Thursday, September 30, 2010

Skiing Antarctica

I came across the trailer for a new movie that will be making the rounds with the other ski flicks this fall. 

Australis: An Antarctic Ski Odyssey follows a ski expedition to the world's highest continent. So far no East Coast dates have been set, however, the distributors promise to bring it East sometime this Fall.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Old Resource for East Coast Skiers

Right there between bird watching and lighthouses.

I received a photo from my friend Keith yesterday.  Keith, who has sworn off winter camping and backcountry skiing, had noticed a book on backcountry skiing at the local Borders. He hadn't seen me reading it yet, so naturally had to pass it along.  

My first thought:  Aha! Keith is now noticing books on backcountry skiing.  Maybe our campfire chat did him some good, and there is hope for him after all.

My second thought: What?  A book about East Coast backcountry skiing that I've never heard of?!

Well, a quick Amazon search revealed that this is a new version of two older books.  It appears David Goodman has combined his two previous volumes on backcountry skiing into one book covering both New England and New York.  I'm curious to see if he's added any new destinations to his reviews.

This would be a good resource for those looking for an introduction to backcountry skiing in the East.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Backcountry Ski Ideas: Fall 2010

My Basement

I've been busy researching (obsessing over) skis for the upcoming ski season.  Based on my research, I've put together a chart comparing the best options out there for an East Coast skier.

These are organized based on the width of the ski underfoot.   Generally speaking, a ski with a thinner sidecut will perform better on hard pack and ice, while a ski with a wider waist will float better on powder.

The radius of the ski is a function of the sidecut ratio.  If you can imagine the curve between the widest and thinnest part of the ski as part of the diameter of a circle, the number listed is the radius of that imaginary circle.  The lower the sidecut radius, generally speaking, the easier it is to turn the ski.  However, this is not always the case.  Sometimes the shovel design can lead to better turn initiation.

Most of these skis are considered "medium-fat" skis.  I've left off the widest skis, and also elminated the heavier skis from consideration. 

The prices are as of 9/24/10 from the listed retailer.  If you find a better deal, feel free to leave a comment.  Enjoy.

Model                 Sidecut     Radius Weight/lb    Length/cm         Price Retailer

Volkl Snow Wolf 113 76 100 18.1 6 170 $199.00
Dynafit 7 Summits 113 78 100 20 5.5 170 $531.21
BD Machine 123 79 108 16.5 7.1 166 $99.00
BD Stigma 123 79 108 17 6.4 174 $490.00
Atomic RT80 121 80 107 17 6.3 171 $230.00
K2 Backup 125 82 110 19 7 174 $300.00
Mt. Baker Superlight 122 86 107 21 6.6 167 $280.00
Karhu Spire BC 122 86 108 22 7 177 $299.00
Dynafit Mustagh Ata 116 86 109 24 6.6 169 $468.00
BD Voodoo 123 88 112 21 7.3 175 $250.00
K2 Wayback 124 88 108 22 6.8 174 $372.00
Atomic Kalais 125 88 111 20.5 8.1 174 $280.00
BD Havoc 121 88 113 21 7.6 175 $325.00
BD Aspect 130 90 117 19 6.5 176 $570.00     

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tour Dates for Ski Movie Premieres

Popcorn, music, movies and free stuff... What's not to like?

The tour dates for this year's quality ski porn  have already started.  All across New England, ski movie premiere season is upon us.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

-Trip Report- Hillman's Highway: A River Runs Through It (May 2010)

Did somebody bring an auger?
There's nothing like skiing with the sound of rushing water beneath your feet.

The words skiing and water usually end in disaster unless there's a boat involved.  That includes the late spring contests where skiers dress up in ridiculous costumes and go skimming across open water to reaffirm principles of speed, air displacement, and blood alcohol content.

But I wasn't picturing the margarita fueled crowds of some resort.  I was more focused on driving out thoughts of a dark, cold, wet hole that was waiting for me on the other side of an unknown thickness of snow and ice beneath my feet.

Such is the mental battle on Hillman's Highway on a warm spring day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This Year's Ski Movie Teasers

The International Freeski Festival is in Montreal September 16-19th, and they've conveniently provided a list of all the available teasers for this year's ski movies.

Relive last year's incredible Mid-Atlantic Snow Waste.. and dream of the powder days to come.

Ski Movie Trailers/ Teasers

Thursday, September 2, 2010

-Trip Report- Mt. Washington: A Tale of Two Seasons (March 20-21, 2010)

You fickle old bitch!
Mt. Washington is a fickle old bitch.  The jet stream that flows around her crown can one day bring a gorgeous Bermuda high, and the next bring the cold punishing winds of an Alberta Clipper.  Given her geography she puts you right in the front seat for the ride.  Timed right, she can bring you unbelievable spring corn skiing.  Timed wrong she can punish you with a frozen nightmare of icy chutes and wicked winds.

Such was the case on a weekend trip this past March.   Two days and two completely different seasons.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Evening Loop

Luckily they're all pinecones
So it's early evening on a weekday, and I can still hear the phone ringing in my ears.  I've got about two hours of daylight left and a mountain biking itch to scratch.  Where can I go to find a little piece of heaven?

The Middlesex Fells are close, but there's a lot of "forest service road".  The trails have a few technical spots, and the hills will get you in shape pretty quickly.  However, there is only one loop for mountain bikers.  I treat it like my time trial course: where I go to gauge the progress in my conditioning.  That is to say I like to avoid it because it reminds me what a fat wheezy creampuff I really am.