Tagged ‘helmet‘

Shake Your Etch-A-Sketch

You know the feeling when you alarm goes off and it hits you just the wrong way? You startle awake, and, for a few seconds, you don’t remember where you are, what’s happening, or how you got there?

Now, imagine that you’re standing at the back of your open car holding a cracked bike helmet in your hands and you feel just like your alarm has gone off.  But, no matter how hard you try, the confusion doesn’t lift. What happened? How did I get back here? Am I going to be ok? You know that something bad has happened, but you can’t remember, for the life of you, what.

This is where I found myself on Friday morning; I’m sitting in the passenger seat of my parked car, looking at my reflection in the little makeup mirror. More specifically, I’m shining a headlamp into each of my eyes and watching my pupils. I’m pushing on my forehead, eyebrows, and scalp, looking for soft spots. I’m walking aimless circles around my car. I call at least three friends before I decide that has to stop. Eventually, I decide that there’s one reasonable thing to do, and I dial 911.

Still loopy.

Still loopy.

Read on →

Choose Your Tools: Skiing light, fast, and far.

This is Part 5 of the Choose Your Tools series.  Also check out Part 4: Universal Gear Truths.

Going Light

The world's lightest ski boot, the Pierre Gignoux XP-444.  590g. You don't need these.

The world’s lightest ski boot, the Pierre Gignoux XP-444. 590g. You don’t need these.

Going fast and light is, among a small but growing crowd, all the rage these days.  This makes a lot of sense considering the currently plummeting gear weights and the growing popularity of backcountry touring. In small, speedy enclaves throughout the Mountain West, folks are experimenting with the low-end of the weight spectrum, stealing techniques and technology from mountain-racing disciplines to push the limits of minimalist weight and maximum vert.

Going Light is defined here as seeking to use the minimum gear possible to achieve the greatest amount of mountain travel.  Lightening you pack, clothing, boots and skis frees the energy that would be used to tow those pounds around, and that energy can be applied to traveling farther or faster in the hills.  Just as fast-packing and distance trail running are coming to dominate classic backpacking routes, so too is lightweight skiing turning previously multi-day traverses and enchainments into impressive day trips. Read on →