Thursday, November 29, 2012

Late November Sastrugi on Red Baldy

Per Andy's recommendation I went up White Pine yesterday. I was by myself so planned really on just going on a easy skin up to the A.F. ridge & back. I took my own sweet time getting up there too. The leisurely pace up was almost embarrassing. Well, the low tide snow prevented me from getting all the way up to the AF ridge so I turned around and went up Red Baldy instead. Skied the standard run down. Not from the top, but from where was reasonable given the rocky conditions at the top. It was...interesting. I was certainly kept on my toes. 3 turns of recrystallized powder, several on sastrugi, two on breakable, then a few on supportable wind board, then more recrystallized pow. Repeat.
Looking up to where I started from.


I was psyched on the view though. Really, a nice day to be out. Sunny blue skies, slight wind, beautiful peaks to admire. A nice day even if the skiing was pretty forgettable.

The next storm cycle is going to make things dicey I think--the surface snow had deteriorated pretty badly at the upper elevations.  Sigh. I don't know if I can handle another winter like last year's. The exit out was mildly exciting too--A frozen narrow track with post holes from all the hikers with the odd stream crossing or rock thrown in there. It was excellent.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dynafit Dyna PDG Boot Review

 My brothers are all into cycling. I guess I'm into skiing because most of my fun money goes to ski stuff. That doesn't make me a good skier--skiing just seems to hold my imagination a little more than other endeavors. Every year I've gotten a new piece of ski equipment. This year I bought the DyNA PDG boots. I debated which race boots to get: Aliens or PDG's. The carbon versions were a bit more than I was willing to pay, so it was either a pebax cuff or this new untested fiberglass cuff on the PDG. I've read some glowing reviews about the aliens and reviews were not to be found anywhere about the PDG--I even searched the web in Italian with no results. I guess I bought the PDG because 1)the cuff is supposed to be stiffer than the plastic Alien 2) they are a bit lighter and 3) I have the TLT 5 Mountains and liked them. So, to help out the ski community I thought I'd post my first impressions of the PDG boot.

I ordered them from Amplatz because no one in N.A. had my size. Shipping took a week and was pretty expensive. It was like 60 euros but the final price all said and done was still a bit less than the they sell for on our continent. Funny that I'm writing about boots I bought from Europe on "Small-business Saturday." We have "Gray Thursday" "Black Friday" "Small-business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday." I'm calling the week before Thanksgiving "International expensive stuff week."

Here's my caveat: I skied them today for the first time, so obviously not an exhaustive review. Only a couple of runs on some groomers at Brighton, so my "review" will evolve as I get more days in the boots and challenge them on more difficult terrain.

Things I really liked about the boots:

  • The walk mode is incredible! I have the TLT 5 Mountain, and the PDG blows it away. Forward flex for skinning is really good. It is pretty resistance free both fore and aft. At least as far as my ankles can move comfortably. The Aliens are probably even better, but the PDG is pretty adequate as well.
  • They are really light. I could tell a noticeable difference in the weight. Listed weight is 790 grams or about a full pound lighter than my TLT 5s. I don't have a gram scale though so I can't say what the actual weight is.
  • They are pretty comfortable right out of the box. My Mountains were so painful at first. I've had to help a couple of bootfitters help me with stretching the shells and modifying the liners. I had to do NOTHING for the PDGs to feel comfy. I have the 27.5 Mountains (297 BSL) and bought the size 28 PDG (299 BSL). So maybe I just bought the wrong size Mountains. Bummer.
  • They are STIFF! I saw someone on the interwebs say they heard the PDG to be "in the same realm of stiffness as the old F1s." No way--these babies are a little stiffer than my Mountains (without tongue). That surprised me. 
  • I like the color.

  • We'll see if they end up durable enough to last a few years. I really hope so. 
  • I hope they solved the issue with the rivet loosening in prior years' carbon boots. 

White Lightning!

Cuff height comparison. The cuffs appear to be the exact same height.

 Looks like the same liner as the original DyNA liner. Pretty light. The boots came with several abrasion patches so they may not be the most durable, but they sure are light. And pretty comfy too.
 The lower buckle has this really cool "tooth" that helps the buckle lock down. My TLT 5 buckles are always opening. This is a nice improvement.
 A full vibram sole. I don't really do tons of booting/climbing or "Teton style" in my ski boots so I can't imagine that wear will ever become an issue.
Well, that's it. Hopefully these babies will help me move from a back of the pack racer to a solid middle of the pack racer!