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Spring Training


Spring Training

It would be an understatement to say it’s been a rough winter here in California, but we’ve had our moments, and enough snow to get some good days in. Furthermore, it’s now snowing—A LOT, and all over Nor Cal! So, don’t even think about hanging up the skis for the road bike, the baseball glove, or your golf clubs, because we have at least 2-3 months of skiing left.

The resorts will stop the lifts before you know it, but the high country is just coming into shape! Very few of us are happy with the amount of skiing we have gotten in this season, (uphill or downhill) but that’s no excuse to not be ready for the High Sierra, Lassen, Shasta, and beyond.

So hit the stairs, trails, gym, P90X, the road, or whatever you can manage… and be ready for some big days in the mountains. Your ski partners will be calling soon, and they’ll expect you to be ready.

Finding training time is often a challenge for those with jobs, kids, families, and whatnot, but no excuses. Make the time and get yourself (and your gear) ready to go.

Example: A recent training day of mine was a bit out of the ordinary, but I had a short window of opportunity to test out a new pair of skis and bindings, plus a chance to put in some touring time before I headed out to the Alps.

After finishing my domestic duties at 9pm on Thursday night, I hit the road… and by 12:15am, I was at my favorite North Tahoe Ski area. By 12:45am, I was skinning up the recently groomed slopes—in the dark. Yeah, it was windy, cloudy, and a mix of rain and snow was falling, but I was fired up to be on my new skis.

After three laps and about 3000 ft of climbing, I took a catnap from 3-5am, and it was a nice break from the driving rain & snow in my face. At about 5am I got back out onto the same groomed run (now with an inch of fresh!) and got back after it.

By now, the storm had moved on and the sun was coming up, and from 5am-noon, I knocked out another nine laps to bring my total for the night to twelve laps and 12,092 ft of climbing and skiing. By 2pm, I was back on the road, and guess what? I had dinner back in Berkeley with the family. And although I was tired, I was satisfied with a solid chunk of vertical, and feeling good about the Haute Route gear I’ll be using next week. Bottom line: training days don’t have top chew up whole weekends. For those interested, here’s my Haute Route gear:

· K2 Sideshow skis - 132/90/115
· Dynafit TLT Speed Radical Bindings
· Black Diamond Quadrant AT Boot
· Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins
· Dynafit Ski Crampon
· C.A.M.P. XLC 390 Aluminum Boot crampon
· C.A.M.P Corsa Nanotech Ice Axe- 50 cm

Suggestions for night skiers:

1- Check to see if you’re on private property, and adjust your plan accordingly.
2- Make sure you’re not at risk of getting hit by a snow machine or groomer.
3- As with any ski tour, check the local avalanche bulletin. You can always find the latest updates here:
4- Keep a low profile, and respect the locals who are trying to get their jobs done.
5- Try to time your outing with the full moon. No headlamp necessary!
6- Keep your Clif bars and other goodies warm, in a pocket close to your skin.
7- Bring a hot drink for the coldest part of the night (which is usually just before dawn).
8- Have your gear dialed before you step into the darkness. (Skins, headlamp, food, etc.)
9- Keep your skins in your jacket (translation: warm) on the downhill. Frozen skins = frozen glue = no stick.
10- Ramp it down a notch; reduce your speed, steer clear of sketchy terrain, tight trees, lift towers, and other items you don’t want to collide with in the dark.

And… DON’T FORGET TO LOG YOUR VERTICAL! Why? Because at the end of the season, Alpenglow Sports will donate cash to the Sierra Avalanche Center based on our cumulative vertical climbed! Help keep the resources we all enjoy going strong. DO IT!

Jorge is stoked!