|How I got started skiing year-round: I was living in California and heard there was going to be heavy snowfall at Tahoe in October (1985), which was crazy-early.|
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip: I'm a ski omnivore with a strong cross-country skiing streak so I consider anything a ski trip if I'm using skis to move up, down or across real snow. No cover too thin, no skiff too short (theoretically).
Biggest threat to my streak: Global warming. The perennial snowfields in Colorado are slowly but surely getting smaller.
Type of equipment I use: XC: a heavy duty NNNBC boot with a quiver of 205/210cm light touring skis, wax, waxless, beaters & relatively unscratched. Always looking for good used skis since I go through them so fast. TELE: Scarpa T2X boots with Rottefella Cobra bindings on 179cm BD Crossbows (2nd season version) and 175cm BD Kilowatts (1st season). Planning to get some Voile Switchback bindings soon. Gotta start looking for another favorite all-mountain ski since BD softened the Kilowatt and it's been a hard year, rock-wise.
Strategy for skiing through the low season: Enjoy a good hike and don't get too picky. Oh yeah, and don't ski anything that might kill you if you fall.
Worst and best backcountry ski trips: In Colorado we have feast or famine. When the snow is good, it's very very good (and it stays good for weeks). But when it's bad, it's horrid. Bottomless TG sugar snow with a breakable top comes to mind.
Back in California I had a near streak-stopping trip the second October. Went backpacking around Mt. Whitney carrying Trak Marathons & light boots. Passed up an easy but pathetic little patch of snow on the first day and went snowless for two days before coming to Tunemaha lake and probably the worst excuse for snow I've seen in my life: the suncups had turned into bathtub sized ice-pockets with hard and sharp edges. Uh-oh! No skiing that day and I expected not to find anymore on the cross country route back to the car. BUT lo and behold, the next day I ran across another easy but pathetic patch of snow in the descent gully and I gratefully padded to and fro on it. Month 13 was achieved! I don't pass up pathetic little patches any more.
Skiing activities in the past year: Zipper-line bumps, huts, seriously dense tree skiing, dead branch trimming in a favorite local patch (not wilderness).