Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Skin loop modification for Trab skis

There is some stuff out there on the internet about this, but I'll add my 2 cents because there are a few things that I didn't understand from the other posts and this may be valuable for someone who needs a tip or two on the process. After looking at Andy and Jared's mods, I took a stab at doing my own and think they turned out rather nice if I can say so myself.

I ordered some Trab 100% mohair race skins and they came with the Trab tip & tail attachments already on them. Using an exacto knife, I cut off the tip and tail attachments. Then, using the exacto knife again, I trimmed the skins so a 2" thin strip at the tip. I used the logo as a guide for how skinny I wanted my strip.

Rather than explain the blow by blow (boring!) Here's a picture of the finished product.

A couple of notes on the process:
1) I used sports tape to hold the bungee together and put sports tape right above the washer(a 1/4" washer I think) so it won't move when attaching skins and also at the top to have some surface area to grab when ripping the skins.
2) I used my Dad's sewing awl to sew my thin strip back on the skin. It uses a beeswax covered thread and is quite heavy duty. Perfect for this sort of thing. Two small rows tacked on there should be more than enough to hold this thing together.
3) The bungees I used were about $3 from Home Depot. Maybe 10" long. The thinner the better I think.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 5k (plus a little more)

For turkey day I joined some new friends for a hot lap up to the top of the snowbird tram before breakfast. They were quite a bit faster than me with their stupid light race setups. I need my boots to get here soon! When we started it was 2 degrees Fahrenheit. I was sweating, so by the time I reached the top I had crazy ice chunks stuck in my hair. My bottle was nearly frozen solid as well. At the car, I ate a small pack of shot blocks and a few crackers for breakfast. Water was still frozen.

Then for dessert, we crossed the road and skinned up toledo bowl and along the ridge up to the top of superior. Bart and Andy were skinning comfortably and I was straggling behind always by a few minutes. They were nice to not turn down the screws on me too much. We scored some sweet pow at the top, negotiated a couple of tight chokes, and then wahoo'ed down the apron to the road. I hit a rock and blew 2" of edge right out of my skis. $#*&! Hopefully the shop can work a little magic to get them fixed, because I REALLY cannot afford to buy new skis this winter.

Total vert for the day was probably around 6k. The rest of the day was filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams and pumpkin pie. Hmm, maybe my penchant for treats is the reason I got smoked up to hidden peak?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gloves on a budget

With regular ski gloves built for lift skiing, my hands get way too hot on the skin track and then I fumble around with them ripping skins, accessing pack, etc. I wanted a really light pair of gloves that were not too hot, but also wearable for the down.

About 2 or 3 months ago I picked up a pair of OR fleece gloves from the sale bin at a ski shop. Great gloves with some tacky rubber on the palm & fingers. Anyway, I have a bunch of bright orange rip-stop nylon left over from when I sewed my kite last year. (What man doesn't like to get down and dirty with a sewing proj every now and again?)I made mittens out of the ripstop and sewed a fleece "pocket" onto the outside cuff of the glove. The mittens pack into the fleece pocket, then when the wind picks up, pull out the rip-stop mittens. Works pretty well. The construction is rough and the stitching on the thumb is on the outside, but who cares, right? I used them today and with wind gusting 20 mph at 9,200 feet and 15 degrees, they worked well enough to keep my fingers from freezing during the transition. These may be my go to glove now!

Week 45

In Europe, they count weeks. 11/13 week ending is 45. Work wasn't really demanding this week as I'm in between projects at work. I took the opportunity to recreate a bit.

Monday: 4 road miles moderately-hard.

Tuesday: Skied with KDay. One run down main baldy chute. Great snow. KDay lost a ski about half way down and 100 yards later it landed straight up in the snow. Nice! We were pumped it didn't run down the whole mountain. Of course I couldn't pass up THE perfect opportunity to quote Charles Dumar. "He's skiing on one ski!"

KDay playing Where's Waldo.

Not quite first tracks, but the snow was still excellent.

Wednesday: 10 road miles with the biggest hills Kaysville has to offer. Climbing gym in the evening.

Thursday: easy warmup 5 x 2:30 intervals (that is how high the hill is--I prolly need a bigger one, but this hill is so close.)

Friday: Skied Alta approx. 5k vert. Main Baldy, collins, 3 laps on East Greely. The best snow I've skied this year by far. Excellent day.

I was able to squeeze in a few fresh turns on Greely. It was pretty tracked up though. Snooze or lose.

Saturday: Skinned to bountiful peak. 2.2k vert and a small off piste run at the top and tried to avoid any grey spots (rocks), then down the road to the car. Hung with kids. Studied.

Crazy rime crusted tree. The farmington ridge is notoriously windy and this guy sits right on top. Tough tree.

Next week I should start to get a bit faster. I'll finally get my bindings and race skins. Dyna performance won't come for a few weeks so I'll have to just mount the toes only and wait for 12/1 to get the boots. Then I'll really be in business.