Lou’s Off To South America Skiing — He’s Ready

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 27, 2014      

Lou’s been training for ski touring in South America. HQ does not have any snow yet, but there’s always a way at WildSnow.

If you’ve seen this video before, you win a WildSnow sticker. And for the uninitiated (who also win a WildSnow sticker) Lou’s secrets for ultimate fitness will ready you for your best winter yet. (Please comment if you can’t hear the music at the end of the video. We’re trying to get YouTube working with our new https. Thanks!)

Like many of Lou’s innovations, the WildSnow Backcountry Trainer is really quite clever. Of course it’s an excellent aerobic conditioner (though it’ll bore you out of your mind) and with it we’ve been able to speed up our boot fitting process. After a mere few minutes on the WBT, hot spots become apparent and the blow torch is only a few inches away, ready for action.

If we have time between turns, we might put this on KickStarter, along with Lou’s new book, ‘How To Woo Ullr With Petrochemical Carbon Fiber Ashes.’

The get-ready gear pile.

The get-ready gear pile.

From Lou, re gear: While I’ll be using Volkl skis (which I usually like) during the Marker Kingpin binding revelation, my choice for an all-around South America spring touring plank is a pair of Dynafit Denali with basic Dynafit TLT bindings. I’m using Montana skins but the Dynafit Speed is okay as well, am not sure about the Pomoca ‘North American’ glue so those will rest at home for further evaluation. Besides, I’ll be in South America.

Ski crampons are included of course, both B&D as well as a set of Dynafit brand that I’m hauling down there for one of the boys. My ski poles are a dodgy mix. I packed my super light DIY carbons, and threw in a pair of Black Diamond Whippet — I hate going anywhere without Whippets available. The helmet is a POC Fornix Backcountry MIPS, decorated with POC goggles. POC gloves are in there too, along with a pair of Black Diamond lighter weight gloves I’ve long since forgotten the name of.

The puffy choice was a dilemma. I love my Dynafit Cho Oyu (pictured) but it’s a bit beat, so I grabbed my Mountain Equipment down hoody instead. Either work, the ME fits a bit less athletic but isn’t a blouse. The travel sleeping bag (not pictured) is the venerable Mountain Equipment XERO 300 minimalist, good for airport floors and huts, but I wouldn’t want to camp outdoors with it up on some lofty volcano.

Ski pants are the usual Outdoor Research Trail Breaker, with a caveat. This year’s seem to be cut fuller and use a heavier fabric than the previous version. They’re thus noticeably less “athletic” feeling than the slimmer-lighter edition I’m used to. So I packed the older ones as well so I wouldn’t get caught out on a spring day cooking in heavy pants.

Shoes? TLT6 but of course, along with a generic pair of TNF trail runners for day-to-day street and hike. A pair of Croc shower shoes is in there as well. Darn Tough is the sock.

For upper layers I’ve got a few merino wool zip-Ts, as well as my Dynafit lightweight fleece along with that trusty Mountain Equipment Ultratherm red hoody I’ve been using for a couple seasons now. I brought a couple of hard-shells as well. Main protector is the Mountain Equipment Arclight, though I did throw in an older superlight shell as well as I couldn’t face not having my feather-light stuff for big warm days.

Backpack is a Dynafit Cho Oyu, that’ll be ok but could be too small for hut approaches, so I brought a generic zip-bag I can lash on and suffer under if necessary. BCA Tracker 2 is the beacon, with minimal shovel and probe because I simply ran out of weight allowance. In all, the Dakine ski bag weighs 52 pounds filled and this morning they let it through without forcing me to choose between the two pairs of ski pants in there.


6 Responses to “Lou’s Off To South America Skiing — He’s Ready”

  1. Wookie1974 August 27th, 2014 11:50 am

    Lou – as i was reading this, i thought: the piece of equipment that i hate the most, know the least about, and is still pretty important for my overall enjoyment of travel is that ski bag! I would love a good review of them, as well as sourcing information.
    I have an old double bag that i bought only because it was big enough to fit my 189 fatties. It is ugly, heavy, kinda folds in half when you roll it, even with skis in it, and when you get where you are going, it becomes an anchor. (Kidding, but you get the idea.)
    I’ve gone so far as to leave it at home before in favor of duct tape and bubble wrap. (Which may be the best way to go, actually)
    Perhaps someday you might put them through the wringer….or give a tip.

    You’re Dakine bag is pretty nice, but the last i checked, its nit big enough for my largest boards…..and i cant say its better than most of the higher end bags. (See above)

  2. Lou Dawson 2 August 27th, 2014 12:55 pm

    If for air travel main idea is least weight possible, without the thing falling apart after one trip or while it’s in baggage claim.

  3. Scott Nelson August 27th, 2014 2:46 pm

    Holy elliptical training Batman…..have fun down south!

  4. Jane August 27th, 2014 6:31 pm

    I’m happy to see the Snow Duck hasn’t flown south. It brought good snow and almost as important, good belly laughs to me last year. More, more please!

  5. Dave August 27th, 2014 10:14 pm

    What was that song? Also, sticker? Explain…

  6. Lisa Dawson August 31st, 2014 10:16 am

    Hi Dave,
    Song is Batman theme which is available thru public domain. Oddly it doesn’t play on my Acer laptop, but works okay on my iPhone and other computers.

    For WILDSNOW STICKERS, send your name and address to me via our contact tab (above right) and we’ll send you a few.


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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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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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