Saturday, January 1, 2000

Backcountry Awareness

Sitting here in late August backcountry awareness is the awareness that in two or three months I'll be out there, hearing the rip of skins and feeling the arc of my skis through fresh snow. But what I want to write about is real backcountry awareness, the essential ingredient for safe and successful backcountry skiing. Resorts, be they alpine or nordic, try to create a predictable environment for skiers. Groomed snow reduces the variable of natural snow, allowing the skier to concentrate on...

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Skinning Soft Snow

Once again I find myself on a beautiful summer day, barely August, writing about skiing. I am high in the Sierras, sitting on the polished granite holding a small river that's carrying last winter's snow out of the mountains. I have skied here in the winter but not for a number of years. It's near the birthplace of skiing for me though, when over thirty years ago my uncle hunted me up some ski gear from the back of his cabin and pushed me out the door and onto a ropetow. I am now five or six miles...

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