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August 8, 2010:

6 Years

I celebrated six years of uninterupted year-round skiing yesterday with a quick trip to the Paradise Glacier. Using the standard Turns-All-Year definition of at least one ski day in each calendar month of the year, Saturday was month number 72. Previously I had had a string of 13 months going but barely missed skiing in August of 2004 (I did ski on July 29th and September 2nd of 2004, however). This might seem like kind of a weird hobby to some people, even some of my regular ski partners who claim to enjoy a break of a few months, but it gets me into the mountains at least once a month and seldom creates a hardship unless I'm out of town or procrastinate until late in the month. Other year-round skiers are subject to some of the same "stress" - I've ocassionally witnessed hoards of TAY'ers on the Muir snowfield on the last day of September or October, all of whom briefly flirted with the idea of ending their streaks before heading up to Paradise in a panic to get some turns in.

Drizzle and fog turned to outright rain just before I skied down, but the snow conditions were actually quite good

I've been trying to decide if the Dynafit Speedskins I bought this summer for my Mustagh Ata SL's needed to be trimmed slightly in width. As they come from the factory, they are cut right to the limit of the P-Tex, leaving only steel edges showing. Normally I like to trim skins with a tiny bit of base material showing, as I feel it gives you a better edgehold in firm snow without really sacrificing uphill traction. Last year I trimmed my black mohair-mix Ascensions with a small bit of base showing for the Manaslus and they worked well this past season. Skinning on relatively firm snow in the cool temperatures yesterday, and with mild suncups on the Paradise Glacier, it seemed like the edges held well. I've concluded that the Dynafit skins are somewhat thinner than the Black Diamonds I usually use, which lifts the base off the snow less and allows for the use of a wider skin. At any rate, the Dynafit skins are really nice and the tip fix is a bit cleaner than my home-made one. I still wish they came in black rather than pale blue, but they probably source the skin material from Colltex and get a deal on blue.

Tom and Dan from Alpental were up on the Paradise Glacier, honing their skillz for the winter.

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July, 2010

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China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom

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"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .

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