Off Yonder – Adventure Travel Stories - Seeing the world for what it is

Arapahoe Lake Ski
Arapahoe Lake, Indian Peaks, Rollinsville, Colorado, United States

A quick day trip with Bob to get into some fresh powder near Boulder, Colorado.

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Review: K2 Work Stinx Telemark Skis (2006)
United States

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.

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Review: G3 Targa Telemark Bindings
United States

G3 Targa Telemark Binding. See http://offyonder.com/?p=917 for the review.To be fair, these are really the only kind of Tele bindings I’ve ever used. In a way, that’s a good thing as I’ve not been driven to replace them.

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Review: Crispi XP Telemark Boots
United States

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.

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President’s Weekend Sierra Ski Trip
Carson Pass - June Mountain, Sierra Mountains, California, United States

What started off as a day a the ‘office’ up at Carson Pass testing our latest prototypes of snowshoes, turned into a great weekend of some in and out of bounds skiing and snowboarding. The story is in the photos… maybe something more will flush out here some day!

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Tele Part II
Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, California, United States

It was an all day event. Departing Berkeley at 6am, Mark and I caravaned up with a family he met while doing a newspaper story on Social Security. We were on the snow by 9.30. We started on the Red Dog chair which departs right from the parking lot. The snow was still cool, but […]

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Telemark Skiing
Stevens Pass, Washington, United States

Telemark skiing feels as beautiful and as graceful as it looks, even for somebody just getting the knack of it for the first time. My friend Blake invited me to go skiing with him, and when he said “Oh, by the way, I’ll be telemarking.” I couldn’t help but exclaim how I’ve always wanted to […]

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