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Ski Touring Ramblings gear vs conditions and effort

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yesterday and a couple of days before I was climbing in deep fresh powder akin to a January powder ski tour and had me thinking about a few things................

I always skin with a heart rate monitor as I like to look back on what the effort over time was, on week long hut to hut tour it can easily be the equivalent of running a marathon every day for six days if averaging out at over a 1,000m a day, though in groups you do tend to stop more frequently (unless out with the Frenchies who go at a hell of a pace) as the guide knows how to pace the group at around 300m per hour and my av heart rate is much lower than if out on my own.

Yesterday and on Monday it was a return to winter, and I was geared up accordingly. Wearing ABS pack, (though emptyish), and on my K2 Coombacks 184 115 wide I was surprised at how high my heart rate was compared to touring in spring conditions.

My average was 150 compared to a more normal 125 and was climbing at a similar pace and at similar altitude. On Monday I was cutting the track so was kind of obvious, but yesterday I was in quite a marked track, however in fresh powder that can still be an issue, and even worse in steep trees.

The most obvious difference has to be the deep powder snowpack and the net result of the weight of snow on top of your ski as it builds up making the ski far heavier, combine that with a larger ski (Do have Dynafit ST 2.0 bindings) and heavier skins and maybe the ABS pack and you end up working far harder.

Even though I clean my skis at the approach to any kick turn I really think that weight of snow is a huge factor, so add to that a heavy frame bindings / Beasts and a non touring specific ski and carrying too much unnecessary gear and it's not hard to figure out with a heavy setup you're going to be working far harder.

Spring snow conditions I don't carry an ABS, skis are way lighter together with skins (178 SuperGuide 88s & ST 2.0) and snowpack is way way easier hence the much lower heart rate although in the hot sunshine you do have to carry more liquid.

I'm sure though that the biggest increase in effort is down to being on your tod, when I'm with the OH will end up in a domestic if I push the pace too hard, and I try to keep to 300m an hour as I know she's good for that and likes a break, and the few times we tour powder I'd take Scott Cascades with frame bindings as the heavier setup is not an issue when with her.

I suppose it's similar to being out on the bike in the mountains, sometimes you just end up beasting yourself rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Are you skis quiver killered for the ST 2.0 bindings, or just just happen to them on both sets of skis?

A general question, but how robust are the ST 2.0s? If you jump off some small cliffs or go in the snowpark, will you damage them, or pop out (it's my understanding that this is why you'd chose some beasts or frame bindings)?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Themasterpiece, depends upon how big you're going in the park.

There's no issue with freeride performance of the Rad 2's (ie driving big skis/small drops etc) as that's what they're designed for & why their elasticity is very good. The same for the Kingpin. However neither are designed to be pounded in the park. Elasticity/strength of the Beasts is up there with the top alpine bindings.

And there's frame bindings and there's frame bindings. No problem with park use with a Duke/Baron but the F12/10's are a lighter construction which whilst excellent for freeriding they're not designed for park pounding either. Use a Guardian/Tracker in the park & the toe mounting brackets won't last long at all. Likewise for the Fritschi's.
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[quote="spyderjon"]@Themasterpiece, depends upon how big you're going in the park.

Not big, but i do crash a lot Laughing Basically I spend time there because my son wants to, so I jump off the medium sized jumps, ocassionally pluck up the courage for the big ones, attempt some pathetic grabs, fail miserably at sliding on boxes and tubes etc.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The biggest change in energy usage / conservation I've experienced is centre mounting my Dynafit ST bindings.

Even though I'm on a narrow platform (116-82-111, 176cm) I feel I sink less on the up; the stride pattern & gait feels more natural; and kick turns are much easier.

Wouldn't go back.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@spyderjon,
crashing the thread a bit but does anyone run beast 14 / rad 2 with the heel pieces quiver killered? Can you buy rad 2 heels separately? Just wondering if it is a sensible option if you want to save a little weight and give yourself more heel height options for longer skins. I think the toe pieces are identical?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
jedster wrote:
@spyderjon,
crashing the thread a bit but does anyone run beast 14 / rad 2 with the heel pieces quiver killered? Can you buy rad 2 heels separately? Just wondering if it is a sensible option if you want to save a little weight and give yourself more heel height options for longer skins. I think the toe pieces are identical?

Yes, yes, yes & yes. Done it loads of time & have two jobs like this going through my workshop at the moment.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks.
I suspect I'd only do it if/when I bought a lighter touring set up with Rad2s then make use of the heels from time to time on my R108s
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Weathercam,
Interesting thoughts. A few observations from someone with a little understanding of healthy training, but in no way an "expert". In view of the fact that you were wearing a heart rate monitor, I am just a little puzzled that you allowed yourself to get into a situation where your average heart rate was in the region of 150bpm for a significant period of time.

If my memory serves me well, you are of a similar vintage to myself (58 at the minute). I think that it is generally accepted that the ideal endurance training and performance heart rate zone is between 55 and 75% of maximum heart rate. Of course there are also benefits to training at higher heart rates for shorter periods of time as well.

Assuming that your maximum is around 180bpm (a reasonable assumption for a well preserved mature specimen) then 150 is significantly outside your ideal, and well into not doing you a great deal of good if done often for relatively long periods. On the other hand, your normal working zone of 125 seems absolutely spot on for both long term endurance, fitness and health.

So, why didn't you simply work at a slightly slower rate with the heftier gear? Isn't that part of the reason for wearing a monitor? You obviously manage a lot of uphill in a season and are probably more aware than me of how to maintain and improve that. Perhaps these big efforts only make up a proportionately small part of your overall uphill?

For myself, as a younger mountaineer I spent decades exercising in the complete wrong way, "beasting" myself as a matter of course, getting nowhere fast. I wish I could send Steve House's book "Training for the New Alpinism" back to the 30 year old me! I would be a lot healthier and fitter, with the joints of a 58 year old.

All the best.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
So, had my first ski touring experience today in Björkliden, Swedish Lapland. Really enjoyed it, despite the fact it had rained last night so it was filling-loosening frozen crust. Just a short 400m skin from the top of the lift system to a nearby peak. Really strange feeling with the skis gripping, and struggling to balance whilst putting enough pressure on the skis for the skin to grip (hopefully you can understand what I mean). Skis slipping away side wards occasionally on the ice. But I'm sure it will get easier with practice. Going down the road to Riksgansen tomorrow.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@HammondR, I'm well used to working at certain levels, been doing it for a very long time cycling / running and it's a necessity in order to maintain a high cardio threshold - hence I still do Tabata intervals on a turbo trainer!

So 90 mins at an average of 150 is ok, as it's a good workout that can be carried over for my cycling training as it were. So as well as ski touring, during Spring I'll do steady 4hr plus rides circa 2,000m with an av of mid 140's so as there's also a fair amount of downhill I'm working hard on the up.

I'm doing the Tour du Etape in July (178km 3,000m) so hence the need to keep the legs spinning.

Final stats for the season 39 tours inc slack country and 31,000 vertical.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Weathercam,
So, the period of 150bpm was not long relative to you total volume of exercise.

How does the 31,000m compare to last year?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@HammondR, my average for the whole period was 150 - so I was well above that at times climbing up.

This is the HR/Elevation track taken from https://www.strava.com/activities/968947137/analysis



As for last year thought I'd be down as I was crocked for around four weeks this season, but on checking last year only did 31 skins and 21k mainly because there was much better lift serviced skiing to be had based on the entries in my log.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'm not sure what to make of heart rate guidance
I'm 46 and have a fairly low resting rate (48 at my last medical) but can push 200 when I'm working flat out (not actually seen 200 but 196). If I run a brisk 10k (and I'm not a serious runner - call that 45 minutes) I'll be > 180.
75% of maximum would be 149 and that feels a bit too comfortable IYKWIM - but maybe it should feel that way?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@jedster, everyone is individual. If you're serious enough about using HR (I'm not FWIW) as a training tool you should get your zones properly worked out.
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