Montezuma Basin — First 2008/2009 TR


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 16, 2008      

We’ve had a couple of “sticky” storms this fall, which by all reports resulted in somewhat unusual coverage on the high peaks of the Elk Range here in Colorado. So we checked it out yesterday.

Backcountry Skiing

WildSnow guest blogger Dave on his Kilowatts, Montezuma Basin yesterday.

Backcountry Skiing

What would a day with WildSnow be without some gear testing?

It is time. We’ve got a pile of new gear here at HQ. Dave is testing the Outdoor Research Transcendent down puffy, and OR’s excellent Omni Glove. I’ve been a fan of the Omni for a while. This year’s version is slightly thicker and makes an even better cold weather but still light-weight option, what with PolarTec Wind Pro stretch fleece, but I liked last year’s slightly thinner version for spring skiing and high intensity uphilling.

Backcountry Skiing

We're also testing the much vaunted Garmont Radium, all good so far, real-world review coming once we've been out on them for a while.

Colorado backcountry skiing

Fourteener Castle Peak has amazing coverage and has already been skied several times from the summit this season. We were short on time so didn't go for the summit, instead enjoying excellent snow on the Montezuma snowfield.

Backcountry Skiing

I got to drive the Dawson family Jeep, so the day was complete.

Montezuma Basin

For some reason I like this better than a cable car -- but each to his own. (Dave photo)

Comments

13 Responses to “Montezuma Basin — First 2008/2009 TR”

  1. Andrew October 16th, 2008 9:00 am

    Awesome early season turns! I’m new to Colorado, but experienced in the backcountry. Without a 4×4 is this a realistic day tour from the Castle Creek Trailhead?

  2. Lou October 16th, 2008 9:32 am

    Sure Andrew, just start early and be ready for a hike.

  3. Kirk October 16th, 2008 11:42 am

    Lou, it looks like you’re using the Radiums with a Diamir binding. I was under the impression that the boots could only be used with Dynafits. Can you advise?
    Thanks!

  4. Lou October 16th, 2008 12:02 pm

    Wow! How did you get that impression? Nearly all AT boots, Dynafit compatible or not, have standard “DIN” shaped soles that will work in any AT binding. Glad we could clear that up!

  5. onyourleft October 16th, 2008 2:26 pm

    Lou, more about the Radiums please. My birthday money is burning a hole in my pocket. Love to hear a comparo between the Radiums and the BD Factors.

  6. Evan October 16th, 2008 3:13 pm

    Holy bitchin’ Jeep! Looks like it will take you more places than a cable car would anyhow!

    Anyway, your first TR got me in the mood to share some more early season stoke… you probably heard we got a big storm last weekend here in Montana: about 60 inches in the Tobacco Roots! It was like the middle of winter! Here’s the link to my first TR of the season, from Sunday Oct 12th:

    http://www.oronaut.com/2008/10/13/october-white-room-insanity/

    Cheers, and keep up the killer work here on WildSnow! I read it daily, and your equipment weight list fills a serious void on Teh Internets. 🙂

  7. Lou October 16th, 2008 3:35 pm

    Evan, that’s amazing!

  8. dave downing October 16th, 2008 6:14 pm

    @Evan — WOW!

    @ onyourleft — biggest difference for me between the Radiums and BDs, foot volume. The BDs fit my WIDE foot much better straight out of the box. So that’s a good place to start.

  9. Geof October 16th, 2008 11:16 pm

    Wow… Castle looks great already!! Headed up Sat for some turns on Greys. Prolly not as good as Montezuma, but still turns! Here’s good on ya!!

  10. Carl October 17th, 2008 3:42 pm

    Looking good. Would it be correct to assume you needed chains to make it past that ice right before the waterfall? I was up there on Monday but parked before the ice, about 10,800ft.

  11. Lou October 17th, 2008 3:55 pm

    Carl, I’d bring chains but wouldn’t bother chaining up till you’ve walked up the road there and scouted it. Most of the road is dry or has packed snow/rocks with good traction.

    I could have used chains for busting the snow up higher, but now that’s done for you (smile).

    I’ve gotta get some chains for my 35s, but my little worn out V6 probably doesn’t have enough power to really do them justice. Rebuilding that engine needs to be done, perhaps this winter for evening relaxation?

  12. dave downing October 20th, 2008 3:36 pm

    anyone looking to hit up Montezuma or anything else soon, remember WAX. yeah, the stuff you put on your skis last Christmas? It’s helpful I found 🙂

  13. Lou October 20th, 2008 4:26 pm

    And remember your tire chains and/or studded snow tires, as I just heard the ice flow on the road has gotten long enough to be problematic if you don’t have some steel for traction.

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  Your Comments

  • Rob S.: Lou - if this thing had a hip belt, I think it might be slick for slack cou...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Thanks guys, I'll ramp up my skills. Funny, you'd think a guy who was using...
  • Michael B: Lou, also try searching with duckduckgo.com....
  • Bryan: There are a bunch of tools out there that allow you to choose the location ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Matt, I don't think Blase is necessarily against solo ski touring, and I'm ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Shaun, I did some more experimenting, going Incognito doesn't change the...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Adam, yeah, you use the same holes and the same OEM binding baseplate. B...
  • Adam: Hey Lou. First off, thanks for all the great work you do with this site. On...
  • nate porter: Monarch is my home mountain. The dawn patrol skinning scene there has gotte...
  • Matt Kinneu: Don't solo? yea right. In all mountain sports solo-ism is part of the game....
  • Paul Noto: Lou, I ran into you at Cripple Creek the other day. Was buying this pack in...
  • See: I'm curious about how your verticals came to be missing the ski/walk levers...
  • Jan: Thank you for you help....
  • MT Big Blue: John B -- thanks. I've looked at Skimo already. Those parts not listed a...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ha, good idea on the 404, I'll add it in there as another example. It'll be...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Shaun, thanks for the tip. I do know how to go incog, but didn't think it m...
  • Shaun Pinney: log out of google and your searches will be general not local. You can also...
  • Garrett: Lou, thanks for doing all that measuring and sharing the data, it has prove...
  • Aaron: Wookie, there are days I dream of the euro support network that would allow...
  • John: Lou/Louie have you guys heard of any breakage issues in relation to the pla...
  • Quasimoto: Ever skied out east, Lou? Wind like that Scotland vid is pretty common, es...
  • Kate Brown: Is there any real difference between the 2015 boot (purple) and the new 20...
  • Truax: Lou, thanks for the response. You are correct on the apples front. I just w...
  • See: Good tips. Thanks. Lately I’m trying to reduce “unsprung” weight-- skis, bo...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Truax, my feelings and opinions change over time, along with changes in tec...
  • Wookie197: Its enlightening (enheavining ?) to see what everybody is packing....I use ...
  • Mike: Hi Lou, I've decided to buy one of the new LiPo airbag backpacks. However,...
  • Bryan: Lou, Yeah, I did get replacement heels, which G3 was very good about rep...
  • Truax: "Me, I found Dahla to be fun both on the piste and in soft but forgiving co...
  • MikeW: Also I'm going to miss my hipbelt pocket and gear loop, off to the sewing m...

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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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