How to convince partners that weight matters?

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    Topic
  • #17284
    brandon.eric.berg
    Participant

    I have a consistent backcountry ski/climbing partner that firmly believes that you don’t need lighter gear to do bigger objectives. You just need to be stronger. What evidence based reasoning can I use to convince them that weight is an important factor in successfully achieving objectives?

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #17290

    1) Get light gear, get fit, and leave him in the dust. Repeat.
    2) Give him a 100# weight vest and challenge him to prove it.
    3) Have him read this: https://skimo.co/skinning-slope-angle
    4) Find a different partner.

    The best mountain athletes in the world obsessively test all the relevant factors that contribute to their performance. Reducing weight is a unanimous conclusion.

    Keymaster
    Steve House on #17432

    I have never heard anyone dig in their heels on that one. Interesting.

    Could there be some other factor at work? Does s/he very frugal? I don’t know what else, but this is such an obvious way to improve performance (to carry less weight) that its really hard for me to believe someone seriously engages this position.

    On my solo of K7, 8,000′ of climbing in 44 hours round trip, I carried 7lbs.

    When Vince Anderson and I climbed the Rupal Face on Nanga Parbat we obsessed about every gram. We cut the labels out of our clothes. Final verdict: We left BC carrying two 25lb packs with everything we needed to climb and descend the biggest (and very technical) mountain wall in the world, 15,000 vertical feet of climbing.

    Hope that helps.

    Participant
    jakob.melchior on #17726

    what objectives and what gear does he/do you currently use?
    for climbing, like in Steves examples, the reasoning for lighter pack=better is quite straight forward.

    But when it comes to skiing objectives I think it gets a bit more complex. I tour both with people who have too heavy gear at times as well as people who can’t see the point of not bringing skimo raceskis all the time. I gravitate more towards touring with the first group.

    Personally, I have 3-4 pairs of touring skis that I regularly use but some of my partners have just one all-round pair which obviously results in more compromises. As long as no-one shows up with 120mm skis and frame bindings for a long tour I am normally fine. If I know I am fitter I will generally bring heavier skis since I prefer them downhill. If the others bring raceskis I will still be on my Backland UL 85. If they prefer to go faster then fuck them. They should have just brought real skis. But no waiting on the downhill 😉 (somewhat joking)

    I really like light gear and have convinced a couple of people of the benefits (which shouldn’t be too hard) but also the success of an objective should not solely depend on whether you have a 1500g ski or an 800g ski. Scott’s point 100% stands for racing or FKT-type of objectives but for touring objectives, I personally think maximising performance by lighter gear shouldn’t always be the goal. I think being fit and having homogeneous partners with similar ideas for objectives is more important. I just find challenging tour done in 10h (with heavier skis) compared to 8h (with ultra-light gear) but with better skiing more fun.

    Participant
    hafjell on #17771

    I think being fit and having homogeneous partners with similar ideas for objectives is more important.

    This is especially true if the objective is long and/or committing. Similar fitness and similar gear solves a few problems, including pace and distance. The race crowd can get down everything, but it’s interesting that a lot of serious backcountry descents on steep, exposed lines are done on 85+ underfoot and longer than 162…
    So many good skis these days to choose from.
    Edit to add: the trend is toward lighter gear. Nobody is asking for heavier skis or boots. Damper and stiffer, perhaps, but not heavier.

    Participant
    jakob.melchior on #18157

    So many good skis these days to choose from.
    Edit to add: the trend is toward lighter gear. Nobody is asking for heavier skis or boots. Damper and stiffer, perhaps, but not heavier.

    true skis got lighter with similar performance and nobody really wishes that his skis were heaver while performing the same BUT…
    – wider (up to a point) skis better is most snow conditions –> heavier
    – longer than 160cm race ski is better for most people >175cm –> heavier
    – damper –> heavier
    – overly stiff carbon ski aren’t nice so good stiff skis are on the heavier side. But I actually prefer a slightly softer ski for most skimounteneering.

    I think my point is don’t sacrifice performance (and fun skiing) by saving weight in the ski. Rather buy a lighter binding and a fast skin 😉

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