G3 helped us out some time ago with a technical look at their ZED binding. Overall we were favorably impressed, but I wanted a little more time with the sweet thing. A pair is now living here at WildSnow HQ, so how about a few supplementary details before we get them on the snow?
The whole kahuna, sans brake. We’ll detail the brakes in another post. Know for now that they’re easy to install-remove, though to do so you remove the heel unit from the heel plate (which can remain screwed to the ski).
My last highlights post regarding ISSW (International Snow Science Workshop). Interesting discussion material buried below, persevere!
First thing: a shout out our friends at Backcountry Access, makers of the excellent Tracker beacons and so much more. They’ve been publishing a series of avalane safety videos with a younger slant, covering the basics. Eternal denizen of BCA, Bruce Edgerly, presented one of the vids as his segment of the ISSW conference. He said they’re using an educational concept, “peer to peer communication,” to reach their target audience. I picked an example as follows, see what you think. Too hokey? Fun? There is one blooper in there, see if you can spot it as an educational exercise. The entire series is here.
Freeride vs, Freedead, Pyrenees
Next in our video lineup, this one was not so wonderful. I wish I could share the visual. But it’s not public as far as I know (though we’ll be using it for a presentation at the Mountain Rescue Aspen community avalanche seminar Jan 18, 19). Worth summarizing: Resort skiers with head-cams recorded the whole sordid chaotic mess of what appears to be a fatal or close-call avalanche burial within resort boundaries. A crowd gathers, people run around in a disorganized mob, digging with their hands. Overall disturbing. Lesson: don’t get buried if many people are around, the cluster will take too long to find you. There is no strength in numbers, especially with untrained under-equipped people.
I can always spy Italian design by the classy look. LaSportiva is a good example. Their jackets fit well and look more stylish than the average puffy, somehow eliminating that stuffed sausage look. Misty Primaloft jacket, 100% recycled polyester with Primaloft Silver Active insulation.
Wood core makes these skis new.
As seasoned readers know, the WildSnow team typically covers the Outdoor Retailer Show in January each year. This year the organization is calling the January show, the “Snow Show,” and they added a “Winter Show” in November which Lou and I attended for a day. The show was mostly apparel and shoes, and being a bit of a clothes horse, I enjoyed it. One retailer, La Sportiva, snuck in some skis and gave us an update on their 2019/2020 line. The preview made me forget about getting a new jacket for the season…well, almost.
Available fall 2019, the carbon nano tube construction of the Vapor Float, Vapor Nano and Vapor Svelte will be reinforced tip to tail with strips of poplar wood core material. This adds several hundred grams per pair, but will make the Vapor ski line stronger (they’ve had durability problems). They should ski better too. Lou says the new build will still keep the 178 Svelte in the “one kilo” weight class, albeit just barely (catalog weight for the 188 cm is 1,300 grams).
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