Monthly Archive: April 2011

Apr 29 2011

Springtime escape to the Sierra

It has been an epic season. One that is still going strong, except, that is, for the number of people still skiing. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t like I don’t still see other people when I’m out skiing the backcountry. But there aren’t as many, and the ones who remain are friendlier. I don’t …

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Apr 28 2011

Avalanche claims Kip Garre & Allison Kreutzen

Very disturbing news. Kip Garre, local Tahoe area ski mountaineer and Allison Kreutzen were found dead this morning (28apr11) by friends in an avalanche debris pile at the bottom of a couloir on Split Mountain in the Sierra Nevada range. More details from For more insight on Kip check out Backcountry Magazine’s story on …

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Apr 27 2011

Review: Verdict on Telemark Tech System

In the two months since my last report on the performance of the new TTS binding they’ve been put through a fairly thorough gauntlet of conditions; crud, muck, crusty muck, powder, cream cheese, icy groomers, smooth cruisers and hair raising steeps. The most impressive performance was in the Cross Couloir, off Mt. Tallac. My own …

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Apr 24 2011

Face Off: BD’s O1 vs Voile’s Switchback-X2

Clouds were still spitting snow on the slopes around Tahoe and the trend has been for fewer and fewer customers as spring marches on toward summer, despite continuing to flirt with old man winter. The result was three to five inches of whipped cream on a smooth base of glazed corn. It felt sort of …

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Apr 19 2011

Review: Colltex Climbing Skins – 65/35 mixed

First Impressions – April 2011 What struck me first was the deep blue hue. For 2011, that’s the color of Colltex’ 65/35 Mohair/Nylon mixed plush. More than that though it was nice to see a simple, solid-colored plush that wasn’t too bold, yet was distinctive. The next thing I was relieved to notice was that …

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Apr 14 2011

Review: Black Diamond’s Glidelite Skins

After four years of comparing various climbing skins side by side it was time to settle on my fave pair. The choice was easy. Black Diamond’s Glidelite nylon climbing skins had excellent grip, decent glide, weren’t immune to icing but were less prone to it than G3’s Expedition skins, Colltex’ nylon skins, and especially Low-Fat …

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Apr 12 2011

Review: G3 Zest

As one who came late to the front rockered ski party, I’ve had just over a season on a pair of Voile Drifters, and finally came to appreciate the early tip rise in powder, crust, sastrugi, spring mank and even windbuff.  As the Drifter is truly a fat powder ski, I was curious to see …

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Apr 09 2011

Review: Voile Vector

First Impressions Conditions were suspect for my maiden voyage on Voile’s Vector ski with their Switchback X2 binding. Nonetheless they delivered admirable performance. A good six inches of heavy snow had fallen a day earlier. The skies cleared the night before and temperatures dropped into the single digits (F) causing the surface to dry out …

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Apr 04 2011

Tips ‘n’ Tails for Climbing Skins

Tip and tail kits on the other hand, are consistent in their performance over time and varying snow conditions regardless of the plush or glue. They make attaching and removing climbing skins easier.

Apr 01 2011

Testing Climbing Skins

There are lots of pieces of specialized gear that are nice to have and can enhance your time adventure skiing. Climbing skins enhance the experience so dramatically that they are practically essential for backcountry skiing.