Jake Burton tribute, skiing ’til 100, hardest skimo races
I was saddened to read about the passing of Jake Carpenter, the guy without whom we would not have snowboarding as we know it — and perhaps not at all. He’d been fighting cancer, was 65. Reading about Jake reminds me of the rich heritage underpinning our snow-sliding sports. From the 10th Mountain Division soldiers of WWII, who jump started resort skiing in the U.S., to our mountaineering heroes such as Bill Briggs and Fritz Stammberger, I never tire of learning about the founders’ lives. More on Jake Burton here.
A while back, I received BCA’s media about their new Tracker S avalanche beacon. Just now getting to talking about it. Said to be “stripped down…more affordable,” the little guy is 115 x 71 millimeters, with a claimed weight of 205 grams including batteries. That’s the same form and weight factor as Tracker 3, slightly reduced in size compared to, say, the original Tracker. Check it out here. Near as I can tell, the big selling point of the S is the $300 price point, which I’m sure will eventually result in surprisingly low street prices for this well featured transceiver. My take is it’s pretty much a Tracker 3 without motion-sensing and upgradable software. Evaluation is ongoing.
Canadian apocalypse watch: This past spring, two massive landslides ripped a small orbital moon’s worth of dirt and rocks of the slopes of Jofre. Apparently much of the area around Jofre will be closed to ski touring this winter. More here.
It’s that time of year again. No, not Christmas, not the ski lifts opening, not a new pair of socks. No, nothing so exciting. Instead, it’s time for the New York Times annual coverage of uphill skiing at resorts. According to the Grey Lady: “New bindings that hinge at the toe for going uphill and lock at the heel for the downhill are also used, as well as lighter boots whose ankle hinges for the uphill and locks for the descent.” Who knew!? The article quotes our WildSnow brother Doug Stenclik. He says everybody has two ski setups, one for lifts, the other for uphilling. He insults my twenty-pair quiver. I await his apology.