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The Gear Shed

The Gear Shed

[ December 13, 2010 - 7:51pm ]
Prospecting Idaho
Dek: 
What do backcountry booters, Port-a-Potties, and Idaho have in common? Smith sent a few of their athletes to find out.

Imagine if your workplace had a private cat skiing operation. Imagine if that backcountry mecca was just 30 minutes away. The employees at Smith Optics are just so lucky. They often bring athletes out for photo shoots and product testing, but this season, they stepped it up. After working as a terrain park builder at Sun Valley, Pete Columbo came on board to help Smith build a private backcountry park. Gus Kenworthy, Cody Barnhill, and Colter Brehmer were the first skiers to sample the goods. Is there anything better than sunshine, powder, and free cat skiing? We're not sure there is.

[ November 29, 2010 - 12:27pm ]
Shape Camber
Dek: 
Rossignol and Armada In Legal Feud Over Technology.

A spat over rocker ski patents is pitting two major companies against one another in court. Rossignol filed a “Complaint for Patent Infringement and Declaratory Judgment” in the U.S. District Court in Utah against Armada on October 12.

In an effort to legally assert which skis may be produced by which company, manufacturers are now fighting to patent new technologies—in this case, rocker. 

[ November 24, 2010 - 9:23pm ]
Giro Chapter
Dek: 
A helmet that my mother and I can both agree on.

My mother loves helmets. Loves them. One of her proudest moment ever came when she was extolling a family friend on the importance of helmets in the lift line. He slipped getting on the chair, hit his un-helmeted head, and got a concussion. Score one for mom. And helmets. 

Me, I’ve always struggled with them, even thought I shouldn’t. I know, I get it, my head has billions of dollars of education and orthodontia stuffed into it.

[ November 23, 2010 - 2:06pm ]
Wolf Creek
Dek: 
The director of the Wolf Creek ski patrol was killed in an in-bounds slide Monday morning while working to control avalanche danger at the resort.

Scott Kay, director of the Wolf Creek ski patrol, was buried and killed in an avalanche early Monday morning while doing control work within the resort boundary. He was 41.

A statement from the ski area said: “Our Wolf Creek Ski Patrol Director, while working to protect others, was caught in an avalanche which, to our great sadness, he did not survive. Wolf Creek's management and all its employees wish to express our deepest regrets at this loss of a wonderful man and close friend. Our sympathy and condolences go out to his wife and two children.”

[ November 22, 2010 - 1:02pm ]
Vail Opening Day
Dek: 
Forget opening day. How about opening week?

If you’ve been following this column (and of course you have), then you know that I’m a bit, well, skeptical about the whole concept of, the hoopla surrounding, and the hype spewed about “opening day.” Sure, I’ve been caught up in it myself. I’ve gotten up way too early and driven way too far to get on a lift to hit a single icy groomer with a billion other people in order to experience opening day bliss.  In fact, I’ve done it more than once.

[ November 19, 2010 - 2:27pm ]
trambars
Dek: 
Because, no matter where you ski or how you ski, at some point you're going to need a snack.

Regardless of whether you’re zipping bump lines or dropping cliffs, there’s one thing that brings all skiers together. Snacks. And the free, resort-sponsored Nature Valley bars, or the cafeteria oyster crackers and honey combo doesn’t cut it unless you’re heading in at two for après (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

For dawn patrol tours, bell to buzzer pow days, or park hiking session you’re going to need something more substantial, like a tupperware full of chili, or, if you’ve got small pockets, Kate’s Tram Bars.

[ November 16, 2010 - 1:12pm ]
BC Tourism
Dek: 
5 days, 7 friends, and your choice of one of 13 award-winning winter resorts in British Columbia.

Just think of it: 5 days, 7 friends, and your choice of one of 13 award-winning winter resorts in British Columbia. You’ll be trained by Olympic Gold Medalists and compete in your very own 1 day BC Ski Games – by games we mean the Amazing Wine Race and the Ski & Fondue Combined among others. Your friends will owe you big! Click here to enter.
 

[ November 9, 2010 - 7:22pm ]
Salomon Freeski
Dek: 
Episode six of Salomon Freeski TV at Mica Heli-Skiing. Or, why I want to be skiing powder in Canada right this second.

It's (finally) starting to snow where we are, and looking out the window is exponentially increasing my desire the ski more than the white stripe of death. This week's episode of Salomon Freeski TV isn't helping. In it, Mike Douglas, Mark Abma Henrik Windstedt and crew head to Mica Heliskiing to hit steep pillow lines, throw big airs, and ski lots and lots of snow. Definitely worth a watch although it probably won't help your powder jones. Sorry.

[ November 3, 2010 - 1:10pm ]
Scarpa Mobe (2011)
Dek: 
Scarpa's burly AT boot skis like an alpine boot. Because even if your local resort isn't open there's snow in the backcountry.

We’ve been psyched on Scarpa’s Mobe since we got a chance to test it last spring.  Our testers called it the best boot for people who value downhill performance, but still need to be mobile in their boots, like patrollers and guides. When it’s locked into ski mode, if feels like a fixed-cuff boot, but it rolls in to walk mode easily, and it’s compatible with all AT bindings, including Dynafits. As an addd bonus for the discerning, granola-eating backcountry skiers out there, it’s made with environmental friendly Pebax, which Scarpa is incorporating in a bunch of their boots.

[ October 29, 2010 - 2:28pm ]
Lange RS 130 (2011)
Dek: 
Lange has dialed in their fit for a more comfortable, but still high performance boot.

Skis get all the hype, which is understandable considering the number of variables you have to address—rocker, dimensions, graphics that match your outfit—but boots are arguably even more important. You can turn fatty pow skis if you’re not locked in to your boots.