Yesterday Darren, Aaron, James and myself decided that it was the right time for a dawn patrol in the Crystal Mountain backcountry. Christmas day gave us the first significant snowfall in a month and it was time to go. We met at the parking lot at 6:00 AM and were making our way up toward Gold Hills by 6:30 . Conditions were excellent with several inches of new snow well bonded to the old snowpack. In a bit over 2 hours we were standing on the ridge of Pickhandle Basin. The ski descent was fantastic. The new snow skied extramly well. Too bad there was not time for laps in the basin.
My new backcountry setup of Dynafit TLT5 Performance boots, Dynafit Speed Radical bindings and K2 Wayback skis performed extremly well. This setup is so light I was able to break trail the entire way up the hill and still stay well in front of everyone. Downhill performance was also outstanding. Every AT setup has to make compromises to meet the most important objectives. Nothing about downhill skiing performance was compromised in this new setup. The boots climb like trail runners and ski like a high performance alpine boot. The skis are light but torsionally stiff enough to hold a solid edge and carve on hard snow while floating through yesterday's blower powder.
I look forward to doing a lot of backcountry skiing on the new setup this year.