Eagerly awaiting this view
Training has been going exceedingly well, with lots of running building a really solid base of cardio fitness. Somehow, I've been running faster than pretty much ever before at my usual cardio work rate. It's nice to see some progress after the training disaster that was the summer.
I was reflecting on things that I'd like to do better this winter, and arrived at the following list.
Intentions for this winter
1. Resort tour in bad weather for fitness and to save cash
This is sure to get some weird looks from resort skiers, but I reckon this will be totally worth it. I'll get to work on my fitness, ski in crappy weather and save money all at once.
2. Push to the limit the number of days in the mountains
As usual, I save my leave days for the winter and will make good use of them. I simply want to maximise my time up in the mountains...and hopefully get to the Main Range this year.
3. Use that head torch
It's always in my daypack, but never gets used. I plan to have some bigger days this season - to the point where that last descent might be done with a head torch.
4. Ski under a full moon
Shoulda done this by now. Bogong by moonlight would be memorable to say the least.
5. Add Buller Chutes to the itinerary
I neglected to ski here last winter, but will definitely look to walk in on the West Ridge and camp to avoid the disgusting resort...and then ski and climb the chutes. I reckon they will rival Feathertop for the gnar and intimidation factor.
6. Master the jump turn
Preferably before hitting the chutes!
7. Test as much different gear as possible...
I've got a good variety of gear that I need to experiment with, which can be hard given my penchant for going as light as possible all the time. It'd be great to get the powder skis out for a run or two, and I really should ski and climb in the Mtn Labs more before passing judgement. Then there's the various skimo packs, bindings and skins to try...
8. ...in as many different conditions as possible.
I did ski some early morning ice last year, and want to continue doing so. Basically, I want to continue to develop my skill set as a ski mountaineer - not just hunt for fluffy powder and amenable corn.
9. Going faster
Not that I go slow - when I ski at resorts not many people are faster than me on the down. More so, I'm looking at embracing a variety of turn sizes depending on terrain and mood. I may even try popping the odd jump if I get really keen.
10. Streamlining the gear collection
I've got a suspicion that I'll have more than a couple of skis that never get to see the snow this winter. I'll be looking to move them on - especially those that are a bit heavier than new acquisitions (I'm looking at you Zero G 108 and Mtn Ex 95). That may even result in moving exclusively to race bindings (and potentially farewell to the ATK Raider series of bindings that have served me well thus far).
Alp Tracks Ltd 100
These skis are an object of beauty. Handmade and of a limited edition, they are possibly the best crafted BC planks out there at the moment. The weight in hand is ridiculous - only a tad more than my Zero G 85s or Backland Ultralight 85s.
They will get a ski this winter, but will truly come into their element in places like Japan or Canada, where they'll facilitate long missions in powder conditions.
Time for less words and more skiing.