|How I got started skiing year-round: I heard of others doing it, and the idea struck me. After several years of skiing from October through July it occurred to me it wouldn't be much of a reach. So, why not?|
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip: To me that depends on the possibilities. It's got to be an honest effort.
Biggest threat to my streak: Obligations, weather, snow pack, and sanity (in descending threat order).
Type of equipment I use: I started as a telemarker. I switched to alpine touring with the advent of lightweight Dynafit equipment and after injuring a knee on non-releasable bindings. My equipment preferences: Trab Piuma Sintesi skis, Dynafit TLT bindings and ski crampons, Ascension skins, Scarpa Laser boots, custom-fitted Intuition liners, Barryvox transceiver, Ortovox probe poles, and Voile telescoping, metal-bladed shovel.
Strategy for skiing through the low season: Foremost, find similarly motivated partners. As for likely destinations, during July ski Mt. Adams, during August the Muir Snowfield, during September Observation-Echo Rock area of Rainier, and during October hope to ski Chinook Pass or resign yourself to Muir-yet-again. If you ski year-round, you'll soon have 'rock skis' which makes the trashing of the equipment August-October easier to take.
Worst and best backcountry ski trips: Worst: Bashing myself (broken fibula and bloody head) falling through a cliff band on the Crescent Glacier on Adams. It was early morning, icy and steep. My judgment was less than stellar (no ski crampons and skinning instead of booting an established track). With sufficient codeine I managed to hobble out the three miles, and so did not involve Mountain Rescue, and did not subject myself to the razzing I would have received from friends in Mountain Rescue. At least that!
Best: In the South Cascades Mt. Adams, in the Mid Cascades Little Tahoma, and in the North Cascades the Easton Glacier on Baker. In Canada: a week at a helicopter-accessed backcountry hut in the SE British Columbia: Swift Creek, Battle Abbey, and Powder Creek are my favorites.
Skiing activities in the past year: 44 days