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  1. #26
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    Aug 2007
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    Will do. Thanks.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  2. #27
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    Jan 2014
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    Gaperville, CO
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    Hopefully get the final two days covered tonight. And eventually, a little bit on things learned in the course of the trip -- about equipment, training, bc travel with a random group and myself.

    The trip exceeded my expectations in most every way. I got incredibly lucky with the weather, snow, avalanche conditions, the guide and the group. I was basically perptually stoked the whole time (when my adrenaline wasn't pumping too much.) Yet it also raised some weird shit for me that I'm sorting through. Maybe @Vendul's cozy inn and great skiing off lifts from town just ruined me.

    Dan's favorite adjective these days is "mega". As in a "mega good line."

    The whole experience was pretty simply "mega".

  3. #28
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    Jan 2008
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    Paper St. Soap Co.
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    Awesome, would love to do a trip like this, thanks for posting.

  4. #29
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    Jan 2014
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    Got day 4 up. Hopefully final day tomorrow. Or mounting a mags skis, we'll see.

  5. #30
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    Jan 2012
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    Snowttingham
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    did the guide empty your bag for you on the 1st day?
    "dont need that......dont need that......dont need that......what you got that for?"
    what skis, bindings and boots you on?

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TGR Forums mobile app
    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossymcg View Post
    did the guide empty your bag for you on the 1st day?
    "dont need that......dont need that......dont need that......what you got that for?"
    what skis, bindings and boots you on?

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TGR Forums mobile app
    Nope. I suppose he assumed it was our choice to suffer. As long as we had the gear he did required he didn't care. My 40L pack was stuffed pretty full. As were the two Dutch bros ~50L airbag packs. It made the guides 25L pack look pretty sweet to ski with. To be fair, he had a full change of clothes stashed at his guesthouse on the second night.

    I certainly have a few changes I would make, but overall there weren't many things I didn't use over the course of the week.

    I was on Down CD104Ls, Vipecs, and Hawx XTD 130s.

    A full gear post coming: what to drop, what to add, what to change, what worked well, what didn't work as well as possible.

  7. #32
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    Jan 2012
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    Snowttingham
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Nope. I suppose he assumed it was our choice to suffer. As long as we had the gear he did required he didn't care. My 40L pack was stuffed pretty full. As were the two Dutch bros ~50L airbag packs. It made the guides 25L pack look pretty sweet to ski with. To be fair, he had a full change of clothes stashed at his guesthouse on the second night.

    I certainly have a few changes I would make, but overall there weren't many things I didn't use over the course of the week.

    I was on Down CD104Ls, Vipecs, and Hawx XTD 130s.

    A full gear post coming: what to drop, what to add, what to change, what worked well, what didn't work as well as possible.
    thats some heavy rig you lugged about.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TGR Forums mobile app
    i dont kare i carnt spell or youse punktuation properlee, im on a skiing forum

  8. #33
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossymcg View Post
    thats some heavy rig you lugged about.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using TGR Forums mobile app
    Lighter than most the group -- everyone except the guide who was on Veritcals, homemade 90mm skis and tlt5s.

    The CD104Ls @ 1600g/ski w/ vipecs were lighter than BD converts w/ Radicals or Kastle Tx98s with kingpins. And a selection of beef boots like Vulcans and Scott somethings.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    246
    Awesome TR and amazing photos!

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    Lighter than most the group -- everyone except the guide who was on Veritcals, homemade 90mm skis and tlt5s.

    The CD104Ls @ 1600g/ski w/ vipecs were lighter than BD converts w/ Radicals or Kastle Tx98s with kingpins. And a selection of beef boots like Vulcans and Scott somethings.
    Will be interested to see what you think is perfect. I know you've already mentioned 95 underfoot.
    Were you able to recharge at night? I have always wanted to do a traverse but have worried about growing fatigue by the end of the week. Wonder if it wouldn't be better to base yourself in one town and make loops or out-and-backs for a week. Not nearly as cool, but you'd be in clean clothes every night, showered, etc.

  11. #36
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    Jan 2014
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    Final day posted up. If you tour, its something you should really try to do one season. It's pretty mindboggling.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 04-05-2019 at 06:46 AM.

  12. #37
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    Were you able to recharge at night? I have always wanted to do a traverse but have worried about growing fatigue by the end of the week. Wonder if it wouldn't be better to base yourself in one town and make loops or out-and-backs for a week. Not nearly as cool, but you'd be in clean clothes every night, showered, etc.
    I found it surprisingly easy to recharge. We made a point of trying to get to the next hut a few hours before dinner to give plenty of time to unwind, eat well, and then get to sleep early. I was really worried about the growing fatigue going into the trip. Turns out I was more mentally fatigued than anything else having never toured for 5 days straight, let alone in that sort of terrain. By the end I was ready to be done, but not because I was physically toast. Of course YMMV as I can sleep damn near anywhere and live at 6000'.

    I definitely think there is merit in a base and touring from there. We were all pushing Dan to design such a trip out of his and Sereina's guest house in the future. But that said, there is also something super novel about moving from hut to hut, and eventually between two great ski towns under your own power.
    Last edited by doebedoe; 04-04-2019 at 09:55 PM.

  13. #38
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    Jan 2014
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    Equipment run down.

    Skis:
    Took: Down CD104L. 181cm. These worked well, but were a bit wider than necessary for the trip. Also...something is off regarding the tune of one of them that I need to figure out. 1600g was a fine weight to carry along for me.
    Next time: I'll go 90-95 with some tip rocker. Honestly I probably would've prefered my Praxis Yetis. The biggest reason is because steep, icy, sidehill skintracks are pretty unavoidable. And the leverage of a bigger ski can suck on them.

    Bindings
    Took: Vipecs w/ 110 brakes.
    Next time: Something simpler like a Salomon Mtn or Dynafit Speed Rad or Plum Guide. Reliability is the name of the game (okay, maybe speed rads are out). I like how Vipecs ski and in CO I love the easy switch to hike mode. But light and simple is right for these situations. I did feel better skiing Vipecs off lifts the few days before the tour though.

    The biggest problem here was the binding/ski combo. It meant that I had to go with 120mm ski crampons which are too wide to work well on most skin tracks set in the alps....especially when you actually need ski crampons. The vipec crampons are also a bit over engineered, and the wide size + skinny skin track + over engineering led to one of my pins that attached that crampon being bent in the course of use. It didn't fail, but it didn't inspire confidence.

    Skins
    Took and Next Time: Contour Hybrids. They got the glue dialed. Right amount of glide/grip and I've loved the easy rip glue this year.

    Boots
    Took: Atomic Hawx XTD 130. I was happy with these, especially because I skied lifts with them before and after. The liner sucks and should be replaced next year. But the boots ski well and I had 0 blisters or other fuckery on the trip. I am also able to size them just one size down from Brannock because the heel and calf fits me so well. Plenty of room for circulation in the toes.
    Next time:. If you were just touring, I could see going even lighter as on a 5 day traverse you're not going to be skiing at your limit.


    Other stuff I noticed:
    - Bringing a hardshell and softshell like many packing lists is overkill. Bring a hardshell and something you like skinning in.
    - One pair of pants, duh. So many lists recommend two. WIth a pair of hardhsells with good venting, a second set would be overkill. I wore Flylow Magnum Pros and that worked fine.
    - Wind shirts rule. My patagonia houdini vest was on a lot of the time
    - I basically lived in FreeRide Systems Bross 3.0 hoodie for the trip. It was on for early morning skinning until I was in warm full sunlight. And it was on for skiing, and on around the hut. Frankly it is a bit heavy for such adventures and doesn't pack very well. So ultimately I'd probably take a hoodless, lighter weight fleece
    - I need to buy a really compressible down jacket. I have a hybrid down jacket with fleece back and arms (thanks to Brooks Range going out of business.) This took up extra pack space and weight.
    - Get a short fucking ice axe. I looked like a moron and it was overkill. Something like a BD Raven Ultra in 50/55cm would be better and weight less.
    - Grivel Skimatic crampons are dope and worked great.
    - A secondary collapsible water bottle was really nice. Most of my group just had a single 1L bottle for the day. I like hydrating and when water was available, that extra .7l bladder was super handy.
    - Battery pack (a small Anker that holds 2-3x phone charges) was great to have. Also, bring spare camera batteries rather than bulky charging equipment.
    - My first aid / rescue / blister kit could be smaller. My guide probably would've given me shit for my lil emergency bivy but it felt good to have.
    - DONT FORGET YOUR FUCKING POLES. Adjustable poles with long touring grips would've been nice. I had rentals with tiny ass race baskets cause I'm an idiot. Luckily Leavenworth skier brought mine back to the states.

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    526
    Thanks for taking the time to write up, Iíve had this trip in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do but now itís a much higher priority!

  15. #40
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to write up, I’ve had this trip in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do but now it’s a much higher priority!
    My pics do no justice to the scale of the place or the quality of the skiing. Also keep in mind that Euro guides are much cheaper than US based ones for routes like this. I'd highly recommend Dan who knows the terrain as well as anyone you can hire.

    And a note on cost for those curious:

    Total: 1250 (trip) + 100 (tip) + 100 (4x25 hut extras) ~ 1500 total. Or $300 per day for guided skiing, lodging, and eating and drinking well.

    - Guided trip: 1240CHF (~1250USD.) Note: American Alpine Club counts for the discount, bring proof of membership.
    - Tip: small. Tipping is not common for Euro guides like it is for US/Can. At least thats what Dan insisted and many others told me. I gave him 100CHF cause it was fookin' rad.
    - Huts: breakfast/dinner are included. Lunches are around 6-12CHF depending on just sandwhich vs sandwhich/chocolate/fruit. Beers around ~6CHF per .5L. Coffee (besides breakfast) around 4CHF. Liters of tea are 6CHF, or 8CHF for 2L. I spent around 20-30CHF average a night but I wasn't turning down afternoon cheese plates, coffees or beers. That included lunch 3 days.
    - Transport: depends on where you're going, but Andermatt -> Realp (5CHF) was included, as was my luggage transfer to Engelberg (12CHF).
    Last edited by doebedoe; 04-05-2019 at 09:16 AM.

  16. #41
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    Sep 2001
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    Great accounting doebedoe.

    Also, Dan knows the secret stashes of farmers lifts and much less known tours and huts. He swore me to online secrecy.

    http://www.andermatt-guides.ch/EN/about.html
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Boulder
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    973
    Nice! Like many others, I've had this one in the back of my mind for a bit. Thanks for documenting - good motivation to get out there and do it.

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    526
    This is probably much better to do in March than any earlier, am I correct?

  19. #44
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    Aug 2013
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    Ah, looks like Dan only does the one trip per season?

  20. #45
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    Jan 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    This is probably much better to do in March than any earlier, am I correct?
    Yep, the trip this season is about as early as you can do it. The huts close for the winter season and open only around mid-late March. Additionally longer days, more stability and deeper snowpack. Most companies do it later (early April) to ensure even greater likelihood of good weather, but it also means on average hotter weather and crappier snow.

    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    Ah, looks like Dan only does the one trip per season?
    Yep. If you have a group of 4-5 that wants to go, he may be hook up a seperate, private one. His company has around 30 guides he works with locally, most of whom know the nearby terrain very well.

  21. #46
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    Jan 2008
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    Thanks for all the details. Upped the trip on my priority queue as well, plus I can get a nonstop flight from SAN to Zurich. Is this year one of the better years for snow in the Alps, seems like the had a few years of very dry winters? Is this route still doable in very dry years? I know very little about typical conditions there.

  22. #47
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    Sep 2001
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    This has been a good winter for Europe. I don't know enough to claim that's the Urner is good in very dry years though. FWIW, the zone is known as one of the most snow sure in the Alps.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  23. #48
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    Oct 2003
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    tahoe
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    dayum!!!! thanx for sharing+++

  24. #49
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    Dec 2010
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    The 8th best place in the LBP
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    Great TR man, thanks.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    446
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    My pics do no justice to the scale of the place or the quality of the skiing. Also keep in mind that Euro guides are much cheaper than US based ones for routes like this. I'd highly recommend Dan who knows the terrain as well as anyone you can hire.

    And a note on cost for those curious:

    Total: 1250 (trip) + 100 (tip) + 100 (4x25 hut extras) ~ 1500 total. Or $300 per day for guided skiing, lodging, and eating and drinking well.

    - Guided trip: 1240CHF (~1250USD.) Note: American Alpine Club counts for the discount, bring proof of membership.
    - Tip: small. Tipping is not common for Euro guides like it is for US/Can. At least thats what Dan insisted and many others told me. I gave him 100CHF cause it was fookin' rad.
    - Huts: breakfast/dinner are included. Lunches are around 6-12CHF depending on just sandwhich vs sandwhich/chocolate/fruit. Beers around ~6CHF per .5L. Coffee (besides breakfast) around 4CHF. Liters of tea are 6CHF, or 8CHF for 2L. I spent around 20-30CHF average a night but I wasn't turning down afternoon cheese plates, coffees or beers. That included lunch 3 days.
    - Transport: depends on where you're going, but Andermatt -> Realp (5CHF) was included, as was my luggage transfer to Engelberg (12CHF).
    Thanks for the mega-awesome report. It's helpful to get an idea of real costs. I've been starting to plan a trip in two years for a... a-hem... monumental birthday that's coming up. I was debating the traditional Haute Route versus one of the variations like Ortler or now Urner routes. This really sounds like a good combination of getting the full touring, hut to hut experience along with good skiing.

    Any reason to think that split-boarding would be an issue? Also, is Dan indeed Swiss? He sounds great. I'd prefer someone local or at least European to get the full experience.

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