This has been a fantastic ski season for me… I’ve skied Whistler-Blackcomb BC, Stevens Pass WA, Killington VT, Okemo VT, Stratton VT, and Mount Snow VT. I’ve been up just about every weekend since mid-November.
New gear this year includes K2 Rictor 174′ skis with Marker MX 12 bindings, Nordica Hotrod 8.5 boots, and Oakley Splice goggles with hi-intensity yellow lenses. I also installed HotTronics E4 heated insoles for my wife.
I have been very impressed with the K2 rictor skis – They handle just about anything the mountain can throw at them. My only complaint is that with the metal core, they’re heavy and can be a little slow to maneuver in the trees. I think these skis are perfect for most east coast conditions, and I’m definitely going to keep them in my lineup. However, I am already shopping for a new set of all-mountain power twin tips for skiing the fluffy stuff. I plan to demo the Salomon Rocker2 108′s and the Rossignol S7′s early next year. They’re both fully rockered twin tips, with camber under foot and honeycomb tips and tails to reduce swing weight.
Goggles have always been a problem for me – fogging, depth perception, low light visibility. The hi-intensity yellow lenses by Oakley have solved my problems 100%. The goggles never leave my face, and I have unparalleled depth perception in all light conditions, with zero fogging!
I also have problematic feet when it comes to ski boots. My new Nordica Hotrod 8.5′s are incredibly comfortable, but I think I need to upgrade to a more advanced boot for better edge transition. Especially when pushing it at high speeds, and tight turns in the trees, I can feel my heel slipping and loss of edge transition. My only REAL complaint with these boots is the cheap aluminum buckle brackets they come with. So far this season I’ve broken 2 buckles because the brackets have bent.
My wife suffers from chronically cold feet. I can’t even tell you how many wasted lift tickets this has cost me because she can only ski 1-2 hours before she can’t stand the pain anymore. These HotTronic E4 heated insoles are very expensive (around $250 for the complete setup w/ custom insoles) but they’re worth every penny! They provide up to 19 hours of heat using NiMH battery cells, that put out 4 heat settings. She can ski comfortably all day, in ay weather. 3 weeks ago we were at Killington with windchill below -20, and her feet were fine. I figure if these save me 2.5 wasted lift tickets, I will have made my money back!
I have also been using an iPhone app called Ski Tracks to track my ski statistics via GPS. It’s a cool app that allows you to track your top speeds, number of runs, miles skied, vertical skied, etc. It will also plot your GPS tracks on a satellite image of the mountain! This all comes in the free version of the app! A full day of running the program in the background of your phone only uses about 50% the battery or less, which seems pretty reasonable.
I still have a good month of skiing, and the powder is fresh in Vermont – See you all in April!
(The Whistler InukShuk has a very interesting history – Read about it at http://www.inukshukgallery.com/inukshuk.html)