Ski Touring News Roundup July 2018

By Lou Dawson  
Villarica, Chile, 1980.

Villarica, Chile, 1980. Myself and Jerry Roberts were down there skiing the volcano, hitchhiking around. This was not one of our rides and that’s not Jerry, though considering the amount of time it took us to get around with thumb power it might as well have been, both. Hospitable pensions and a good ski were had. Click to enlarge.

Southern hemi is shaping up. Portillo looks thin, but Anton over at Ski Arpa, 26 miles to the west as the whirlybird flies, recently told me they’ve been getting good dumps to set up their cat skiing operation. Will the Andes winter deliver? Let us know if you’re down that way.

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How Green is My Garden? Website Bandwidth and Electrons

By Lou Dawson  

Whoist greenerest than thou? Fun Friday blog subject. Is is possible WildSnow is greener than Patagonia? Certainly not when it comes to chlorophyll or activism. Yet, a few thoughts…

Bandwidth comparison.

Bandwidth comparison. Click to enlarge.

Even if Patagonia the company uses carbon neutral data centers for their web servers, how much carbon does your browsing of their website produce? I’ve mentioned before that the world wide web has the carbon footprint of, for example, the entire UK or more. Even if the actual storage (server) of a website is green as Pata’s probably is, by the time you see that homepage splash on your computer screen all sorts of electricity has been consumed, most often coal generated, over which you have little or no control (unless you’re in countries such as France or Norway with a preponderance of nuclear or hydro power, and are browsing to a website on a server in that same country).

In the case of our friendly comparison here, the electrical infrastructure of the internet, from hub to your home wireless router, has to pump 3,100 KB for your first view of the Patagonia website, and about three times less (893 KB) for your first stunning life changing experience of WildSnow dot com. Are we thus responsible for 1/3 less carbon in delivering our website? Perhaps, but again that would ultimately depend on what produced the electricity for the server farm. More, perhaps Patagonia purchases so many sustainable watts and carbon offsets they’re saintly, and easily compensate for their part in the country sized carbon footprint known as the world wide web.

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Headlamp Helmet Mounting Chapter 2 — BD Icon

By Lou Dawson  

Aside from an overly complex user interface (tattooing instructions on the back of my hand solved the problem), I like the Black Diamond Icon. Review coming, for now let’s do an iconic helmet mount. Not much to it, though unlike our previous system (Chapter 1) the lamp ends up semi-permanent on the helmet rather than enjoying optional bracketry.

Icon rig.

Icon rigged. Key is best grade double sided exterior tape you can get. The good stuff is acquired at the auto parts store, used for tasks such as attaching exterior automobile trim. Tape pictured is the hardware store “consumer” version, it’s ok but didn’t do as well in my testing. When you apply the tape to the headlamp parts, build up any hollows with extra layers so you get full contact on the helmet. Scrub helmet and headlamp surfaces with rubbing alcohol (important). Icon headband strap also shown, easy to remove, a bit harder to replace as it’s tough to remember the exact configuration.

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