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.’
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.