I got the news about a week ago and been scrambling ever since. Dynafit will be hosting WildSnow again for coverage of their yearly product launch. This time the event will take place at the lofty perch of the Simonyhutte in Austria, on the Dachstein massif. Word is that the Austrian gear tweakers have some new stuff that will blow minds, so to say I’m excited about this is the understatement of the century. As last year, I’ll be meeting up with Dynafit binding inventor Fritz Barthel and spending some time with him and his family for a few days, then we’ll head up to the Dachstein. They’ve got snow, so I’m looking forward to some real euro style ski mountaineering out of the Simony, perhaps we can even climb the Dachstein if weather cooperates. As last year, it’s a huge honor for WildSnow to be included in this, and we appreciate it immensely.
|Red arrow indicates the location of this year’s Dynafit product launch. Internet connection for blogging? Who knows…. but we’ll make it work somehow.|
All that said, don’t worry about us being too “Dynafit” around here (as if we aren’t enough of that already). Beyond the tickets for my trip in January, our whole family has reservations on a jet bound for Munich in March, where we’re planning on launching a huge three weeks European dream vacation. Along with a few days of roots tourism visiting my wife’s family origins, we’ll be doing all sorts of mountaineering adventures in the Tyrol, along with factory tours and gear coverage of Scarpa & Garmont boots, Trab skis, more Dynafit coverage, mountain culture immersion (can you say lederhosen?), and so on.
Having been over there last winter, I’m feeling a bit more relaxed about trip preparations. But it’s still tough packing light and making sure you’ve got the right backcountry gear to handle a variety of conditions. Most recent question was what selection of ski pants and casual wear pants to bring? Conclusion so far: I’ll bring a pair of OR Tremor Windstopper softshell pants for use in winter conditions (yes, I’m an optimist), and one pair of lighter duty soft-shell pants, Cloudveil Rayzar, in case global warming is in full force (or if it’s simply sunny-warm type conditions up on the glaciers). For casual wear during hikes to gasthauses and strolls on windy winter streets I still favor my Cloudveil Switchback pants, and I’ll also have a few pair of regular slacks.
Big dilemma is connectivity. I’m rarely happy with the wireless provided by hotels and hot spots, mainly because of the lame internal antenna in my notebook computer. To fix that I ordered a PCMCIA wireless card with an external antenna connector, along with an antenna. Plan is to disable the internal wireless card in the notebook, install the PCMCIA with antenna, and get a noticeable improvement in connection quality. Ultimately, I’d like to install an external antenna connector in the notebook, but don’t have time for such hardware hacking before the big trip. As for cell phones, I picked up a cheap Euro phone that’ll probably be fine for the occasional call. Wouldn’t mind having a PDA that could do email via a cell connection, but that kind of tech is probably beyond my finances. All fun and interesting!