First Look: Stance Performance Socks for Hiking, Skiing and More

I’m happy to report that I’ve got some new socks in for review from Stance. There are several models/styles for varying sports.

Performance Socks

For general sports the “Performance” model is the stance offering. I’ve got some tab height nylon blends in black, gray and white. I just tried my first pair on a mountain bike ride this evening. I just happened to bag my biggest ascent ever. Coincidence?

Hiking Socks

I can’t wait to try out the mid cushion Jimmy Chin model hiking socks, and the merino wool blend hiking socks.

Skiing Socks

It’s 105 degrees here, but it’s never too early to get the gear ready for next ski season!  I’ve got a couple of pairs of Stance ski socks to try out when the snow flies.

Gunsight – July 16th 2023

My summer tradition of skiing Gunsight at Alta Ski Area continues. I hit Gunsight a couple of days ago and it was, uh, not good skiing.

The chute was full of large sun-cups, rocks, pine cones, branches, and even one lady’s season pass to Jackson Hole. When I got home it took me quite a bit of time to rub off the pine sap from the bottoms of my skis.

The summer road wasn’t open yet, so I had to hike up from the Albion parking lot, which added about another 2 miles round trip of hiking in the heat. At the start of the hike it was 80 degrees and when I finished it was 85.  Very hot for up there. By the time I got to the top of Gunsight I was asking myself if my season was finally over due to the ever worsening effort to reward ratio.

Little Cottonwood Canyon Avalanche Destruction – May 28, 2023

Captured some of the avalanche damage in Little Cottonwood Canyon today with my latest drone, a slow flyer which is designed for more “cinematic” filming. Only flown it a couple of times so far but I’m digging it. The damage is stunning, including of parts of Tanners Flat Campground. Below are two versions of the video, a long and a short one. The short one is going viral on Twitter, at over 40K views in 24 hours!

Long Version

Short Version

My Tecnica Zero-G Boot Boards Fell Apart! I 3D Printed Replacements

My Tecnica Zero G backcountry boots were extremely expensive. I was very surprised and unhappy to find that my boot boards, also known as Zeppas, had completely fallen apart. I had taken my liners out to let them air dry since they were wet with sweat from a tour and found the carnage:

I called the Tecnica dealer that I got the boots from and they did not have my size (25.5).  I called other local dealers and none of them had replacement Zeppas either.  I looked all over online and nothing. I called Tecnica and I was happy to hear that they would replace them under warranty. One problem. The replacements will not come until some time after November 1st.  It is may, and we have a 165 inch base. There is a LOT of backcountry skiing left this spring, plus fall of next season.  Waiting until November means missing out on potentially dozens of backcountry ski tours with my Tecnica Zero-G boots.


I’ve been into 3D design and 3D printing as a hobby for quite some time, and this was a perfect opportunity to put some of those skills to good use.  I designed up a new version of the Zeppa and did some test prints, revising and printing numerous times. Eventually I came up with a satisfactory design so I printed the Zeppas in a softer rubber material that has some cushion to it, like the original boot boards.

Replacement boot boards for Tecnica Zero-G boots.  Zeppas
3D printed replacement Zeppas (boot boards) for Tecnica Zero-G boots

The work awesome! Better than the originals!

Need Some?

I’ve had many people reach out to me who apparently have the same problem and want me to print them.  Sounds like a business opportunity!  Let me know if you need some.  Reach out to me via any of the social network links in the header.



Attempt to Ski Mount Olympus Memorial Couloir #2

Started the day intending to do something I’ve never done, ski Mount Olympus Couloir (a.k.a. Memorial Couloir #2). I tried but unfortunately (and fortunately) I did not ski it because it was too sketchy to even get to it.

But I did do something I haven’t done before after I got home! Ate a peanut butter sandwich in the shower. I wanted my peanut butter sandwich so much, and wanted a shower just as much…

Heaven’s Half Pipe Backcountry Skiing

Heaven’s Half Pipe was an…. “experience” yesterday. Every part of my body hurts. I’ve got blisters on my hands from my ski poles. Cuts all over my hands, arms, legs from bushwhacking.

If you’re looking for professional ski shredding, move along! This was a very long, difficult, suffer-fest of bushwhacking, sweating, slogging, post-holing, mashed potatoes-slush, misery, muscle cramps, and falling through broken snow bridges into rivers…

We also made a few ski turns.

Eddie’s High Nowhere

Today I imposed an interesting test on myself both physically and mentally. Lovely bride asked me why I like to do stuff like this and it kind of set me aback. I’ll have to ponder that.

Anyway… Today’s run was on Eddie’s High Nowhere, a special area where you can go in to skimo (ski mountaineering) mode inbounds. After lots of side-stepping and traversing you have to boot pack to the top, where you’ll almost always find a cornice as the winds howl in this spot. Today’s boot pack was so windy I couldn’t hold my skis in the typical place over my shoulder. So I crawled with my poles and skis ahead of me.

The top is an amazing spot. Super rugged. No-fall-zone in all directions. The drop from the cornice to the run is about the steepest thing there is at Alta. It’s practically straight down and today that drop was about as wide as a pair of skis. I chose no on that. I didn’t think side-sliding it was possible and I sure as hell wasn’t going to point a ski down it. So I went for the side entrance below the cornice. There was a steep drop there too. Because of the poor visibility I couldn’t tell if there was anything to avoid, bumps, ice, who knows. My mind wouldn’t let me point a ski down that either. So for perhaps the first time ever, I started thinking about how I was going to back out. I’d probably have to reverse boot pack down where I came from.

On the way out I checked the trees to see if I could find another way to enter Eddies, and I managed to find one. I had to traverse a section of trees that is extremely steep. The video can’t convey just how steep it is. Not even close. A fall there would result in a case of human pinball. So I took it slow and eventually found my way in. Once I was in, the skiing was on ice and breakable crust with wind blown dust on top. Did I mention the poor visibility? LOL So you don’t know if you’re going to hit a bump, slide on ice, or stop suddenly. It’s basically defensive skiing at that point.

It felt satisfying to get down Eddie’s today. That’s where my thighs cramped up a few weeks ago, so I had a bit of a mental demon to exercise.

Hilariously, after getting down one of the toughest runs at Alta, I crashed into a tree (yes I know, another tree) off the cat track at the top of Collins, in front of all the people who get off the lift. What a hack I’m sure they were thinking.

Alta’s New Sunnyside Lift is Alive! Scheduled to Open Jan 21, 2023

Stoked to hear that the final load testing of the new Sunnyside lift at Alta Ski Area is taking place. I’ve been watching the construction for months. See photo below:

A couple of days ago I watched the lift actually move. Load testing and brake testing is happening now and if all goes according to plan the lift will be carrying skiers this Saturday the 21st of January, 2023! Looking forward to riding it on Saturday!