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Happy New Year to everyone a few hours early! 2009 has come and gone, and the years are flying by. But I have to say every year keeps getting better, and as winter moves forward I look forward to skiing with all my friends and the adventures that are to come. With the holidays mostly behind us, most of you will have time to ski a bit more and work out the cobwebs from the summer off. One issue that everyone seems to struggle with is ski boot fitting, and I am no exception!

It’s a myth that boots need to be painful to ski well, and that you need the bind your feet at a young age to fit into a proper boot. With boot fitting science being refined every year, there are plenty of options that will fit every skiers needs. I felt this blog would be a simple way for most people to be a little bit more informed before they go buy a new boot this winter.

First and foremost is where you buy your boot. Small ski shops may be a bit more expensive than a big box chain, but service and knowledge make up for any differences in price tenfold. Having a boot fitter who knows his product line, and has the various tools to customize a boot is paramount.

Top 5 things to consider when buying a boot:
1. Pick a boot that fits your needs, not the one that magazines or friends recommend. Your feet are your feet, pick a boot that is close to them to begin with.
2. Get a custom footbed, seriously it’s worth the money.
3. Keep in mind that boots can be stretched (punched) in places where there is slight discomfort.
4. Stance alignment. Not everyone needs this, but have a shop look at where your knees are relevant to your boot, and make adjustments accordingly, it does affect your skiing in a positive way.
5. A custom boot fit is a working relationship, you might have to go back to the shop to refine the boot.

Most top end boots these days have heat moldable liners that are more comfortable and warm than boots of yore, and keep in mind that boot heaters might be the easiest way to make skiing more fun for you, they aren’t dorky anymore. A example of a boot that is both high in performance and allows for a more custom fit is this Rossi Myth Sensor 90. So rather than suffering through another year in a boot that hurts, go treat yourself and enjoy your days on the hill.

Lyns

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Shot with my trusty point ‘n shoot over a week in Interior BC. Thank you guys for making me laugh and to mother nature for making it snow! Thanks also to Ride Guide, Mustang Powder, Revelstoke, our guide and male model Chris Rubens, and my sponsors for allowing me this lifestyle. First Ascent, Rossignol, Gordini Gloves, Jackson Hole, Skullcandy, ABS packs, Vholdr and everyone else who supports!

Hello,

I have been in British Columbia shooting photos and skiing powder, sounds like a dream right? Well it is, but there are a lot of organizational, safety, and outside factors that actually go into being on a epic powder trip. Like the famous instructor in Aspen Extreme said, “skiing is the easy part.” Avalanche safety is probably one of the most overlooked things in skiing. Sure everyone always talks about the new beacon and all it’s features, but do the owners know how to use them?

As we saw in various resorts last year, in-bound avalanches can occur. Practicing makes perfect and saves valuable time in scary situations. What you don’t see in ski videos or read about in articles is the time and preparation that goes into assessing snow safety and choosing where we ski. ┬áIn movies especially, we hear about unstable snow and bad weather, but we don’t hear or see too much about snow trenches, cornice cutting, or even beacon practice. I wanted to write a simple avalanche blog so that the relative newcomer can sit back and re-assess what they think they know. Everyone, including us pros, needs more practice when it comes to safety.

At the minimum skiers should carry a beacon, probe, shovel, and some first aid supplies into the backcountry. But more importantly skiers should know the tell tale signs of an unstable snowpack. The obvious ones are recent slides in the area, the terrifying “whoompf” sound as the snow compresses underneath you, or rapidly warming temperatures. As a general rule of thumb, look at the snowpack as a relationship, it doesn’t like rapid changes and gets better with time.

A good book to read for some basic snow knowledge is Snow Sense. Nothing too overly scientific here, but solid information for every skier to learn. If you can use your beacon well already, this can help complete the puzzle to making informed decisions about snowpack. I do recommend using a pack like ABS Packs has to help minimize burial chances. There are many supplemental packs out there, and I think this is one of the best options.

Snow safety courses are available in most resort areas and in large cities as well. Check out Avalanche.org for plenty of information and be sure to check out the SheJumps avalanche event in January as well. The holidays are here and we don’t want to lose any friends in avalanches so be safe!