Dawn Patrol at Monarch

This morning I wanted to get up and try out my new skimo rig, also spend some time on the skins to speed the up and figure out how I might trim them. Woke up at about 4:30 and got on the road as soon as I could, pretty much everything was ready to go so it was a matter of carting it out to the car and heading up the pass.  I arrived at the Monarch parking lot before the sun had broken the horizon and it was chilly.

Dressed for the climb and skinned up I headed for the ski area.  I headed up the steepest run and followed the lift line.  The new kit is sooooooooooo much lighter than my BC tele equipment.  Its more or less like wearing a pair of heavy running shoes.  The skins were sticking very well and so I approached the hill straight on.  Got to the top and checked my GPS, which had gone TU in the cold.  Oh well, not really why I’m here I thought.  Back down the other side, clicking my heals into the bindings for the first time and riding the skins all the way to the bottom.

Wow, these things hold you.  I made a mental note that I need to adjust the pitch on the boot so it doesn’t feel like I’m riding my tails so much and realized that these skins could be a tad bit shorter and narrower at the waist.  Trim was time allows.

By the time I made it to bottom of the area the Cats started to work their way over to that side of the mountain.  Friendly waves and they trucked on past as I climbed.  A ski patrol man caught me on the climb riding up from below on his snow machine and paused to remind me to keep an eye out for the Cats.

I kept on trucking for the second lap and ended up tromping through some powder on what might have been a closed run (not from the bottom it wasn’t).  The Hagan X-Lites actually floated the powder pretty well.

The sunshine broke the horizon about half way up this lap and painted all the mountain tops red with alpine glow.

I summited and proceeded up the the ridge to the peak, back down part of the way along the north side of the same ridge, and then back to the peak for the final descent.  Skins on the whole time.

Things I need to figure out or do:

  1. Figure out how to release the heal of my boot without releasing the toe from the binding
  2. Add some Gold Label glue to the skins, they stuck ok, but could stick much better.
  3. Trim maybe 1/2 cm from each skin so that I get an edge on the descents at the waist of the ski
  4. Trim off the tails (20 – 30%) from the tail of the skin
  5. Iron some hard wax into the skins
  6. Work on adjusting boots so that they’re more comfortable in the descents
  7. Add a D-ring to each boot for cable retention
  8. Drink another bottle of wine so I can make load pads forward and aft for boots on skis

Great morning with some serious elevation gain.

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