By: randosteve|Posted on: January 31, 2008|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 6 comments

Plenty of parking
Mellow vibes on the pass with plenty of parking.
Is it the snowpack…or the turtles?

I was on a mission to do some laps on nature’s stairmaster‚Ķaka, the Glory bootpack on Teton Pass. It’s probably been over a month since I’ve skied on the Pass, but bootpacking is a great way to strengthen the legs, so I opted to hang up the skins today and hike Glory with a small and light pack.

I’m testing a new Black Diamond AvaLung pack, the Bandit. It is pretty small and forced me to only carry the essentials like a shovel and probe, goggles, extra hat and balaclava, water, a lightweight bivy sack and an extra layer. I arrived at the parking lot around 8 and had no trouble finding a parking spot. Gotta love the weekday crowd.

Only the essentials fit in the Bandit AvaLung

The mood was mellow on the Pass and I ended up doing 5 laps in about 6 hours. I did three laps on First Turn and 2 on Twin Slides, stopping in the van for a break after laps 2 and 4, for a total of about 8500′. I was humbled when I got an email from rando racer Bryan Wickenhauser stating he just had a day with over 12,000′ of vert down in Crested Butte. Damn adventure racers! Anyway, I think bootpacking is a bit more strenuous than skinning and I still got a good workout in none the less.

Nice Frontcountry rig

5 laps in 6 hoursThe skiing was phenomenal and the snow was like velvety butter. I was feeling tired after the fifth lap and wondered how on earth those guys did 12 laps (or was it 13) last year. I’ve often thought about seeing how many I can do, but it is obvious that I would want to lighten up the load even more to have a chance at coming close.

I wrapped up the day with a little night avalanche training for TCSAR at the King. Practice makes perfect!!!