Monday, January 28, 2013

Punta Bardini Speed Run

Just had a go at some fast up and down skiing on this Mammoth classic.  I'm sure it's been done faster, but that's not the point.  Well, it's part of the point...

Naysayers scoff at the speed thing;  "Do you do this just so you can blog about it?"  "Why don't you stop and smell the roses?" That kinda stuff.

Big skis: Built-in excuse.
Everyone gets their endorphins in different ways.  Finding  that literal "high" is elusive, even for those that get out and breathe hard regularly.  Today my moment was cresting the ridge into the sun, light wraparound snow blowing out of the way of speedy skins, Florence and the Machine cranked in the headphones, heart rate solidly "orange-lined" for the last 45 minutes, and the summit in sight.

Primary hazard, doggy land mines at the start and finish.  
 Strategy, splits and conditions:

  • Skin track in great condition.  Very few kick turns, very few diversion from the middle heel lifter.  Except near the top:  a couple ups and down around some rocks along the ridge.
  • I started and finished the time at the southernmost no parking sign at the propane tanks.
  • No warm up.  Probably should have.
  • Down conditions were fast with just a little zipper rain crust below about 9k.  
  • Start to summit, transition included: 59:21
  • Summit to car: 11:54
  • Total time: 1:11:15.  
  • I came down the Old Growth to the western margin of the Tele Bowls.
  • Coming down one of the chutes may be faster, but being out solo on this moderate hazard day, I promised I wouldn't.  
  • Amazing down-conditions for the upper 800 ft.  But one has a hard time enjoying that part under sprint conditions.  As much as there is potential for that "runner's high" on the way up, down-skiing for speed is more about survival.  Oh well.  
Notable Gear:
  • Volkl Nunataqs and matched skins.  Not the lightest at all, but I'm between lighter skis right now.  I probably got some of the time back by being able to ski down faster.  'Specially with the aforementioned crust in the mix.  
  • Dynafit Speed Radical Bindings
  • Dynafit TLT 5 Performance boots, no tongues or velcro.
  • Camp Rapid 260 pack.  
  • Shovel, probe, transceiver.
  • 1 qt water, only drank half.
  • carried some food, ate none. 
  • t-shirt and light fleece, up and down.
  • light gloves.  
  • Puffy in the pack
  • 1 lb emergency kit in the pack.  

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