backcountry skiing with the foothill freak

The founding father of Knuckle Dragger Technologies (KDT) and the folding ski.

About Freakin Equipment

The board of choice

When it comes to extreme-ly low elevation riding, the true freaker must be adaptable. Where traversing and rolling terrain is concerned, free heels are the way to go. Free heels also come in handy for crossing streets and parking lots for those who are determinded to "ski all the way" back to the car.

For steep, rotten and unpredictable snow, which are pretty much the best conditions you can ask for in the foothills, locked heels are best. Locked heels decrease your odds of face-plants on rock strewn, shallow snowpacks. Toting alpine touring gear around the foothills also let's bystanders know that you mean business.

For Xxxtra-extreme-ly low snowpacks, ski-boards (aka "snowboards") float high and turn easily on 10cm of snow, as well as sandstone, quartsite, and dense shrubbery. While "riding" the snowboard, it's okay to "cop a 'tude". Additionally, If you're faced with snowboarding down a long, completely wind scoured and snowless ridge, you can always feel good about the fact that at least you're not ruining a perfectly good pair of skis.

Whatever you choose to ride, be sure it's vintage. Nothing makes a clearer statement than raging on some skis found in a dumpster or won from a hot dog eating contest.

Additional Essentials

Impact rated goggles are a must to prevent eyeball Shish Kabob. Primarily worn on the way down, they also come in handy for asending particularly nasty patches of scrubbies. If you can't find them in a quality ski shop, check Home Depo.

Steel ski poles are heavier than their aluminum cousins, but they stay straighter longer and are far more satisfying when wacking through deep brush. With steel poles you can easily knock off dead branches and create a direct and tidy line through the wilds. Upon descending, use them to faithfully deflect potential "weenie whackers" or punjabi sticks. Leave the carbon fiber at home!

Maps are pretty usless in the field as they tend to confuse and cause dissention among the ranks. However, keep a good map at home. That way when you do finally find your way home from the wilderness you can prove to yourself that you knew where you were all along.