Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gear Review: First Ascent BC-200 Jacket (Updated)

Who knew the invisible man had a career in modeling?

When I used to think of Eddie Bauer, I thought of a crank powered radio that I bought at their outlet store.  It was somewhere between the flashlight key chain and the battery powered tire pressure gauge in their novelty item section.  I also thought of the Ford Explorer that had their name plastered on it.  In short: they were a store of gimmicks.

Fortunately for outdoor enthusiasts, it appears that one of their gimmicks has unwittingly led them into offering a solid line of clothing and one awesome jacket.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trip Report: Belmont (Yeah, THAT Belmont...)

Sometimes alpine touring is less alpine and more touring.  Such was the case on a recent "trip" (five minutes from my door) to Belmont, MA.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Rudy Traded

Even great players sometimes need to move on.

Nor'Easter Alert!

In case you've been living in a snow cave for the past few days and haven't heard, there's a powerful storm already running up the coast and dumping on the eastern seaboard.

As of this evening, eastern MA, southern NH and VT, and eastern ME are in the sweet-spot of this Nor'Easter.  They're calling for close to two feet here in Boston.  A brief survey outside my back door reveals dense, wet Sierra and not Utah Blower.  This should set that great base we've all been waiting for here in New England.

So if you're looking for a backcountry adventure tomorrow: think Monadnock, Wachusett, Cardigan or Agamenticus.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NOAA meets Google Earth and the Results are Nerdtastic!

I can see my freezer buildup from here.

NOAA and Google Earth have an icy love child, and that child's name is The National Snow Analyses 3D Interface

With daily updates, it provides 3D information on snowpack across the country for obsessive nerds like myself.

This is similar to the color coded maps I've linked to the main page, however information is provided for all of the Continental US and Canada.  Thus you can discover depressing tidbits like northern Georgia currently has more snow cover than Massachusetts.  Don't believe me?  Well go ahead and download today's .kmz file and open it up in Google Earth.

Note that it takes a few seconds for the data to fully download and even longer if you're using your Commodore 64. 

Thanks to jibmaster on the Telemark Talk forum for introducing me to this sexy new snow analysis tool.

Now go find some snow cover and get out there for some turns this weekend.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Momma's Safety Talk

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

November is finally behind us and the snows are starting to fall (naturally and otherwise) in the mountains of the East.  It's time for Momma's safety talk.  You know the one you get just before you head out the door.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Video Snackpack

If you're like me, you've been slaving away this week with an eye on the snow accumulating up North.  Your glowing rectangles have been sucking the life out of you all week, and you need something to keep the stoke alive.  Don't worry.  You're almost there.  Here's a little snack for your soul.

Check it out HERE

This short, titled "Desert River" is among the backcountry themed movies featured at the Backcountry Film Festival.  (Check out their promo HERE)

While the closest showing is at Oneonta, NY, it may be worth the trip, with titles like Australis and Deeper.

Bonus:  Coolest. Snowcave. Ever. at around minute number three.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Media Review: Going Deeper

Hey snowboarders.  Let's be friends.  I'm sorry that I've blamed you for pushing all the snow off of my favorite slopes and for causing every piste collision I've ever been in.  My disapproving glares and animosity are a thing of the past.  You can thank Jeremy Jones.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Gear Review: Backcountry Boot Comparison Chart

Ismelda Marcos had a closet that looked like this.
You're ready to jump into the backcountry, but not sure where your investment in gear should begin.  Chances are that you already have downhill alpine gear including the boots, poles, skis and bindings.

You can always throw those skis and bindings on your back and hike to the top of the mountain on your daddy's old snow shoes.  Alpine boots, however, aren't designed for walking from the car to the ticket counter, much less to the top of Mt. Cardigan.  More importantly, your feet are usually the first part of your body to get cold if not properly cared for.  They are also your most important body part, and asset, when you're more than ten miles from your car.  Frozen or blistery feet = slow or no movement = searchers find your body in June.