Ski Touring Backcountry News Roundup — Greece, Arcteryx & More


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 31, 2015      

We wish our Greek friends had a better economy, but what is, is. Due to the euro/dollar currency exchange rate as well as the Greek financial situation, it is incredibly affordable to travel the land of Aristotle. But what if we want to ski instead of sun bathing and eating Moussaka until we can’t move? And how about something positive about a country that’s been so dissed of late?

We are intrigued by reports of spring skiing in Greece that involves velvet corn snow along with excellent weather on peaks with thought provoking names such as Grammos, Gamilla, Smolikas and Olympus. More, apparently winter happens down there as well!

Give the Grecians some help and check out this Kickstarter that film maker Constantine Papanicolaou is doing to get the word out on what Greece offers skiers and snowboarders.

In case you’re wondering just how you’d organize a Grecian ski trip, the trick is to contact George Klaoudatos via the travel company he works with.. He is the man to help make it happen.

Did you grow up (or grow) in a ski town during the 1970s or 1980s? Perhaps the sheriff was a bit behind the times. Perhaps you left the town of your parents behind and found a place that was paradise, then proceeded to get involved in growth control and battling evil developers. Perhaps you or your friends were living off a drug money windfall. Perhaps.

Reality or fantasy, Rob Conery wraps it all into his fictional account, “Winterland.” The protagonist is innocently fishing in Florida and gets a big “tip” from benevolent drug runners. A bar is bought in paradise. The sheriff is scary and the developers want their chunk. I found some of the situations to be overdone, but then, this is fiction and you need to keep the reader’s attention. Personally, I’ve seen or even experienced just about everything Rob includes, so let me vouch for his fictional authenticity! Stick “Winterland” on your e-reader for that next stint of downtime, see if you relate.

Our advertising partner Arcteryx just went live with another sweet video. As our style here dictates, their ads in the WildSnow sidebar don’t animate — so please explore their banners as a thankyou! I’ll also embed the vid below even though it looks better to the prehistoric bird’s eyes if they get some banner traffic. I’ll admit the skimo objective in this vid had my hands sweating, and not in a good way. That’s all I’ll offer as a spoiler, check it out for yourselves:

I got off the phone with Tecnica, stunned by how nice the new 2015-2016 iteration of Cochise ski boot sounds like it’ll be. Yeah, freeride, baby! But this isn’t hype, this is a real alpine boot that tours and gives you the beef on the down. New for this season, even the alpine sole blocks will have tech fittings. That means those of you who do such deeds as use CAST plates and alpine bindings, or a hybrid such as Kingpin, can have your cake (solid sole blocks) and eat it too (as in the face shots you will create without having wobbly rubber soles latched into your alpine bindings). It sounds like the main change other than some variations in plastic composition, and tech fittings in alpine sole, is they reworked the lasting for less volume. That can be good when the “shape” somewhat matches your foot. If not, boot fitters have their job security. Check out the 2015-2016 Cochise versions here, I’ll admit it’s a beautiful lineup and the yearly improvements are always exciting.

Not Bigger – but with more snow ;-)! This will be the 3rd edition of the SPLIT & RELAX Festival at Hochkönig. Organized by splitboarding.eu and Livingroom Hochkönig, you can test the brand new splitboard stuff from the 11th of December till the 13th of December 2015. Break out of the Christmas stress and get up to the mountains, update your avy skills and do the obligatory training at the search area. In a relaxed atmosphere and with lots of like-minded people you can exchange experiences, find new touring partners and discover Hochkönig. More info.

I’ve been saying for years that the big issue with land use for ski touring is access. The Tahoe Backcountry Alliance seems to agree.

Comments

35 Responses to “Ski Touring Backcountry News Roundup — Greece, Arcteryx & More”

  1. Gdreej November 1st, 2015 1:09 am

    Will the whole Cochise lineup be offered in polyether/triax? Or just the top models such as the Lite and the 130? Do solid sole blocks equate to Tecnica doing away with the switchable sole blocks completely? Let’s hope so.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 1st, 2015 9:51 am

    Gdreej, my talk with them indicated the swap soles stay. Main point is that _all_ the sole blocks now will have tech fittings. I’ll check about the plastic, it’s always confusing. Lou

  3. Tay November 1st, 2015 7:49 pm

    The main change to the non-DIN (touring) toe block that Tecnica should consider is adding more rocker and having it attach a few millimetres aft. This would improve the walk mode considerably.

  4. Kristian November 2nd, 2015 5:59 am

    Hi Lou, was hoping for something more exciting when I read the words News and Arcteryx in the same sentance 😀 Have you heard anything more about their avy-pack?

  5. Lou Dawson 2 November 2nd, 2015 6:13 am

    I’m pretty sure all shall be revealed in just a few weeks… you got any rumors you want to share?

  6. Michael November 2nd, 2015 9:51 am

    I actually just bought the 2015-16 Cochise 130 Pro … It will be replacing my First Gen Cochise 120 that has been beaten pretty good but served me up so well !!! The 98mm last of the Pro feels quite big actually and the tox box area is huge (My big toe ll thank me when skinning). I haven’t skied it yet, should give it a try this Friday, but size wise, I had to go up one shell size… I had a tight fit in a 26.5 (Shell Size 26/26.5) in the first generation, but couldn’t fit the same shell size in the new one without major discomfort. I actually had to go to the 27/2.7 shell in the Pro (from 100mm last on Cochise 120 to 98mm last on the Pro) to get a perfect fit, because the 100mm felt too big for me. With the boot board on this one, you can do a lot of customization, and as far as ROM, it’s WAY better than the first generation…. Ohh, and it does fell much lighter too. Paired with my Intution Pro-Tour liner, this should should be a pretty good setup for the Up and the down. The stock liner does flex way better than the old one, and the fit is REALLY good … but I won’t use it for longer tour as it weight a bit much, and doesn’t flex as nicely as the Intuition Pro Tour does.

  7. Greg Louie November 2nd, 2015 4:29 pm

    Waiting with bated breath to see them bring in a polyether-shelled Cochise at 1700 grams . . . my 2016 Mach 1 LV 26.5’s (polyether shell and cuff this season) weigh 2286 grams without inserts for swappable soles.

    There are at least two other major brands with plans for stiff Grilamid “crossover” boots for 2017; at least one will have ISO 5355 shaped soles with tech inserts . . .

  8. Sam November 2nd, 2015 4:39 pm

    Lou, I’m a bit confused by your Tecnica notes. Does “this season” mean that changes you’ve listed apply to the boots currently on the shelves, or are do they have a new version in the works? All of the current product media shows the DIN soles without tech fittings. In other words, will I be able to buy DIN + Tech soles in 2015, or will I have to wait until the new year?

  9. Greg Louie November 2nd, 2015 4:58 pm

    @Sam: Lou means “next” season, 2016-17.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 November 2nd, 2015 5:25 pm

    Thanks Greg, I confuse myself (grin), but yeah…

  11. Rich November 12th, 2015 6:04 am

    Speaking of skiing in Greece. The telemarkskico out of the UK have gone to Parnassos irregularly in recent years as well.

    Take a look http://teleskiconews.com/PhotogalleryParnassos.html

  12. Fede November 19th, 2015 6:06 am

    Lou, I’m sure there will be some very cool and interesting releases in a very few weeks from Arc’teryx 🙂

  13. Kristian November 19th, 2015 6:10 am

    Fede, are you talking about ISPO Munich 24.-27.jan or an actual “for sale now” type of release? 😀

  14. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2015 6:14 am

    Kristian, those will be PR information releases they are orchestrating. I’m headed up to Canada to a journalist event to check it out. It’s a convention for mouth breathing gear bloggers that Arcteryx is hosting, that’s why it’s mandatory we send someone from WildSnow (grin). Lou

  15. Fede November 19th, 2015 6:36 am

    Lou, it’s you coming in December or you send somebody else? not sure I understood your last message. Hope to see you there! Last time was long ago!

  16. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2015 7:05 am

    Yes, I’m coming up to Canada in December assuming weather/flying works out. I was told you probably were not going to be there?

  17. Fede November 19th, 2015 7:20 am

    Who said that?, I’m there 😉

  18. Pablo November 19th, 2015 7:35 am

    Last week I saw some of this new things by Arc’teryx and I’m really impressed!!
    I can’t say anything by now but I’ve never see nothing like this before.

    Not sure if it can be a game-changer for most people, as it was tlt-5) bur sure something really new.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2015 8:00 am

    Well, Fede is known for game changers. So we’ll see.

  20. Fede November 19th, 2015 8:05 am

    Yes we will see .. this one we are talking about is my favorite so far 😉

  21. Pablo November 19th, 2015 8:16 am

    for what i can saw last week you can be very proud of it Fede!
    veramente é un bravo disegno!

  22. Kristian November 19th, 2015 8:23 am

    Fede as in Federico Sbrissa? Are we seeing new footwear already? The Acrux AR isn’t even on the market yet! Must say I am super exited about this, when in December did you say the presentation was again Lou? I am hoping for a SL/FL mountaineering shoe that can compete with La Sportiva Trango Cube and the like. Or is it something entirely different…a new ski boot perhaps? Cant wait! 😀

  23. Fede November 19th, 2015 8:37 am

    I would say it’s definitely an interesting hybrid … I hope it will be understood 🙂 … Pablo, how is it possible you saw it? are you some sort of backcountry CIA agent? 😀

  24. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2015 8:53 am

    Fingertips to forehead, channeling Obewhanskinoobie: Mountaineering boot with tech fittings for approach skiing, or perhaps an anti gravity airbag backpack?

  25. Rich November 19th, 2015 8:55 am

    … or some sort of mind blowing new tele boot …

    that would be cool

  26. Fede November 19th, 2015 8:57 am

    That’s easy Lou (boot) , more interesting than that 🙂 … you will see.

  27. Lou Dawson 2 November 19th, 2015 9:00 am

    Electronic built-in crampons.

  28. Pablo November 19th, 2015 10:21 am

    Hi Fede, hehehe no, I’m not a MGIA (Mountian Gear Information Agency) agent.

    But i’m in the bussines and someone from Arc let me have a quick look of a pic on his iPad…

    That’s all. But i loved what I see there!!

    Don’t worry, I will keep the secret until the oficial presentation.

  29. Pablo November 19th, 2015 10:26 am

    Lou talking about electronic built-in crampons…
    Why not electronic built-in boot and binding mode (and lifts) changer ??

    I would love to just press a button on my poles, some kind of trigger ala (F-16 combat fighter) and my boots and binding turn to ski mode or chanche lifts, or change to skin mode….all via Bluetooth Smart.

  30. Jason November 19th, 2015 11:05 am

    Hardboot splitboard boots! *very wishful thinking*

  31. Kristian November 30th, 2015 7:57 am

    Just curious, when exactly is the Arcteryx event?

  32. Lou Dawson 2 November 30th, 2015 9:56 am

    Not sure which event you’re referring to Kristian, but they’re having some media folks up there in Canada next week. A bunch of mouth breathing gear bloggers from what I hear. Lou

  33. Lou Dawson 2 November 30th, 2015 9:58 am

    These “secret” product launches are always a hoot. “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” – Benjamin Franklin

  34. Rich November 30th, 2015 10:01 am

    well, will you {ahem} be live blogging this Lou, like an apple product launch?

  35. Lou Dawson 2 November 30th, 2015 10:21 am

    Rich, we never know till we get there. Sometimes the embargo prevents real live blogging, or else the desperate gear bloggers are tripping over each other to use throttled wifi and everything gets delayed, or else we end up in a place with zilch for connectivity… Believe me, despite the obsession of PR people “launching” things, exactly which day this stuff goes public is not going to rent a tear in the fabric of the universe — though it’s probably pretty cool. Lou

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  Your Comments

  • Carl: I have found how the boot is buckled has a huge flex impact as well. Boots...
  • Carl: looks like a great thing to have in the pack. Site looks like it works, di...
  • Jack: hmmm. I wonder how hard it would be to instrument the boot liner to measu...
  • Omekim: Ummm.... The machine looks to be at room temperature. They should probably ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Tom, it would be easy to do something crude using a torque wrench on an art...
  • Lou Dawson 2: From what I know, unlikely all the boot flex ratings in the industry are an...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, I seem to remember that back in the '80s Ski Magazine (the American on...
  • Bill H: Maybe SkiAlper can rent some time on the machine for next year's issue :)...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...

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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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