Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sam's Winter misadventures - Playing in the Fryingpan

I understand that many of these entries are written in coloradbro dialect, expect lots of dudes, gnar, pow, schralp, sick, nasty and many other alien terms. I'll try and link definitions when possible via urban dictionary, be warned that some content on that site may not be appropriate for all ages but may provide some laughs. 

Part of the B/C experience
After massive amounts of food on Christmas with only a quick resort skin to burn some off I was desperate for some pow to slay and shred, so I did the only thing I knew and called up the homies. My buddy Luke was down for some schralpage and after finding out that plan A, Marble, was super unstable and less accessible with a closed gate and potential crowds we turned our attention elsewhere. Plan B the moderate and always safe Williams Peak lacked sufficient coverage to effectively schralp. We quickly moved on to Plan C, a new zone up they Frying Pan, outside of the nearby town of Basalt, after reading on the interwebz that there was some skiing to be had, potentially without the crowds we committed to a tentative scouting mission.

New skis and bindings, psyched!
A couple miles into the low angle skin I came to the conclusion that back country skiing is just a bunch of dudes walking around, peeing and talking about skiing in the middle of nowhere. After much of this, a more than reasonable amount of bush wacking and all of the above, I got to click in and scored a 2000'+ descent of stable 2'-3' deep powder in glades and aspens. A quick...well not so quick 2ish mile skate and pole, more poling and griping than skating, back to the car concluded our 4 hour car-to-car adventure. 

Gear used included:
Ortovox 3+
Ortovox 240 aluminium probe
Black Diamond Evac 7 Shovel
Wailer 112 skis
G3 Ions
Scarpa Maestrales
Icebreaker base layers
CWX compression tights
Fits socks
Osprey Kode 42 Pack

Neat snow formation, kinda faceted, very lacey and I think
there's a specific name for this formation. Help anyone? 
Oh cool, snow!

Old slide, neature!

Some portion of Luke's butt and the 2000'+ of elevation gain we experienced.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sam's Winter misadventures - Highlands and Owl Creek

Through work I have the unique opportunity to go out on adventures using gear sold at the Ute and abuse it/get a feel for how it works. With a short write up and a few pictures we get a pat on the back and after enough a bit of cash in hand. I figured they'd make decent little write ups on here to keep it fresh and mix it up from the monotonous van life drivel that I've been spouting recently. So here is the first of hopefully a whole passel. 

Just the other day I went skinning up Highlands with Maximilian, we ventured forth seeking the sickest, gnarliest pow to schralp but all we found was cat crud and the ski patrol hut.
The outing took about 3 hours including pee and whisky breaks, we met many nice ski-mo folks; which completely changed our perceptions of their elitist ways. We now understand that they also just like to go fast but their internal compass is off by 180 degrees. The sky was clear the snow was old and all in all it was a delightful outing.

After skinning up Highlands and skiing back down on the jittery Fishers, Maximilian and I decided to take the adventure up a notch and drove up Owl Creek road to scout out some bowls that were just little hills. However while out and about I scored at least 20 siiiiick ankle deep pow turns before poling across an open meadow back to the car. This outing included a 5" deep pit to discover that there truly was very little snow except on the road (the only place we skied), a slight fiasco reassembling the split board, the realization that we were not where we thought we were and a bunch of quality chuckles. Our mis-adventure lasted a couple hours and was not too exhausting.

Gear taken out included:
OR centrifuge jacket
Dynafit Radical ST bindings
Folsom Completo skis
BD ascension skins
Scarpa Maestrale
Julbo Sunglasses
BCA snow study kit
G3 Ion Bindings
Fischer Hannibal 94s
BD ski traverse poles

Was a pit necessary...absolutely not, but it was fun.

Splitboard strugglefest.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Moisture Management in the Van

Here's a quick post regarding some of the ways to mitigate moisture build up in a vehicle.

The problem is we all breath and we breather harder while we're awake and there is a ton of water vapor in each exhale. According to this NPR article we lose about 15-16 Fl Oz of water each night, and when you're in a car or van that winds up coating everything. This makes seeing through a frozen windshield in the morning tricky, metals will rust when repeatedly exposed to this, it makes morning just a bit more unpleasant. When combined with cooking in the van it's not that hard to wind up with 1/8 of an inch of frost on the windows in the morning.

However, while I have not come up with a complete solution I have been able to lessen then problem.

-I use a couple of mesh bags full of silica packets that I collected from a local retail shop. I have probably 3-4lbs of silica which helps lessen the amount of condensation, especially in dry climates.

1/8" of frost will make some pretty
cool patterns on the windshield!
-In the morning when the frost thaws and starts to drip I have a micro towel that is super absorbant and is nice and small so I can take it in to work or a real house and dry it out without being too obnoxious.

-Crack a window whenever possible as this allows the moisture to escape before it becomes a problem.

-Whenever possible park in sunny spots, again with a window cracked so that the vehicle and dry out while you play or earn some pennies!

Sometimes it's impossible to completely manage the moisture and you just have to accept the fact that you'll have a car foggier than Leo and Kate's on the Titanic and that's ok.

Drying laundry in the van.
Not prime for keeping moisture levels low but
that's the way it goes sometimes.