Back on a Backcountry Budget


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 24, 2005      

Well, now that the big spenders are back from our Denver, Colorado trip (see below), time to tighten the belt again and work with our $1,000.00 backcountry skier. After all, he’s still got money to burn! Our backcountry skiing guy has essentials such as skis, bindings, and boots, but he needs a backpack. Trick here is to not be too particular, and get something small, light and less complex that still has side straps for carrying skis. If you learn how to pack light, just about any backpack with ski straps will work for backcountry skiing. The Lowe Alpine Vision would fill the bill, as would many other packs you can find on the web or at gear swaps. Most of this stuff came from Sierra Trading Post.

How is our guy doing now?

Skins, Ascension, Sierra Trading Post $ 87.25
Bindings, Diamir, Ebay $195.00
Skis, friend’s attic or remount your own $000.00
Beacon, Pieps 457, web forum sales $165.00
Avy Shovel, Sierra Trading Post $ 59.95
Boots, Sierra Trading Post $309.95
Backpack, Sierra Trading post $ 64.95
Total to date 
$882.10

Still money to burn!


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  • See: Thanks for the science, Lou. I couldn’t believe those screws would hold in ...
  • XXX_er: I think steel is likely to be more hardy and aluminum looks purdier but at...
  • Alex: Dabe, Thank you! I really like the spitfires. Sportiva boots fit my feet su...
  • Cody: sooo....when are we going to get a topless on snow review? :P...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Zippy, thanks for your patience. Jim, please go easy on the attempts at hum...
  • Dabe: How do you like your spitfires? Great report & photos!...
  • Jim Milstein: A longitudinal line runs lengthwise along the ski. There can be no dispute ...
  • Frame: Zippi, I think it comes down to interpretation. I interpret longitudinal ce...
  • atfred: How about "ski width midpoint"? Points should be the same wherever measured...
  • trollanski: High five to Roman Dial and others for proving this...Great vids on youtube...
  • Thom Mackris: In case any Coloradans are interested, I just learned that the 1st Annual C...
  • Joe John: Looks like fun. Someone should send one to the German that swims to work i...
  • zippy the pinhead: Hi Jim, I fail to understand why you insist on using a word which relate...
  • Jim Milstein: Longitudinal center line is exactly the term you want. No ambiguity. If you...
  • zippy the pinhead: Exercising my search-engine-fu, I came up with a couple of antonyms for lon...
  • Sedgesprite: AKA: Poor Man's Supercub. Roman Dial has been advocating them for years. Eq...
  • Lisa Dawson: Sure looks like fun. My achy knees agree!...
  • Alex: alas....if only a kayak could fit in my packpack, yes I would have a melt d...
  • biggb: Shhhh ... don't tell this guy about whitewater kayaking ... he might have a...
  • Crazy Horse: Lou, the thing is, solutions that actually have a chance of solving the hou...
  • Jim Milstein: Center line...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Crazy, I keep thinking that if the political will was there, then the land ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Bill, re the waste disposal, it's handled just like any other hook ups....
  • Lou Dawson 2: Zippy and all, I agree, longitudinal is probably not the best word. I did a...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Afox, yeah, the way most ski graphics are applied to skis is not inherently...
  • Matus: I usually measure the real width on the base side of the ski. Much quicker ...
  • Torquil: 1) print off Wild Snow paper template. 2) trim the template to fit on t...
  • afox: The binding freedom self centering guide block is worth every penny! htt...
  • afox: I use the paper method. Its a PITA but works well. If a ski manufacture...
  • See: In above comment, the “front set of holes” and “the holes at the back of th...

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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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