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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:10 pm 
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christoph benells wrote:
Sorry to bust your balls bg, but I'm talking mountains like broad peak, Makalu, etc.

Not rainier.


Go drop Liberty Ridge and come back and tell me how insignificant and small it was. And barrows is right. If you're doing a 8000m peak you're gonna be on a solid board.


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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Yup, the best lines do not have to be at extreme altitude. Very few steep lines are over 5K-7K feet long and continuously steep. Liberty Ridge features a full 5K vert of continuous steeps. Problem with L.R. is it is o the N side of Rainier, and rarely has good snow (usually lots of ice).
The South Face of University Peak in the St. Elias (AK) is 7K of vert, and over 40 degrees the whole way. I flew by this thing, it would be an awesome descent in good snow conditions. And, the summit is <15K, so easy to breathe, and one is likely to get good snow on it (the highest mountain in the vicinity is its neighbor to the N, Mt Bona, at 16.5K).

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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Barrows
I know all these descents have been happening, but they have been done by a few riders, they are in no way something that is even close to attainable. I doubt any of those folks would say that they had the ideal boot.

We're talking boots here, not boards.

Dropping lib ridge is definitely a substantial achievement, however it is by no means a really hard climb.

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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:57 pm 
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Sorry Christoph, I must have misunderstood your post when I saw this:

"lets see what jones does with higher. so far he has done the grand...which is not higher, it is lower.

I want to see someone shred denali lines, high altitude himalayas and karakorum's, and the andes."

It sounded like you were suggesting the above lines were somewhere in the future? I must be dense, how are these lines "in no way something that is even close to attainable"?

As far as Liberty Ridge goes, we were discussing it as a snowboard descent. As an alpine climb, it is indeed a classic, but of course not cutting edge or anything. As a snowboard descent, I believe it would still be a first, do you know if it has had a snowboard descent? I am not aware of one, even with the level of activity by Luke Edgar in knocking off some cool lines in the PNW. I guess ale would know...

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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:48 am 
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christoph benells wrote:
.....

Dropping lib ridge is definitely a substantial achievement, however it is by no means a really hard climb.


Have you personally climbed Liberty Ridge? If that's the case and you maintain that its not a hard climb, then you must be a stud. If you haven't climbed it.... then, well, just shoosh, cuz its fuckin hard! Haha

As for a snowboard descent of LB, it will probably happen. I've thought about it, but after the past two weeks of climbing high on Rainier and Adams on steep faces, I have to say that the snow conditions are SUPER clutch. Any kind of icy firmness on a route of that scale is life threatening.

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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:12 pm 
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Location: reiter hills
Heh....

I try to keep up on such things, and am not aware of a liberty ridge decent, but that doesn't mean it hasnt happened. Could very well be likely done by some rainier guide or some cowboy. I wanted to in the past but missed the prime windows. Timing is everything and id rather hit it right then sketch my way down in less then ideal conditions. Its not going anywhere....hopefully.

As far as 'attainable' on some of those other exotic lines... has as much to do with logistics and finances as it does skill and desire. I know several unkowns who could make it happen in any kind of boot. Having the cash and free time to be there at the right moment is key.

Funny. I bumped into russman and christoph on seperate days this winter. We where all wearing squishy boots.


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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:34 pm 
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Yeah, I have considered LR many times in my mind, but the more I learned about it (usually ice, north side route) the more I realized it is a more realistic project for someone local to Rainier, who is able to make multiple attempts, and try and pick the perfect conditions. Great line though, it has it all: aesthetic route on a nice feature, good consistent pitch for a lot of vert, and a classic history. I asked Kyle about it when I saw him in Utah, and he mentioned it gets talked about, but…
Hopefully someone from up there will nail it on good day, in some settled late winter/early spring pow, and hopefully they will have good photographer with them as well.

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 Post subject: Latest Fitwell Backcountry - a few improvements
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:10 am 
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Location: New Zealand
Just an update for any of you curious about the latest Fitwell Backcountry. I just got a shipment in to NZ and they are looking great. A few tweaks some minor one big one though.

1. A Power Strap around the top of the boot, so a lot more upper boot support should help riding those big lines. I think this is a winner.
2. Thinner outer boot laces that seem to have less friction enabling a better more even lace-up tensioning, they also look like they will last longer - the originals are durable these just look better.
3. Inner boot has a stronger looking lace locker, none of the earlier ones sold have issues this one just looks beefier.
4. Footbed in the inner boot is a tad more plush, just a tad but it all helps. The previous batches of boots I got in had a very thin hard footbed so good to see this improvement

Pic of the top of boot with power strap here.....

Image

cheers
Rich

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 Post subject: Re: Latest Fitwell Backcountry - a few improvements
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:23 am 
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richie wrote:
Just an update for any of you curious about the latest Fitwell Backcountry. I just got a shipment in to NZ and they are looking great. A few tweaks some minor one big one though.

1. A Power Strap around the top of the boot, so a lot more upper boot support should help riding those big lines. I think this is a winner.
2. Thinner outer boot laces that seem to have less friction enabling a better more even lace-up tensioning, they also look like they will last longer - the originals are durable these just look better.
3. Inner boot has a stronger looking lace locker, none of the earlier ones sold have issues this one just looks beefier.
4. Footbed in the inner boot is a tad more plush, just a tad but it all helps. The previous batches of boots I got in had a very thin hard footbed so good to see this improvement

Pic of the top of boot with power strap here.....

Image

cheers
Rich



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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Location: reiter hills
hmmm.. looking good, but them zebra stripes still might give a seizure!

If I had the cash I would be tempted to ditch the ski boots, or at least try some of the stiffer 'soft boots'. Touring with tech toes is nice, but I don't see it to be that much of a game changer.

Some of the newer generation strap bindings are getting so light i don't think the weight is much of an issue. had a chance to demo the new pinless sparks and loved them. Technique trumps gear when it comes to technical skiing. I fare about the same in either. It's the support I notice after a long day on my feeble ankles.

But, I'm not much of a gear head, so what do i know? I do respect every ones opinions and choices. keep up the banter, and the financial support while the manufactures work something out.

As far the LR buts....

I've done little more then talk about it. I barely mention it, but the two times I wanted to give it a go, my partners bailed on me. One understandably came to the realization that it was above their skillset at the time, and the other had problems getting on the road in time, so we settled for a side of rainier that involved less approach.

A couple years ago i would have given it a go with any one willing. More and more though, I am not so quick to agree to a committing trip with someone I haven't had time to build up a fair amount of trust with. No one I know has shown much interest. Maybe some day, maybe never, but I don't think it is something I would want to take on solo...


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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
Observations after reading this post, and in general, this debate, from day 1 through day whatever it is. PS, cheers splitters, it's been awhile, nice to read ya, can't wait to split with ya this Winter.

1) It seems to me that the thread about the TLT5s in general is a thread about hardboots, by hardbooters, for hardbooters, and for the most part it sticks to the topic.

2) This thread seems to be to be a thread about softboots, by softbooters, for softbooters, but yet it ends up becoming a hardboot vs. softboot debate.

3)I've noticed that anytime someone with no hardboot experience criticizes hardbooting the canned response is: You've had no experience so you don't know.

4) I've noticed anytime someone criticizes hardboots who DOES have hardboot experience, they're told that they probably haven't taken the time and effort to dial in their system well enough. Christoph was told that he didn't share enough information.

5) I noticed on this thread when that information was shared, the setup itself was criticized and therefore (assumedly) that person's opinion on hardboots, critical though it was, is rendered inaccurate.

6) I've noticed that after being gone for almost a full year (I made a couple appearances in others' trip reports last season, but made none of my own). Nothing much around here has changed. :lol:

It's one thing to pay lip service to someone's choice to use one system vs. the other, it's an entirely other thing to get out of the way and let those people just revel in the stoke that their gear brings them. Read the last page of this thread, then read the first page. See the evolution I've seen. This isn't yet another "hard boots vs. soft boots" thread. It's a thread where people discuss a specific soft boot.

It gets old. Just sayin' :banghead:

If you rip in your setup. Just rip in it. You don't have to preach it. People will want to use what you're using.

All IMHO. Hugs and kisses. xoxo!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:02 pm 
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Jbaysurfer hits the nail on the head. I don't understand why hardbooters have to come in and force feed their straightlegged style on everybody. Sure, I seriously want to give it a try, and I like the idea, but if I can't tweak a huge method or lay out some big stylie heelside slashers, or ride switch, then it ain't snowboarding to me.

Let's talk about the boots. I wish I could get the actual boot sole length relative to size for every boot in the discussion. Having big feet, as I've said before, the only thing holding back from getting a pair of these is the fact that I can't sacrifice any more toe/heel drag.

Also, does anyone think that a toe bail on a boot like this could replace a toe strap? I don't know, just a thought....


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 Post subject: Re: Fitwell Backcountry
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Mike:

"Jbaysurfer hits the nail on the head. I don't understand why hardbooters have to come in and force feed their straightlegged style on everybody. Sure, I seriously want to give it a try, and I like the idea, but if I can't tweak a huge method or lay out some big stylie heelside slashers, or ride switch, then it ain't snowboarding to me."

Ignorant and derisive statements such as the above are not productive. Please consider re-reading my first post in this thread where I praise the Fitwell for giving soft boot riders a high quality boot choice, hopefully the Fitwell guys will continue to develop their boot and get the weight down.
I will continue to express my position, as long as I read ignorant statements which contain things such as: "straight legged style", because such statements clearly demonstrate a lack of understanding about the flexibility of the set up many hard boot riders here use. Again: my boots flex about the same as one of the stiffer soft boots, like the Malamute, or Driver X. Slashes, boned out methods, laybacks, etc, are all just as possible as with a soft set up. I do not care what people choose to ride, it is snowboarding after all, which should all be about individual expression. What I do care about is dispelling the somewhat pervasive myth propagated by statements such as yours above.
Adiitionally, why should anyone not be able to express their opinion? Russman, who works for Karakoram, often goes into hard boot threads and spreads his opinion in those threads.

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