Anywhere High, Wild, Steep, and Deep- icy and rocky is good too!
I was a skeptic. I never imagined that lightweight "rando" boots would or could ever ski well. After last season this skeptic has become a believer! The Alien is an amazing little piece of technology. Of course it's crazy light, but it also skis really well, especially in nice spring corn snow, which was when I used it most. I took these out for most of April and May ski mountaineering in Colorado and loved them. Long days, steep couloirs, knife-ridges, it's like having a mountaineering boot that skis well.
I will say it took me a day or two to really dial in my technique with this boot- you have to be a bit careful about not over-flexing it- but once I found my perfect balance point it was game on. The cuff is amazingly supportive when your weight is back, like at the end of a fast turn. The BOA buckle system is brilliant, and the ski-walk mechanism is super easy to adjust and use.
I would recommend this boot to anyone who loves fitness touring or spring ski mountaineering. It's a game changer for me- light is right!
Yes, we call it a 120 but we all know that it's JUST a number. It skis better than many 130's that I've tried.
Disclaimer first- I was closely involved in the design and testing of the Freedom boot series. My main goals with this boot were to have incredible fit with a low-volume shell, light weight, and high performance both in ski mode and in walk mode. We have achieved all of these in spades and I couldn't be happier with the final product. This boot was the talk of the Outdoor Retailer and SIA shows and is living up to the hype.
The Pebax shell feels like a smooth and even-flexing race boot. It barely changes it's feel when the temperatures fluctuate. The custom Intuition liner is super comfy and very warm, and that's coming from someone who has had cold toes for 30 years. In walk mode the ankle flexion is remarkable, and it's super-easy to switch from one mode to the other unlike many internal mechanisms on other brands.
This boot is equally at home charging in-bounds terrain as it is on a nice backcountry tour or 3000' bootpack. I have spent over 120 days in both the Pebax Freedom SL and the P/U Freedom and can honestly say it's the most comfortable boot line I've ever been in.
And finally, the fact that you can easily switch the soles to accomodate your aalpine bindings or tech-type bindings is a bonus. And there is NO flex in the connection of the sole to the shell. It's solid!
Be Safe and Ride On!
This is the new Spyder Eiger Shell Jacket in it's environment. Part of the White Spyder Collection, the Eiger Shell goes with the Nordwand Shell Pant. This is the perfect three-layer shell for serious mountain enthusiasts.
My favorite soft snow ski getting ready to launch at Portillo, Chile. This ski is SO easy and fun, it makes us feel better than we really are!
This is my go to ski-mountaineering and touring ski. Perfect for multi-day missions, hut trips, and serious ski mountaineering. It's light and responsive and really, really fun!
Awesome coverage for bright snowy environs and glaciers. Looks rad on the streets as well. One of Smith's finest creations.
One of my go-to glasses for all mountain activities, the Tenet fits great and looks even better. Amazing glass!
Whether I'm at a backcountry hut or tuning skis in the garage, the Exhale booties are great to just slip on and go. Keep your feet warm and they're super grippy
In Portillo Chile. The Garmont Delirium kicks ass!
On Mt. Everest
The Spyder Eiger Shell Jacket from the White Spyder Collection.
From the streets of Aspen or Chamonix to the Ouray Ice Park to Mt. Everest Camp II- this jacket has been with me for well over a year now and I love it. Super comfy feel to the nylon, very warm baffles, and a sharp look make the Bernese a winner. It packs into its own little stuff sack for travel as well. Hood fits over a helmet easily.
Stian Hagen and I spent a ton of time trying to get these pants right- and we succeeded! This is the best alpine ski pant I've ever used. The neoprene snow-seal on the waist is super-comfy, keeps the snow out, and also keeps your mid-section warm. You can easily fold it down for the non-powder days as well. and the boot gaiter is amazing- wrap your power strap through the holes in the gaiter for a perfect seal. They do run a touch big so while I run a large (I'm 5'11 170) I could use a medium perhaps as well.
The Phenom are an amazing combination of fit and performance- Git sum!
Lighter than the Duke and perfect for resort ripping and light touring
Nick Devore in the Patrol Jacket on a perfect day on the north summit of Denali
At use on a long tour from Snowmass to Aspen Highlands.
My favorite light BC pack- just the essentials and great carrying capability
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