Monthly Archives: December 2009

Dynafit Titan Boot Review

I have narrow and low-volume feet, and long thin legs. As a full-time skier, and having used the Raichle Flexon ski boots (a perfect fit that was confirmed in a 3D boot compatability scan) for lift serviced skiing my entire skiing life, I have high expectations for how a boot should fit and perform. To my endless frustration and disspointment, the ski touring boots available seem to have been designed for intermediate skiers with broad feet. Over the years I’ve endured and heavily modified as succession of touring boots – Raichcle Concordias, Scarpa Denalis, Scarpa Lazers, Garmont Megarides, and just last season a new pair of Garmont Radiums. Although not anticipating purchasing boots this year, this Fall I tried on a pair of the new Dynafit Titan’s, just to get sense of the fit and flex, and in a Cinderella moment, instantly knew that I had to get a pair.
The stock liners seemed suupportive and fit well un-molded,  but were a struggle to get on and off in the comfort of my living room (and would therefore be impossible in the mountains), so I’ve replaced them with some lightly used Intuition alpine overlap liners. Much easier, but which I anticipate will still be struggle to get  on after a cold night snow camping. They also lighten up the boots a bit. I swapped over the locking buckle receptors from my Garmont Radiums (a very useful little feature), and took them skiing.
These bright white boots sure do get noticed on the skin-track, with lots of skiers curious to know what I think of them. After a few days of use, they’ve met my highest expactations. They’re by far the most comfortable touring boot I’ve used. The Intuition liners haven’t even been molded for these shells (they’re molded for my Radiums) yet I’ve got no pressure points whatsover and  my heel remains locked in place at all times. I’d expected to have to punch out the shells after identifying the hot spots, (as has been necessary with all other touring boots) but that shouldn’t be necessary. The walking action is smooth and uninhibited, as efficient as any boot I’ve tried. They’re apparently a little heavier than my Radiums and Megarides, but the extra weight isn’t noticable in use. The tech binding toe-pin receptacles have proprietary guide notches to make stepping into the bindings easier, but I didn’t notice any substantive difference. The walk/ski adjustment switch is simple and effective. When descending, with only light pressure on the buckles (no cranking required), they come close to my downhill boots in performance – smooth, stiff, and supportive, inspiring confidence in challenging snow conditions. I’m excited to explore their full potential.
It’s unfortunate that the stock liners are so difficult to get on, but these are the boots I’ve been waiting 20 years for. Comfortable and easy striding, yet paradoxically delivering the highest in skiing performance.


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Crosscountry Snowboarding

Reminds me of Noboarding.

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Golden Trip

Golden – The trucks and trains are a constant, but the mountains sure are beautiful.

I spent this past weekend in Golden, and got to ski at both Kicking Horse Resort and at Rogers Pass. I’d only skied at the Resort once before, and it’s the long fall-line bump runs that I recall. I skied on the Saturday after opening day, so missed out on the top to bottom powder runs (by all accounts a great day) but got some fresh lines into Fuez bowl when it opened.  Otherwise the mountain had a great cover of chalky snow. Those who sometimes denigrate the place (myself included) usually cite the general lack of snow and poor coverage on the technical terrain, but neither seems to be an issue this year, with a well compacted 125cm base.  It’s  obviously an avalanche prone snow-pack, and boundary closures seemed justified by crowns down to dirt in alpine bowls adjacent to the resort.  It’s a very different terrain layout (an aspect of a range) than I’m used to (a 360 degree mountain), but there’s certainly lot’s of it, with a great selection of steep chutes, and the top to bottom groomed runs were a (leg burning) ton of fun. I’ll be back, and look forward to exploring more of the terrain, both in the Resort and the extensive side-country.

Elise – One armed powder skiing.

It was bitterly cold on Sunday at Rogers Pass, with a arctic winds blasting from the North. Fortunately Grizzly Shoulder was protected from the wind and actually quite pleasant in the sun. The snow in the open glades was light and dry, and relatively untracked . Most alpine areas looked to be getting  wind scoured.

Cabin near Edgewood.

The contrast between  open grasslands, and dramatic mountains to the East and West  make the  Rocky Mountain Trench a visual feast, and driving south from Golden this crystal clear morning, it was looking it’s best. My friends in the East Kootenays lament the development tide that has transformed many rural communities into dormitories for Albertan weekenders, condos and trophy homes spreading like a virus across the landscape. The worst of it is certainly being flaunted (Radium and Invermere), but it’s not ubiquitous, and the stretch from Golden to Edgewater still seems to have retained  it’s bucolic charm.

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Morning Turns on Powder Fields

Cam – Off the Knob.

I love being able to get up early on a cold clear morning and put in a lap of skiing before some people have finished their morning coffee. This morning the Powder Fields were smooth, soft and untracked, with 10-20cm of penetration and a bit of manageable wind effect, and plenty of coverage. Opening day at Red has been moved forward to the 12th. It’s going to be good.

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Skiing at last.

After a month visiting friends and family in Australia, I’m finally back in Rossland. I was surfing pretty regularly, but still as I watched (via the net) the snow accumulating it was difficult to think of the powder turns I was missing in this exceptionally early start to the season. I did a lap on 3rd Slide this morning. There was a little bit of crust and wind effect, but the turns felt smooth, the sun was shining, and the cover was perfect. A great late start to my season. My internet connection is down for the moment (so I’m using the wi-fi in Clancey’s), but when I sort it out I’ll start blogging in earnest. It’s shaping up to be an awesome winter.


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