Tuesday, February 28, 2012

-Trip Report- Mt. Hor, VT: Insert Inappropriate Remark Here (February 2012)

Gered ponders whether he can freeclimb a granite wall with tele skis.
If you look out from the mid-mountain lodge at Burke, you can see an immense crack between two mountains where Lake Willoughby is located. Let me tell you the story of that crack's Hor.

Friday, February 24, 2012

-Trip Report- Evans Notch Road: Black Diamond Driving (February 2012)

I could see a clear line through the bumps.  A quick jaunt left, then a cutback right would be needed to start my run.  Suddenly, however, a large hole appeared out of nowhere.  Without any way to avoid it, I hit it straight on: a jarring thump that made my teeth chatter and my knees buckle.

I was still on my way to the trailhead and facing the toughest line I would see all day.  I was on the infamous Route 113 and my truck's suspension was paying the price.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

-Trip Report- Arrow Slide on Mount Hancock, NH: Maps 101 (February 2012)

Sometimes it's tough to define what constitutes a successful backcountry trip.  The easiest and most obvious measure is when you reach your objective and return home to talk about it.  However, when everything doesn't go as planned, things aren't so clear.  In order to push your limits you have to try and fail every now and then.  Does that make those incomplete ventures failures, or part of some greater success?  As long as you return home wiser and more prepared for the next time haven't you gained some measure of success?

Do I sound like someone who failed to achieve his goals this weekend?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Voile Switchback Failure and Factory Tour

When you're a guru, people are always asking you stupid questions in hopes they can cheat their way to telemark enlightenment.

"Guru Gered, how do you get your beard so long?"
"Guru Gered, should I make parallel turns after lunch or will people think I am a pussy?"

"Guru, what is the most perfect telemark binding?"

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thin Cover Sanctuaries

Better Days
I’m beginning to wonder if Old Man Winter is lying in a ditch with a bullet in his head.

If he’s not already dead, he’s definitely in hiding.  Before La NiƱa 2012 comes knocking looking take your backcountry mojo, it might be time to pack your bag, grab your rock skis, and seek some thin cover sanctuary.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yeah, I Know it was Dumb. But it was SOOO Worth it.

There's been a lot of backlash against my latest post and my reckless, ignorant approach to backcountry skiing. Dozens of people have read my article (thanks Mom) on the importance of keeping your eye on the powder prize. Only one has had the courage to admit that when vacation powder is on the line, we'd all choose the snowy line back to the lodge.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Google Latitude is not an Avy Beacon

Nothing says I love you at your favorite seasonal gift giving holiday than the gift of an avalanche beacon. My wife purchased one for me last year. Given the annual snowfall we had already seen by January 1st 2011, my new BCA Tracker 2 Beacon was a very thoughtful and appropriate gift, and one we both wanted me to have. She wanted to know I might not die of my own stupid designs, and I wanted at least a slight chance of living through all the future bad lines I might pick on wind-loaded northeast facing slopes above 35°.

Around these parts, 2012 is not shaping up to be a big year for the avy beacon business. Not a single storm where you couldn't measure precip with the stick that god gave you.. ahem... a ruler. Even with these pitiful snowfall amounts and non-existant upper elevation snowfields, I'm now a convert to the avy beacon of hope. So do me a favor.  If you're too unloveable to get one from someone else, run out and buy one for yourself. You never know when some other ski dummy (like me) might need your help.