Feb 14 2014

Ryders Eyewear All Plank Goggles Review

Published by under Gear,Reviews

Ryders Eyewear Goggles

Ryders Eyewear Goggles

So I thought I’d do this review a little differently than the way I normally do these reviews. This review will be more like a diary of thoughts written over the remainder of the season from early February till the late spring. However if I’m using these in spring then I’m pretty sure I made a big error in weather selection, but hey you never know in the mountains.

Having skied these about 7 days so far over the first 2 weeks of February I have to say I’m pretty impressed. One day was very cold, about -10F. I was pushing them hard and solo. It was too cold for glasses after about half way through the first lap. The wind actually made the surface of my eye freeze slightly. That felt pretty weird. I switched to goggles and road them the rest of the day. This was the only instance where I had any fogging issue and it was just periferal. The center of the lens till stayed clear. I think a lot of this had to do with sweating so hard. This was a training day for spring. I wasn’t focusing on pow as the snow wasn’t so great that day. I also think that the vent matching with my helmet might have been a little off. Another day in similar cold and with a hat instead I didn’t have this problem.

A few thoughts on the build. The inside of the strap has a sticky strip. Great feature. Although most helmets have some sort of goggle strap retention system, sometimes they pop and having this sticky strip totally helps keep the goggles in place should that happen. Another feature I like is the lack of a clip or buckle. Lots of brands offer this but I’ve never liked it. The buckle is usually right where the strap meets the helmet stay. Lastly this goggle fits my big schnoz. I know it’s big but most other goggles don’t seem to know it. The fit is great for me and lets me focus on skiing which is what’s really important.

Look for more updates in a few weeks, but the verdict is looking pretty good. The focus will be on the lens and its performance in grey bird and the lens’ durability.

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Feb 14 2014

Ski Logik Yeti 183 Ski Review

Published by under Gear,Reviews

So the final version of the Yeti arrived at my door in September. SOOO stoked for this one. When I had gotten done skiing Corno Grande in Italy I was super jazzed on my Pitons and just the day in general. Nothing like a solo in a strange land on a rowdy line to put life in perspective. Those skis handled the steep and mostly soft conditions very well. But there was more that we were looking for. The next night I had a call from Mazz from SkiLogik and we discussed the shape and general concept of the Yeti in my hotel in Orvieto. Less than 2 years later the ski is dialed in and ready to fire.

I’ve been skiing this ski now for most of my days in the hills, since early November. It’s better suited to the winter skiing that I do than the Piton, which is more of a pure mountaineering ski. This ski is light but it can handle the powder without getting pushed around. The first day I skied it was up at Loveland Pass in less than awesome conditions, read as very hard, hardpack. The next day out on them was for The Flying Dutchman in RMNP. I was stoked at how they handled both sets of conditions with ease. They’ve also been out on some of my favorite pow days for the year.

This ski likes to ski fast and isn’t really a carver. It prefers the fall line in powder but also doesn’t have a problem with getting em around when the going gets tight in the trees. The swing weight of this ski is extremely low so jump turns on steep lines are incredibly easy to initiate and stomp. The tip to binding stiffness is exactly what I was hoping we’d be able to achieve and helps reduce tip deflection in cut up or wind effected snow.

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The tail has a reinforced extra thick aluminum bolster to help maintain the integrity of the tail and reduce delaminations. There’s also a CNC’d cutout for skin clips. These are ideal for BD skins and may take some negotiation with other clips. The almost flat tail is ideal for setting a belay anchor for a quick pit while on belay when the going gets steep and you want to stay safe.

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The construction of the Yeti is also super cool. Underfoot the sidewalls are of classic construction. This gives the skier a great edge feel and adds a lot of control to the ski. In front and behind the boot the sidewall is a cap construction. This lowers the overall weight of the ski and the geometry of the core here provides added torsional stiffness.

I love these skis and look forward to many seasons on them. Considering how well they preformed in the steeps earlier in the season I’m looking forward to taking them out for some spring powder couloirs.

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Feb 11 2014

Trelease 2/11/2014 Putting UPS and FedEx To Shame – Delivering the goods

Some days are tougher than others. I’m a divorced dad and some weekends when I have the kids it’s pretty tough. Like when it snows 5 feet and all I can do is watch the pics go up on Facebook. But I always know in the back of my mind that I’ll get some goodness. This weekend with them was super fun as we worked on one of my favorite things. Geography.

Anyway with them heading back to mom’s for 10 days I figured I’d get some today and for the near future. Trelease delivered as always. Ran into Tony at the trailhead and he along with Allison headed up for some laps of powdery goodness. With high danger on most aspects this was a no brainer. Sometimes it’s better to be good than lucky.

Enjoy the pics.

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Feb 07 2014

Mt Trelease 2/5/2014 The Big T Delivers

It’s been a little while since I got up Trelease for some skiing. I keep going to the Tenmile Range since the pack over there seems nice and solid in the trees. But with cold temps and a late start I figured the drive was shorter and I also thought the snow would be better. It’s a little more open up there with a lower angle but I really wanted to ski fast and the more open terrain would allow for that. Short and sweet fast laps in prime snow :)

Darrell made it out with us this day. So stoked that you’re back man. Nate, Gary and Kevin rounded out the crew. The day was super beautiful but it was really cold when we started. After SIA I always try out some of the new gear and have to say the Discrete Radian hat preformed very well in the frigid temps and the Gordini Wrangell 3 Fingers had my hands toasty. The Ryders Eyewear All Plank goggles didn’t fog up which kind of blew me away as all my goggles usually fail when it’s that cold. Pretty stoked on the new gear. I’ll review them all in full when I have some more vertical on them

Enjoy the pics and be safe out there. The new load this weekend is coming in with a lot of wind so watch out for those new slabs sitting on garbage.

DarrellPhoto Darrell HaggardDarrellDarrellGaryGary - Photo Nate PurcellGaryKevinGaryGaryCrownDarrell - Photo Nate PurcellKevin - Photo Nate PurcellFritz and Gary - Photo Nate PurcellGaryDarrellFritz and Gary - Photo Nate PurcellIMG_2867

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Feb 02 2014

SIA SnowShow 1/30-2/2/2014 Great Times Except for Missing POWDER

Published by under Reviews

Well the best show in town was the recently finished SnowShow. I was down there for 3 of the days and saw some cool new stuff and met some great people. It was also great to catch up with so many awesome friends. Thursday however was a little more than painful as pretty much all the mountains got about 20″ of new snow. But sometimes you just have to get work done. I know that I will have plenty of chances to ski me some soft snow really soon.

Look for some reviews in the coming weeks as I test some of the new gear I picked up. I need to actually put it through the paces though before forming an opinion. Enjoy the shots that we got. See ya’ll out there in the hills and be smart for a little while to let the new snow bond with the old.

So much snow but gotta schmoozeGreat POW presentation by Jeff GoodellJeff Goodell putting things in perspective.Shot skis with logosCan't see being a good parent and taking my kid on this in snowPomoca skinsCOOKIESSo hot right nowBig Agnes 2015 PuffyLift Baskets are very coolVery cool indeedGordini Wrangell 3 Finger with Buffalo LeatherROARRRR!!!!Pretty skisRockn RollMariella outdoing herselfSweet designsTurntable FT Dynafit ToeMeta strike plate on next years Dynafit FTCongrats Brian and BenYeah! More lines to skiWell done boysWay to get after itInteresting products out thereHmmmRyders Eyewear GogglesHope they are Darn ToughA really cool new non profit to help avy fatality surviving families..

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Jan 19 2014

“Little Bear Mountain” – 12,450′ – 1/19/2014 – Baby Bear Glades

After a strange day yesterday we got some coffee and breakfast at Annie’s in Frisco and headed up to Zuma. I saw this line when we did the “Glacier Point” day. It looked feasible and with the touchy snowpack it seemed like a good option. We headed up Sts John road to the first clearing and got on the Hunkidori Mine Road. We took the first left and headed up what seemed like a trail soon after. The woods were tight but they opened up occasionally as well. The snowpack seemed a bit hollow but the further up we went the better it got. We got to a large avy path and bowl and crossed to the other ridge. This is where things got really tough. The snow pack over here was garbage but it was tight enough to give me a sense of security. As we approached the top of the ridge and treeline that sense of security evaporated. This was some very tough route finding through wind loaded pillows on 40 degree slopes. The tree spacing also got a bit scary. It took a lot of planning to get up that zone but once we did everything got a lot easier.

After treeline we headed up into the alpine to try and summit. We just went for the lower east summit of Bear Mountain. The views were great and I added some lines to my hitlist for sure. We headed back down to the first saddle and skied from there. By working our way down the other ridge we were able to stay safe. There was plenty of recent activity but with careful route finding everything went according to plan. The ski wasn’t all that great but I suspect that with a better snowpack the turns would have been a ton of fun. Where it was supportive the turns were excellent.

On the way home we headed over Loveland Pass and saw the last picture. This was on a flank of “Cupid”. One track in and one track out. I bet they got a serious scare and probably need to check their shorts. Things are really sketchy out there right now. It’s time to play the chess match and win no matter what. See what’s moving and stay away from similar zones. The winds have been really high this year and the instabilities are lower than they usually are. Areas near tree line should be given respect, I know that today they had my respect and we took it very slowly, thoughtfully and with great caution. The bigger lines can wait till spring. I don’t really like skiing lines like that when I think over and over “Is it gonna slide? Am I gonna die?”

Enjoy the pics and thanks for a sweet day up high Allison :)

Hunkidori Mine RoadAvy Path and BowlSkinning the ridgeLooking back down the ridgeTough snowpackFinally above treelineBear to Independence PanoAllison Heading upBear MountainSummit of "Little Bear Mtn"Sts John ChuteTorreys and GraysWow that's a sweet faceSummit splendorMt BaldyMt GuyotRecent ActivityAnother look at the slideSoft turnsIs it hollow?Glacier MountainLittle Bear left - Baby Bear RightCheck those shorts

 

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Jan 16 2014

Little Chief Mountain – 1/16/2014 – Not a bad way to spend a day

The crew assembled for a little tree skiing in Summit County. Mark would be joining us for the last time for a while as he is heading back to Alaska for heli season. Kevin was in as were his super cool dogs Marley and Lucy. Gary rounded out the crew. We made decent time up to the summit even though we had to break trail for the first time this season. In fact the snow was so good today that we had to lap it 3 times. Mark was super strong even though it was his 10th day in a row. We even got to see a true local.

Anyway here’s the pics. Enjoy.

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Jan 10 2014

Butler Gulch 1/9/2014 – A Nice Save After a Plan Failure

So the plan was to meet up in Empire and do some exploring up in Bard Creek. I’ve been looking at a lot of maps lately and really looking for some other places to go have fun. Montezuma was one idea. Red Mountain was another. Anyway we started to late and trucks got stuck in the snow and it just didn’t seem to be going very well so we headed to Butler instead for some laps. With a late start of 11:47 we still managed to bang out 4 laps and ski some sweet snow. You gotta have options on the table I guess.

Doug drops a kneeMarly and Lou having a ton of funKevin gets some fressLoving the snowDoug having some funTaking a turn for the betterSweet zonesSweet shot KevinJames getting some faceshots

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Jan 10 2014

Red Mountain 13,229′ North Ridge and Glades – A Sweet Winter Summit Ski – 1/8/2014

The late morning starts seem to keep rolling along. Doug and Emilie came over and we loaded up the truck. We then headed up I70 to pick up Kevin and the set forth to Blue River. We geared up and hit the skin track at 10:49. With the weather threatening we played the plan for the day as casually as possible. We decided to head up the North Glades and get to treeline and see what we could see. If we could see we would keep heading up the ridge and try and summit Red. Well after an easy skin through the glades, things worked out our way, we decided to push on for the top. The area in the alpine on this aspect is mild. There are threats on either side of the ridge though so being up there in a whiteout can be dangerous. With an eye on the sky we pushed onward. As things always seem to end up, as we were strapping in to the skis the weather took a turn for the worse and the winds picked up while the temps dropped. There was plenty of viz to make it down the upper ridge but finding the knob at the top of the Glades was a little tough in the ping pong ball visibility. After a quick orientation with map and compass we were back on track. The alpine skiing was a mix of pow windboard and grass. The grass was actually pretty fun with minimal rocks. There were also a few sections of base scraping rocks to be dealt with.

Once back in the trees the skiing improved dramatically especially about a third of the way down. The mid pack was mostly solid and the snow on top was super fun. The only downer of the day is the out, down Pennsylvania Creek Road. It’s just tough because the road is so flat. I guess I just need to wax the skis up so I can glide down it.

Thanks for a great day guys. Way to push through all the false summits and reach the top :)

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