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Just got back from a four day ski tour backpacking, climbing, and skiing big lines in a remote and little known mountain range.

Snow Geological phenomenon Ski mountaineering Mountain Piste
Mountainous landforms Mountain Snow Mountain range Rock
Snow Freezing Ice Winter Igloo
Snow Slope Geological phenomenon Winter Recreation
Snow Mountainous landforms Mountain Glacial landform Ridge


Carrying 70 pound packs makes you strong and enables you to eat really good food in spectacular surroundings. Can't wait to do it again. And I do... 12 months of the year. I also run ultramarathons.
 

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It's pretty normal in this sport to carry a lot of weight. We have food, fuel, shelter, clothing for living in the snow, not to mention avalanche safety and climbing equipment. One of my closest friends--a 100 pound woman--carried more than half her weight for 8 days on a trip we did together. That was when we were in our thirties. We still ski together and I have zero doubt she could do it today. We are talking about very fit people, self included. The reason we weren't under 70 was one of us forgot his ski boots, which meant he had to take my car all the way back to Boulder (3 hours) to get his boots and then drive back and skin up in the dark, arriving in camp at 11:20 PM. The other and I had to carry all the food and shelter for three people. And we ate well. Don't do that freeze dried shit. You need a lot of protein to do this.

One way to save about ten pounds split between three people is to sleep in a tarp shelter like a Black Diamond Megamid or Mountain Hardware Kiva. I don't have one anymore and Aaron's girlfriend had his on a climbing trip to the desert. So we used a 12 pound dome tent that you can stand up in. Bit of a luxury but we managed.

I started out with more than 80 but as soon as we walked around the first stand of trees we saw the snow was continuous so the skis and skins came off my back and onto my feet. The worst part of it this time was my pack belt was rubbing on an inguinal hernia I have that normally doesn't hurt at all but got a little irritated by the rubbing of the belt. It was fine as soon as I took the pack off. I'm all legs and lungs. I weigh 170. Carrying seventy pounds is really not a problem. Don't get me wrong, it feels really good to take it off and not put it back on for a few days. But we regularly do traverses where you move camp every day and that means carrying a heavy pack every day. It's part of the sport. Among recreational athletes, I do think it is hard to find people who are overall more fit than ski mountaineers.
 
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