Being Mrs. WildSnow has its advantages: lots of play days out in the beautiful backcountry with gear that gets tuned by the skiing equivalent of a NASCAR mechanic. More, sometimes we get to seek the snow. Lou (AKA “His Blogness” or so he tells me to call him) reports that the Alps are buried. We’ve swung it so he can go back, only this time the wife is tagging along. Yahoo!
Of course this shall be blogged. Big. I’ve been tasked to cover my gear, then once we’ve flown the coop I’ll blog the female perspective on what will be a dream-come-true ski traverse in the Alps. The destination will not be revealed for a while yet, but it’s classic in the Tirol.
Here’s what I’ll be riding, more gear posts coming, especially clothing. Girl clothing. I threw in some shopping links as well, imagine that.
Got to bring the Gotbacks, K2, that is. These planks allow me to ski a wide variety of snow conditions with a smile on my face, even though I’m just an intermediate skier unless the snow is perfect. Powder, corn, sastrugi… anything is fun on these babies. They are wide enough to float, shaped enough to carve and while not a rando race ski they’re still light enough for multiple laps. I can’t wait to go!
Dynafit TLT 5. I love these boots for their feather weight and movement freedom. Almost like wearing a running shoe, my legs fatigue less on the uphill, and feel strong for the glisse. Every time I upgrade to lighter gear, I get a huge dose of ROI. The fountain of youth for me is shaving off grams, and these boots have turned the clock back to those days of endless energy.
Dynafit TLT Speed, customized a bit by the man. I simply want less weight. It’s true my TLT5s do have some mean forward lean. A binding such as the Speed holds your boot in a way that creates less forward lean. Good.
B&D with their aftermarket mounts. in EU you show up with these or go home. I always pack these in the spring anyways since they are the ticket for scooting up an icy trail.
Intuition. I’m 90% happy with the stock Dyanfit TLT-5 liners. But little things like laces down over the instep and thicker foam got me to go aftermarket in the liner department. Dynafit has people who police bad boys like Lou who mod their boots too much. We’ll see if they can chase us down in the Alps. Bet not, we’ll be in a different hut each night.
No brakes. Less weight. And, straps are necessary on the glaciers. So we’ll use what Lou optimistically calls “thong straps” that we cobble together ourselves. We’ll see how well they work, then Lou will find out if his optimism is appropriate.
A pair of Gecko climbing skins were under the Christmas tree and they have changed the skinning game for me. No more dilemma of trying to choose between a heavy skin that grips, or a light one that glides but cannot climb without a crampon. Whoever invented these skins hit every target: they glide, they grip, they’re light, and I can strip them off with minimal effort. Because Geckos are so easy to handle, I even take better care of them, rolling them up tightly and stashing them neatly in a bag after every climb. I’ve used the Geckos for more than 30 days now, and they’re still working though the glue has become a bit patchy (which might be from me accidentally using them on dry Ptex with old skin glue residue).
(Editor’s note: As of 2015 we’ve found that all the “glueless” skins such as Gecko are not necessarily the best solution for hardcore backcountry use when you’re doing multiple applications or operating in colder temperatures. Stay current on the latest take as all climbing skins are in a phase of innovation and rapid improvement when it comes to adhesive.)
Clothing blog is coming, and perhaps I’ll get highly technical (ha) about which ice axe to pick from our WildSnow eispickel quiver. Hmmm, which bikini top to wear on the deck while toasting the day’s ski with fellow hut dwellers? Oh, and regarding Mr. Sweet Tooth’s desert photos, I’ll one-up that and wrangle a few recipes to share. Stay tuned.