Saturday, December 27, 2008

High Stoke Factor

i'm packing to ski tomorrow and i have this feeling of stoke in me that i had to blog.

avy conditions however aren't cooperating. today it's high above 3,000ft and considerable below. i had planned on joining the mountaineers on an alpine ski tour near crystal. it was canceled because of avy conditions. this was supposed to be my 'test outing' to see if i want to lead backcountry ski trips for them as a leader/guide. it will have to wait.

generally speaking, it's just not very safe to go out into the backcountry on skis alone. my backcountry crew continues to grow, and includes a green builder, a massage therapist, a microsoft exec and a professional mountain guide so far. all experienced backcountry travelers. as the crew grows so does the stoke.

christmas eve mike and i did what we could at snoqulamie with considerable avy danger and trees that aren't quite filled in enough. i actually veto'd going out the alpental road out near piss pass and source lake. the terrain is ripe, and the conditions were perfect for an incident. and it happened. this guy got buried up to waist and his buddy buried up to his head.

we played it safe and got to dig the first pit of the season.

12.24.08 snoqualmie pass - 3,700ft west facing slope, results were: CT21 Q3, STM Q3, RB6. (things have changed considerably since then)

i spent christmas with the copsons. they are awesome and made my christmas very special. for christmas they got me two cool resources for backcountry skiing; the TAY CD which has maps and photos of pretty much ever skiable line in washington, and a very detailed .pdf for the crystal mtn backcountry. i also got to reading steve's copy of chris davenport's book ski the 14ers. christmas day i read a good portion of the book, and built my sweet brooks range mountaineering rescue sled outside in the snow... like pouring gas on the already burning combustible mixture.

today's chore is to get my hotronics m4's setup in my new garmont radium ski boots. i'm hopeful this will fix my frostbitten cold toe issues. then i'll make my new medical kits, one for day trips and one for multi-day trips (look for a blog coming on putting it together).

more stoke to come... i still haven't been on my new skis!

ski the 14ers

brooks range sled


Eric Taft said...

That rescue sled looks interesting, how much does it weigh? I hope your snowpack is setting up better than ours in Wyoming.

Hart said...

hey eric. i'm not sure how much it weighs. the info on the page seems to have left that info out. i'll weigh it and post how much here.

elizabeth said...

Hey Matt.
What are your favorite poles to use for alpine skiing? I looked at some Life-Link telescoping poles today, but don't know much about them.
Do you have a favorite pack for skiing?
How's your foot?
Happy Skiing!!!

Hart said...

hey elizabeth.

life link variant (24oz) - i used to love the life link variant. mostly because it seemed to be indestructible. i bashed it around around and couldn't seem to kill. way tougher than any regular alpine ski pole i had ever used. plus it was a backup probe as well. oval aluminum upper/tempered steel lower.

life link carbon pro (19oz) - i now use the life link carbon pro. it's light, it's a probe and i've loved it for the last two seasons. oval aluminum upper/carbon lower.

in my experience the telescoping mechanism seems to be the weak point with any of these poles. i rarely adjust my poles to different lengths. they both have grip tape for skinning with a shorter uphill grip. i would go with the life link carbon pro.

hope that helps.. happy skiing and new year - time to party!

elizabeth said...

Thanks Matt.
How are the Hotronics working for you?

Hart said...

hey elizabeth. the hotronics have been sitting on my table for over a week. they are a project that i haven't had a chance to dive into yet. soon.