Backcountry Skiing, Salt River Pass in Wyoming
March 24th, Bridger National Forest
in Western Wyoming. I started from Salt River Pass. I’m going to climb 1,200 feet to the top of the hills over there. The slopes range from 20 to 25 degrees That will be nice for Telemark skiing. It’s warm, about 40 degrees. We had fresh snow last night
so it should be a lot of fun. Lets see how it goes. We’ve come to that point in the climb where it’s too steep for the fish scale pattern on my skis. Need extra grip so I’ll put the skins on. Just passing the 8,000 foot level on this climb. It’s a little steeper. I’ve had to switch back and forth quite a bit even with skins. You can see Salt River Pass down below us. A great view from here, a beautiful day. As I approach the top I see some cornice activity. That could mean some unstable slopes near the crest. We need to be cautious as we get near the top. This is the top, time to take the skins off. My watch is showing
an elevation of 8130 feet. The Voile switchback x2 bindings have a dual position riser. When you’re skinning up a steep slope you can either pick the low riser or the high riser. It is easier on your leg muscles when your foots is level. I just finished my run. I thought I’d reflect a bit on the Fischer S-bound 125 skis I’ve been using this season. I like these skis a lot. The best thing I like about these skis is that you can climb moderate slopes using the fish scale pattern on the base. You don’t need to put skins on for rolling terrain. In this direction is the hill that I had to ski down this morning. Now I have to climb back up it. Its only a 200 foot climb and it’s a pain to put skins on for a short climb. The crown pattern on these skis work great for this. I will climb this slope without skins as I can take a shallow angle. Fischer classifies these skis as Nordic skis. They are not traditionally used for alpine skiing or severe backcountry descents. This ski has nordic camber, nordic rocker as they describe it. This provides for better kick and glide keeping the crown pattern raised a bit on the flats. The stiffer camber makes them a little harder to turn when in some conditions compared to a softer camber backcountry ski. I think they ski and turn very well on the downhill runs I’ve skied this year. I really appreciate the advantage they have when climbing on my way back out. I highly recommend them. I’m using the Voile Switchback X2 binding with Scarpa T4 boots. I find this combination provides a good stable platform and lot of fun. If you’re looking for something that matches the kind of terrain I’ve been skiing this winter this is a good setup.