Backcountry Sustainable Fun



Afternoon Climb and Ski

(Video link at the bottom of page)


Sometimes it’s hard to break away from my daily business, parenting and life schedule.

Leki, Faction and a good view.

Leki, Faction and a good view.



The hike is a time to take some deep breaths, enter quite and alone time.  I stick to a ridge that usually gets wind to insure a safe ascent up to my target point.  I love the feeling of skiing uphill.  I’m still using my BCA Climbing Skins.  They are what I would describe as a good workhorse climbing skin, good glue and tough.  They wouldn’t be what you’d use for race, but it’s a good tough skin that does the job well and makes for no slip climbing and durability.


I saw the tracks of a pair of foxes.  It is beautiful how they walk perfectly within the others tracks until they near a potential ambush point where the wind has scoured some rocks and grasses snow free.  The foxes split up and come back together at there hunting area.   One charges and one gets into a clean up flank position.  I follow their tracks up for about 20 minutes and then head to my random point and the foxes follow the scent of a potential meal along the sunny side of the ridge.

Just me and two sneaky foxes.

Just me and two sneaky foxes.



I walk this wind swept ridge on a still day, hardly a breeze is blowing up here at 12,500 feet.  It seems the wind is normal up here.  Light wind seems like no wind, but today is no wind, no breeze, just sun descending and beautiful sky.  It’s a good day to feel lucky and to be thankful.  The backcountry is my meditation.  It is my chance to slow to a natural living pace and breathe.  I enjoy the times when life is basic.  I enjoy the low stress skinning and skiing where the goal is sustainability.  Sustainable hiking, by choosing a mellow hike doesn’t cross any avalanche start zones or wind-loaded pockets.  Sustainable skiing because I descend a fun, mellow pitch that is not demanding or risky.  Sustainable living because the more you want the more will be produced and less for someone somewhere. 


A wind swept ridge with the setting sun.

A wind swept ridge with the setting sun.



Today’s hike set up was my the Dalbello Sherpa 5/5 AT boot, the Leki Edge 2 Ultralite adjustable ski poles, my Dynafit FT Radical 12 bindings and my fat Faction Royale powder skis.  The Royale is an amazing ski because it is quick turning and fat at 122 under foot.  I can make quick turns when I want and arc it out with max speed too.  It is a bit heavy on the hike up, but they are always worth it for the way down.   I’m told that Faction has put out a ski similar to the Royale called the The Candide 4.0 with a lightweight core.  I’m sure that it will be amazing and even better for skinning. The Dynafit is an awesome light AT binding that I’ve been using for the past four skiing months.  The Dalbello is the boot that has unlocked lightweight ascending with high performance descending.  I started skiing this boot exclusively last March.  I liked it so much that I decided to ski it all year, as an AT boot and a lift serviced skiing boot.  Dalbello’s assiduous research and development for the Sherpa, including much input from my old friend Glen Plake, has paid off with a boot that can ski as well as it climbs.


Dalbello Shepa 5/5 with the Dynafit FT binding.  I love it uphill and down.

Dalbello Shepa 5/5 with the Dynafit FT binding. I love it uphill and down.  This pic is from one of many spring excursions when the snow pack is most stable.






Thanks to Live Wyya for lending me their song “So Right.”

You can pick it up via their music store





One Comment

  1. Awesome article.

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