Truth is, I’ve been slacking…on my blogging duties. Otherwise I’ve been busy, organizing a skin test; skiing in Ogden, Utah; and preparing for a “Butting Heads” column on the age-old question: CrossFat or ATC.

Skins–yes, those most indispensable of ski gear and unfortunately an occasional source of monster frustration. At this point I have some interesting stuff to test, including a set of Clipskins, some mohair/nylon mix Black Diamond hides, and maybe, just maybe a set of Colltex skins from Switzerland. Colltex isn’t currently distributed in the States, but every human who’s ever touched a pair has immediately ascended to Valhalla and skied powder at the feet of the gods. Or something like that.

In all seriousness, Colltex skins are widely reputed to be El Bomb, but they are tough to find. I may just pony up and order a set off Telemark-Pyrenees.com, paying the euro markup, shipping, and all. Ouch. I’ve written and called the Canadian distributor to no avail and I even wrote the Swiss headquarters in French, Italian, and English. (One glitch–after writing in French I double-checked my email on BabelFish. I tried to describe myself as an “aspiring guide,” but I must’ve gotten the gender wrong because when BabelFish spat out its translation it arrived as a “suction guide.” I’ll add that to my resume, but the flip side is…Colltex may have reported me to Interpol. Fu$*&^% Swiss.)

I’ll skin the hell out of all of the above and some others (BCA/ClimbingSkinsDirect would be nice to snag, too) and do a prelim report this spring, with a more thorough wrap-up next winter. Gotta log some vert on these things to get anything meaningful to say.

Ogden, Utah, indeed! We had a blast there, checking out Snowbasin and skate-skiing several days, too. We landed between storms, but it was cool nonetheless. I’ll post a few more pics and some deets on the scene there. It sure as hell ain’t Boulder–you can buy a fully livable house for less than 100K, little-to-no traffic, a ton of snow, zombie meth-heads wandering downtown, great Nordy skiing just up the hill, and you’re an hour from Park City. A bit more to the Cottonwoods. Goodness!

Scot Nicol, owner of Ibis Cycles, and hallowed wino, with the week’s line-up.

Our day at Snowbasin was low-vis, but we skied the leftovers of a two-day storm. Good stuff, plenty of soft turns in the trees, and the mountain is great. Site of the downhill during the Salt Lake Games, the base area is uberplush (the Sun Valley gang owns Snowbasin–go figure), everything modern and upgraded. I’ll get back for sure, hopefully during a storm cycle!

Luxo Snoterbach keeping her eyes peeled in flat light and soft snow.

Upcoming too will be a couple gear reviews on the latest Rab gear, too. I’ve been loving their eVent apparel, including a crazy-light pullover and hard-shell ski-specific pants.

I’ll also post a bit on my new Dynafit TLT Mountains, and hopefully I’ll get to humiliate myself in a skimo race in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.