Forum Index > Trip Reports > A Senior's Backcountry Ski Experience
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1804 | TRs
Location: Now Undertermined
williswall
  Top

seeking tailwind
PostSun Feb 07, 2021 10:55 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Yeah, me. I took up backcountry skiing at age 59. Much of the learning pain was lessened with decades of lift skiing and experience in backcountry hiking, mountaineering and endurance sports. Plus, since I'm usually solo, I limit my skiing to spring on consolidated snow to minimize avalanche hazard. Prognosis: it's been a blast, despite the difficulties I show in the video....one must eat some humble pie when you get off the groomers. Hope this provides some entertainment, and (with all the caveats and warnings) I encourage taking up this sport, assuming strong intermediate to advanced in-area skills.


--------------
It's not the getting old that's hard, it's staying awake long enough to enjoy it: William F Pitsenbarger
williswall.com
hikethewonderlandtrail.com
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
John Morrow
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1463 | TRs
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
  Top

Member
PostMon Feb 08, 2021 5:58 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Stem and I are buddies.  You make be feel like I gotta dump the tele....Nicely done WW!

Best video of 2021 and built to stay that way!

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
williswall
seeking tailwind



Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Posts: 1804 | TRs
Location: Now Undertermined
williswall
  Top

seeking tailwind
PostMon Feb 08, 2021 5:59 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
John Morrow wrote:
Stem and I are buddies.  You make be feel like I gotta dump the tele....Nicely done WW!

Best video of 2021 and built to stay that way!

High praise from a Legend, many thanks!

--------------
It's not the getting old that's hard, it's staying awake long enough to enjoy it: William F Pitsenbarger
williswall.com
hikethewonderlandtrail.com
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Stefan
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2001
Posts: 4669 | TRs

Stefan
  Top

Member
PostMon Feb 08, 2021 11:55 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
skiing downhill with the skins on because too lazy to take them off!

--------------
Art is an adventure.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
John Morrow
Member
Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1463 | TRs
Location: Roslyn
John Morrow
  Top

Member
PostTue Feb 09, 2021 3:10 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I don't know about that, it's all smoke and mirrors.

--------------
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7811 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostTue Feb 09, 2021 7:29 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
John Morrow wrote:
You make be feel like I gotta dump the tele...

I teled for 3 decades,  but as AT gear has gotten lighter and lighter the old mantra "light is right" made me give AT a try.   The transition is a lot harder than "fix the heel, fix the problem" , but after some adjustment and relearning skiing fixed heel is fun too.   Release bindings are nice too for folks that don't heal as fast as they used too.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
nordique
Member
Member


Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 1085 | TRs

nordique
  Top

Member
PostThu Feb 11, 2021 2:49 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The really old skiers I know are downhill skiers--and they've been skiing many decades.  They are very careful skiers these days--and, instead of driving--they take a senior citizen ski bus!  I didn't start skiing until I was in my 30's but because I managed to shatter my right tibia, I was advised to avoid skiing--except for nordic skiing.  So, I learned to be a good enough nordic skier to compete for years.  My worst racing crash was on a steep narrow track downhill, when I nearby tree limb tore off my glasses, which sent me tumbling off the track.  Sadly, it was the only time I raced where the race was televised--in Canada--so I had to suffer a lot of teasing--but I kept right on skiing for ages.  When tele came along, i Joined up, as did a lot of my rock climbing friends and we had a lot of grand adventures.  Two years of living and working in Calgary helped:  two years of skiing there, for a total of 200 days in those two years:  racing and touring.  That was before avy beacons but the one time I was buried, it was a shallow slide.  When the slide stopped, I sat up and my head and shoulders poked out through the snow.  More exciting was spring skiing in the Rockies and coming across huge bear tracks along with little bear tracks.  We skied into a remote lodge out of Jasper and kept crossing bear tracks all the way in, while wondering how fast we could clip out of our bindings and climb a tree in nordic ski boots.  The good old days!  Highlights including a nordic ski ascent of Interglacier to Steamboat Prow and the Sulphide Glacier on Shuksan.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
asdf
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 253 | TRs

asdf
  Top

Member
PostThu Feb 11, 2021 3:18 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Do you have any recommendations on where to begin to AT ski?

It seems very up my alley.  I like hiking.  I like snow.  And I like downhill (and am quite capable in-bounds but off-piste).

I see I can rent AT gear from a local place.  I'd be looking for a place to try it out that's not too crazy or remote.  Just a place I can hike up a hill a few times and get some turns in.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Randito
Snarky Member



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 7811 | TRs
Location: Bellevue at the moment.
Randito
  Top

Snarky Member
PostThu Feb 11, 2021 4:26 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The Summit is a pretty good place to get a feel for touring uphill without dealing with the challenges of route finding, snow stability evaluation, avalanche rescue gear, etc.

The Summit West, Central and East areas have generally permissive uphill policy

https://summitatsnoqualmie.com/uphill-travel-policy

This the policy is result of both the terms of their Special Use Permit with the USFS for using public lands to operate a ski area and a court decision in the 80's where the ski areas successfully argued in court that lift ticket sales were not subject to Kittitas county's "admission tax" as the lift ticket was only for the benefit of riding the ski lift and not for admission to the ski area itself. 

Mid-week is a popular time for people to skin and ski at various Summit Areas.    I saw perhaps about 10 people last night at Summit West skinning up off to the side of runs.   

Summit East (Hyak) is quite popular with mid-week skinners == there is even an informal "Ski Mountaineering Race"(Skimo Beer League)-- typically on Wednesday nights.     Summit East (Hyak) only runs the lifts on Weekends and Holiday's so going there mid-week minimizes overlap with lift served skiers -- this has a safety and a fresh tracks advantage.    Night skiing at Summit East (Hyak) is by headlamp -- vs Summit Central is lighted @ night M-Sat  and Summit West W-Sat

Summit West is closed M-T and opens @ 4:00PM on W-F 

Uphill skiing at the Summit Areas is a little less fun -- it is more crowded  and this year with no school buses to carry students and zilch carpooling the parking lots have been bursting.   

Interestingly enough, while the ski area itself is 90% on public land -- many of the parking lots are on privately owned land.    Because parking lots have been packed and there have been problems with folks missing their ski lessons because of being unable to find a parking spot  -- the summit has been placing parking attendants at the entrances to the parking lots on private land and asking to see a season's pass or lift ticket recipt (online ticket sales only this year)

There are still some of the Summit's parking lots on USFS lands as well as parking along HAY-906 that are avaialble to non-ticket holders -- but on Sat-Sun, you'll need to get there at least an hour before lifts open to snag an open spot.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
rossb
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2002
Posts: 1423 | TRs

rossb
  Top

Member
PostMon Feb 15, 2021 11:31 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Spring skiing is underrated, especially in the backcountry. I have a variety of skis, but tend to use my plastic boots (A. T./Telemark) mostly in the spring. There are just more good days. Not only is there a lot less avalanche risk, but you avoid the icy mess that occurs in the winter after a few nice days. Some of the places open up (Sunrise and Chinook Pass come to mind). Long drives (to Paradise or Mount Baker) become a lot more enjoyable in the spring (you can take your time getting back, with still plenty of light). We also tend to have good corn snow. It can get mushy in the afternoon, but we don't have the heat extremes of high elevation, lower latitude places (like California). Most days, we have a large window. In my opinion, good corn snow is second only to powder (without the risk). The only drawback (at least for me) is to have to lather on the sunscreen. 

@asdf -- What Randito said. If you just want to try out gear, any of the places at the pass are great. I've done that most at Hyak -- mainly because they tend to close more often during the week.

One thing I would very much recommend is backcountry skis with fish scales on them. Viole several, but there are other brands as well. It is really nice to be able to go up and down without taking on and off the skins. You also want to buy (and bring) skins, but you may find that you hardly use them. For something like a big up and down at Hyak it wouldn't matter. But if you skied the backcountry area around Kendall Peak Lakes (which has a long road approach), or the rolling hills of Paradise, they can make the trip a lot more fun.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
asdf
Member
Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 253 | TRs

asdf
  Top

Member
PostSun Feb 21, 2021 8:04 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I appreciate the advice.  the Summit is a good idea, I don't know why I didn't think of that.  Plus it is familiar terrain since I skied there in years past, lol.  I'll probably take the day off one of these days and try it.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
timberghost
Member
Member


Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 741 | TRs

timberghost
  Top

Member
PostMon Feb 22, 2021 6:31 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
very nice
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
   All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > A Senior's Backcountry Ski Experience
  Happy Birthday blue_tuberosa, ASBrauer, jabenoi!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy