Big thanks to Backcountry Access for sponsoring this avalanche education content. Check out the additional plethora of avalanche safety resources on their website.
Wow, kind of a sea change election yesterday. How did it go in your region in terms of outdoor recreation? Here in Garfield County, Colorado, a Republican fellow named Tom Jankovsky unseated Democrat Tresi Houpt for one of our board of county commissioners. Campaign rhetoric says Jankovsky was powered in by outside oil and gas money so he could unseat Tresi, who tended to align with the anti energy development folks. Be that as it may (probably blown out of proportion), what’s interesting and possibly beneficial about Jankovsky as a Commissioner is that he’s been able to keep a small ski resort afloat through some very difficult times (Ski Sunlight), and is thus no doubt a recreation advocate (and a skier).
I look forward to Jankovsky being a voice of reason when it comes to things like balancing multiple use recreation with Wilderness land designations. As for our energy development issues, I doubt he’s out for environmental destruction. But we’ll see. “They might be the best person around, but once they’re elected they become a politician…,” as one person said to me recently. More here.
Always interesting to see what cannon fodder the ski film industry is bringing to the front lines. This video of Matchstick skier Tim Dutton cracked me up at the beginning when the young squire goofs around about where he is in Chamonix, but the guy’s athletic ability does garner respect.
Just a reminder, the Canadian Avalanche Center has updated the decision making tool they call their “Avaluator.” We covered the first generation of these in this blog post, nice to see ongoing improvements. You can get one on the CAC website.
How do you get in shape for the ski season? My approach is to keep some sort of cardio base through the summer. Come fall, I let our lifestyle kick in for leg strengthening with early a few early season turns along with a bit of elk chasing. I show up at the gym as well, to do weight circuit training a few times a week. My timing is usually off and my legs come in around sometime in February, meaning my January Europe trips are sometimes a struggle when trying to keep up with the locals. I could do better if I spent more time on leg work in the summer, but athletic training isn’t my life, so it tends to get prioritized down the list rather than up. If you’re motivated, I found a good summary of how a ski training program should be set up. Check it out here.
Weather here in central Colorado is too dry this week. Typical. We get a thin layer of snow in the mountains, then the precip stops, the snow rots out and turns to sugar, then it starts snowing again on that excellent avalanche layer. Such bad base layers can haunt us all season long. Holding my breath. Meanwhile, it was good to hear from my son Louie that the Mount Baker area in Washington got hammered and he was up there backcountry skiing on a nice dense layer of PNW stability. Safe and fun, that’s what we like to hear! Baker photos.