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Equipment Reviews/Questions:supported by UK ski shop and boot fitters, Edge & Wax

Losing ski's in powder!

Author

Losing ski's in powder!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have just started getting into the world of off-piste skiing and after having nearly lost a ski, can any of you more experienced skiers advise on ways to reduce the risk of losing a ski in powder? Other than the obvious...don't fall!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
In the years before ski brakes were invented (early 1970s) we all skied with the skis tied to our ankles with leashes. The risk was that the ski could hit you in a fall, though this was unusual.

If you want to ski powder with less risk of losing skis, you can trail cords from them. The downside is that at the end of the run, you've got to wind in the cords.

There have been attempts to sell electronic detectors for buried skis, but I don't think they've been commercially successful.
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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?
David Goldsmith wrote:
If you want to ski powder with less risk of losing skis, you can trail cords from them. The downside is that at the end of the run, you've got to wind in the cords.


Or more simply, you would roll up the cord and tuck it under your gaiters. If the ski comes off, the cord will be pulled out and unravel, if the ski stays on then the cord stays nicely in your gaiters
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Sorry, forgot that. nbt's quite right!

That approach would obviously work really well for repeated rides on chairs or tows. Maybe for gondolas one could unclip the cords from the skis and leave the coiled-up leashes in the gaiters.

Anyone tried this?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Hornster, you can buy powder leashes.

Or you can learn better search techniques. Skis will tend to travel quite far in the direction they're ejected in - so work out where you fell, how you fell, how your ski was likely to have been thrown and fan out in that direction. I.e. in a backward fall your skis are quite likely to end up several metres below you.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
I use powder tracers (as nbt describes) which I've found useful on a number of occasions. The end of the tracer tends to stay above the snow when the ski comes off because it's effectively, making them easy to find. They can indeed be easily unclipped from the ski end when using gondolas.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
uktrailmonster wrote:
I use powder tracers (as nbt describes) which I've found useful on a number of occasions. The end of the tracer tends to stay above the snow when the ski comes off because it's effectively, making them easy to find. They can indeed be easily unclipped from the ski end when using gondolas.


Snow and Rock sell yellow ones for about £5-£6 I think.
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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!
Yup. Powder traces are the answer, but they are a major PITA to use Crying or Very sad Better than spending an hour looking for your skis though!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Quote:

Snow and Rock sell yellow ones for about £5-£6 I think.


Or just buy some ribbon for much less. snowHead
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

Or just buy some ribbon for much less.


40p a metre in John Lewis! Alternatively an old stunt kite tail is perfect if you happen to have a couple gathering dust in the loft like I have!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
David Goldsmith wrote:
Maybe for gondolas one could unclip the cords from the skis and leave the coiled-up leashes in the gaiters.

Anyone tried this?


Yes... fiddly and sooner or later they drop out, or get caught on something, and always at the worst time. Same when you are skiing with them. Take some air or something sudden and the next thing you have a long strip of fluoro getting caught in trees or other skiers. I cannot remember the last time I saw someone who looked a decent skier using them.

Complete nightmare. Better to learn proper technique for finding lost skis.
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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.
If it was a choice between looking like this:

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc159/rugbug_bucket/Morris%20Dancing/whistler.jpg

or spending a couple of hours looking for skis, I know which option I would take!


....unless some heli-sking was at stake.
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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
There is a thread on Powder ribbons here
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=32645&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for the information everyone. I think that I will just do a DIY job and buy some fluoro ribbon at the weekend to tie to my bindings and do my best to hide them under my ski trousers.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Fishwins wrote:
If it was a choice between looking like this:

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc159/rugbug_bucket/Morris%20Dancing/whistler.jpg

or spending a couple of hours looking for skis, I know which option I would take!


....unless some heli-sking was at stake.


I think they look rather fetching. A few bells and a couple of hankies and they could practise mountain Morris dancing.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stoatsbrother wrote:
David Goldsmith wrote:
Maybe for gondolas one could unclip the cords from the skis and leave the coiled-up leashes in the gaiters.

Anyone tried this?


Yes... fiddly and sooner or later they drop out, or get caught on something, and always at the worst time. Same when you are skiing with them. Take some air or something sudden and the next thing you have a long strip of fluoro getting caught in trees or other skiers. I cannot remember the last time I saw someone who looked a decent skier using them.

Complete nightmare. Better to learn proper technique for finding lost skis.



You obviously have never skied in true bottomless powder. I have watched guys search for hours for a lost ski and fail to find it. Out in the remote back country that could be disaster. Plus try actually moving up or down hill without skis in true deep snow where every step means sinking to your waist on a steep slope, it is exhausting and almost impossible. Search technique or not you will regret not using powder traces.

I use traces regularly in off piste deep snow conditions. I have a ring (Key ring or similar) permanently attached to my binding with a piece of cord (the sort of cord climbers use) the cord on the powder trace has a small karribiner on it which means I can tuck the traces up the snow cuff of my pants and just leave them there, I simply attach the traces to the ring when I put on my skis and detach them when I remove the skis. (Salomon actually used to sell an off piste ski called the X-mountain and binding with this feature included in the binding.)

I consider them an integral part of my off piste gear along with my transceiver, shovel and probe.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bloxy

Any chance of a picture? Intrigued to know where you put the ring on the binding.
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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?
bucking bronco wrote:
Bloxy

Any chance of a picture? Intrigued to know where you put the ring on the binding.


It's tied to the heel piece lever through one of the holes with a thin nylon cord. I'll take a picture tomorrow evening and post it if can.
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If you haven't got a hole in the heel lever, drill a small hole on the middle if the recess (for sticking the pole tip when releasing) and tie a loop of cord for attaching the pow.trace with a clip / crab
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
by the way, slightly easier than tucking trails into your gaiter is to wear a strap round your lower leg above your calf muscle and below your knee. You can then tuck the trails into this - much quicker than stuffing it up the bottom of your ski pants. I saw this at whistler heli.
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MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU CARRY A METAL DETECTOR WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. THEN YOU CAN FIND YOUR OWN SKIS IF LOST AND HIRE IT OUT TO PEOPLE FOR EXTORTIONATE AMOUNTS OF MONEY (OR A FEW BEERS) TO HELP THEM FIND THEIRS.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
simple- carry an extra ski Blush
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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!

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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.
edsilva wrote:
simple- carry an extra ski Blush


Yes but do you take a "left" or a "right" ski with you?
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bloxy, that sounds a brilliant idea. I always carry traces, but have probably only ever used them once because of the "Gondola" issue. Fortunately the Freeride+ bindings have lots of places they'd clip onto. So out for some cheapo krabs on Sat before heading for the St Anton pow on Sun (as it's currently forecast to stop snowing just as we haul into town), methinks.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
DB wrote:
edsilva wrote:
simple- carry an extra ski Blush


Yes but do you take a "left" or a "right" ski with you?


easy- one of each
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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.
try hooking a carabiner around your binding with the leash attachec to the carabiner. And then when you ride the gondola you can easily unclip the carabiner, leaving your leashes attached in your ski boots
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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
Simply learn to crash in the proper high speed debris-cloud, minimum damage limitation fashion and you'll easily find your skis by looking about halfway up the nearest tree, possibly still attached to the lower portion of your leg.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Good point Bloxy.

We were cat skiing in waist deep powder in Canada a couple of years ago when Mrs C had a low speed, innocuous fall and dropped a pole. It was obvious where she had begun to fall, as she had not fallen far, but ( to cut a long story short) her ski pole is still there now. It was impossible to find and it would have been disastrous if it had been a ski.

Conseqeuntly we've used powder ribbons (home made and stuffed up our troosers) since then despite the hassle between runs. Whenever I stand at the top of a deep powder run and can't be bothered to faff on with the ribbons I remember that pole in Canada....
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Powder leashes do the trick as posted above. Having lost a ski(Blizzard Eos, which is a WHITE ski argh) I found out that there are ways of finding them but its frustrating and time consuming.
Leashes for me in the future, that's for sure!



*Trick someone taught me,
Use your ski pole to tap the snow around where you think the ski is, like a club, not like a poker. You'll hear the think or hollow sound of a ski under neath if you do it right. It worked for me but it doesn't always do the trick.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
3 of us spent 1.5 hrs in total looking for a lost ski in thigh deep stuff and successfully finding it. They don't travel straight under the snow: it'll tip onto it's side and follow a nice arc several metres downhill about 2 feet deep...great
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Powder tracer's are for British punters.... Very Happy

Ever seen a mountain guide using them ?
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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?
its one of those.... do i look stupid but have piece of mind, or don't look like a punter and take the risk of losing a ski.

personally i have never used tracers in-bounds, but have on occasion used them when skiing in the back-country.

your only other choice is to crank your DIN super high and risk a body injury, but keep the ski....


i have had a ski pop off in-bounds in knee deep snow, which has ended up about 30 m below me and 10m to the side. i have no idea how you can use a 'search techinque' to find that. luckily there was an observer who actually saw my ski 'jump' out of the snow around halfway between me and its finally resting point, which got me going in the right direction and I managed to find it in around 15 mins.
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Haggis_Trap wrote:
Powder tracer's are for British punters.... Very Happy

Ever seen a mountain guide using them ?



Most of us are British punters, so powder tracers are the way to go. They've helped me out a couple of times.
If I was a mountain guide I'd presume them to be unnecessary Puzzled
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Slightly tongue in check comment...
Although the only people i have actually seen using powder tracers are British punters.

Personally I find them a right paff - and its not that often you loose a ski...
On the odd occasion we have lost a ski then a methodical probe search has usually found it within 10 minutes.
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It all comes down to personal preference. If I go powder skiing I'll fit tracers because I really don't want to lose a ski out in the boonies. They do work and can save lots of hassle the odd time you do crash and burn. If you think not wearing them makes you look like a pro, then Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:
If you think not wearing them makes you look like a pro


If I wanted to look like a "real" pro then at the top of every run I would be swapping my goggle lenses (for the current light conditions) / checking my radio is switched on / taking a drink from my totally frozen camel pack / adjusting my rucksack straps / digging a snow pit
& finally tucking in my powder tracers. rolling eyes

Like you said - each too their own. Personally i find em to be just hassle that doesn't merit the extra paff.
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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!
You forgot the fist bump. Pros always bump before dropping in.
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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.
Haggis_Trap, easy for you to say. You always look like a pro... Wink

Surely though a pro a) isn't going to lose a ski b) get a new pair for free if they do and c) take a chopper down if they have lost one. Otherwise we might all use them, just like mr pro who bumped this 10 month old thread...
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well... as someone who remembers the 1980's I may just be naturally scared of anything that comes in luminous pink / green or yellow and involves skiing...
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