Thursday, September 13, 2007

High Altitude Ski Expeditions...Yes, Happening Now

It was another warm one today. Temps here in Utah are pushing the upper 80's once again while inside the Backcountry.com warehouse it's at least a sweaty 93+ where skis and snowboards that are piling up in anticipation of your winter adventures are feeling the heat. With more skis coming in right now out numbering those that are headed out the door it's clear skiing isn't on the brain for the majority of you.

But for a few skiing is entirely on the brain. My friend Tim is one. I just received an instant message from him. He's been skiing in Argentina and Chile for a couple of weeks now and today he skied 8500' on a volcano whose name I can't remember, forgotten while contemplating the enormity of skiing 8500' in one run...in September! He was stoked beyond words.

And take Fredrik Ericsson for example. After a week of lost baggage and hanging out in Kathmandu, Nepal he's now off to climb and hopefully ski Dhaulagiri. At 8168 meters (that's 26,795' for us non-metric folks) Dhaulagiri is the 7th highest peak in the world and as if that weren't challenge enough Fredrik is going to do this solo.

Would you ski this mountain?
Dhaulagiri - 7th highest peak in the world
Just 40 miles to the east of Dhaulagiri is the Gurhka massif which contains the 8th highest summit in the world - Manaslu. A strong team of three Euros Benedikt Böhm, Sebastian Haag and Nicolas Bonnet, will not only attempt to ski Manaslu this month but they'll be looking to set a speed record while doing it. Check out the Manaslu Ski Expedition website but be sure to brush up on your German before doing so or it'll be a mostly worthless click.
So you didn't take on skiing Dhaulagiri - how about Manaslu?
Manaslu - 8th highest peak in the world
On the gear side of things, a cool thing to note (at least for me) is that both of these ski expeditions are utilizing Dynafit bindings which I switched to to seasons ago and will never go back. Dynafit's are bomber and at half the weight of Fritschi Freerides they are hard to argue with.

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