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Not Over It with Colter Hinchliffe

May 12th, 2017 - Posted by willski in LINE Skis News, LINE Team News

Colter Hinchliffe Feeds the Stoke!

While many of us have moved past the ski season, the Aspen Local is just getting started. Putting the easy, fun-fueled resort days behind him, Colter sets his sights a bit further. Often times, Colter checks in with some rambling post about a half-crocked mission — usually involving his dirtbike and a TON of walking — to bag some remote and rarely skied peak.

This year is no different; The lifts have shut down, but Colter is — perhaps unsurprisingly — Not Over It. We reached out to Colter and ask him to recount one of his favorite late season missions. Oh, and while you’re at it, enter the LINE Not Over It Photo Contest. Maybe you can snag a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists for those late season pushes.


The Impulse

It’s 9 PM in Aspen, Colorado. I can’t take my eyes off the sky. I’m looking for the stars. If I see what I’m looking for, I will toss my skis in my truck next to my dirt bike and begin my journey no later than 11pm. All I need is a weather window.

Our lift served skiing came to an end only a few days ago here in Aspen Snowmass. We are one of the later operations to shut off the lifts – especially with the bonus week tacked on. But with a healthy snowpack and longer days ahead, I am Not Over It – I never am. My love for skiing gets me out searching for turns amongst the rocks as early as September and as late as July here in the high mountains of the Colorado Rockies.

Colter and Tim Durtschi Take on Moab

More often than not, I find myself walking. It’s not easy; it’s type 2 fun at best and often type 3. Walking with my skis, boots, skins, crampons, ice axe, full water bottle, lunch, camera, shovel, probe, first aid kit, and more strapped to my back. But the with prospect of harvesting high-alpine turns in new zones, I find myself walking – usually at 1 in the morning – with all of my gear strapped to my back. It’s for the love of it, right? Something like that.

The slogs – those long days deep in the mountains have become a staple of my spring. Last May, I decided to capitalize on this, and even pieced together a project, Sandstone and Snow. We skied the north face of Mt. Tukuhnikivatz – a technical climb and ski that involved a dicey rappel mid-line – and I was still hungry for more.So as I left behind those sandstone cliffs of the La Sal Mountains, I started scheming, plotting my next mission.

 

LONE CONE

My route home took me south of the La Sal Mountains towards Telluride and the San Juan mountains of Southern Colorado. Late in the afternoon I came into the town of Naturita. To the south, a striking peak rose out of the horizon, basking in the last light. It looked like a mini volcano. I saw a sign for the local forest service office and pulled up, looked at a map outside and quickly learned that the mountain was aptly named Lone Cone with a summit elevation of 12,618 ft.

I wasn’t planning on skiing anything on the way back to Aspen – my thoughts were focused on peaks closer to home – but the weather was nice, and I didn’t have a reason to book it home. My thoughts quickly focused on a solo mission. But I was hungry, and I don’t think well when I’m hungry. Or if I have to pee really bad. So I went and got a slice of pizza on Main Street in Naturita as I contemplated my next move.

 

In the end I decided I might as well give it a shot. I ordered a couple extra sliced of pizza for the road and followed National Forest Access signs towards Lone Cone in the fading light. Eventually the road got muddy and rutted out, and I decided to find a flat spot and call it a night. It would be the farthest my truck would go. I pulled my dirt bike out of my truck, pitched my tent, and scarfed down one last slice of ‘za.

#notoverit-not-over-it

Not a bad place to start the day. Photo: Colter Hinchliffe

I slept in – a rare occurrence on these adventures. I planned on skiing the North Face of Lone Cone. The couloir itself that had a big wall that would shade the slope well into the afternoon. Corn o’clock is a fickle and fleeting beast, and too many times I’ve found myself too early or late to actually harvest her bounty. So I chanced it with a late start, departing shortly before sunrise.

I only made it a few miles on my dirtbike before I had to switch to foot power. So, like many of these half-crocked ideas, I soon was hoofing it with all my gear loaded on my back, trudging through the low angle flanks of this volcanic megalith. For what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled around, unable to see the objective. I was navigating off of pure luck and hope. But I’ve made enough wrong turns in my life to trust my instincts, and sure enough, I crested into the basin of my planned ascent route.

#notoverit3-not over it

Pushing the West Ridge of Lone Cone

I kept moving up the west ridge. I switched from skins to crampons and began directly ascending the ridge, front-pointing most of the climb. The breeze kept things firm, and I was in no hurry; so naturally I took a bunch of selfies with my go-pro. GTS at all costs, am I right?! There’s something enjoyable about being alone in the mountains. I can move at my own pace, chose my own route, listen to music, and waste as much time as I want taking stupid pictures.

I dilly dally’ed my way to the top of the frozen Lone Cone hoping the sun would begin to do its thing, gracing me with soft corn to plunder. But it never did. I dropped into that North facing couloir around noon and skied frozen snow 1500 feet – not exactly the reward I was expecting. The angle finally eased and the snow began to soften for another 500-1000 feet of mellower skiing into the basin that drains the north face.

I followed the basin and followed it and followed it until it ran out of snow. It was only this point I realized how far west I had travelled. I would have to backtrack to my campsite – plus the additional 2 miles to my dirtbike. So I ditched my gear and moved quickly on the road with no weight. At camp, I re-hydrated, switched from ski boots to hiking boots, and jogged up to my dirtbike. By late afternoon I was rambling back down the muddy road with the Lone Cone in my rear view mirror. Satisfied, relieved, and happy that I just went for it.

Looking Ahead

As for now, it’s 10 PM here in Aspen, and the stars are not shining. In fact, its snowing. It looks like I will be sleeping tonight. But the entirety of #NotOverIt season lies ahead. I am just beginning to feel the inspiration to endure early mornings, long days, and less-than-great snow. I know the inspiration to push onward and upward will come. It always does. I usually just need to see a mountain to light the fire.

not over it

 

How Not Over It are you? Check out the LINE Not Over it Photo Contest on Facebook. Upload a shot of you showcasing how far you’d go to get your summer shred on, and enter to win a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists!

LINE & NWAC Announce Partnership!

September 29th, 2015 - Posted by in Event Coverage, LINE Skis News

Line-Skis-Tourist


LINE SKIS & NWAC make for More Funner, More Safer Backcountry Experience


NWAC season kickoff event to be held Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at evo 

Seattle, Wash. (Sept. 30, 2015)Line, makers of innovative, athlete-driven skis, is proud to announce its partnership with the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC). As part of the partnership Line will provide ski equipment for NWAC field staff and help promote the dissemination of avalanche information and education including Snowbash, a season kickoff party held on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at evo in Seattle, Washington.

“Now that Line has officially entered the backcountry ski market we want to support those individuals who work hard to inform the public about backcountry avalanche conditions,” said Line Global Brand Director Josh Malczyk, “Of course the gear people use to enjoy the backcountry is important, but nothing is more important than checking the avalanche forecast on a regular basis so travel can be as safe as possible.”

The new Line Sick Day Tourist ski, Snake Skins and Pollard Paint Brush adjustable length ski pole were chosen by NWAC for their lightweight, durability and exceptional downhill performance. It will allow the NWAC team to climb, traverse and descend easily and efficiently when performing regular avalanche assessments.

“Line’s new backcountry ski gear will help our team travel efficiently in and around avalanche terrain this winter while we evaluate the snowpack,” said NWAC Program Director Scott Schell. “Having Line’s support getting the word out about avalanche conditions for backcountry users will also be a huge step in the right direction to create more awareness of backcountry dangers.”

Join the NWAC and Line for Snowbash at evo Seattle Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 from 5pm-10pm. Attendees will have the chance to win some new gear from Line, enjoy food from Peach & the Pig food truck, beer from Pyramid, Fremont, and Aslan Brewing and live music from DJ OCNotes. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Northwest Avalanche Center.

“First Descent Essentials” – What gear Colter Hinchliffe trusts in the BC.

SKIING MAGAZINE - OCTOBER ISSUE


“First-Descent Essentials” in the October issue of Skiing


Make sure to pick up the October issue of Skiing Magazine (on newsstands now) to check out the feature on Colter Hinchliffe and the gear he “bets his life on.” Back in June, Colter and a crew snagged the first descent of Capital Peak in Colorado’s Elk Mountains, climbing 14,131′ and then descending thru scree and and pucker moments.

colter-hinchliffe-(web)Find out exactly what you would want to pack for your own trips in the article, among them – the 2016 Line Tourist & the all-new Snakeskins.

It’s dependable when terrain is steep and exposed. Plus, it’s lightweight, which helps when I’m carrying it for 18 hours.” – Colter Hinchliffe

Tested / Line Influence 115 Review

The Line Influence 115 has been our go-to do everything stick for the past few seasons. Looking for a neutral, easy to ski big mountain stick for all conditions out west? This should be atop your short list…

Influence 115 Line

Long Term Review: Line Influence 115 192

Skier: Jeff Brines
Height: 6’2”
Weight:190lbs
Place: Jackson
Binding: FKS 14
Boot: Krypton Pro
Ski Weight: ~2450 grams (192)
Radius: 22.6M @ 186M
Rocker: Rocker/Camber/Rocker (Height in mm -11 +4 -9)
Construction: Capwall

Summary: The Line Influence 192 impressed us a few years back with its versatility and overall neutrality. It isn’t the stiffest, lightest or biggest stick out there but its strength lies in its ability to strike a balance of “do everything” at an attractive price point. If you are a skier living out west, the Andrew Whiteford (and other line athletes) “pro” model should be on a short list of skis that can do it all.

Who is it for: This is a great one-ski quiver or go-to inbounds ski for the stronger skier living somewhere it snows more than 400” a year. The Influence 115 is especially good for those who appreciate a more modern mount point and looking for something that strikes a balance between “playful” and “charger”. If you like a more traditional (rearward) mount point, looking for the lightest ski in the 110-120mm category or want as much float as possible, look elsewhere.

Side note two of the best Jackson Hole skiers, Max Hammer and Andrew Whiteford had a fair amount of input in this ski. If you like how they ski and your mountain parallels that of JHMR, consider this to be near the top of your list.

Read the complete review HERE.

Dub Tales Ep. 2 from Andrew Whiteford on Vimeo.

 

Sidecountry Fun with Backpacker Magazine and Sick Day 95

The truth about backcountry skiing: Rare is the day when the weather, snow conditions, and terrain all align to make you a superhero. Sometimes, you need a ski for the snow you get, not the snow you want. Enter the Sick Day, which we pushed hard in conditions ranging from refrozen slop to sunbaked mank to glorious shin-deep powder. Our testers enjoyed its stability, edge hold, and ability to keep them balanced no matter what the conditions. This board can feather through the easy stuff (powder/packed powder), but still charge when turning isn’t an option. Pick the Sick Day if you love short, off-piste hikes out of the parking lot or bowls with cliff-hucking options. “This is the ski for days when inch-thick crust has encased your beloved powder,” says a tester who guides cat skiers in Colorado. “Because even in crap snow it gives you power and confidence.” Another tester called it “especially well-balanced,” meaning that he always felt “centered, fore, aft, and laterally,” even when ripping through bumps and airing off backcountry pillows. We liked how powerful and steadfast it felt, a result of a soft tip that floats over crud, and a stiff tail that aids in popping skiers from turn to turn.Backpacker Magazine

Karl Kristian Muggerud 12-13 Park & BC Edits

July 23rd, 2013 - Posted by in LINE Skis News, LINE Team News

LINE Skis Norway MC Karl Kristian Muggerud has released both his park and backcountry edits from this past season.

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