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Author Topic: March 9-10 2009, Sasse Ridge  (Read 954 times)
Larry_R
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March 9-10 2009, Sasse Ridge
« on: 03/11/09, 06:53 AM »

Jane and I went back to Sass Ridge again this Monday – Tuesday. Surprise! We  knew that if we could handle the cold the skiing would be good. Yup, it was cold.  A low of 3 degrees, and about 6 or 7 when we left the tents at 6:30 in the morning.

It was snowing lightly during the trip in, with snow depths adding up with the latest Sasse snowpack model run. It stopped snowing in the afternoon, and the view out the tent window was very nice. See picture 1. The only picture in fact. It was plain too cold to take pictures on Tuesday. Even though it was snowing lightly in the evening, the temperature still started falling rapidly. I was hoping that cloud cover would keep the heat in. By morning it was clear and plenty cold. My Raynaud’s is worse this year, so the cold is a real challenge. Alpha blockers (low dose) help a little, but there is a big performance hit. What really works is plenty of hand warmers (2 in each mitt) and full size foot bed warmers. That’s maybe $7 worth of Grabbers for one day, but without these, my hands and feet would hurt so much that I would not continue the climb and I’m sure that my skiing would be lousy, and no fun. Hard to ski well if you cannot feel  your feet.

It was very nice to have Jane help break trail; pole depth was up to 14 – 16 inches on the frontside. We stopped at the top of the ridge (5200 feet) because we wanted to save strength for the good stuff; we knew that this would be the best run of the year. Besides, we camped at our lower campsite (3400 feet) so we would maximize the good  turns without packs. We were not disappointed. No more need be said. Even the ski back to the car was great. Turns with packs all the way to the car.  That’s rare, and so nice when it happens.
Larry


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Marcus
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Re: March 9-10 2009, Sasse Ridge
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/09, 08:18 AM »

Man, I'll bet it was good out there.  Thanks for the update.  I'll be in at Smith Brook this weekend for a class, hopefully we'll find some similar goods.
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Larry_R
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Re: March 9-10 2009, Sasse Ridge
« Reply #2 on: 03/12/09, 06:36 AM »

Marcus, here's another oddball thought that you (and maybe only you)  Smiley will appreciate. I've experimented with pole grips a fair amount, and I've found that if you have to use one or more Grabbers in your mitts, and if they need to be palm side to keep  your hands warm, the pole grip diameter should be less than the standard BC grip. By the time you have your over-mitts with mitt liners on, with hand warmers too, a standard grip is too large. You can't get a good grip without really squeezing (which diverts attention from skiing). It's difficult to squeeze hard when gripping around a large diameter. Clem, is this the equivalent of Stirling's Law but for ski grips? Smiley

My current choice of grip is the standard nordic grip, which I salvage whenever I can. Heat them in  boiling water and pull them off discarded poles. I make my own straps to go with them; ones that I can adjust with my mitts on. That's one less time that I need to have my hands exposed to the cold.

Larry
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Marcus
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Re: March 9-10 2009, Sasse Ridge
« Reply #3 on: 03/12/09, 08:51 AM »

Great stuff Larry -- as always, I love the fine-tuning to make things more tolerable/more fun.
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