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Post by blogger | January 28, 2008      
Backcountry skiing.
We drove back to Colorado yesterday, nice to be welcomed home by yet another storm! We’re ready, having skied some fresh Saturday up at Pinkpine in the Wasatch. Louie shown above enjoying some Utahhhhhh.

Backcountry skiing.
Check this out! G3 has designed a climbing skin cutter that eliminates the error prone and tedious shifting of your new skins from one side of the ski to the other when you trim them. It works by spacing the cut inward from the edge, with a clever way of positioning the cutter under the edge of the skin. We tried it. A bit awkward at first, but it appears to work. This will be a MAJOR help here at WildSnow HQ, and should make every backcountry skier’s life easier at one time or another. Available this coming fall.

I should also mention that G3 has a new finish on their skis that’s said to shed snow better than anything else. It comes from the snowboard world, if it works, great! No news on their rumored binding that many whisper may be Dynafit compatible. Where is James Bond when we need him?

Backcountry skiing.
For a high tech voodoo hit we visited Aspen Aerogels. These guys make a nano-brew that insulates in thin layers better than just about anything but a vacuum. For example, you’ll find Aerogel in Toasty Feet insoles and some sleeping pads. In photo above, the geeks at the Aerogel booth had a cabinet of dry ice. You put on gloves, one insulated with Aerogel and one with same thickness foam. When placed on the ice, you could immediately feel the difference. We think this stuff should be in the toe area of all backcountry ski boot inners.

Backcountry skiing.
Nano-stuff in the hand. Mankind finally manufactures ectoplasm?

Backcountry skiing.
We always visit a few survival gear companies. This year we focused on Ultimate Survival Technologies. Their BlastMatch fire starting sparker is a bit heavy in weight but super reliable, and operable with one hand. They said they’ll be coming up with lighter weight version so we’ll be watching for that. As it is, we’ll include BlastMatch in our snowmobile and 4×4 survival kits, but probably stick with less massive sparkers and lighters for our human-carried kits.

Backcountry skiing.
Ultimate Survival does have one of the best tinder formulations we’ve seen. Their Wetfire works well when wet, even lighting while floating on water. I like the old cotton balls with Vaseline fire starter, but this may be even better.

Backcountry skiing.
Ultimate Survival also sells a nicely engineered hand-operated chainsaw. We’ve seen these before, but the Saber Cut seemed more elegant than others. It cut fast and smooth. Good item for backcountry skiing stealth cutters or your snowmobile kit.

Backcountry skiing.
To top things off, we got together with Caption Powder for some hero shots. The Captain hired me for my first magazine writing job back in 1977. Always fun to see the guy.



2 Responses to “More OR Show Highlights”

  1. Justin January 28th, 2008 11:22 am

    Any more info on the new Garmont overlap boots (ie. stiffness, weight etc)?

  2. Lou January 28th, 2008 11:54 am

    Justin, coming in a few days. I had a nice long talk with boot designer Paul Parker, so will be able to cover them well.

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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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