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Off The IR List!

March 26, 2010

Some kid

I had my follow-up appointment with the podiatrist today and had the pin (which I, of course, and much to the chagrin of my beloved, saved) pulled out of my big toe. I watched. Damn thing was like two inches long. Anyway, the conversation with the boss went like this.

Me: “So when can I get back to being active?”
Podiatrist: “Today.”

And like that, I was happy. Read more…


Initial Review: DynaDuke Plates

January 22, 2010

So fairly soon after I broke my leg last February, I decided that I wanted to switch from telemark to alpine for at least a season or two. Several things led me to this conclusion:

1. I wanted a releasable binding.
2. I didn’t want to deal with fitting new boots a la NTN.
3. I’m a pretty decent tele skier if compared to half the flailers I see at various Tahoe-area resorts, but I still felt a bit held back by the equipment. If I wasn’t a weekend warrior, things might be different.
4. I wanted Dynafits, and I couldn’t afford to swing two pairs of boots.

I sold my leg-breaking equipment in the spring and purchased several new pieces of equipment. These included: Black Diamond Factors with both sets of soles, Movement Goliath Sluffs, and Marker Dukes.

The months slowly crawled by.

In the fall, jondrums on TGR opened up the list for his DynaDuke swap plates. I was first on the list for two pairs.

They were delivered in December. They are beautiful.

I purchased mounting supplies.

I ordered Dynafits. I got the white ones just for kicks because they were the same price and I had the option.

This is the result:

184 Goliath Sluffs with DynaDuke plates and Dynafit Vertical STs
Marker Duke on the plate but not screwed in
Duke next to plate
Dynafit on plate on Sluff
Stella the miniature schnauzer likes Dynafits on innovative plates
They even smell awesome!
Dynafits on Sluffs and Dukes on Praxis Protests
Close up of the toe plate with Dynafit
Here you can see how nicely the DUkes fit on the DynaDuke plates

Mounting the plates was super easy. These were my first mounts, other than an XC mount or two in high school, and they went very smoothly. The only issues I ran into were conflicts with previous mounts.

In advertising the plates, Jon mentioned that the wider mount pattern wouldn’t interfere with previous mounts… although I’m pretty sure he had only checked common alpine/AT bindings. However, my Sluffs were previously mounted for Look demos and there was a conflict. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry when I was initially drilling those so I didn’t notice the conflict until I’d already drilled a couple. I had to core out the problem holes and put inserts in. No big deal once I figured out what I wanted to do. On the Praxis, I previously had 22Designs Hammerheads (tele bindings) mounted at 101. I wanted to remount at 102, but there was a conflict, so I stayed at 101 to get the desired spacing. These were minor issues, but I wanted to note them.

All-in-all, I am super satisfied with these things. They made my switchover from tele much easier, and made me learn how to mount things myself, which will save me a bunch of cash in the long run. Mounting skis also provided some much-needed therapy when I still can’t ski in the midst of what is turning into an epic El Nino year in Tahoe.

Buy them here.

If you buy a set or two my advice would be to get a larger bottle of Loctite, and a nicer long-shafted hex tool.

This review will be followed-up with a short ski review (in April?) when I can actually get my left foot in a boot. I don’t anticipate having any problems though because it seems Jon has really done a bang-up job and I haven’t seen any complaints from the hardcore (at least on the internet :-)) skiers of TGR.

CMH/Arcteryx Video Contest

December 7, 2009

To win a heli-assisted touring trip with Greg Hill and lots of Dead Bird gear from America’s Hat…

Great Old Film On The 1952 Donner Pass Train Stranding

December 2, 2009

Very much worth watching. Hoping for a winter like that, after I’m healed up. 😛

Recommended Ski And Avalanche Book List

November 9, 2009

I haven’t posted in a while.  I’m planning on posting a brief review of the Black Diamond Orbit lantern, but I haven’t really felt like it yet. Since this is November and everybody is jonesing for snow, I thought I’d post a list of my favorite ski and avy info books. Warning: The list is somewhat California-specific.

I put these roughly in the order I think one should own them, with the first book being a “must-own,” and so on…

Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (Various authors)

This is “the Bible” of mountaineering. FOTH includes basically all one needs to know about eating, sleeping, travelling, working, recreating, and staying alive in the mountains.  From what clothing to wear to how to make certain climbing moves and set anchors in rock, snow, or ice to avalanche avoidance to predicting mountain weather to group dynamics and expedition planning, this book has it all in at least a basic level of detail.  Now in its seventh addition, this book should be on every mountain person’s shelf. Read more…

Thoughts On Ski Packs

October 8, 2009
tags: ,

So I’m looking at buying a new day-touring pack this season. I’m basically decided on either the Osprey Kode 30 or 38, or the Osprey Variant 37. Here are my thoughts that I just put into a post on TTips (on what I want out of an ideal BC pack) that I thought I’d repost over here:

“Backpanel access isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker for me, but it’s a major plus. To me it’s more helpful on smaller packs when I’m lapping something and not skinning for long periods of time without stopping. Read more…


September 22, 2009

So I haven’t updated this since last month because, frankly, I was too depressed about not being able to do outdoorsy stuff due to my ongoing injury status to bring myself to talk about outdoorsy stuff. Tonight, however, I found out that I qualified for this: The effective date of coverage is November 1, so I’ll be seeing an ortho on or within a couple of days of that date, and very likely scheduling a surgery for soon thereafter. I’d imagine I’ll recover enough to still make most of the ski season. As one might imagine, I’m much happier about life now.

The topic of this post is “Headlamps” for a reason, and now I’ll get on with it. I’ve owned several headlamps over the past few years. I’ve owned the original Petzl Tikka, the Black Diamond Zenix, and the Black Diamond Spot (which I still have). All of these lights have been great for their time. Read more…