New in 06-07, the Osprey Switch 36 returns for the 07-08 season. I used this pack all last ski season and for a variety of climbs and hikes over the summer. At 36 liters, it has enough space for a big day but packs small for lighter days without feeling like too much pack. A modified top loader design, the Switch 36 is divided into two main interior areas plus a large lid compartment. The top, called a hatchback by Osprey, offers the convenience of a zipper top while...
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I had a chance last night to watch Sublimation Experiment, the new film from KGB Productions. To start, the music is excellent. The dvd comes bundled with two extra discs, a soundtrack cd and a bonus shorts dvd. Normally, I could care less about the music from a ski film but this soundtrack is great listening. If the rockin' thrasher music of most ski films leaves you wishing for different music, you should enjoy this one.
Watching the big name boys and girls ripping improbable lines serviced by helicopter in the big name ski productions is fun but to be honest does not do much to get me stoked on skiing. Sublimation Experiment, on the other hand, offers terrain, locations, and skiing that is more within reach. The background story offers questions and answers with passionate skiers about being dedicated skiers and the details in life that pull at us all.
It is a difficult balance to film non-pro skiers in hike to terrain and create a quality film; Chris Kitchen and Sam Pope (the film makers) found the balance. A mix of spicy skiing, real people, and great music, plus entertaining bonus footage on the extra dvd make for a fun package. We will have a full review in the October issue. kgbproductions
I skied the Scarpa Spirit 3 all last season. A three-buckle boot with a touring bias, the boot is a step above the Matrix in the Scarpa line-up, offers Dynafit compatibility, and seemed like a logical step for my next boot. The Spirit 3 uses a new strap system that broadens the pull of the straps thus giving four-buckle security with three buckles. The straps use a broad base of attachment to increase their potency and it works. The boot actually snugs up and offers the power...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Backcountry Access just announced that the sixth annual Avalanche Jam raised record funds this year for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). The benefit was relocated to the CAIC’s hometown of Boulder, in the parking lot of local retail icon Neptune Mountaineering.
“By moving the event to Boulder, we raised more money through increased attendance,” said BCA sales manager Steve Christie. “And we had a massively successful silent auction. Neptune was a huge help and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”
Word is that they also managed to consume 14 kegs of New Belgium Brewing beer. Nice work. And who new that BCA VP Bruce E. could play the mandolin . . .
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The ski related press releases just keep coming across my desk these days. The latest is information on a new book about skiing Colorado's 14ers.
Aspen based skier, Chris Davenport pulled off the impressive feat of skiing all 54 of Colorado's fourteen thousand foot peaks in one year last season. Lou Dawson skied them as well but he allowed 13 years to complete the process. The accomplishemnt of skiing all the peaks is impressive enough but managing to hit the snow conditions right (or at least good enough) to make it happen in one calendar year shows serious dedication.
The book, Ski the 14ers, looks to be a coffee table quality job. The PDF promo offers a sample of the imagery and text and it looks great. A combination of Colorado mountain geography and tales of adventure from the process should appeal to skiers everywhere. You can check out Chris' website for more details or to order it check the publishers site here
Here is a snip from the press release and a cover image below. We will have a full review of the book in the December issue of Off-Piste.
"Ski the 14ers is a 152-page coffee table book featuring dramatic photography taken by a rotating cast of world-class photographers and athletes that joined Davenport on his climbs. The photography is paired with Davenport’s gripping descriptions of his most harrowing and memorable experiences on the quest, which included over 200,000 total vertical feet of climbing and skiing in conditions ranging from bluebird skies to subzero temperatures with 80 m.p.h. winds. The book includes photographs of each route Davenport skied, many of which he pioneered."
Friday, September 21, 2007
Following yesterday's post, several readers suggested we offer direct links to the various movie trailers available. Well here are a couple to keep you entertained. First is Sublimation Experiment from KGB Productions, the second one is Powderwhores07.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Winter is in the air as photos of snow falling in the Rockies are zipping around the net. Seems like about this time last year the Summit county area saw a foot or two of snow. It has been cool here in the mornings but we are still enjoying indian summer in our Hood - at least for a another day or two. Be sure to check what the NOAA Climate Center has to say about Winter - La Nina
In other news, Karhu just announced a new blog spot and have a cool trailer to a movie called Weather We Change. You should check it out - along with their new website. Cloudveil also recently introduced a new blog site called Mountain Culture
On other movie fronts, there are several new films due out this fall. Of course the various TGR and Matchstick type productions are debuting in September and October. There are also a variety of smaller productions (our preferred type): KGB productions, Powderwhores , Thrillhead Creations, and Lipstick films just to name a few.
Finally, we are collecting hooded softshells for an upcoming review in the mag. I will have some previews and info about the various shells we are looking at soon. The first issue of the season is in the works and will be out in mid October, if you have not subscribed yet, do it now so you do not miss an issue of the finest in alternative ski culture . . .dave
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I spent Saturday up on Mt. Hood's north side searching for the bodies of the two climbers missing since last December's climbing accident on Hood's North Chutes. It was the third time I have been up on the hill with the Crag Rats working to search for the bodies and or clues as to there whereabouts. Satuday's weather was perfect and we had SAR teams up from all over the state including, the 304th US Air Force Rescue Squad, Portland Mountain Rescue, Corvalis, Deschutes, and Hood River's Crag...
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
It is that time of year again; time to support your local avalanche forecasting group. Backcountry Access is hosting its 6th annual Avy Jam for the Colorado Avy Center on Friday Sept 7th and Black Diamond is hosting the 14th Annual Utah Avy Center fundraiser on Sept 20th.
These events are a great time to get fired up about the upcoming season, rally your ski partners, and have a great chance to win some schwag from all the companies that donate to make these events possible.
Having a local avalanche forecast is a valuable tool and given the federal funding cuts over the years, these fundraising events are integral to keeping the various forecast centers operating. Stay tuned for other events or let us know when your local fundraiser is and we can get you Off-Piste mags and schwag to give away at the door.
Monday, September 03, 2007
The Oregon Climate Center (OCC) recently issued their 2007-08 winter forecast and are anticpating a La Nina influence and this typically means cooler and wetter for the NW US. I try not to put too much hope in a winter forecast made in August/September, but hey, I'm not going to complain, not yet anyway. According to the OCC, Below are the factors we used to generate this year's forecast, along with the bottom line for this fall and winter: temperatures will be slightly cooler than...