Sunday, 19 February 2012

Micro Search Strips

For experts only an analog take on multiple burials.  It's the one thing analog excelled at, the ability to hear multiple pulses. Anyone teaching this stuff should at least know the basics of the micro search strip method so that "marking" and the associated problems of overlap are better understood.

Thanks to BCA for bringing this too us.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Icy and Hard but Great Day at Glencoe

Not too eventful a day and did a bit of photography. SAIS course on the mountain and as always at Glencoe Mountain, even if the skiing isn't great the craic is good.

Brocken Spectre

Ski Patroller Ailsa Clark brings across a snow boarder stuck on an icy Fly Paper
Mark Diggins and students at the Anatom/BCA Beacon park control box
George Reid and the course in the man made avlx tip
Great day up at Glencoe today but not so much of the off piste or side of the hill fun and games as it had set up hard overnight. Yesterday I had a good ski with Mark Diggins and George Reid of the SAIS showing them around the mountain and giving them a flavour of the people and what makes the mountain tick. Nice that all three of us are ambassadors for UK BCA/Dynafit importer Anatom and we all had our BCA packs and Dynafit kit on and loads of folks had questions about the kit.  Today the off piste course for boarders and skiers ran well, and Paul Moores was also on hand to help out. We had quite a few beers at Clachaig last night with these guys and caught up with many old climbing buddies including Pete Long who is recovering from serious head injury. Great night and Fiona really enjoyed the craic as did Esther my daughter.

Paul Moores with a student on the course

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The "Preacher"

I don't often wax lyrical about ski's as being in the business sometimes like bikes one set becomes a bit like another.  I ski a variety of ski's.  I like my Movement "Jams" for general stuff and for Freeride touring nothing beats Dynafit my main range ,and best selling stock.  Currently I am on Dynafit  "Guide XL" and they are so sweet for Back Country tours.

I approached "Whitedot" last year as their demo days up at Glencoe Mountain seemed successful, and folk who tried the range really liked them. So I got a pair of "Preachers" to test.  I have only had a chance to ski them two days over last weekend when up at Glencoe with the ski patrol at BCA training park which I look after. The touring kit has been going well so I haven't pushed the Freeride Alpine. Big mistake! I skied them Preachers hard and in the deep stuff for two long days with lots of turns in the deep and steep.  They are  probably the very best Freeride ski I have ever slid on. They carve a nice enough turn on the groomers, but put them in slop, powder or indeed anything where a bit of float helps, and they carve - oh boy do they ever!  You get noticed due to the minty colour and the width but it's cool.  They are the best.

I am not sure what the availability is for the rest of this season.  I know that other brands I deal with are short after ISPO as folk are getting rid of stock ready for next seasons line up. I hope the Preacher doesn't change too much as it's a top ski.  So if you want a pair at least let me know and I will get in contact with Whitedot.
THE PREACHER  The ultimate all-mountain fat ski that gives massive amounts of float in the fresh, though the positive camber and full length torsional stiffness allows for an incredible edge hold on even the hardest of pistes.
Designed with a 155 wide tip allowing for a weight forward stance for ease of turn initiation and contact point forward tapered tip to avoid hooking in the soft stuff. From tree runs to the biggest back bowls to the last piste home, these skis will put a grin on your face!

Effective Edge
Weight (pair)
ISO 7200 sintered, die cut
169, 179, 189
14m, 16.5m, 19m
149cm, 158cm, 166cm
Poplar/Ash Laminate
1.8mm steel, 360°
Screen Printed & Lacquered
3.9kg, 4.3kg, 4.7kg
3.6mm x 9mm drill bit

Friday, 3 February 2012

Dynafit TLT ST & Airbag Save

For you folks out in the web world there are still some TLT ST bindings with 82 and 92mm brakes available.  Also Seven Summits ski's and Zzeus TFX Boots.  All are at a substantially lower price than you will see online but as stock goes sizes become limited.  So get in there if you want a bargain for the spring touring.  T2's are still available at a good price as are shovels, probes and Float airbags.  See below for a save where the person would not have stayed on top without inverse grading the principle on which the airbag works.

TLT ST Binding

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Old Slide Scan - Deep Burial!

I started climbing when quite young, or least what was young back in 1969 when I was 12 and as a local an anomaly because I wanted to go up the hills. Strangely I didn't buy a camera until I was 30.  Fiona my wife took many pictures of climbing and skiing in the interim with her Olympus OM1  a great SLR. Once I had my little compact camera I would snap away, running off the 36 slide frames then sending it off and waiting with excitement until the little yellow box would come back with at least 34 duffers and maybe 2 good pictures.  Some of the early ones are in cardboard mounts. Old or what!  I tried different films such as Kodachrome 64 which was a rich colour format, or Fuji with its green hues, but Ektachrome 200 or 400 always seemed to give me the best slides in a variety of conditions, especially poor light.  Like most of my age reading this you will no doubt have many boxes of old slides.  It's fun if you have time going through them.  Some of the duffers actually seem quite good when scanned, and they don't half awaken memories.  I new I had seen lots of drama, and climbed and skied a fair bit. Some memories have been gladly brought back, and others that must have been buried into pandora's box also creep out, particularly when the victims were folk you new.

Here's a picture from not too long ago I just found that was consigned into a duffers box. The lad in the background is from an RAF team and helping on a search below "Summit Gully" Glencoe.  Myself and John who is on the Left lined up gloves and crampons of the victims on the surface and suggested a search area to the RAF lads while the Glencoe lads probed up higher.  This RAF lad used his initiative as others were getting organised and joined two 3 metre old fashioned steel probes together to see how deep it was and on his first few strikes at full depth got a hit on one.  The actual victims are under his feet.  So the depth was about 5.5 metres which in old money is about 17 feet.  It took a lot of digging to get the victims out.  This was November 1993 I think, and by April 1994 I had been on a further 7 fatal victim recoveries from avalanches in that 5 month period.

On my lectures I use pictures such as these to emphasise that victim recovery from an avalanche does not make anyone in MR an avalanche expert.  It merely made us experts in recovering victims, and is neither rewarding or educational other than it's best to avoid getting avalanched.  Anyway have a look at a duffer pic and be amazed at the RAF lads good thinking.

Bottom of Summit Gully ScnBeith Glencoe 1993