Another Taste of the Wild Raspberry

Post by blogger | March 13, 2008      

I thought all you blogsters would enjoy seeing our Raspberry trip through the glass of a pro. So here we go with part two. Michael Kennedy whipped these out and got ’em to us late yesterday.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Louie. He’s on original model BD Verdicts.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Lou and Louie headed up.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Yours truly near the summit of Raspberry. Sometimes he regresses to old school knee knocking.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
I cloned myself for this shot. Photographers always appreciate that.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Louie and I almost never get to simul-ski. We were standing at the top of the low angled portion and I said to Louie, “Hey, lets ski side-by-side like some old heli-ski movie.” Fun.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Me again. Check out those Manaslu slow rise tips. Sometimes you can feel the big tips out there getting pushed around by the snow, but usually they work perfect and give you a solid ride.

Colorado backcountry skiing.
Louie cranks out a few more turns.

Dynafit backcountry skiing.
Two generations.


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13 Responses to “Another Taste of the Wild Raspberry”

  1. Andrew F. McLean March 13th, 2008 9:12 am

    That last photo is great! Very cool.

  2. AJ March 13th, 2008 9:22 am

    Hi Lou,

    As a dad you must feel very proud!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but that Avalung pack no longer looks standard 🙂

  3. Lou March 13th, 2008 9:33 am

    AJ, everything must be modified. That’s the eleventh commandment . Actually, it’s that semi production prototype of the Black Diamond Alias I reviewed a while back. See

    I’ve modified it quite a bit, mostly to reduce weight so it’s better for more moderate day tripping but still has volume. Just the usual cutting away of extra stuff that looks good in the shop but has little practical value to me. It’s probably psychological, but when I grab my empty rucksack I like it to feel light, it’s a downer to think of hauling a bunch of fabric all over creation.

  4. Lou March 13th, 2008 9:43 am

    Guys, as a dad I feel more joy than anything else when spending a day with family in the mountains. There is no small amount of angst there as well, as one tiny mistake can have such dire consequences. Michael’s son Hayden has already become quite the accomplished rock climber, so he and MK do a lot of nice sunny days at the crags. Sometimes I envy that, as ski alpinism does tend more to the gnarly side — though rock climbing can indeed go there as well.

  5. Kirk March 13th, 2008 10:50 am

    I like the two generations photo, as well. As the father of a 2 year-old son, I look forward to sharing the hills with him.

    Very cool!

  6. cory March 13th, 2008 11:30 am

    Quality…the trip, the post, the photos. Well done!

  7. Bdc March 13th, 2008 11:50 am

    Hey Lou:

    May I suggest you post something about introducing kids to backcountry skiing. Like Kirk, I too have a two year old son who will be out back someday, but for now I get a kick touring with my 70 year old father (more often than not there pretty big days too)

  8. carl March 13th, 2008 1:46 pm

    Great pics! It’s a pretty area back there.

  9. Eric March 13th, 2008 2:26 pm

    I too would love to see something about when/how to start kids back country skiing. I’ve 4 year old twins just starting to ski.

    Also, it appears you have a camera case on the right shoulder strap of your avalung pack. My Covert pack has an insulated hydration sleeve there and I couldn’t figure out how to attach a camera case. Any hints/suggestions?

  10. AJ March 13th, 2008 3:22 pm

    but no snorkel yet 🙂

    light is right, you already enjoyed the Camp Pulse helmet, they make some fine packs too

    the X3 600 is a nice piece of kit, lightweight fabric, detachable pouch on the waistbelt, breathable mesh (holes actually) in the shoulderstraps and backpanel, velcro on the inside to fix a Platypus/Camelback/etc., mesh pockets for wet stuff/skins, waistbelt can be adjusted with one hand, loops on the inside to secure skipoles (upside down in the pack with the poles poking out on each side), the few straps you don’t need are easily cut off
    problems? only a few, attaching ski’s is a bit too much rando racing for most people and the system for carrying an ice ax on the outside is not very stable/durable
    size is about 30 litres, weight ca 600 grams

    oops, almost sounds like a guest review 🙂

  11. Lou March 13th, 2008 5:31 pm

    AJ, I was thinking of replacing the tiny Avalung mouthpiece with one from a snorkel. Insider told me that one reason it’s so small is that some people can’t deal with a larger mouthpiece in their mouth. Thus, it’s designed for the lowest common denominator. After taking a big ride years ago, I know something about the forces involved with avalanche survival, thus I feel like an issue with the Avalung is keeping it in your mouth, and a mouthpiece like that on a snorkel seems like it would work better. BD deserves cred for having tested the Avalung a bunch, but I’m not sure they placed the tester in a cement mixer at high speed, with boulders, to see if they could hold on to the thing with their teeth (grin).

  12. Lou March 13th, 2008 5:37 pm

    AJ, I’m trying to stick with the Avalung pack. It would be easier to just build the thing into another pack, as other folks have done, but for me to do that would be unfair to Black Diamond as they sell the ‘Lung at break-even and try to pick up their profit on the packs. Thus, as a responsible blogger and one who has them as a blog sponsor, I need to work with their packs! They’d probably prefer I did nothing to the pack in the way of mods, but then, this wouldn’t be if that was the case now, would it (grin)?

  13. AJ March 13th, 2008 6:29 pm

    BTW I’m very happy with my Covert 32 with Avalung, hard to beat as a winter daypack

    function is more important than weight, an Avalung pack is a practical piece of life insurance

    but a sub 600 g summer pack (empty) always brings a smile to my face, although it takes a bit more care to put the right stuff in the right places, this a small price to pay
    a lot of ski mountaineering packs work very well when the snow melts away

    I can see some logic behind a small mouthpiece, it probably takes a fraction more time to take a snorkel in your mouth

    wearing a scuba mask instead of goggles/sunglasses prevents breathing through the nose for optimum Avalung efficiency
    no, you don’t have to test this, you get enough gear review requests already 🙂

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