Backcountry Skiing News Roundup

Post by blogger | December 7, 2007      

In a number of ways I’ve recently been reminded of Northwestern U.S. backcountry skiing. In the news, we’re watching the search for three missing snowboarders near Crystal Mountain in Washington. Backcountry skiing in the wet and scrappy Northwest can bring out the best in a mountaineer — and conversely results in some mean epics.

In terms of the former (and to prevent epics), my son and I have been studying Cascades ski alpinst Martin Volken’s new book like we’re getting ready for a final exam. I’m using the parts about roped glacier travel to make sure I’m up to speed for Europe, and Louie says he “never knew there were so many ways of constructing a rope anchor from skis.” Martin’s reach is long — he’s also behind the design of the Windstopper Softshell gear that Outdoor Research is making. I continue to use the pants and jacket from the OR Tremor collection, and have to say that the increased water and wind resistance of this stuff, combined with a softshell feel and decent breathability, makes for an incredibly versatile outer layer. That said, the Windstopper Softshell definitely doesn’t breath as well as a straight softshell such as our favorite Cloudveil jackets, but it’s an amazing compromise and the perfect “one-rig” for going into uncertain weather.

Speaking of weather, our winter here in Colorado has finally gone back to the normal cycle of two or three day storms staggered with classic bluebird days. Thus, we’ve received some significant precip the last few days, and are anticipating a nice weekend of more snow with a bit of clearing on Monday. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen while getting out a few times this past week, our highcountry has a deadly layer of sugar snow created by our long dry spell, and that’s going to spell trouble till it’s bridged over by at least a meter of solid snow, or else scoured out by a major avalanche cycle. Knowing Colorado, both things will probably happen. If the Cascades make mountaineers, the central Rocky Mountains sure get you up to speed on avalanche safety.

Hillary hanging out with the ski crowd.
Hillary hanging out with Penny Pitou — or is that Seth Morrison?

And how about some politics? It’s good to see Hillary Clinton is courting the ski crowd for votes. But we got a laugh out of her rubbing shoulders with Olympic medalist Penny Pitou. While Penny is not doubt as part of our ski culture as anyone, couldn’t Hillary have found a skier who was a bit more current (Pitou’s racing peaked in 1960)? I mean, how about she bring Seth Morrison or someone like that up on the platform for a bit of chitchat? After all, according to Hillary her short but now well known skiing career consisted of “… trying to get myself vertical.” That sounds like a good start to a cameo in a ski film. Come to think of it, perhaps TGR can work a Hillary segment into next year’s flick.

Lastly, to continue the chuckles some joker at Dynafit sent this startling email yesterday:

Spy shot. ATV with integral BBQ to left,’s own Lou to the right, giving the machinery his undivided attention.

From: Dynafit Marketing Department

Lou, We’re having second thoughts of sending you to Europe to the Dynafit
Kick Off.

There is a conflicting event — The Red Neck Backcountry Approach Vehicle Show — is in Kentucky at the same time. Judging from this photo our spies caught at the OR show this past summer, of you ogling over an ATV with a BBQ attached……you probably won’t mind us sending you to the RNBAVS Show….instead of Austria?

All the best, T.K.
Salewa North America


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


3 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing News Roundup”

  1. Kimmers December 7th, 2007 12:30 pm

    RNBAVS…….I definitely have a couple of nominees for that award! That’s great! Quick question, which should probably be addressed to Lisa, Is she still sporting the Cloudveil Cascade? Is she still loving it? I’m in the market for a new shell, and am very intrigued by the softshell technology…….they just look so much more comfy, for climbing and such. Its just hard to believe that it can be so versatile, condition and weather wise.
    Thanks for your help.

  2. steve seckinger December 7th, 2007 2:50 pm

    Volken is also behind the K2 Shuksan. I ski this in a 174cm and love it — feels much wider than it is.

  3. Shelby December 7th, 2007 3:17 pm

    RNBAVS in KY…Ha! As a native Kentuckian now living in Utah, it might dismay our firends at Salewa to know there are MANY more rednecks pilaging the backcountry in motorized assault vehicles in either Colorado or Utah than I ever observed in the Bluegrass State. Not that we have any shortage of rednecks in KY, however……

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • 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.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version