 | January 17, 2018  

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry — check them out if you’re shopping for Tecton or Evo.)

Going toe to toe with a Fritschi Diamir Tecton Evo toe, a few pin punches and a torx bit got us to the guts. In pictures. (Since this toe is identical to Fritschi Evo, for the purposes of this article we’ll often term it as “Tecton Evo.”)

Before the nefarious deed was done.

As the Tecton toe unit (or Evo) looks before the nefarious deed.

Darwin wrote something about this, didn't he?

Charles Darwin wrote something about this, didn’t he? How assembled living things are greater than the sum of their parts?

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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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