Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sukset paskana

On my way up on the north face of Kitzsteinhorn

Both of my skis went to the repair shop today, in anticipation of the shop closing after this week. I need my skis in good shape as - obviously - the season continues. The guys at the shop gave their expert opinion about my skis: they are in shit condition. Or "paskana" in Finnish. Oh well, maybe they are fixable.

I had my skis repaired last time in January, but since then I've skied many powder fields with sharp rocks underneath, crossed rocky sections, and (gasp!) transported them via airlines. They have been on my feet for thirty days since the previous repairs. Probably for as long as some people keep the same skis to begin with.

Newer and shorter Atomic skis, but IMO with too much carving form

And my Atomics have been with me in total for several hundred ski days. They have served well, but it might be time to get new skis. I have really liked them, but for some reason now I like my lightweight K2s better. I have more fun skiing with them, whereas I previously preferred the extremely heavy, stiff, and long Atomic GS skis. At Åre a couple of weeks ago I tested my son's newer and shorter Atomics, and they were pretty good. But I also found out that I didn't like their extreme carving form; it made it harder to get them to stick on ice. Could it be that I'm an old fart who prefers straight plank skis, like my K2 lightweights? At the very least, I need shorter skis. The 175 cm Atomics are as long as I am, whereas the 160 cm K2s work much better in narrow chutes. And they work surprisingly well on ice.

Heading towards the avalanche protections

The shop will also look at my Dynafit bindings, which mysteriously sometimes seem to open a little bit with very little force. I've never had them release while skiing, but I'd hate to blow my knee due to an unnecessary release or too tightly cranked binding, so even the risk of this happening is something to be taken seriously. Anybody who has experience with Dynafit touring bindings who could provide some advice? I'm not even sure I know how to use them correctly.

The Dynafit trouble started in Andorra, where my ski departed in the ski lift without me even noticing. I only noticed when my friend Zach was shouting to me from the following lift. And recently in Kaprun, my bindings released at least fifty times on my way the Kitzsteinhorn (3203 m). Granted, it was a very steep ascent, but still. On the way down they stayed on perfectly. Go figure.

Unexplained binding releases

Photo and video credits (c) 2012 by Jari Arkko

1 comment:

  1. Hey, great pictures! I really do believe you have had lots of fun there- I wish I were there.

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