Hitting up the old Hidden Valley Ski area in Rocky Mountain National Park just outside of Estes Park, Colorado for some fresh tracks. Also, testing Eddie Bauer’s new Propellant jacket with Polartec’s new Alpha insulation which worked great. Click through to the full story for the video.» Full Story »
Old Lift Line
Old Hidden Valley Ski Area, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 16 April 2013
Backcountry Ski Hut
Opus Hut, San Juan Mountains, Ophir, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 24 April 2012
As a last push to find some measure of winter (defined by me as including skiable snow, not just being cold out), Jordan and I pushed out to the new Opus Hut tucked in the southern end of the San Juan Mountains. We had invited a number of other folks, but by the virtue that we scheduled our trip mid week, most of the working world wasn’t able to comply. So Jordan and I set out on this trip on our own. This was her first ski hut trip (though, she did get herself up to Gray Knob a few years ago) and she said it pushed her a bit more than she would have liked.» Full Story »
Opening Day at Breckenridge
Peak 8, Breckenridge, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 11 November 2011
Attending a ski resort’s opening day is not for those looking to avoid crowds. It’s about being a part of history in the making, meeting new friends and sharing in the passions. This year was particularly poignant with Breckenridge Ski Resort kicking off it’s 50th year on the auspicious date of 11/11/11.
As you stepped off the gondola, the first 1,111 guests received a breakfast cupcake with the Breck logo in the icing. Once you picked up a coffee or something to wash that cupcake down with, it was time to get in line for the Colorado Super Chair, the first to open. Folks had started to line up as early as 8am waiting an hour for the first lift up.» Full Story »
Arapahoe Lake Ski
Arapahoe Lake, Indian Peaks, Rollinsville, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 2 May 2011
A quick day trip with Bob to get into some fresh powder near Boulder, Colorado.» Full Story »
Sub-Arctic 112 Mile Ski Tour
White Mountains Recreation Area, Alaska, United States
Posted by Cameron on 20 April 2011
There may be a tinge of familiarity to this trip. In 2009, Nathaniel and I visited the White Mountains of Alaska and had an amazing trip. But in the midst of pounding out over 100 miles in 7 days (specifically, after our 23 mile day over Cache Mountain Divide) we were staying the night at the scenic Windy Gap Cabin and thought to ourselves, we need to build in some rest days next time. Well, this is the next time and we did. By the end of the trip we had covered 112 miles in 10 days, with two rest days. We also added another member to the team, Joe Connolly.
Mouse over any image for the caption. Click on any image to go to the gallery for more photos. Subscribe (email | RSS) to the gallery to see when I add more photos from this trip. Also, stay tuned for the video!» Full Story »
Review: K2 Work Stinx Telemark Skis (2006)
Posted by Cameron on 6 February 2011
Like the rest of my ski equipment, I’ve had these skis for about four years now. Though, they’ve really only seen two solid seasons of skiing, mostly in Colorado, though they have skied in California, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and even Illinois!
This is a great all-mountain ski. K2 has been making skis since 1961 and they make a quality product, these skis being no different. They are a little heavy, by design, to punch through any crud and avoid chattering on groomers while going fast. They are fat enough to float nicely in deep powder and turning on them is always a pleasure.
The only problem I’ve had with them have related to keeping climbing skins on them and K2 would argue I’m using the wrong skins. They have the hole at the tip for clip in skins, but I use a pair of Black Diamond skins with the D-ring that goes over the tip. Only once has the D-ring worked it’s way off the tip and a little adjustment has fixed it fine since.
This ski takes to edge extremely well and once on edge it arcs into a beautiful turn be it in powder, on groomers or going through the bumps. Icy slopes and super hard snow is never easy to edge into and undoubtedly my skill set could be improved to better manage those conditions even though I’ve wanted to blame the skis for the chattering and scraping along.
I’ve skied a few other skis since being on the Work Stinx and I’m always happy to come back to them.» Full Story »
Review: G3 Targa Telemark Bindings
Posted by Cameron on 18 January 2011
Review: Crispi XP Telemark Boots
Posted by Cameron on 10 January 2011
After trying various Garmont and Scarpa tele boots I found Crispi, an Italian brand that fits my feet perfectly: wide and high volume. I ordered the XP’s as they were described to have the broadest versatility, especially for a relatively new telemark skier. Medium weight to help punch through any crud snow and plenty stiff for tight response. These boots have served me well in all conditions from crusey groomers to earning turns in the backcountry. Most importantly they are very comfortable and my feet are totally secure in them. My heel stays in place and I’ve never had any issues of rubbing, blistering or cramping. I skied on them for a full season before I baked the thermal liners. After molding the liners to my feet I found a whole new level of comfort and control. The boots are also plenty warm which is very important when on a backcountry lunch break between climbs and runs sitting around in the snow. I have yet to take these boots on a multi-day tour to see what it’s like to put them on after sitting out overnight in the cold, but hopefully that will come soon.
The Crispi XP’s soft rubber Skywalk sole grips the snow well when walking around on compact snow and the duckbill is strong and stiff enough to punch enough of a lip to step on when booting it up sections too steep to make it worth while to skin up.
My few concerns stem from how easily the tongue under each of the upper buckles sometimes mesh the wrong way. I usually catch this when it becomes ridiculously difficult to lock the buckle down and after catching this the first time I know to keep an eye out for this. Also, the power strap is way too long. It makes me wonder how fat of a leg it can accommodate. Maybe it’s that long to work as a shoulder strap when strapping the boots together to carry them, but I’m not sure as I have a boot bag for them. Another little annoyance is having to flip up the D-ring where the leash attaches. I don’t really have a well thought out solution in mind, but if the D-ring could somehow stick out some and not just rest right up against the boot, it would make it easier to attach the ski leash.
Continue reading: click “Full Story” below.» Full Story »
Old Monarch Pass, Colorado, United States
Posted by Cameron on 29 December 2009
At Christmas Camp in Buena Vista, CO we offered something new this year: backcountry skiing. We only had one camp guest sign up, but that was just fine as seven staff (including myself) went on this trip. The slopes were gentle and the weather was perfect. See it all in the video below. I originally had Tegan and Sarah’s “Take Me Anywhere” as the sound track, but YouTube has a soundtrack copyright checker and disabled the audio. I think that’s pretty neat that they can check for that sort of stuff now, but it forced me to choose one of their “approved” audio tracks which was just a touch longer than the video so it gets cut off and I can’t fade it down for when I ask Daryl (our one guest) what he thinks of backcountry skiing. Fortunately, I had already added subtitles to the most important part of his response. Enjoy:» Full Story »
100 Mile Mountain Ski Tour
White Mountains, Alaska, United States
Posted by Cameron on 20 March 2009
Although the calendar said it was the end of winter and the start of spring, Alaska clearly wasn’t paying attention. Nathaniel and I got a later than expected start (which we will find will actually become our norm) and we had to ski through a windy and dark -40F to make it to our first cabin. We only dared stop for mere moments to sip hot tea from a thermos (our water bottles, though insulated, had frozen solid) and split a large chocolate muffin. Yes, it was wicked cold at times and the wind was often howling, but it was beautiful. The photos (see more by clicking on this photo) and the video will never do that beautiful landscape justice (click “Full Story” below or the title above to see the video). But, come have a look and make this journey with us as best as we can share it.» Full Story »