Ski Touring News Roundup — Mid August 2017

Post by blogger | August 17, 2017      

On the climate front, it’s good to keep in mind that glaciers are as much about snow accumulation as they are about temperatures (so long as it gets cold enough to snow). Witness how summer skiing has held up in the PNW. The snowpack on Mount Hood, for example, got thick this winter. Around 600 inches of the white stuff built up Palmer Glacier and it’s held up all summer. More here.

Unfortunately, what they’re calling the “Lucifer Heatwave” compromised summer glacier skiing in Italy. Clearly, that’s got as much to do with heat as the fact that the Alps had a light winter, leaving glaciers without their normal surface padding. More here.

Interesting. Eddie Bauer says they’ve come up with a way of using down insulation without baffles or stitched-through seams. “Thindown” is included in the clothing build as a continuous sheet, said to be super warm without the usual bulk of down. No word on resistance to moisture collapse, or how the laws of physics are bent resulting in an inch-thick jacket that insulates like 3 inches. But I’m willing to be awed. More here.

The ever expanding popularity of ski touring has predictable consequences. Example being the expansion of guide permit areas and tenures. In Canada, they’re dealing with a guide service out of Revelstoke that wants to use land in the community watershed. That seems doable, so long as they leave dogs at home and use the outhouse before heading out? But then…? More here.

Chad Brackelsberg

Chad Brackelsberg

The Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) reminds us they had a fantastic 2016-2017 ski season with zero avalanche fatalities for the first time in 26 years. In our world here at, that’s news equivalent of a moon landing. Congratulations Utah!

More, Utah Avalanche Center is pleased to announce that Chad Brackelsberg has been named Executive Director.

Chad brings more than 20 years of corporate experience in technology consulting and program/project management, has been a volunteer observer for the UAC for 8 years, holds a Level 3 avalanche certification, and has worked with the local Utah outdoor community for the past 10 years. Chad will replace former Executive Director Paul Diegel who has led the group since 2007 and will continue working with the UAC, focusing on educational projects.

Chad grew up in North Dakota. He graduated with a B.S. in Biotechnology and M.S. in Microbiology from North Dakota State University. He lived and worked in Minneapolis, MN for 6 years prior to moving to UT in 2002. Chad is an avid backcountry skier, ski mountaineering racer, ultrarunner, and mountain biker. Chad and his wife Emily have organized the Wasatch Powder Keg ski mountaineering race for 10 years and he is a founding member of Utah Ski Mountaineering, a local non-profit dedicated to growing the sport of ski mountaineering. Chad has been on the board of the US Ski Mountaineering Association for the past six years and has served as coach of the US National Ski Mountaineering Team at the Ski Mountaineering World Championships since 2013.



6 Responses to “Ski Touring News Roundup — Mid August 2017”

  1. Frank Kvietok August 17th, 2017 11:54 am

    Very interested to learn more about and try ‘Thindown’. Should allow for some really breathable shell materials, like what syns have been able to use to nice effect.

  2. See August 18th, 2017 8:01 am

    I too am ready to be amazed, but the graphic on the Bauer website comparing the “heat retention” of the Evertherm and the traditional quilted down jacket looks bogus to me. I suspect it’s more photoshop than thermography.

  3. See August 18th, 2017 6:45 pm Mostly technical sounding marketing hype with some interesting pictures. Still, the stuff probably makes a nice jacket.

  4. Andy Carey August 19th, 2017 5:30 pm

    The news today referenced temps to 116 F in parts of Europe with Italy among the hottest; seems pretty hot to me even after record breaking temps and lack of precip here in WWA!

  5. RDE August 20th, 2017 10:59 am

    re summer skiing and glaciers:

    It’s easy (and convenient) to confuse weather with climate. Louie’s photos of Mt. Hood this summer after a good winter show a remaining snowpack substantially less than what was normal when I used to go there for race training and the Masters “Summer Nationals.”

    The retreat/loss of glaciers in glacier national park is well documented:

    The photos show a time span where you are witnessing the effects of climate change rather than the fluctuations of weather. But you don’t have to rely upon science. In two backpacking trips only 12 years apart I personally witnessed the death of what had been one of the showpiece glaciers in the Park.

  6. See August 20th, 2017 7:12 pm

    Apparently, the science has progressed to the point where it is now possible to connect some actual weather events to human caused climate change.

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