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Vail Pass Sit-Ski Cat Trip

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been living in my van and skiing at a few resorts around Colorado for the last month, but decided it was about time to get into the backcountry.

I cant hike up anymore so jumped onto a CatSkiing trip at Vail Pass with the Vail Powder Guides and had a blast. It's the first time I've been off piste and in deep stuff and it was awesome.



I've been skiing at Winter park for the last week or so but drove down to Vail Pass the night before and parked up to get some sleep before the big day.

This was my view as I shut the van door to go to sleep.



And this is what greeted me at 0730 this morning when I opened the door to get rid of the stench of my own farts.



I leave the wheelchair outside at night to save on room in the back of the van. I lock it up just incase anyone wants to be a funny ****** and move it away or something.

A big day called for a big breakfast:



I decided to go with eggs and beans, I figured that in the case of an avi I could form a protective barrier of methane and then light it to free myself in some kind of explosive recovery technique.

I'll never take being in places like this for granted:



On to the skiing:



Massive thanks to the guys for being willing to take me on the hill when they had no previous experience with sitskiers. Most operations would of been put off and made up an excuse about not being accessible or something, but Ben and Jenna were up for it and everything worked out great.

The main obstacle of getting in and out of the Cat was solved by a trusty plank of wood acting as a ramp.



I strapped on a K2 Seth for the day, my first time on a fat ski.

Everyone gets ready for the first run of the day after being dropped of by the Cat.



It took a few turns to get used to sitting back on the ski and trying to ski without the outriggers. My first couple of turns were crap as I would instinctively put the outrigger down only for them to get caught in the powder and cause me to wipe out. In the end I had to basically ski with them pretty much in the air and balance on just the ski.



I started off trying to make turns at too slow a speed and would just sink into the powder. This is my version of a snow angel.



Luckily the guides were at hand to dig me out whenever I got stuck. Thanks.



After the first run I got it dialed in and started having a blast though:



















Gratuious powder skiing face shot:



Stoke level 10.

This is Ben. Ben let me ski for free, and then let me keep the K2 Seth at the end of the day.



I like Ben.

Vail Powder Guides FTW.
post #2 of 18
Looks like a great time and a great crew. How long have you been sit skiing and how long did it to take you to get the hang of deep powder? Great to see someone like you continuing to live life to the fullest.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
This is my third season in a sit-ski and today was my first time in deep powder.

I found the biggest thing was having to fine tune the balance on the ski so I could ski without the outriggers. Turning was a case of making sure I had enough speed to maintain the angulation of a turn without falling into the turn and sinking into the powder. If I put an outrigger down it would get caught in the powder and wipe me out.
post #4 of 18
That is stoke squared. Nice!
post #5 of 18
Do they make powder (wider) outriggers?
post #6 of 18
Andy, you are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.

Check your PMs...
post #7 of 18
Mad props to Ben and Vail Powder Guides for maximum stoke factor.
For anyone who doesn't get it, THIS is the face of skiing.



Stoke level 10 indeed.

And this face shot ain't so bad either. Thanks Andy for sharing this.


post #8 of 18
Great story & Pix.

Visit the folks at Steamboat Powdercats. They are active with the sit-ski community. Tell 'em I sent you: http://steamboatpowdercats.com/

Michael Barrett
post #9 of 18
Truly inspiring Andy and some welcome holiday cheer
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Great story & Pix.

Visit the folks at Steamboat Powdercats. They are active with the sit-ski community. Tell 'em I sent you: http://steamboatpowdercats.com/

Michael Barrett
I'm already heading out with them in mid jan, TR will follow.
post #11 of 18
dood!

sweet TR.

looks like you got some goods.

loved the down-to-earth conversational tone too (and your thinking ahead about how meals can be used throughout the day to possibly save your hide in an avy).

also, somebody would have to be a serious douche to steal somebody's wheel chair locked to the back of their van.

anyway, good on you for doing what most of us always think about but rarely pack up and do!

keep the TR's coming, too.
post #12 of 18
Andy,
You are an inspiration. Thanks for posting all of this great information and good luck in the future.
Thanks again,
Dan
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiAndy View Post

A big day called for a big breakfast:

I decided to go with eggs and beans, I figured that in the case of an avi I could form a protective barrier of methane and then light it to free myself in some kind of explosive recovery technique.

Your sense of humor is great and the TR/van conversion are very inspirational. Glad you had a good day and keep it coming!
post #14 of 18
Hmmmm, I dunno Andy isn't a fat solo ski considered a snowboard? I'm glad you had such an awesome time powder skiing.

Here's a link to a AirHawk seat cushion dealer. I have one for long motorcycle trips, it's fantastic. Its a cushion made of several air cells that can be individually adjusted. I thought you could use one to prevent pressure sores. It took me a while to spring for one since they're so expensive, but it does the job well.

http://www.shapefitting.com/category.aspx?categoryID=54
post #15 of 18
Saw a couple sit skiers in Mammoth. Those guys could really rip.

Number 13 Die Living!
post #16 of 18
What an incredible trip report. Looks like you and everyone had a great time. I'm jealous.
post #17 of 18
Fnatastic trip report. One of the best!!
post #18 of 18
Awesome! you Rock!
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