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Goals Met? Things Learned? 2013/14

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  • Goals Met? Things Learned? 2013/14

    For me things are winding down pretty quickly as far as the ski season. I am kinda a seasonal skier and not much into chasing corn, patch skiing and boot hiking. So, when it starts to get boring I just move on to other activities.

    Usually well before the ski season starts I formulate a goal or two that I work on. The goals are mostly technique issues and a plan to improve. This year, I went a different direction and just made decision to start season fitter and during the season to resort ski less and BC tour more. I met the first goal by signing up for a strong Mt. bike tour in late Fall and to really push to get in shape for that and have the added benefit of training for ski season at the same time. I met the the second goal by change resorts from the Vail Corp. threesome (Heav/KW/NS) to Mt. Rose. Mt. Rose is a OK place to ski but after many years there in the past, lost the love so only a place to go if the BC was crap or storm days.

    Things Learned? Got a couple here, mostly gear issues. First, now days I only Alpine ski at the resort or maybe test gear at the resort but pretty much full on fixed heel. When I switched over to Alpine fixed from resort telegear I relearned the same lesson that I learned years ago and that was Alpine boots are OK for skiing but suck for walking. So much so are dangerous on anything icy or slippery. This year, got a pair of Transport boots with rubber soles and walk mode. Huge, Similar performance to Alpine boots, absolutely no issues climbing stairs, hiking around and off camber icy parking lots. Lastly a couple of AT touring innovations that are most beneficial, Light AT boots like Dynafit TLT6 with the big ROM and removable tongues make the uphill a lot easier period. For me up to a lap difference in effort. And, Rockered skis in conjunction with the new ROM boots climb better as they ride up over the snow, easier to kick turn over burms and mow crust way better than older trad gear.

    So, who's got things that were different and worked or didn't or other ideas........ This season here around Tahoe was weak sauce and lots of time on crusty unconsolidated shallow snow but things learned.
    "Just say no to groomed snow"

  • #2
    Well, I learned that a light pair of AT boots (Scarpa Rush) climb better than my NTN Prophets, which had been my backcountry boot paired with NT Bulldogs/Tonics for short tours. For the AT ski, I have a pair of Volkl Nunataqs, with Vertical ST binders. Great light setup, for climbing, and Nunataqs are a great ski on the down. Like Quadzilla, I have more energy for second laps, on this lighter setup. Also, not having to deal with knee pads when I tour AT is nice too. Though I still largely ski the resort on teles, for the carving.

    For the resort, I am primarily on the NTN Prophets, with Freedoms on new 185 cm Blizzard Cochise. This is a great (though heavy) ski, whether skiing tele or P-turns, very good at carving hard snow, better than my Mantras. With my heels held down, P-turns are so easy on this ski; must be the rockered tails release easily?

    Also switched between BD Ascension "mix" skins, and G3 Alpinist skins a bit this season. BD skins feel heavier, don't glide as well, but climb better on steeper/icy skintracks.

    I am not so enamoured with wider , heavy skis now like my BD Amperage, 115 underfoot for an all-day ski. The Cochise at 108 seem more versatile, though these are mainly skied at the resort.

    Lately, as our season comes to an end, it seems easier to carve turns in wet, slushy snow making P-turns than tele turns? (this is on my Prophet/NTN/Cochise setup) My theory is that in a P-turn, both skis are edged more and this breaks the suction under the skis in the wet snow. On tele turns, my skis ride flatter, so more chance for the wet snow to grab a ski. At least that's my theory. So almost all my turns lately are parallel. A friend who skis teles agreed, he is only making P-turns on his tele rig now.

    my 2c worthClick image for larger version

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    (skiing on the Nunataqs, on the left)
    Last edited by chamonix; 11 April 2014, 07:11 PM.

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    • #3
      Goals:
      - ski lots (as much as a family with two full-time working parents can)
      - support my daughter's first foray into competitive skiing
      - see my son learn to spin a 360 consistently and stomp landings
      - try alpine skiing after 17 years to see if it's as good as they say
      - tour as much as a dad with two kids in resort-served programs can
      - ski lots more

      Lessons learned:
      - I did not tour as much as I wanted to, but still loved every turn I struggled to make this year
      - Skiing is fun. Skiing with friends is more fun. Skiing with kids is even more fun.
      - This is the first year in about 6 or 7 that has been a truly dreadful start, but fortunately with kids in dedicated programs, you go skiing anyway - guess what, even in bad snow, skiing was still fun, you just suck a little harder
      - Alpine skiing is not fun (for me), but still fun for many of my friends, so I chose not to ostracize them for the equipment they use
      - my kids will be way better than me way sooner than I thought
      - I have a Scarpa foot

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      • #4
        Originally posted by whitehonky View Post
        Goals:
        - Alpine skiing is not fun (for me), but still fun for many of my friends, so I chose not to ostracize them for the equipment they use
        You just did....
        Yay!...(Drool)


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        • #5
          Originally posted by BillyFromTheHills View Post
          You just did....
          Does not compute. Might not care...

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          • #6
            Some things I learned:

            a1) It needs to be signicantly below freezing at the desired altitude in order for fresh powder to be preserved to the second day.

            b1) There are a significant number of mid-size mid-altitude ski resorts in France that sell single-ride tickets that help access some great backcountry terrain.

            c) There are a significant number of mid-size mid-altitude ski resorts in France which I've never seen mentioned in any American website or ski magazine that have lots of fun powder skiing with little competition.

            b2) On a significant percentage of powder days, I show up at one of those mid-size ski stations, then somehow never make it out into anything like real backcountry.

            c2) A significant percentage of winter storms this year, I never make it to my lower-altitude stashes until the second day. And it's too late.

            d) Great corn skiing is remarkably easy to find on warm sunny days -- even with obviously insufficient number thaw/refreeze cycles since the last storm. My new method which Sharon loves: (1) Compile the (short) list of ski resorts with a few good South-facing groomed trails / pistes. (2a) Drive to that ski station and purchase an all-day lift ticket - or (2b) if the resort permits, perhaps not purchase a lift ticket, and get some exercise skinning up. (3) Start with a low altitude SE-facing trail, and move to other altitudes + exposures as the day progresses.

            So now I've implemented the hidden critical factor of corn-snow formation:
            Serious compression of the snowpack by heavy grooming machines.
            Followed by warm temps and bright sunshine.

            Ken
            Last edited by KenR; 11 April 2014, 04:34 PM.

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            • #7
              I didn't set any goals. I prefer to live in the moment as much as I can.

              This season provided a lot of really great moments so I'd put it down in the books as being a fantastic season.
              We returned to Crested Butte this year after a few seasons at Monarch. Lower pass prices and my son getting good were what brought us back.
              I was a group leader for my son's school ski program and got to lead the top ability level group. The kids were all great skiers and all loved to ski. That makes being the leader pretty fun!
              I found out later from my son that the other kids had nicknamed me Rad Dad and for the rest of the season we got calls from them asking if we could ski together. I'll enjoy that while I can! Soon they will be teenagers see me for the geeky dad that I probably more closely resemble.

              CB is usually feast or famine when it comes to snow and this season was one feast after another. To top it off my wife was skiing well and injury free and my son was just killing it. He was also very enthusiastic to ski so we skied a lot. I toured when we got breaks in the storms which ended up not being all that often. I'm ok with that. I still have some spring touring plans and I've got a touring setup coming together for my son too. Should be fun!

              This sums up the season for me (mom chasing the boy through the white room):
              IMGP5222-Edit by MattB.net, on Flickr
              Last edited by MattB; 11 April 2014, 05:05 PM.

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              • #8
                Happy for you, Matt. Glad you had a good season! You are a Rad Dad, and a great father. It comes through in your posts.
                Yay!...(Drool)


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                • #9
                  I didn't learn nothin. Nada. Zippo. All that effort and nothin to show for it.

                  I did ski a bunch of places in Tahoe that I had not skied before, which seems pretty good considering the low snow year. I'm also pleasantly surprised at how I've regained confidence in the tele-turn (with the new hips) after a slow and hesitant start. Perhaps I would have progressed much faster with a bunch of resort days but I didn't really miss the resort experience. I skied for the first time on skate skis and there will be more of that, maybe much more, in 2014-5. And, yeah, I did learn that someday I might want some rockered skis for the backcountry.

                  And, QZ, I still love my metal-edged fishscales. All five pairs.

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                  • #10
                    Goals:
                    Get my ski legs back under me after almost five years of very little skiing.
                    Not get hurt again.

                    Both accomplished, although I could still (always) be in better shape.

                    Lessons Learned:
                    I'm not 25 anymore.
                    Every day in the mountains is a good day. But that's more of a lessons reinforced.
                    Similar to the above--make lemonade out of low snow years and don't bitch too much https://sierratripreports.wordpress....bowl-to-squaw/

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                    • #11
                      I wanted to replace my aged light-tele setup--t2s & Switchback x1s--and took a flyer on TTS with F1s. With little snow, poor trip-resolve, bad conditioning, and too many tweaks to the system required, it didn't work. Yet,...I should say. May be hope, but I'm very tempted to go back & get t2 ecos and SB x2s. Alternatively, I tried some TLT6s at alpenglow and they felt WONDERFUL...but I've never really skiied lockheel much. And, my first goal this season was a skate/combi track setup. And now I feel my Dynastar Legends actually too heavy while my Storm BC are great but...soft, so I need new dh skis. I can't afford all those, so there is a real chance I'll do nothing. So I've learned: I'm still ~ hopeless. But I have a smile
                      nee, Whiteout

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Charley White View Post
                        I wanted to replace my aged light-tele setup--t2s & Switchback x1s--and took a flyer on TTS with F1s. With little snow, poor trip-resolve, bad conditioning, and too many tweaks to the system required, it didn't work. Yet,...I should say. May be hope, but I'm very tempted to go back & get t2 ecos and SB x2s. Alternatively, I tried some TLT6s at alpenglow and they felt WONDERFUL...but I've never really skiied lockheel much. And, my first goal this season was a skate/combi track setup. And now I feel my Dynastar Legends actually too heavy while my Storm BC are great but...soft, so I need new dh skis. I can't afford all those, so there is a real chance I'll do nothing. So I've learned: I'm still ~ hopeless. But I have a smile
                        So as far as lesson learned, what was the problem with TTS? Maybe the way you had it set up, the combo wasn't right. What kind of skis did you put them on? I can see how a TTS system paired with NTN boots on modern fatish BC skis would ski like a dream especially climbing with bigger skis. However, except for some weight saving can't see how a active setup like TTS would work all that great on cheesy boots like F1 unless you don't ski any tough terrain.
                        "Just say no to groomed snow"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Quadzilla View Post
                          So as far as lesson learned, what was the problem with TTS?
                          Ron--Basically, that I've never been an early adopter and should not be a "beta tester." If you look at the (looong) TTS thread in Gear/Bindings you'll see the specific problems I had with heel lifters, tour lever, and heel-throw-to-f1 lever matching. I think TTS is great with a big future and wish him well, but found my beta experience one where I had to reach out when problems arose, rather than receiving periodic emails reporting known problems & progress.

                          My main problem was the f1 boot. Primarily, the tight performance fit I selected got me a blackened a toenail in one outing, required a re-mold (got it hot enough that time), but that left me just last week to re-try, and all variables were against me. I seriously dislike that top "strap" (wire) lever...I could remove it and add on a real strap (thanks jasonq) but will that be more "good money" thrown at a boot I then end up deciding is too short of cuff? How long will it last? The bellows works fine tele.

                          I mounted them on Karhu Storm BCs and that feels like a great match. Hard to say--but bet you know--how good it feels to have such a substantial setup feel so light.
                          nee, Whiteout

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                          • #14
                            Sure, I bet if you lived up here and had plenty of time to test and dink around with the setup you might be able to get some comfort on it. WTBS, seems to me like a pretty stout ski like a Storm would be a mismatch with a Rando race boot regardless of wither or not it has bellows. IMO, probably best to get NTN boots eat some weight if you are committed to the experiment. Then, you got big boots/stout bindings/big ski which sounds balanced to me. Still, regular production equiptment will always be more fiddle free as compared.
                            Last edited by Quadzilla; 14 April 2014, 02:17 PM.
                            "Just say no to groomed snow"

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                            • #15
                              My goal was to take 2 weeks off and ski when the snow got good. Not achieved - the snow never got good. Another was to get some of that sweet Mt. Rose backcountry with Quadz, but by the time the snow got something close to sweet, my schedule had taken a wrong turn.

                              Learned:

                              1. Lemonade is OK, but it's no chocolate milkshake. I should have taken my brother-in-law's invitation to a week in CO this year. Hindsight......
                              2. I do love a real slalom ski (re-learned, actually). So much so that I just picked up some GS sticks to see if they are anywhere near as much fun.
                              3. I'm not 55 anymore, let alone 25.
                              4. I still love to ski. Maybe that should be #1.
                              It's turns! Of course it's worth the hike!

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