Supporting Equipment: Ski & Snow Gear
We're going to kind of look into what I call the supporting equipment which is bike skis et cetera all those kind of elements that get me out there into the wild and then we're going toe kind of jump right into this massive amount of gear here on the table for everybody to take a look at the cameras and lenses so um let's start supporting equipment this is what I take with me every day I go out shooting in ski okay so all of this becomes part of this I don't know what it always I do know that my camera pack with all that extraneous gear is about thirty five pounds so it's not really an easy task to keep up with people who are really strong fitness wise and also don't have to carry all that so we're going to just kind of take in a little detail of uh each item here and kind of give you some tips and things that I've found over the years that have helped to me kind of reduce weight and things like that so my skis are custom made by a company in telluride colorado it's wagner custom skis ...
and they build me a ski exactly to my specifications since I've been skiing since I was fifteen that's not a crazy amount of time in the ski world my daughter started when she was to uh but still within that kind of thirty year timeframe uh I kind of know what I want from a ski, and I ski a traditionally softer ski than most people that ski at my level inability. So they custom tailor ski. We kind of start with an idea of what's out there. Manufacturer wise, what other people are doing? And then we kind of tweak it so the ski that I ski on almost every day is it aspen korsky so it's a really like cord ski. And then I do a very kind of technical specialized dean, if it binding on there, if you if you ski a lot, you look, you see my bindings, they look like there's, nothing there, and this is all really important for me, because if I'm going to throw thirty five pounds on my back, well, where can I get the weight out of my body? Right? Because if we're still trudging around with twenty five pounds of skis, well, that then makes it, you know, fifty plus pounds of weight on my body, so I choose to go with a much lighter ski and very light binding. The combination here is it's it's, almost other way in comparison to anybody else's skis. I'm not getting huge air off cliffs and things like that, so my binding doesn't need to be this. Crazy twenty din locked down deal I'm skiing a fourteen day in binding it is maxed but on di do actually cheat a little bit with the dean if it's I can lock the front mechanism now the other thing that's important about this pining see these two pins here? Will they paint into the front of my boots and that allows me to climb up anywhere by throwing some skins were called skins on the bottom of my skis okay carbon fiber all really light there's a carbon fiber you can see kind of here a little x in the top sheet of the ski that helps with the stability and flexibility of the ski. Like I said, a ski a softer ski the most people but the cool thing about having a sponsorship with the custom ski manufacturers they tweaked the way the ski performs based on how I'm going to use it so they know that I'm carrying a thirty pound pack with me every day just about that I'm out last year skiing seventy five days and uh out of that I shot sixty five so cameras essentially with me every damn out there s o they tweet the ski tow work with my body weight plus the weight of the pack so it really just functions perfectly ok any questions good ok next up polls now most people think you know ski poles aux case it's nothing special, but my poll actually has a dual purpose one it helps with the balance like its traditional ski pole, but also, uh, they're carbon fiber to made by black diamonds, and they function as an avalanche probe as well. So that allows me to get rid of the avalanche probe component of my avalanche safety year. And if there's an issue, I can take the two poll sections of parts cream together, pull a basket off, and I've got an avalanche probe as well. So kind of cool again, carbon fiber taking out wait right? Everything has to be very, very weight conscious, just like I was in the early days of mountain biking and it's just really all corresponds to I've got to make sure that I can pull all this gear or the necessary gear with me on a ride or risky session. Okay, quick question what's in avedon's program, maybe you're just trying to see how deep this so an avalanche probe is essentially if you've ever gone camping, you know what a tent like that polls that you would put your tent together with today they're you know, they're kind of having elastic, uh, deals, you could break him up and shrinking down. So it looks essentially like a tent, a tent pole, but it has a cable inside, and you, you crank it tight and it becomes this, you know, fifteen foot tall or ten foot twelve foot tall pole that you can, as you're searching for a victim of an avalanche, you can probe the ground instead of just start digging. Where your transceivers telling you, you kind of probe it, you can feel the person underneath the snow there, because if you goes right down to ground really fast, uh, if there's, nobody there, and if you hit somebody it's like soft and mushy, write something sense of okay, so I'm not a goggle for here, truly, but, um, I literally I am a sweaty guy, and if I'm humping up some ridge to try and keep up with some athletes and buy time to get to the top, everything that I'm wearing is completely drenched in sweat goggles inevitably get fog throughout. Of course, the day doesn't matter where I am here, it was the worst I've ever experienced, so I have one pair of goggles and wearing I have an extra pair of goggles that aaron my pack, and they typically have, like two or three extra lenses, because I can swap out lenses in in my goggles when I climb I throw on a pair of sunglasses just because it keeps me cooler than the goggles put the goggles back in the bag in and I typically keep them inside so that connection between the warm side of the goggle and the cold side of the goggle don't doesn't get changed and then they will fog so I typically kind of put him in here not in my armpit because that's kind of the hardest hottest party body and they will father then but just inside my jacket here to keep him warm s o you know that's ok we got goggles and three pairs of lenses and glasses too you know things that you don't really typically think about if you just skiing right yes I'm just gonna jump in do you have any tips for folks? I always have an issue with the fogging of my goggles any tips and tricks I've herds bit I've heard all sorts of things yeah you know there's all these kinds of things the actual way that I found it works best never ever touch the inside of your lands just don't do it they put a factory coding on the lenses and what most people do assumes the lens fogs they'd like smear it right well when you smear it like that you're actually removing some of that coding and if you do that enough times than the coatings on them they just continuously fog so everything that I've kind of learned about and read about over the years is if I if I fall or something and my god has come off their full of snow and everything's wet inside I just dab really gently I first I bang all of the snow all the wetness out of the out of the goggles and then I just lightly dabbed with the one of the god o closser goggle bags I just dad that moisture away don't smear it ever and that typically will keep those goggles at at least fog free for a season so that's kind of my tip yeah yeah it's it's there are people that make eighty five things out there etcetera but the good thing is you know if your room the lens it's it's twenty thirty bucks to replace that as well so you don't have to get new goggles and you just get in your lands cool thank you. Okay anybody else good okay talking about climbing skins okay, these air the little puppies that go on to the bottom of my skis um they actually I think not one percent sure, but I think they're the reason they're called skins is they originated from the into it kind of northern territory type people and uh it was actually made of steel skin originally and it's a directional fabric essentially so you push your foot forward, you glide forward but all of these little ridges here on the fabric allow you to not go backwards so it kind of hooks you up so you just kind of walk uphill uh they work unbelievably well and forty five degree slopes you can pretty much skin up you know that's kind of the limit and it also depends on the binding you're using too because you lift your heel when as it gets steeper and steeper travel and shovel there's lots of different varieties out there a lots of different manufacturers mine is like twenty some years old it's an aluminum shovel aa lot of people are making like sand platt different types of plastic ones now there's again this is a personal kind of preference choice to the plastic ones are obviously lighter and for somebody like me you think he's traveling with the plastic one no driving with the aluminum one because I just feel like it's stronger and more durable avalanche snow is extremely tough to dig through and I want something that's really sturdy and gives me that ability to uh cut through snow if I need teo and I'm skiing with one that has a much shorter shovel handle than most people there are a lot out there now that have extendable handles again this was kind of the lightest at the time that I could get that was a metal shovel and you know, thirty years old it's last me a long time, right? So I don't I don't just toss something because the newest latest greatest thing is coming out there I kind of kind of make choices based on how it's going to help me with what I'm doing and you know if the thing is broken do break things seem to be breaking more more things lately but I've tried you know I'm pretty careful with my gear which most people don't think but accidents happen all the time okay, so this is my avalanche transceiver turning the word transceiver it transmits and receives so everybody in in my party that I'm skiing with his wearing one and if something should happen ah you turn yours to receive and there's a still on transmit obviously because they're not going to change it if something bad has gone down and that allows you to find them okay mine is probably a decade old at this point the technology has not the technology has drastically changed but the overall concept of the transceiver has not back in the olden days there was there were two different frequencies europe was on one frequency we were on another and um we ended up the whole world is on the same frequency now so it's a four hundred fifty seven kilohertz is what really matters reason I don't have a new transceiver is a very comfortable searching with this one so if a problem happens I will find my person in I mean it's time now you think that's really fast but here's the problem I can find him in a minute but it may take me fifteen minutes to get to where I can find them if I'm below the slope I've gotta hike up the slope so all of that kind of stuff comes into this safety kind of problem problem issue concept you know it's it's a lot of work I gotta drop everything and uh if they're down slope obviously that's a much easier scenario. So um this is you know, this is definitely one of those pieces of gear it goes on my body before even walk out my front door every day I ski I don't even care if I'm skiing in the resort that day doesn't matter to me I put it on it's just habit it's like pulling your car keys out your pocket and go in your car in mourning and that way I'm never in an instance where I forget to put it on where I forget to turn it on etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So gloves cortex I found these by black diamond they've lasted me up until this season will be replaced by the same model hands were always drive with these things uh, they're obviously been well used a very durable right now it's just the seams are starting to fall apart on him so I will replace him but I'm going exactly the same thing because my hands were never cold and they're never wet with that glove and I think it's the gortex liner that surely works you know as you wear these things for every single day for years on end things wear out and then things stop working you know as soon as my hands start getting wet and cold then I'm like ok time for a new glove okay so this is this is a core port port part of my scheme here now the other thing I'll do is on really really cold days I have a ah capitoline liner glove that's super super thin but it fits nicely inside this glove and that way when I pulled the gloves off I still have a liner there that's not keeping my getting my hands like ripping cold because some days even in you even at this time of year in jackson it could be you know fifteen below so that's pretty cold so I'm still going out there you know I thrive in cold which is not a lot of people don't don't think that way I don't like the hot environments when I was in thailand I got heat exhaustion pretty easily so um colds good for me warms up kay again going with my boots very light very specialized touring boot but very stiff uh the ski industry is kind of started adding this this number stiffness coefficient they they're marking boots like one hundred stiffness factor hundred twenty hundred thirty I want to say these were somewhere in the range of one hundred twenty hundred thirty uh I think there's stiffer ones more race boots and things like this but this boot is custom molded to my foot I have custom foot beds that support my archer as well uh ends the reboot is probably a little smaller than most people would ski and I just have gotten used to crank kind of crime in my foot in there a little bit because they just want that type feel but I don't want to crank my buckles down ok? But again this is custom it's not custom it's kind of set up in a different way than most traditional ski boots there's too little metal slots right there that's where that binding clips in that I was just showing you the metal pins go in there and then my hell there are another two sets of pins that step down and when I throw skins on and climb up something I undo the undo the backlit tonight and I can just walk up a slope and if it's really steep you know then we take then I've got to take the skis off and thrown on the backpack so now we're taking thirty pounds we're throwing more weight on it so that's why skis having now his light skis and not really feeling that difference when I have to throw him on the back always carry the extra layer very thin very packable it's in my pack right now you know you wouldn't even know that compresses up to the size of about a softball baseball and I can get it in anything so and it's really warm so if I get cold from out there sometimes I'm standing around because athletes need to hike a ridge or uh they need to go further away from me so I can shoot a long lens on we will talk about the long lens shots in the year and when we see the camera here but um so if I'm if I get cold I've got initial airs with me all the time and it just stays in my pack in the winter core food kate's case real food all organic it tastes really good to me so that's my bar of choice uh sunblock believe mo is in pain ski seventy five days in a row you're going to be in pain emergency lighter you know a lot of guys have little sparky things now I'm old school give me the lighter please I typically there's somebody in the group too that has a first aid kit if I were to carry that to I you know I'm never skiing alone so there's always typically somebody in my group of first aid kit as well like a back country first aid kit so injuries do happen I learned that for sure last year and then core filters that I always carry we've got circular polarize ear's by seeing ray it's the lb warming circular circular polarizer the warming thing doesn't matter really at this point cause in digital you can just change your white ballot but every linds I have has won on it I just leave them on and if I'm going to shoot in low light darker situations than I take him off uh if they're not truly doing anything and I need more light at a low light situation I'll take him off to just unscrewed with lens cap and then I've got the lens you know get extra two stops or one stop of light available to me um so all lenses have circular polarizer is on him and uh the other thing that I take with me is a uh it's a singer a very nd filter the nd stands for neutral density vary means that it's adjustable so this filter essentially will give me one to eight stops of darkness okay, so if I'm in a a really bright environment and I want to create a motion shot I throw that filter on I could dial it dialled my exposure into whatever essentially shutter speed I need and that allows me to pick my f stop and my eye so accordingly okay and then two different types of graduated neutral density filters the first one is the galen rowell yeah, I used a three stop hard step ah filter and we'll show that to you when we kind of talked to talk about the table and you can see it's dark on top and clear on the bottom that allows me to darken sunsets I I prefer the three stop over the to stop or the four stop I prefer the hard step over the soft step personal preference uh the other full term carrying is a darryl benson ah singer a filter its a three stop is well it's called a reverse grad and the way this filter works is it's darker right at the horizon so if I have sun setting right on the edge of the horizon this filter takes out that little extra amount of light right where the sun would be so it kind of exposes the sun properly and then he gradually gets lighter as it goes so the sky then comes back into the sky isn't super super black this guy has some color to it as well to pocket wizards you need to unfortunately I a lot of guys use these for flash I actually use them to trigger my camera remotely the reason they're pink and white pink goes on the camera or a pink and white pink and yellow uh pink goes on the camera yellow goes there's the strap on my risk so I don't lose it. The pink one attached is into the camera with the cable, the two of them on the same channel. I just press the button releases the shutter, we'll also auto focus the cameras, but I don't choose to auto focus cameras the way most people do, and we'll talk about that when we talk about the cameras and the reason that I'm not sure if I said it, but pink and yellow as opposed, they do make him in black, I always lose the black ones and then it's one hundred twenty five dollars to get another one so pink and yellow they're easier to find headlamp always with me. It's, rechargeable, rechargeable via usb so it's kind of cool the one I have actually has a blinking red strobe on the back and I I use it when I run at night if I run at night so people don't run me over, but the thing is so freaking bright I mean, you can like any photograph with it too as well. So it's an extra light source that I could be carrying with me at any given moment as well. Little multi tool it's got, uh, torques, innit it's got allen wrenches and it's got screwdrivers in it and these two guys there you see when we talk about the mountain like stuff here in a second, you'll see how a lot of this gear just gets crossed over from one sport to the other so I just move things from packed a pack and right now in jackson I'm really not mountain biking so it doesn't have to be like a daily exchange of equipment and then the next item is the f f stop loca camera bag they just came out with a new version of this was him trying to get my hands on it's called the loca ul so super super light much lighter than this pack even though this pack is really like the the thing that I truly love about the f stop bags, the construction it's there just made bomber and when you're humping a pack around every day and thrown it on the ground that gets stuck and dirt and whatever you know these pacs last and that's important, I've gone through probably one hundred backpacks in fifteen years my wife's like really need another backpack and get rid of them because none of them really work for me. You know it's like, well, this one doesn't carry my skis, but this one carries the camera body the way I want and this one doesn't carry that lens and I can't fit this in there so it becomes this like crazy fight between what I need to carry and being able to carry the camera gear in a protected environment to trying not to hammer my camera here either so I'm always trying to find the the perfect pac and I truly believe that this pack for me is the one that I'm like finally I think I've got something that really works because I can carry my skis I can carry on my camera here I can fit all of my extraneous goggles and etcetera in it and so for me it works in the skiing environment I don't use their packs mountain biking them because they don't make a pact small enough so this kind of we'll talk about that here in a minute okay so I think this is make sure yeah okay. Okay. So just recap of the overview skis polls so two pairs of goggles one two, three pairs of lenses extra hat I didn't really show detailed shot of that my son made this in preschool so uh when my hackett soaked putting your hat on all of this stuff goes into this little bag skins go into that bag they stack right on top of my photo gear this guy goes in the back pocket we'll talk about all this when we kind of load all the gear in and then that goes on me that goes on me that goes on me this goes in the pack all of this stuff goes in the pack and we're off to the races questions you don't carry water oh yeah I forgot I forgot that yes water and what's funny is a the mountain making shot you'll see I put a water bottle in there even though I don't carry a water bottle on a mountain making I actually do a water bladder but in the winter here's the opposite thanks for bringing that up I do carry a water bottle like carry a stainless steel clean canteen and I think it's a twenty four ounce bottle and the reason I carried that as opposed to a water bladder that would fit in the pack the pack is designed to carry a water bladder the water bladders freeze so here you've got this bladder that's buried in your pack you've got a host the hoses froze and you can't get water negative dig through the pack get the whole thing out so I just carry it this thing's still nalgene the water can freeze inside of it to some extent a really cold days but it's sloshing around enough so that uh it's still drinkable and I just opened the bottle now as far as like someone because I mean this seems to be pretty advanced gear for someone who's been doing this for fifteen years what would you suggest for someone who's just starting out because I'm not gonna go or yeah baby get like custom for the skis and stuff like that so I mean anybody can buy this binding it's available on the current markets really like uh it's I would say it's no more expensive than a conventional binding it may actually be even a little cheaper I'm not sure on the marketplace there but so you could get a pair of and they make there are tons of companies making back country skis that air you know, they're set up for climbing and descending in backcountry environments, right? So you could get a pair of skis like that you don't have to have things custom made I'm having them custom made because I'm sponsored by that company and I truly believe in the product, right? I went to them, you know? They're not like oh, you know, here's a pair of skis for you it's like, ok, how can we work together? I really like what you're doing here and we come up with an agreement, right? So you don't need the hardcore skis you can go, you know, ari, I and get something as a starter kind of thing stuff you do need though if you're you're going to be in an avalanche environment, you need knowledge, you know, I have thirty years experience getting in in the back country and last year I got caught in an avalanche and I know my stuff, so I'm not this this guy like out there taking unbelievably unthought out risks, but you need shovel, you need transceiver, you need a probe or pro polls, you know, but you don't have to spend you don't have to get the carbon fiber ones you the aluminum ones you can get, you could get a probe or just get, you know, get some cheaper polls and get a probe on your own. If you're not carrying all this gear, you don't need the crazy light boots. Um, you could you don't need a crazy pack you need to pack to carry, you know, shovel, probe, extra goggles and things like that. Um, and you could put one camera body in one lens in there, you know, you need to carry a whole table, full gear and sometimes that's that's kind of the best thing we'll talk about my favorite lens in in a few minutes, and that would be the ones though I take I'm not giving it away from the internet if you're if you're pride. So ice man wants to know those gortex gloves, gortex lined gloves. How does that work? When you're using your camera, I took the gloves off, okay, thank you, yeah, so if, if I don't cold doesn't really terribly bother me like I said, if it's if it's a really cold day I've got the liners on so when they take the gloves off to handle the camera here these thin liner gloves you know if it really tight and they're so thin that I have dexterity but they just allow me enough time so my hands will get freezing in you know, twenty degree days, twenty or thirty three days uh I just take the gloves off they sit in my you know I'll take them off put him on my pack everything kind of resides in my pack uh the way that I kind of shoot is when I said it first shot I get my camera I close up my pack and put my pack back on my back because if something goes wrong I have the protection of a backpack coming back for my spine buckle everything back in camera in hands typically other hand will put the gloves back on standing there holding, getting ready and go from there I have a two way radio for long, distant kind of shots uh but typically it's yelling back and forth going to go here gonna go do that another one from ice man does the use of the led headlamp create any kind of a blue it bluish cast when used to illuminate the scene yeah, well make the scene look a lot bluer that is true and with even in light room you can pick and choose where you warm a photo up so you can get that blue cast out if you want a flat wait cast sometimes the blue cast works really well for shot so as an extra mood and then last one before moving denise bridge would like to know do you have any kind of an empty or a first responder with you on some of your corporate shoots? You know, I yeah actually a couple of the guys that I do ski with have their first responder and the re empties eso they're like crazy educated from a from her first day perspective, I do have a general first aid and cpr certificate as well myself, so I have a base knowledge two for in injury kind of awareness and the other thing is, you know, we're when I got caught in the slide last year I was four miles from getting out and I had to walk, so you have to figure out with injuries how you're going to get that person out too, and that becomes like one of the most creative things you'll ever figure out one one last one sorry I was going to stop, but I know I was thinking this one myself to your curious at a sat phone I don't I don't I always have my iphone depends on where you are most environments today in the u s you khun mountain ridge tops you typically get a signal which is pretty crazy so I don't do that but I do have a radio a two way radio on me at all times and uh that's you know, it's just kind of the risk you take I think having all that other extraneous here I mean, if I were in alaska or in the arctic doing some kind of long expedition yesterday, you you could almost guarantee that I would have something like that make you anything else? Yes helmet is part of what you include and I get a lot of flak for that one I do not feel comfortable skiing with the helmet and my kids ski with him my wife's keys with one I we're half and I don't I don't know, you know, silly is that may sounds of people I feel most comfortable wearing a hat and I don't know so far been lucky. Do you ever have any preferences by sponsors to say that they want to see their, uh their athletes with helmets or without helmets to today it's mostly helmets and the kind of terrain that all these guys that I'm skiing with ski in day wear helmets they flat out do it's it's serious stuff I'm not in this serious stuff with them, you know, to the side of that, or my goal is when I'm out there to try and get. You know, I have two things. I got to try and get a creative shot, but I also have to be really safe, and I've got to be behind talks behind some trees or find a cliff. All those kind of things, and I really have to manage train and that's, a big part of avalanche awareness to is terrain management. I think that's almost more important than actually knowing what snow is, you know how the snow reacts to movement and things like that. I think corinne management is number one for me.