Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Beacon Searching Skills & Fun

Esther finds a chocolate Orange under a shrub
Becky on signal search while Dunc unwraps his choccy bar
What to do with the kids on Xmas eve?  Give them some clues involving word searches and advanced higher maths (Fiona made some really good ones up for them) and once they solve the puzzles give them Tracker 2's to search for presents buried around the garden under piles of snow. I reckon my kids are better with a transceiver than most.  Fun and play makes learning easy.
Keith & Christine practice with Tracker 1s

Inside the heated cabinet.  A nice job by "Bravo 1"
I was up the hill today in the murk having a test of the BCA system and talking about what to add to the park.  Quite a bit to do but one things for sure it tests your transceiver skills

Friday, 24 December 2010

Avalanche Risk

Hi folks. Some good skiing to be had at Nevis Range this week on wind packed powder from last weekend.  Glencoe is very lean with only the Main Basin & Happy Valley any good . Nice to get a blast in. though  Skied Bandit B23's which were nice and easy, then next day moved onto a pair of Head monster fat skies.  Not reallt desigbed for firm snow these were hard work but will be good on the softer stuff ,but not as good as the Movement "Jams".  The average temp at sea level has been around -10c for the last week forming large surface hoar growth from sea to summit. A very early season alpine type snowpack being shallow, allowing vapour transfer, and extremely cold air temperatures with a clear sky. It's not rocket science to know that if it snows on top we will have serious instabilities within the snowpack for a considerable time, that is until these crystals are wiped out by a thaw.
23rd Dec Snow Pit Glencoe Mountain. top "V" symbol is for surface hoar
Sea Level Hoar- In my Garden!
Very pretty but lethal in the snowpack with snow on top. Outside my bike shed!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ski Patrol Training

16 new patrollers after last weeks course at Nevis Range.  I gave a couple of lectures to them and was struck by how strong a course this one was.  Well done course director Jeff, Christine, Richard and Helen for such a good week. This week also saw myself and the lads from Anatom with Glencoe staff install the BCS Transceiver park.  Still a lot of work to do to get it ready.  A probing area, fencing and info panels still to go in.  During installation I used the DTS 2 to  map the park and see how it worked.  This week I also updated the 40 Mammut "Pulse" we have for touring and climbing at JSMTC.  It left me in no doubt that the DTS2 is by far and away the best Transceiver.  It's nice to totally believe in the product range you sell.  Also good news from Anatom this week, they have a test pool of Dynafit skis.  I hope to have some to test and introduce folk to so get in touch if there is a particular ski you would like a run on.

Two examples from this weeks ppt lectures on "Heuristic Traps" or cognitive thinking process's that lead folk onto avalanche terrain:

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Turbo Training

Benefits of Indoor Cycling Training   by Coach Troy Jacobson

Indoor TrainerThe word is out.  High performance competitive cyclists and triathletes are opting for indoor training, especially for their quality work, over outdoor riding.  The trend has been on the rise over many years… but many are just now coming to realize it. Despite the potential boredom associated with indoor training, more and more athletes see that the pros outweigh the cons.  Here’s a short list of 5 key benefits, in no particular order, to indoor training for you to consider:
  • Time Efficiency:  Cold weather and shorter daylight hours make it difficult and time consuming to prepare for an outdoor ride.  By the time you don your layers, gloves, booties and balaclavas, 15 minutes of  high quality training time are out the window.  And with darkness coming at around 5 pm, getting out on the roads is next to impossible for all but the hardiest cyclists.
  • Safety: It’s all about the law of averages.  The more you expose yourself to vehicular traffic, the higher your chances are of getting in an accident. Spending time indoors on the ‘turbo’ cuts down on your exposure and reduces your risk of getting hurt.
  • Focus: Training indoors allows you absolute control of your training variables, including duration and intensity.  There are no traffic lights, hills (down or up), wind or other distractions to deal with… it’s just you, your stopwatch, your powermeter (or heart rate monitor) and your desire.
  • Effectiveness: See point number 3.  Indoor training eliminates many of the variables that are often out of our control.  It’s said that indoor training v. outdoor training, per unit of time, is anywhere from 10-30% more effective. That means that a 60 minute ride on the turbo can equal the work done in 80-90 minutes on the roads.
  • Social: Sure, road riding can be social… but the ‘selection’ that takes place after the warm-up separates the stronger riders from the not-so-strong riders. Therefore, you only develop strong bonds with people of similar riding ability. With indoor training, since you don’t go anywhere, everyone is in the same pain cave for the entire workout, regardless if someone is producing 350 watts to someone else’s 150 watts.  Indoor training is the great equalizer and offers more social connection opportunities when done as a group.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Road Bike Winter Trainer

Looking for a winter hack?  Here's a nice bike that's a good training bike and will double as a winter trainer.  £450 as a special offer.  Go on you know you want one
Merida Road Ride 75 What a Cracker for the price!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Outdoor Capital & Lochaber Skiing

Freeride, Off Piste call it what you want.  This is the new wave in Scottish skiing although very well established in the rest of the ski world. Cairngorm certainly has the snow and Glenshee the sizable ski area but when it comes to the steeps and interesting skiing then West is best with both Nevis Range and Glencoe offering gnarly terrain, couloirs and natural half pipes all lift accessable. This terrain is also avalanche terrain and that should concern us as educators as the route to safety is education.  Also it's unfortunately true that equipment has a role to play and no one - but no one should be skiing alone or without the 3 essentials of shovel, probe and transceiver - and the knowledge of how to use them. I have put together an early season safety package available for online purchase via my web site crankitupgear special offer I can also offer advice on aspects of avalanche and off piste safety.  And don't forget that I can still hire, repair or sell you a bike!
Boarders digging a deep snow analysis pit

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Website Update

I have just updated my web site www.crankitupgear.com with special online offers. Much, much more online products to come soon so watch the site develop as new lines come online.  Right now you can grap an early bird offer on the 3 Backcountry essentials.