Tech Tips - Ski Crampons

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Mimi Vadasz
Adminstrative Director
AMGA Certified
Ski Mountaineering Guide

Bela G. Vadasz
Technical Director
IFMGA Certified Guide

  May 15, 2009

Friends of ASI
Although we will soon mourn the passing of another winter, it's not over yet. In fact, for those who can't quite let go, we have good news. May started out with a late season storm that dropped a full foot of snow above 10,000 feet refreshing what might otherwise be severely sun cupped slopes by now. Instead, corn conditions abound and the slopes are groomed to perfection throughout California at higher elevations, especially on Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, the Carson Pass area, or in the Sierra along Hwy. 395.

Our annual Sierra High Route trip had a split decision this year. The fresh snow above 10,000' made for high avalanche danger on the western half of the Sierra, forcing Geoff Clarke's West to East group to ponder the ramifications of whoompfing that echoed throughout the 2-mile wide Deadman's Canyon (see banner photo above). They wisely turned back and enjoyed skiing around the Tablelands and Pear Lake for the next two days.

By the time Peter Leh's East to West team reached the same cirque, the snowpack had bonded better and they were able to complete the traverse. All agreed with Scott Gailey that the trip was "awesome!"

Special Pricing: 2 for 1 (until June 15th)
ASI is offering 2 for 1 pricing on all courses in our 9-Step Climbing Progression AND trips on Mt. Shasta scheduled before June 15th, provided you reserve them by June 1st, 2009. This is the perfect opportunity to take the trip you didn't think you could afford, and split the cost with a friend. We'll even throw in the gear if you need it.

The rock is warm and dry at Donner Pass, and it's early enough in the season that crowding shouldn't be a problem. Our guides are amped to help you expand your vertical horizons.

Up on Mt. Shasta the snow is perfectly ripened, making for easy, early morning ascents on frozen corn snow. For climbers, this means better odds for reaching the summit, and for skiers, butter soft snow for the descent. Plus, with spring in the air, 100-mile views are highly likely.

Tioga Pass Season Finale
Although we're known for consistently promoting a high and light ethos in our ski program, this year we're planning to use Tioga Pass as the place to celebrate another winter of ski touring, but this time with a touch of decadence. That means enjoying the relative luxury of car camping in the evening, complete with two-burner Coleman stoves, real food (not freeze-dried) and, of course, beer - on us.

The road up Tioga Pass is already open which means there will be easy access to any of the many different slopes it offers. With the road open, the end of May will be the perfect time to drive up Tioga Pass and set our sights on whatever slope you're game to ski. We hope you can join us.

Tioga Pass - Ski Season Finale!
May 30-31, 2009  (Sat-Sun)

Youth Ski Mountaineering Camp
Does your son or daughter love skiing and the mountains like you do? In this 5-day camp we give them a wide ranging introduction to the world of ski mountaineering. From a drive up base camp at Tioga Pass we cover avalanche safety, mountain rescue, skiing techniques, basic rock climbing and mountaineering skills on short day trips, then finish off with an overnight bivouac style peak climb and ski descent.

Scholarships available. Call us for details!

Youth Ski Mountaineering Camp
June 15-19, 2009  (Sat-Sun)

Ski Mt. Shasta
There are very few places in the world that offer the length and variety of ski descents that Mt. Shasta offers. On a clear day you can see more than 100 miles in every direction from the summit, and theoretically, you can ski in any direction for over 7,000 vertical feet. Our favorite tour is to camp away from the crowds at Hidden Valley. This puts us in perfect postion to climb and ski one of Shasta's longest, sustained pitches, or the option to ski off Shastina as well.

Mt. Shasta, Hidden Valley Basecamp
May 23-25, 2009  (Sat-Mon)

We look forward to skiing with you and helping you achieve your goals. If you can't find the answer to a question on our website, don't hesitate to give us a call.

Bela & Mimi Vadasz
Alpine Skills International

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