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#160938 - 01/23/12 11:40 AM skied yesterday
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I skied on my birthday yesterday. We finally got a dump of snow down here in Bend, but on Mt Bachelor and the Cascades theres lots of snow now. The parking at the ski park looked full but some people had left so I got a spot.

I had a little pack with full zippered fleece pants and a montebell down jacket, as well as a thermos of hot coffee, a canteen, spare hat, spare heavy duty gloves, 2 cliff bars and my GPS. My zipper pull compass and thermometer (from TomD) was on my jacket.

I noticed at the trailhead that NO ONE else had ANYTHING at all apparent on them that could be reffered to as "gear", not even a canteen visible, yet a huge number of people were skiing for miles and intended to be out for an hour or more. grin

I started down the main trail - a logging road in the summer - and then soon turned uphill on the west going trail that goes into the tall trees and a couple of miles out to a hut. I only saw one other person on that trail and he too carried no gear. smile

After a while I decided to cut throgh the forest to the main trail below me. I went quite a ways down slope and when I stopped to check my compass to be sure I was going west - OH SHOCK - my compass needle wold not turn!!!! shocked No problem, I turned on the GPS to use its compass and followed it for a while grin until I realised that it couldn't get a fix under the tall snow covered trees in the snow storm, shocked mad crazy and of course the GPS also did not know where my truck was. confused confusedSo even though I would have hit a logging road had I continued down slope, I back tracked.

the point being. If you think you're lost, and you can see your tracks, follow them back. On backcountry skis this is pretty easy. And by the way, if you do ski on skinny trak skis, you should not head off into the deep and steep. It takes special skis and skills to solo ski off trail, AND you must be able to CLIMB on your skis. I no longer carry climbing skins unless I'm winter camping in really steep country where the one pound weight is justified as it makes going easier. Climbing on skis takes practice and muscle.
Jim grin
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#160945 - 01/23/12 01:07 PM Re: skied yesterday [Re: Jimshaw]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
Nice little report! So what do you think messed up the compass? A little moisture?

And a happy belated birthday to ya!


Edited by skcreidc (01/23/12 01:08 PM)

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#160950 - 01/23/12 01:39 PM Re: skied yesterday [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Jimshaw

I noticed at the trailhead that NO ONE else had ANYTHING at all apparent on them that could be reffered to as "gear", not even a canteen visible, yet a huge number of people were skiing for miles and intended to be out for an hour or more. grin


A very good point to make.

I'm often surprised at the XC skiiers I meet who seem to treat the activity like jogging in the city. Of course they are going like mad and are going to stay warm, aerobically - So if I'm wearing tights and a toque and gloves running in the city, if something happens that forces me to stop, I can knock on the nearest door and ask for help so I don't freeze. On backcountry trails there's really no door to knock on. so if you get forced to stop so you can't keep going at the pace to stay warm in that stuff - you're in a world of hurt, and you're in a world of hurt *fast*. Something easily prevented with a sanely packed daybag like you took.


Edited by phat (01/23/12 01:41 PM)
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#160965 - 01/23/12 03:31 PM Re: skied yesterday [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Hey, Jim, i wondered if you got that thing. Can't remember if you told me or not. There is virtually no snow down here this year. I was hoping to get in a bit of downhill, at least a day or two, but Mt. Baldy is living up to its name. There is a bit of snow falling now, but not enough to open the upper runs, according to their website. No interest in driving up to Big Bear, it's just too far for the day.

Are you skiing on track skis? I thought you had a pair of BC metal edge skis.
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#160999 - 01/24/12 12:25 AM Re: skied yesterday [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
TomD
No I don't use track skis unless its just a trak kind of day. I have lots of skis... I should have had a Silva compass along - it would have been one time when it was useful and probably would have worked.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#161002 - 01/24/12 03:52 AM Re: skied yesterday [Re: Jimshaw]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I've got a little Silva 27 that I've never had act up. I got rid of my skis last winter, but there isn't any snow around here anyway. I may get a pair of snowshoes instead in case we do get some or I go up north to Yosemite before winter ends.

Phat, it amazes me that people go out with little or no gear in winter. I wouldn't go that unless I was at one of those XC ski parks with marked trails and so on or maybe up at a place like Badger Pass where you ski down the road and the trails are marked. Even then, I 'd take something.

btw, they are still looking for 4 people on Rainier missing for a week. They were fully equipped, but may have run out of fuel and food by now. Doesn't look good for them.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/...ogLQ_story.html


Edited by TomD (01/24/12 04:01 AM)
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#161056 - 01/24/12 04:18 PM Re: skied yesterday [Re: TomD]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
lets hope those guys missing are dug into a snow cave and ok.

We've got so much snow today that I'm about to put my boots on, only its snowing pretty hard with those huge flakes. Come up here for a few days Tom.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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