By: randosteve|Posted on: May 22, 2008|Posted in: People | 13 comments

Gannett Peak From Goat Flat
With all the precipitation lately, looks like I’ll be skiing powder in the Winds.

Swiftwater tension traverseI’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I wasn’t sure what to talk about today. I thought about how I’ve been getting the shop opened up for the summer, or how I’ve got a week long trip in the Winds coming up in just over a week…weather permitting. Or I thought I’d talk about how it snowed at the shop today, or that I heard there was 6” of snow at The Meadows in Garnet Canyon yesterday and that you can now drive to the Lupine Meadows trailhead. Or even maybe mention how I had SAR swift water training last weekend in anticipation of the potential for high water over the next few weeks. BTW, the Gros Ventre looked huge on the way home from the park today. Or even still there is the family of foxes that have shacked up along side Snow King Avenue and Bear 399 sending her cubs on there way…virtual celebrities of the Jackson Hole valley.

To tell you the truth, what I’ve found most interesting over the past couple days is the resurgence of the idea of “Freeski Mountaineering” being a new genre of our sport. There’s been some recent talk on the TGR Forum and here’s a link to some stuff on Biglines last year in reference to Chris Davenports, Ski the 14ers project. Now, I’ve got nothing against Chris Davenport. I’ve met him a few times…and he’s a great guy…and I would be psyched to ski with him again some day. He has achieved goals that I can only dream about…at least for now (wink), and his ability to get the job done is very impressive. But, I have to say his thoughts on his style of skiing being classified as a new thing just doesn’t sit well in my head.

Snow at MooselyChris states, “I call what I do “Freeski Mountaineering”. Traditional ski mountaineers never focused on high-performance skiing, rather simply getting down the lines. We try to ski the most difficult lines on each peak, and with fast and big turns, and sometimes even airs and all on modern fat skis.”

Bear 399It seems weird to me that the width of my skis, stiffness of my boots and way I ski the line would dictate what type of skiing I’m actually partaking in. I mean for a gear guy like me…really…the snow conditions dictate what gear I’m going to use…and hence, how I will be skiing a line. Whether I make fast turns on the Grand using my 190 Verdicts in deep powder, or make tentative jump turns on 55 degree icy crust using 170’s…to me…it’s all the same. Yeah…the experience is different, but is it really a different genre because you scored a line in good conditions with your alpine gear. I’m not so sure. You?