Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Dynafit TLT6 Boots

~ Tuesday 26th November 2013

First day out in the new Dynafit TLT6 today - mainly because my trusty old TLT5s exploded yesterday!

Note: this is the rare GF model.

A loud bang and the spoiler hinge gave up...which meant tricky left turns all the way home. Happily, Dynafit sell spare spoilers (do lots of them break?) so the TLT5s aren't finished yet. Getting the replacement ordered was the usual Swiss "customer service" experience. This used to be a shock, but now I'm used to the process. Having distracted the staff from shelf arranging you should expect a good 10 minutes of being told off for using your expensive boots (what are they for?) followed by disapproving comments on the "worn-out" state of your expensive boots, before finally they finally concede that they could possibly just order a new bit, you'll have it  by Friday, is that everything sir? 

Anyway, new boots...TLT6 seems at first glance very similar to the old 5, which was a huge step forward in touring boot design. Finally, a light boot that skinned, skied - even big skis - and climbed! The main difference in the new boot is the lack of forefoot flex. To be honest I never really noticed the flex on the old boot (but then my previous touring boot was the super-bendy Scarpa F3) but the lack of it in the new boot is very obvious. The boot feels much stiffer and more "skiable" even without the tongues in. 

Apparently the shell is wider too. I've fitted into a smaller shell than in the 5 (28.5 instead of 29) and I'll need the shell stretching a bit around the forefoot (I have broad feet) but fit is otherwise much better. 

Buckles are better and feel more solid. Double hinge on the top buckle is a minor improvement, but the front one now stays shut when skinning too, yippee! Remains to be seen if the rivets last - I'm on my 5th replacement buckle on the 5s. 

The boot feels stiffer already without the flex - mine are the Performance with the carbon cuff. Adding the soft green tongue makes it feel like the old boot with the tongue in. The new stiff black tongue is really stiff! I haven't tried yet but it feels like it should cope well with a bigger ski. 

So overall impression after 1 day skinning and skiing is that it's like the old boot but better, which is exactly what fans of the old boot wanted. Phew!


oooh, Arolla

~ Tuesday 26th November 2013

 Silly blog titles but more nice skiing and great weather this morning at Arolla. There are teams hard at work getting the ski area ready for the season - this is the unseen work that goes on out of season but is still paid for by the skipass. It's easy to forget how much work is needed to put a ski area together!

More snow for the weekend apparently!

PLUM bindings 

Mrs Frostguiding getting distracted from interval training


~ Monday 25th November 2013

 Yet again it was brilliant at Arolla today. Busy, with 3 other people out, but otherwise great skiing in lovely weather. Plenty of skinning and fresh tracks on the descent. Great start to the PDG preparation. 

Arcteryx Atom Jackets in brownian motion


Every good day has a river crossing

Every good day has a river crossing

Arolla Ski Touring

~ Sunday 24th November 2013

 Great weather and some good snow today on the Pallanche de la Crettaz. Snow cover is still (obviously) thin in places but there's some good skiing. 

Arcteryx Clothing

~ Tuesday 19th November 2013

 Santa came early today with a big parcel from Arcteryx. I've been using bit of their kit for a while now and it's hard to think of much to say- which is a good thing! It fits. It works. It lasts.

My Atom LT  Hoody was bought deliberately big (XL) to fit over other layers, but everything else is size large and the fit seems consistent through the range. Fury ski pants skied maybe 75 days last winter with barely a mark on them. The BMG logo'd Gamma MX Hoody and jacket are great and also unscathed after lots of hard use, summer and winter. If anything it's too warm for summer alpine use so I've got a Gamma SL Hybrid for warm days...and for cold days the Atom SV Hoody. For legs, the Gamma AR trousers are great, and not black! 



Rock Climbing in Wales!

~ Tuesday 19th November 2013

 Yes, in November! Just back from a great trip, thanks everyone for tea, cake and sofas to sleep on. 2 days climbing were a bonus. 

The team approaching Gogarth Main Cliff.

Next day we went to Tremadog, climbed Vector and Valour. Luckily it got dark before we could do any other routes starting with "V"

Linking the first 2 pitches of Vector to avoid leading the last pitch

Seconding the excitingly damp top pitch.

Autumn Skiing

~ Thursday 7th November 2013

 Loads of snow recently and perfect weather today so it looked like time for another trip up the Pigne d'Arolla. Last time it was dry all the way to 2700m, then perfect spring snow. This time we skinned from the car park. Good conditions on the way up, but not ideal for coming down...calf-deep crust over boulders on the lower part - nice! Lovely pic-nic in the sun at the Col des Vignettes though. 

Pretending not to be an Arcteryx advert...wearing Atom LT Hoody and M-270 Harness

Dent de Perroc, Aiguille de la Tsa and Douves Blanches

Mont Collon, Eveque


Good skiing on the glacier

Good skiing on the Glacier


Tracks say it all. No point pretending it was powder. 

Autumn News

~ Monday 4th November 2013

 Snow down to 1800m yesterday, and more forecast...

Ski season is booking up fast but there are still a few dates available. 

New lift in Grimentz to look forward to. Will it be finished in time for the season? They're spending CHF25million so you don't have to get the bus anymore! Because you're worth it. But then you won't be allowed to ski the mines face anymore either...

Patrouille des Glaciers training progressing slowly but surely. 


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