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Showing most liked content since 05/11/21 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    This week's installment of Slupree Death, brought to you by Mount Shuksan..... tune in next Monday for the main event on the Coleman Headwall!
  2. 1 point
    Early Winters Couloir I discovered this fine route while researching lines that might offer good winter/spring mixed climbing. Finding such routes has since become much easier thanks to Nelson's guide books, but back in the day one had to read Becky's guides carefully to find the rare gem that offered good climbing and reasonable access. This route delivers both. The route follows the 1000-foot, east facing couloir between the North and South Early Winter Spires. The majority of the route climbs cruiser 45-50 degree snow/ice with cruxes coming as mixed sections bypassing chockstones. The route delivers a final sting in the tail with an enormous cornice that must be bypassed on aid. Season: April-May, after North Cascasdes Hwy opens Rack: Four screws, six large nuts, five pins (two knifebades or bugaboos, angles from #1-#3), four pickets, cams from 0.5" to 3", two tools, 60 meter rope, aiders, hooks, prussiks or jumars. Time: 1-2 hours to base, 5-6 hours on route, 1-2 hours descent. Difficulty: Grade III, 5.8, A2, WI 3. Approach: Park at the hairpin and hike up toward the objective, as if one was approaching the East Buttress. Climb up easy slopes to where the couloir steepens at a convient tree belay. Route: We stepped out right from the tree and climbed steep ice (60 degrees) to lower angled slopes (45-50 degrees) for three pitches, finding both rock and ice anchors for belays. At the start of pitch four, we dry tooled past a large chockstone. A #3 Camalot was useful for protecting this section. My partner, who led this pitch, found a belay in a cave created by another chockstone. On the fifth pitch I pulled over the chockstone and climbed steepening snow (to 75 degrees!) before tumbling into a spacious cave underneath the very big cornice. The cornice overhung 20 feet on the right hand wall but only a few feet on the left-hand wall. The left-hand wall it would be. A couple of dry tool moves brought me to a small flake. I nailed the flake, which promptly fell off into my lap. I nailed the flake stump. The knifeblade rotated 90 degrees under my weight, but held. No more cracks or flakes appeared, the wall was featureless. (Note to self, bring hooks next time). At this point, I was past the most severely overhanging portion of the cornice. The cornice still reared back at 95 degrees, however, and consisted of sugar-snow. I hand placed a picket, clipped my aiders to it and weighted it. It held. Four more picket moves brought me to an 80-degree section, which I swam up and then dove down the backside. My partner jugged the rope. We bombed on down the gully, making one rappel past the chockstone. We walked around the east side of South Early Winter Spire and descended to the hairpin. Synopsis: This accessible route packs a lot of interesting climbing in its 1000 feet; ice, rock with a little aid thrown in for good measure. Warm up on this route, and then climb the East Face Couloir the next day to complete the weekend.
  3. 1 point
    Trip: Silver Star Mountain - Silver Star Glacier via Silver Star Sno Park Trip Date: 05/16/2021 Trip Report: It was a tossup between Ruby or Silver Star Mountain this past weekend in the North Cascades. First time in the National Park, so as a Washington Native and Tacoma Born/raised you can diss on me all you want Went for Silver Star instead of Ruby Mountain. Wanting that extra elevation gain! Started at 6am from the Silver Star Sno Park trailhead. Mix of trail and snow from the start. Broke out on the first Boulder field then into the swamp! Followed good tracks. With a good 4-5 feet of snow there was little punch through in the morning. Different story on the way down! Followed a SE Approach to the Silver Star Glacier. Donned Crampons and Ice Axe "just in case." Long slog to the Burgundy Col kinda like the slog to Muir? Beautiful views though! Wind from the SW was blowing through the col so grab some protection either relaxing or gearing up for the last push to the summit. Class 3-4 with a couple route options. Either right to grab some slabs with some Northern exposure or stay left and shimmy up the Chimney which I did. Easy little push through, trust the rock and a beautiful view on the summit! Some pictures around the journey. Was enjoying it too much to take my camera out all the time! Came back down the same way. People were postholing to their hips on different paths. Punched through some soft snow spots with running water underneath but nothing bad occurred. Follow me on instagram @dchromey253 for more adventures and climbs! Got Adams, Baker, (maybe Whitehorse?), another Whitney trip, Rainier in July and of course spontaneous adventures! Gear Notes: Crampons, Ice Axe, Helmet "just in case" Approach Notes: Start Early. its a beauty being in the shade. Hot on the glacier around 9am
  4. 1 point
    Trip: Pistol Boulders - The North SnowfedScrubBeltMossEatingChossFeedingLowball Arete (post- AND pre-break Trip Date: 05/10/2021 Trip Report: (All dates are approximate) Salutations, rotting-material-disposing-of umbilical creatures. A few things about myself (Daniel) and my PiC {Partner in Choss} (Trevor), before we begin. Things I am not: A competent boulderer, an experienced climber, someone who has climbed at Index more than twice, someone who has climbed at Index other than rope soloing more than zero times, or legally able to buy alcohol. Things I am: Full of youthful vigor, a man with an unhealthily high tolerance for wielding the mighty Brush & Hammer while inhaling mud and/or moss dust and/or broken steel bristles and/or droplets of Trevor's sweat, a lopsided brain-carrying individual who cannot let a day go by without organizing some click-and-drag meaningless 'net site/endlesspatiently correcting those sore souls who are Wrong and Portray There Wrongness on the Interwebz, and able to consume alcohol (illegally.) Things Trevor is not: That Into Bouldering. (Hast anyone heard of a legendary figure known as Trad Princess?) Things Trevor is: Really Into Choss and Lowballs. Those of you who know Trevor (Rad) can fill in the rest in yer heads. Well, there's bouldering on I-90 now. (middle fork and the pass) Erk. Bouldering that isn't '''''''''''''''''secret'''''''''''''' enough to post on Youtube and discourage others from finding it. (Deception Glade / Far Side boulders) K. What we've done is double the number of boulders in the North Bend area, with a 30min (contrived [aLl cLiMbinG Is coNtrIveEd]) approach (better than the Gold Bar slog) and a much closer drive than the Bavarian Granitodise or the All-Arete Granodiorite Seep Road Hike Festival. What's the downside, you ask. (Or rather, you ask, 'why should I care.') Well, they're certainly smaller (and can only get smaller), dirtier (but will get cleaner) and lower quality (lowball lovers unyte) than the aforementioned Leavenworth or Gold Bar. There's plenty of good beginner climbs plus some awesome harder ones............................... however. How did this come about, (I doubt that) you ask. June 2020. It all begins with the legendary Beered Rowe. Legends speak of the tru first name of the legendary Stone Gardens routesetter, the legendary Kyle. During his legendary rampage through Washington finding the one problem at every new area that required zero cleaning whatsoever, doing zero cleaning whatsoever, making a sic send vid, and posting the problem on Mtn Project, Beered wandered below the Gun Show cliff and named two legendary routes with legendary names (no, actually, really unimaginative): Inside Out V6 and Upside Down V2. He then posted them on Mountain Project. No one repeated them. (Apologizes to Kyle if he reads this.) Late January 2021. Trevor Puppy Lovr, as he is known on the Project of Mountains, also known as Trevor Taylor, heads up to Corona Crag to find it snowed in and sketch as h*ck. His insatiable desire to develop SOMETHING led him to the posting of the comment on Beered's page, inviting anyone to come help him clean the 'other boulders that need cleaning' below Gun Show. Jan 20. I, during my daily scan of new comments on Washington areas, happen upon Trevor's comment. Recalling my favorable impression of his Mtn Prj forum personality (turns out it was his real one), and desperately needing a real climbing partner, decide that being willing to muck about in muck would ingratiate the Puppy Lovr and trick him into thinking I was a climber worth actually climbing with. Jan 21. Trevor receives my message, and tentatively sets a date to explore. Feb 3. I show up (10 minutes late) to the Far Side parking lot. There's white stuff on the ground (g-g-g-gaddagagasp). I look past the extremely lanky unkempt fellow for Trevor. Oops. I hold back my kneejerk comment ('Your Mtn Prj avatar is very misleading as to your looks, probably cause it's mostly your puppy and wife, I'd fix that if I wert thou') and manage a hoarse 'Hey, you Taylor?' Hoarse because I sing with raucous vocal power while lone in the truck cab. Fortunately, he didn't hear my slipup. Off we go on the slippery trail. Fortunately for my throat, Trevor is happy to chat about (sport) climbing (is neither) adventures all over the Exits and 'that time I climbed Mile High Club with Rad and he had to TR solo the bottom half with a bucket of developing gear.' You didda WAT? I've stumbled upon a tru blu dirtbag, says I. (This impression was formed mostly due to his mullet and beard). We discover the boulders. I have no opinion, my few trips to Gold Bar been mostly for the use of bushwhacking rather than climbing. Trevor deems them 'mega classic.' We begin with a brush and expose some rock, then wander about to see the rest. Thiccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc moss is quite apparent on anything that looks interesting to me (slab). Feb 5. I go out alone to clean, get too excited by a slab, and slip stemming against a tree to fall ten feet into a hole. Feb 9. We meet again in the parking lot, again carrying pads against all odds, again carrying brushes which are always useful. The boulder we cleaned is.... dry? There's snowpatches on the freakin' dirt for Sam Hill's sake. Now comes the moment in which Trevor sees my climbing prowess. I manage to send the V1 stand first, and eventually get the V3 low start too... this went through a succession of names and we've settled on Stunher. Don't ask. Please don't. And if all else fails, don't blame me, it was Trevor's idea, and his first one was worse. Feb 16. Another lonely soul (but a crusher of 12s), he of the lovely nomenclature Evan Lovely-Meyers, joins us for a night of scrubbing and exploring. Before he arrives, we fail to bolt a boulder for cleaning due to drill bit mistakes. Lel. A tree has fallen on are MostCurrentlySiked [sic] boulder, so we go to work sawing the branches off. The snow is three feet deep in some drifts, but we discover the Titanium and Chamber boulders. Walking out on the highway with headlamps, us three vagabonds are mistaken for lost mfs, and a passing snowmobiler (in a truck) offers us assistance. Feb 21. We decide that the Pistol Boulders (below the Gun Show amirite hehehe L.O.L. rofl lmao lmaorofl jfc what am I saying Ah HA HA HA) is an appropriate name and begin texting names back and forth intended to shock, with a twist. For example. Trevor: "Imagine if we named a route KKK but in the description we put it stands for Kurt Killed a Klansman lol" Me: "lol sounds funny lol" Him: "lol yeah let's do it" We don't do it. Feb 24. We scrub again. Evan begins the long process of realizing he wants to climb, and not scrub, by bailing. We love you Evan. Feb 27. Trevor scrubs solo. We've finished most of the original area (or so we thought) and have begun the enormous task of cleaning the award-winning Least-Productive-Boulder-By-Size-to-Route-and-Route-Quality-Ratio-Boulder, aka the Philosophical Sandeagle Boulder. There were inches of dirt and several bushes on the 200+ square foot top before we put a bolt in (after failing twice on the Slab & Wesson Boulder) and (Trevor) takes a shovel and leaf blower to it's face. (It never stops seeping). The first of the lowballs begins on the Montgomery Boulder. Trevor makes the historic first ascent of the Initiation to the Pistol Boulders, Experience Beats Youth V1+, in hiking shoes. March 3. We scrub, I make the second (not flash) ascent of Experience Beats Youth and the first of Montgomery Mantle V0. Evan bails again. (We still love you Evan.) I add boulder pages to Mountain Project, attracting attention from a few nosy users. We discover the leaning boulder that Must be Seen to Be Believed and Trevor sends Weight of the Universe V4. Beta: Double toe hook, left heel hook, right heel hook, mantle. At least if you're 6'3" +4 ape like the Trevdog. Then (wow what a send day! Either that or I have the dates QUITE wrong) Trevor takes out Barrel in the Butt V5, later renamed Turd Burglar. March 4. I draw a map, prematurely. March 6. Trevor, a sport climber at heart, puts two more bolts in boulders. (They really are necessary.) The bushmud covered top of the Titanium boulder begins to clean up as well as some steep faces. March 7. I bring my brother out to help scrub, on the Titanium boulder and (true to form) a few lowballs. Trevor hikes in gear and pads while not eating all day for medical reasons. March 8. I climb solo, sending a few V2s and 3s that I (embarassingly) hadn't sent yet. March 9: Scrubadub rub, three brushes down to stubs There's dirt in my pants and my nails are nubs Garbage bag coat and a dirty ball cap The rules of Dig Club I burn into the map Moss smell is noticeable to those at my work I shake off weird looks with a quite nervous twerk It was hard to sleep at first cause the rocks are so cool Now cause my nose hurts and there's mud in my stool Sick lines abound, but on the lowballs we scrub 'This ain't gettin' no chicks to give us a back rub.' doncha know brajjjjjjj shitty poetry is the opiate, of, like, the masses, man? Right? Or is that something else? March 10. Silencer, the proudest line in the North Bend region, requires surprisingly little brush work. Trevor begins to work it and finds it exceedingly difficult. (My Tarantulaces (yeah, I know...) have holes worn in the toes so even if there were feet on this thing I couldn't stickem. March 11. Trevor works Silencer solo as I am a lazy ass lil bitch. March 16. I can't remember anything about this day but we did something or other. Not each other though ghey lol. March 17. I rear end a Subaru, putting my truck out of commission for some time. Trevor soldiers on alone while I replace the radiator, oil filter, timing belt, engine mounts, transmission crossmember and (still not yet) bumper. Oh, the humanity. March 21-23. Puppy Trev sends Silencer, thinking he captured it on video when it fell over a second in. It's a brilliant slightly overhung V6+ on very grippy rock and tiny holds. Also, Pistol Pinch, a desperate double pinch huge kneebar start three millimeters off the ground, on a six foot tall boulder. The first repeat is still up for grabs. April 2. I fix my truck. Left in the wake is three oil-ruined sets of clothes and two weeks of brutal labor. Oh, the HUMANITY MOTHERFRACKER! IT'S HUMANITY! SYMPATHIZE! EMPATHIZE WITH MY POOR CHOICES AND LAUD MY EFFORTS! hehe. April 3-10. We rarely see each other but Trevor sends most of the easier routes in the Access Road Zone. We're about finished, except for a few projects thy Trevpup wants to attempt (d.r.a.m.a.t.i.c ForeShadowing) and some trail work. April 12. 'I wanna try Turd Burglar' touts Trevor. The low start to Barrel in the Butt is a climbing-through-a-hole sit dab nightmare with the Barrel in the Butt (a large rock) making it impossible. The rock is the best (read: razor sharp, sharper than the sharpest granite) in the area. D R A M A T I C F O R E S H A D O W I N G (Oh, I'm good.) April 13. We knock the rock out of the hole, thus Barrel in the Butt is no longer an applicable name. Trevor begins to suss out the start, moving higher and higher up as it just feels impossible. Body tensioned horizontally under the roof, PupperTrevPupper's foot blows, his knee shoots forward, and boom, the rock slices right through his knee. I had a hard time realizing how bad it was at first. But it was bad. Basically his TC moment. My trend having been toward lighter and lighter loads, I just brought shoes, water and chalk out, so I run the half mile back out on the highway to my truck, and drive back with the first aid kit. He slaps the wound together and hobbles to the car, then meets his wife at the parking lot. Ended up with twelve stitches. The Knife Fight project, low start to Turd Burglar, remains unclimbed. April 14. Now that we finally went out together, I begin adding routes on Mountain Project with a vengeance. We end up with almost 70. Some other North Bend bouldering developers express interest (Bryce Overstreet, Richard Kurz, the Badwater Bouldering boys [Jake and Kyle Love]). April 21. Bryce heads out with Trevor and deems Experience Beats Youth mega classic as well. Short Note: The amount of times we said '[hurr durr climbing words] Mega Classic' while out at the boulders rivals the amount of Jack Reacher books Lee Child churns out in a fiscal year, i.e. seventeen billion. May 4. Unrelated, but a spark plug in my car exploded. oh the HOOOMANYTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! May 10. Jake and Kyle Love, local V11 crushing Youtubers, join me for a day of filming and climbing. The video isn't finished yet or I'd link that mother. They repeat (and occasionally downgrade) all the hardest climbs, including Experience Beats Youth (mega classic according to them), Weight of the Universe, Turd Burglar, Silencer, and .45 Up 46 Down. The Knife Fight Project and the bathang downclimb low start to Weight of the Universe are deemed 'too dabby and too hard.' Jake sends two new V7s on the Titanium Boulder, Kolibri and Bloodshot, now the hardest routes in the area, plus Not Another Bat Hang and Suppressed, the direct finish to Silencer. Thus ends the saga. Here is the link to the Mountain Project page, which has instructions by me that I'm not going to copy/paste. Climbing in Pistol Boulders, Central-West Cascades & Seattle (mountainproject.com) The approach is not amazing with a pad but most of it is on the wide and well-graded Dirty Harry's Peak trail, then the Climbing Access Loop to Gun Show, then down into the clearing between the cliff and the highway. We have a few more projects listed on MP, please send them if you can and report back. Enjoy the boulders if you happen to enjoy bouldering, or I hope you enjoyed my (..........................hehe......................) fake af acid trip TR that was far more fun to write than it is to read, I am sure. -Daniel Montgomery (I'll add pics later, they're all on my phone, and no way I was gonna thumb all that out.) Gear Notes: 10% brushes, pads, chalk, brooms, leaf blower, rake, hoe, shovel, saw; 89% spit and grit, 1% duct tape. Approach Notes: Hike to Gun Show, beeyotch.
  5. 1 point
    Thanks. Look forward to the pics. I do know Trevor. He has endless energy, scales steep snow in mushy running shoes, has an ape index of +21, and puts three knee bars into every line he climbs because its part of his religion.
  6. 1 point
    Trip: Mclellan Peak - NE Couloir Trip Date: 05/02/2021 Trip Report: My friend Matt and I climbed the NE Couloir of Mclellan earlier this month. I've been intrigued by it since seeing an old Jens Holsten blog post a couple years ago and not being able to find anything else about it otherwise. Theres a brief mention of a route on Mclellan in the WA ice guidebook. I waffled about writing this up because I think the Stuart Range doesn't have a lot of options for solitude. I'm sure people will still flock to the usual spring classics. I settled on doing a more lazy, bare bones style trip report on this to shed some light. Social media is your best friend for seeing conditions of popular faces in the range. The route is fairly short. Similar in length and difficulty to the NW Couloir of Eldorado. Its likely to be easier early season (duh), but it seems likely to have large cornices at the snowfield/ridge at the top out. Theres two exit options, the left (hidden, except maybe from the northwest) being shorter and slightly easier. This gives a bit of contingency with route and cornice conditions. In the conditions we had I'd say it was WI3. First two pitches, taken later in the morning on the decent back to camp: Matt coming up firm snow after the first ice pitch: Second pitch: Early April 2017. The first ice pitch is completely buried: Gear Notes: Pins, screws, rock pro to 1". Emphasis on small gear. Pickets if you'd like, we didn't take any. Approach Notes: Snow Lakes. Leave the trail at the western-most footbridge above Upper Snow Lake. Decend via the standard route.
  7. 1 point
    Trip: Ruby Mountain (7408') - Northwest Ridge Trip Date: 05/15/2021 Trip Report: I climbed Ruby Mountain (7408’), Northwest Ridge Route. This is usually referred to as the winter or snow route, although there is snow on all routes right now. I’ve been thinking about climbing this mountain for a while but always thought it would be too short or too easy. It is not short and it is physically demanding. Prepare for a long day and lots of climbing in a short distance. This mountain has some of the best views in the North Cascades. Weather was perfect, probably about 75 degrees. Snow started at 3800’. Water was scarce after hitting the snow but small amounts can be found coming off the melting snow. Brought crampons but didn’t need them. Snow was soft nearing the summit slope. I brought a trekking pole and a Whippet. I broke the bottom off the trekking pole on the way down. An ice axe would have been useful. I spent an hour off track on the downhill. Somehow I went down an attached ridge that overlooked the Diablo Lake lookout. I had to cross steep side hill snow to get back on route, which sucked. Some Tips and Notes: 1. This is a long day trip. Took me 12 hours. I’m not a cyborg or super slow, somewhere in the middle. 2. Follow the faint climbers trail going up through the steep rock sections. 3. There are several flat areas heading up the ridge that would work well for camping. 4. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along, as the snow gets pretty steep in sections. 5. Snow starts at 3800’ and water supply is very limited after. 6. The summit ridge is class 2 with a few sections of class 3 on fairly loose rock. Travel Time for reference: Car to Summit 8 hours – Summit to car 4.5 hours Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves. View on the way up. Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump & Snowfield Peak in the back. View heading up to the top of the Northwest Ridge. Summit Ridge & Summit. View looking down the Northwest Ridge. View looking North from the summit. Great mountain for scouting future climbs with mountain views 360 degrees. Expanded View looking west on the way down. Left to Right - Primus Peak, Tricouni Peak, Snowfield Peak, Colony Peak, Paul Bunyan's Stump. Gear Notes: Gear used: Trekking Pole, Whippet, Helmet & Work Gloves. An ice axe would be a good idea to bring along. Approach Notes: I parked in a turnout on the north side off of Hwy 20. The turnout is 2.8 miles past the Colony Creek Campground heading east and .4 miles from the John Pierce waterfall bridge heading west. The route starts across the highway at 1900’ on the left side of a boulder field. A faint climbers trail is present that leads around the numerous steep rock sections. It would be a good idea to keep a GPS track going up to retrace the route on the way down. I didn’t and it added to the adventure.
  8. 1 point
    If he's inexperienced leading on trad rock, you will likely find yourself always on the sharp end. That can be really fun, but don't underestimate the impact of being on point all day, including making all the route finding choices. That probably won't matter since as others have pointed out, most alpine rock around here won't be in condition during your visit. The volcanos often offer crampon hiking with serious consequences and rare moments of terror: What's that whooshing sound? Why are my legs dangling in space? Oh no, I put my helmet down on it's top, when will it stop sliding? Stuff like that. If you want a good Forbidden Peak adventure, consider the North Ridge rather than the west. More glacier travel, you'll circumnavigate the peak, you'll probably be out 2 nights early season, and it'll be pretty wild and lonely. Downside might be the last few pitches; though moderate rock, it may present some challenge if all snowed up. Peruse the trip reports here, you'll find a lot of info on many possible objectives. Hope you both have a great time.
  9. 1 point
    Drove up to Darrington yesterday to check the road conditions. Clear Creek road: almost blocked by a huge tree 2.5 miles up from the pavement. There is enough room to drive under it, but someone has tried to cut the log with a large chainsaw and failed. Whether there is enough strength left in the log to keep it there while you are up climbing is left to your judgement. Squire Creek road: clear and even better than last year. You can drive past the cave-in of two years ago without even turning aside. It is just another orange ribbon on the side of the road.
  10. 1 point
    Is that the typical amount of snow for this time of year? Wow!
  11. 1 point
    Trip: Mt. Index - Lake Serene photo trip Trip Date: 03/23/2021 Trip Report: I did a morning hike up to Lake Serene last week to fly my drone and get some new views of Mt. Index. Thought some of you might enjoy a couple images. Gear Notes: DJI Mavic 2 Pro Approach Notes: I thought there would be a good boot pack but the last traverse was snowshoed and I punched through a bit.
  12. 1 point
    I found out what the units for the wind vane fletchings are... They are in knots (nautical mph) cause everyone knows knots! 1 knot = 1.15 mph A half line = 5 knots A full line = 10 knots A triangle = 50 knots So a wind vane arrow pointing from L to R at 700mbar with a triangle, a line, and a half line coming off its side means wind out of the West at 10,000ft with an average speed of 50+10+5=65 knots or ~75mph (so stay the F%$# home!)
  13. 1 point
    I skied cable bindings with mountaineering boots back in the seventies and eighties, before AT bindings became available -- used the old "beartrap" style toe. If you want to ski free-heel with mountaineering boots, why not just use the silvretta without the heel locked down? I've skied 'em this way, and it works, but it changes the pivot point from under the ball of your foot to out in front of your toe, and you have to accommodate that change in your telemark technique. Other solutions that accept mountaineering boots include a plate AT binding that Fritschi produced for the Swiss military back in the eighties, the Colorado-based Ramer (plate very similar to previous Fritschi; long out of business but you can find them at ski-swaps and estate sales...), and some of the AT "adapters" that permit free-heel touring in modern standard downhill bindings. And I have to take exception - skiing in mountaineering boots is not much different than skiing in the leather downhill boots in which I learned to ski back in the sixties. Skiing in plastic mountaineering boots like Koflach or Lowa is similar to skiing in older generation plastic alpine downhill boots -- far from "horrifying".