Evolution in the Backcountry

Since moving to Colorado, Apryle and I have tried to mold ourselves into skiers.  A few resort days…sitting in traffic on I-70, waiting in lift lines, and never hitting the powder quite right….were enough to convince us that our place was in the backcountry.  It was a painful process.  I started out skiing on a pair of early 70s vintage Trucker skis, straight as could be, that topped out at around 200cm.  To add insult to injury, I insisted on using my plastic Koflach climbing boots in the Silvretta bindings I mounted for mountaineering use.  Apryle wasn’t really all that much better off carrying her 165cm straight sticks from middle school and rear-entry boots while snowshoeing up the mountain.

We learned our lessons slowly.  I graduated to a pair of 195cm Dynastars, found and donated to our cause by a most concerned friend.  With their alpine bindings, they didn’t help me much in the backcountry, though.  Not long after, I picked up a nice used pair of Scarpa Titan AT boots, and before long scored a brand new pair of K2 Sahale skis from Steep and Cheap, 160cm in length.  Suddenly, I discovered that I really could turn!

Apryle stuck with the straight boards from 6th grade for quite a while before giving in to the charms of a $3 pair of 165cm shaped skis at the Thrift Store.  Score!  Toss on a pair of alpine trekkers and skins and Apryle was touring up a storm.  The relevation of shaped skis stuck, but as I gained ground on my new lightweight set-up, we started scouring craigslist for a more suitable rig for Apryle.  The white rear-entry boots soon got bumped by a pair of thermoform Scarpa Magic AT boots, and the thrift store skis found themselves relegated to loaner status by a slick little pair of 130cm Hagan mountaineering skis with Silvretta bindings.

We rounded out the avy trinity this summer when Trail Ridge Outfitters closed their doors, and now are free to explore the gorgeous powder stashed all throughout RMNP and the Estes Valley.  Though we’ve still got a lot to learn, we’ve come a long way from those early days.  The video showcases our gradual evolution over the last four years.  Hit play and enjoy!

3 comments

1 Kate { 02.24.09 at 8:09 am }

Oh my gosh – SO AWESOME! You guys make me laugh! I especially love the distinct, “gofer it”, and the beautiful tele skiing!

2 Lou { 02.24.09 at 4:10 pm }

I agree, the tele skiing is immaculate.
Nice video guys! Just goes to show you don’t have to be dropping cliffs and flying through couloirs to go hardcore in the backcountry.

3 Apryle { 02.24.09 at 4:46 pm }

Yes, Lou, nice skiing. Phil can’t say go FOR it anymore. It always comes out “gopher it!”

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