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Beginner AT/Touring Question

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby hatchmaster » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:37 pm

I recently picked up my first AT setup. I was trying to find a cheap traditional AT setup but the craigslist gods pieced me together a Dynafit setup.

Dynafit TLT 4 Pro Boots
Black Diamond Havoc Skis
Old Dynafit TLT bindings
Old but good (for now) skins

I was looking for any advice or tips for a beginner. Where would be a good place to start? I am thinking something in the “sledding hill” category. I have avalanche gear and I have attended a couple seminars but I don’t want to get into that without some additional training/partners. Are there any avalanche free (or as free as you can get) areas that anyone would recommend? I hope to take the whole setup to the resort around Thanksgiving to see how it skis. In the mean time I was hoping to get out this weekend and try and walk with these planks on my feet.

Thanks for any advice.

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby AndyJB444 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:46 pm

Go pick up a FREE uphill pass to either A-Basin or Loveland, and start skinning (as long as you follow their rules). Stick to the slopes that they have open, and you'll be able to keep avy risk to a minimum.

Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby MonGoose » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:38 pm

I find CalTopo to be a very useful source in planning routes that have low slope angles.
http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=39.79832,-105.77778&z=14&b=t&o=r&n=0.25&a=sf

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby Voodoo302 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:15 am

The main, tree-free run above the parking lot at Berthoud Pass is generally a safe bet and usually has good snow conditions. Obviously it's not going to be monitored like at a resort but it'll be a pretty big storm that makes that guy slide. It's a good intro to BC as well because it's a very popular area so you can talk with other skiers and get their insight.

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:52 pm

Get a slope meter, stay 25 degrees or under ( equivalent to a resort blue ). Use above mentioned caltopo and get a map tool that reads slope measurement. Stay off, don't get under or directly over steeper slopes and you'll be fine, but not always as easy as it sounds. Lots of easy on Loveland, Jones, Berthoud, Rollins Passes but you need to pay attention to where you are going.

Have fun, it sounds like you have the right idea.

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby GregMiller » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:17 pm

I like the main stretch of St. Mary's "Glacier". It's short and not terribly steep (probably ~20 degrees?), but it's a decently short approach (might even be able to skin up to it) and it's good for dialing in gear. Tends to be wind-packed.
Also, to add to the A-Basin and Loveland suggestions, Winter Park allows uphill travel (for free, without a pass), as long as you stay out the way of snowmaking activities. Actually had the head snowmaker guy swing by on his snowmobile and make sure I was doing all right, definitely got a good vibe from them.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:51 pm

I forgot about James Peak. You can find a lot of people to show you the way at the bottom to avoid crossing avalanche paths. Pretty safe from top to bottom.

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Re: Beginner AT/Touring Question

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:47 pm

First join tgr

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