January 27, 2010

2009-2010 A/T Boot RoundUp

2009-2010 A/T Boot RoundUp

Online at last are all of my boot reviews for the not-exactly-annual SierraDescents Alpine Touring Ski Boot Roundup. The majority of these boots were provided as loaners by the manufacturers—thank you! I must note, however, that after the thrill of seeing so many new pairs of boots sitting in my living room wore off, actually skiing and writing about each of them proved to be a lot of work (more…)

Posted in Gear | 2 Comments

January 25, 2010

Jean Peak: East Face

Driving across the L.A. Basin on Saturday was like being transported to a new and wintery world. Snow levels were down around the 3000′ mark across Southern California, putting snow atop nearly all the foothill ranges, and coating the major ranges in vast sheets of gleaming white. I confess I actually felt a bit of anxiety looking at it (more…)

Posted in video | 17 Comments

January 21, 2010

Avalanche Education: Reluctance

Avalanche Education: Reluctance

One of the questions that occurred to me while taking an AIARE Level I avalanche class this past weekend was, “What took so long?” I actually think that’s an intriguing enough question to warrant some attention. Why was I so reluctant to take an avalanche class? I’ve certainly been interested in avalanches for some time—and I’ve especially been interested in avoiding them (more…)

Posted in Avy News | 9 Comments

January 19, 2010

3 Storms

Just got back last night—drive home from June Lake was very challenging. I’ll be writing quite a bit over the next month about my Avalanche class experience. For now, let me say I’m really glad I did it. Did the class make me an expert on avalanches? Absolutely not. But I did learn a great deal, and just as importantly, I got motivated to keep learning (more…)

Posted in Current Conditions | 12 Comments

January 11, 2010

Back to School

This coming weekend I’ll be up north taking my first-ever avalanche course, an AIARE Level I offered by Sierra Mountain Guides. While I’ve probably picked up a good deal level I and higher info over the years, there are a lot of holes in my knowledge. I also thought it would be valuable to write about the experience of taking the course, which might inspire others to improve their own avalanche education. I must admit I’ve had a lot of reluctance to do this—more on that later. For now, I’ll say that many of you probably have exactly the same concerns about taking an avy course as I do (more…)

Posted in Avy News | 5 Comments

January 5, 2010

The Factor Review

The Factor Review

It’s impossible for me to assess Black Diamond’s new Factor ski boot without considering it in context: the Factor represents the flagship achievement of Black Diamond’s audacious (some might say crazy) 4-year project to turn itself into a major Alpine Touring and Telemark ski boot manufacturer. Ski boots, please note, are really, really hard to make (more…

Posted in Gear | 4 Comments