My first back country adventure and a pretty legit one. My friends Rachel and Ed came up from LA and we connected with there friends Jeff, Tam and some other guy that I can’t remember. We did a total of 10 miles in 5 hours.
I actually really enjoyed the skinning. You take this skin material with a sticky substance and put it on the bottom of your skis. This skin allows you to grip the snow with your skis and hike up hill with them. You have special ski binding that allow your heel to be released and you and just hooked in at the toe of your ski boot and you kind of slide along.
Ed rocking his magical cowboy hat that he found on the road when completing his bike tour across Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore with his wife Rachel.
Cross a snow bridge.
We skinned uphill through the woods an then it opened up into this amazing valley with the ridge starring right at us.
This part was really fun not too steep of a slope yet but a nice consistent slog uphill with some sharp cold wind at times.
Skinning up a 40% slope was challenging, we would make nice switch back trails through the snow. You then had to execute a kick turn with your skis to go up the next switch back. These kick turns were pretty darn difficult to master and make look pretty. The slope became really steep and so we took off our skis and kicked in holes and hiked up. I was getting nervous alright this was the steepest thing I have ever hiked up and was about to ski down and I am not even a good skier. I just picked up skiing after a 13 year hiatus to get familiar with it again for my Les Arcs speed riding adventure.
Climbing up a quar on the ridge. This slope is steeper than it looks. Make sure you kicked in solid steps or you might go for a nice tumble.
So infac skiing down this 40% slope I took a good tumble, hahah. Luckily my skis did not explode off me and I was able to recover. I need to practice skiing in tricky snow condition and doing 180 jump turns down steep slopes. I made it down, it was not pretty but it was accomplished.
Making it back to the car and taking the boots off was very rewarding. I found the actual skinning part up the mtn easier than I expect and not as tiring. I think years of doing distance trips has helped my endurance and me being able to find a good pace and rhythm when it comes to long duration physical activities. The skiing was actually harder than I expected, just because you are navigating in tricky snow conditions, icy, crusty, sticky….
Stoked on the trip, defiantly want to go again.