Ski Touring News Roundup Mid Aug 2018

By Lou Dawson | August 15, 2018  

I’m not sure how big a news item this is, but here you go. VF, the umbrella corporation for The North Face, Smartwool and other outdoor lifestyle brands, is moving to Denver, Colorado from Greensboro, North Carolina. More here.The migration involves 800 employees and $27 million in tax credits, of which about half are transferable. In other words, a virtual cash incentive. With the recent move of the Outdoor Retailer trade show to Denver, I’m looking at the VF event as quite significant. Get enough critical mass going, and Denver could easily become the outdoor industry hub for the entire United States. No word yet on whether Dynafit will move there from Boulder. Probably not.

We like bush aircraft. So we like this one. Saving our pennies, perhaps, someday we’ll put a 680 shaft-hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-28 engine in something, how would it run in a Jeep?

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Wild and Foamy Camper Project – Part 2

By Louie Dawson | August 13, 2018  

Part 1

Where it all began. An old rusty frame from a 1972 pop-up camper trailer. Ready for some weldin'

Where it all began. Old rusty frame from a 1972 pop-up camper trailer. Ready for weldin’ and grindin’.

After some work, it looked like this, almost ready to paint. I welded tubes onto the back to make the frame longer, welded angle pieces onto the side to make it slightly wider, and welded new brackets to move the axle backward a little.

After mods it looked like this, almost ready to paint. I lengthened the frame by welding tubes to the back, and welded chunks of steel angle to the sides for a slight increase in width. I moved the axle rearward as well, to maintain the correct location ratios. I have not drive tested the re-done trailer yet, but the distance between axle and hitch appears to be good for a stable non-whipping tow. Trailer math here for anyone interested.

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Bench Racing the Salomon Atomic SHIFT Ski Binding

By Lou Dawson | August 10, 2018  
The object at hand. Game changer or ankle weight?

The object at hand. Game changer or ankle weight? Depends on your needs. Either way, bow before mechanical engineering excellence. (Click images to enlarge.)

Shop for Salomon SHIFT at Cripple Creek. (Available September)

While the Salomon Atomic SHIFT is a bit out of the WildSnow gamut for true ski touring bindings, it is so interesting I can not resist dissecting. We’ll have plenty of extended field tests as well, as we can’t let the other panting gear bloggers take it all! If you’ve been living inside a glacier, here is the elevator spiel:

An alpine binding TUV certified to DIN/ISO standard, with a clever hidden set of tech pins that when enabled allow you to ski tour, provided you have a boot with tech fittings as well as sole configuration that’s appropriate for using the Shift in alpine mode. Could be game changing for skiers who truly need a full alpine performance setup during their tours. For others it’s a yawner.

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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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