Friday, January 27, 2012


This past week I have had the good fortune to be able to get out and about on my touring skis .

Each day whilst I start out with minus degrees after about half an hour I am so warm that I am down to the short sleeved t shirt . My equipment is quite old compared to that used by the folks I have been meeting along the way . When I started to Telemark in 1996 I was using the soft shoe and the 3 pin locking arrangement . Whilst teaching on Kitzsteinhorn I bought another guys redundant telemark skis and later the boots when he replaced them also .

Telemarking started for me when I met a Norwegian guy who was doing all the on piste and off piste skiing that I was enjoying but with a great deal more panache . At that time I was also using a snowboard and whilst I still have three this is one discipline I have not used in recent years . Seeing a guy heading up the piste with a snowboard strapped to his pack has me considering whether I want to carry a board and the boots and make the change at the top for the 10 minute return journey . Since I need a little practice to get the snowboard technique nailed once more and having to carry telemark skis back down , I am somewhat reluctant to make the effort .

Wednesday on the climb I came across a lady , Linda who is a local school teacher , using a newer version of the ski bindings which I shall call generation 3 .

These bindings allow the wearer to have several size steps for the gradient but when you take the skins off , they lock up so that they are similar to normal bindings . When wearing “ skins ” on the skis you move the foot forward and the bristle of the “ skin ” grips the snow thus normally preventing any backward slippage . The effect is like when you stroke a cat’s fur , stroking with the grain is fine but as soon as you reverse the fur mats up .

My skis bindings are I guess generation 2 , in that they have a V shaped nose for the boot tip to slide into and a metal harness attached through a spring at the front that goes under the boot sole to the rear and then locks onto the back of the boot .

For the step I have cut out a block of wood , inserted a pin to slide into the front of the rear binding block and then I drop two nails through thus locking all in place . Thankfully I have yet to have the nails come out whilst the skis are in motion . One day I will further adapt this arrangement so that I can have a two stage step also . I know how I am going to be able to do this but finding the time to visit my friend’s workshop is the key to the solution .

Thursday I was able to walk up with another lady , Margaret , another local who enjoys ski Touring most days . Margaret has Generation 4 equipment . Last year she rented this equipment and found it more to her liking .

Essentially this is a dedicated boot and binding situation where the boot has indentations in the nose for the clips to lock fast and the rear has a multi purpose function allowing several steps as well as to lock the boot when you decide to use the skis for alpine skiing .

The great advantage of course is that the binding is more compact than even alpine ski bindings but to utilise this system means bindings and boots that cost in the range of a thousand euros . Those that enjoy the flexibility this system offers no doubt save a lot of energy with the lightness and ease of adjustment of the steps whilst on the trek .

Having to fit the wooden blocks at the start of a trek I am now finding that I can most times remove them at the top of the climb without having to unstrap from the skis . Most people are amused by my self built solution but then it cost little to make and serves the purpose required . My biggest problem with my equipment is that the boots are upwards of 20 years old and not being an exact fit tend to give the outside bone on the side of the foot a bit of grief after 3 hours or so of use . There are problems with the buckles also in that one of the toe ( front ) buckles has broken . Perhaps Gaumont might think they will gain favourable publicity by providing a replacement . Doubt that there would be any replacements in stock this stage of the game . Anyone with old boots with this style of buckle that can help out ?

After the climb today I took off across country in the “ Off Piste ” crossed a couple of roads following others' ski tracks and finished up at their home . Saw some tracks leading up from below so figured they had come in from the road so off I went down and down until I found I was amongst the trees on a narrow foot trail .

Normally you would walk the section in minutes but with fallen trees and branches overloaded with soft snow and drifted snow I took a few falls crawled under branches and eventually returned to civilisation intact but very weary from the effort . Suffice to say I won’t be following that route in the near future .

Tonight’s sunset is a joy to behold and I guess it will be pretty cold again in the morning .

Thursday, January 5, 2012


New Years Resolution posted in December 2011 !

Posted in my Blog a request to “ Facebook Friends ” to post to their wall my “2012 New Years Resolution ” link here and encourage their “ friends ” to take similar action !

Fact is there are many people out there with a “ disability " and suffer “ discrimination ” in some form or other ! Blogs create statistics as a by product of the visits to the site and when you consider that Facebook reports that there are about 2500 “friends ” listed on my home page and there were fewer than 100 visits to the blog post then it is obviously a sign of an apathy of which I don’t want any part .

Each day I get requests from “ supposed friends ” to visit their “ photos ” via a link ! Of course these are outside Facebook control BUT I have recently been furnished by Facebook with a demand the read their following requirements ! Standards are necessary in any social interaction and I am NOT FORCING anyone to be my “ friend ” but those that wish to apply should consider that my only purpose for being on face book is to help “ Paralympic Sport ” ! Playing games , reading and viewing photos on others’ sites is time consuming and even clearing my email inbox takes considerable resources . In my post I had said that THOSE that do not wish to respect my views should “ unfriend ” themselves and judging by the lack of interest in that post then the greater majority of you should oblige me by doing me that courtesy .
Everyone knows the expression “ With friends like this , who needs enemies ”?

Living in a part of Austria at present that has such a slow Broadband detracts from my ability to enjoy the internet . Whilst typing this post there is 16bits/sec available up and down , but click on some Ad. and 2 or 3 MB will disappear at the snap of a finger , seems that advertising is more important than the consumers’ needs to these providers .


I am here to help “ Paralympic Sport ” and for NO OTHER PURPOSE ! Whilst you choose to watch my every move you can filter out those that are canvassing me and remove “ proposals and even requests for “friending ”! People can join me on Twitter at @Skippydetour or email me at : ! When you ban me for “ Helping Others ” and for requesting “ friend ”on a guy who has blogged about me and I have known for more than five years then something is seriously amiss ! George Christiansen had told me that he does not use Facebook when I recommended him to Twitter but in Dec2011 I saw a reference to an account in facebook in his blog and thus sought the link and earned a 48hr suspension !

Of course your admin people are so perfect you do not make mistakes SO there has been no apology !

For those of “ My Friends ” who wish to stick around :

Facebook community standards

Facebook is a global community where millions of people connect with each other. Each of these people represents unique opinions, ideals and cultural values. Out of consideration for this diversity, we work to foster an environment where everyone can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights of others.
When millions of people get together to share things that are important to them, sometimes these discussions and posts include controversial topics and content. We believe this online dialog mirrors the exchange of ideas and opinions that happens throughout people's lives offline, in conversations at home, at work, in cafes and in classrooms.
As a trusted community of friends, family, coworkers and classmates, Facebook is largely self-regulated. People who use Facebook can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive. To balance the needs and interests of a global community we ask everyone to respect the following content standards:
We want our members to feel safe on the site. Any credible threats to harm others will be removed. We may also remove support for violent organizations.
Promoting self-harm
Facebook is not a place for self-destructive behavior. To that end we don't allow the promotion of suicide, "cutting", eating disorders or illegal drug use. We take threats of suicide very seriously and will contact the relevant authorities when we become aware of them.
Bullying & harassment
As a community, we place a high value on respecting each other, and take reports of harassment very seriously. We take action when private individuals are bullied or persistently contacted against their wishes. While we encourage you to make meaningful new connections, please keep in mind that contacting strangers or people you've never met in person can be a form of harassment.
Hate speech
Facebook does not tolerate hate speech. Please grant each other mutual respect when you communicate here. While we encourage the discussion of ideas, institutions, events and practices, it is a serious violation of our terms to single out individuals based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease.
Graphic violence
While we are a platform for sharing events that take place in your life and around the world, any inappropriately graphic content will be removed when found on the site. Sadistic displays of violence against people or animals, or depictions of sexual assault, are prohibited.
Sex & nudity
We have a strict "no nudity or pornography" policy. Any content that is inappropriately sexual will be removed. Before posting questionable content, be mindful of the consequences for you and your environment.
Theft, vandalism or fraud
We are trying to make the world a more open, connected and ultimately better place. Organising acts that harm others through theft, vandalism or fraud is a violation of our terms.
Identity & privacy
Facebook is a community where real people connect and share using their real identities. When you represent yourself accurately on Facebook, you are helping to build trust and safety for everyone. Claiming to be someone else, creating multiple accounts or falsely representing an organisation undermines this trust and violates our terms. Please also refrain from publishing other people's personal information.
Intellectual property
Before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect copyrights, trademarks and other legal rights.
Phishing & spam
We take the safety of our members seriously and work to prevent attempts to compromise their privacy or security. We also ask that you respect our members by not contacting them for commercial purposes without their consent.
Reporting abuse
If you see something on Facebook that you believe violates our terms, you can report it to us. Please keep in mind that reporting a person, organisation or piece of content doesn't guarantee its removal from the site.
Because of the diversity of our community, it's possible that something could be disagreeable or disturbing to you without meeting the criteria for being removed or blocked. For this reason, we also offer personal controls over what you see, such as the ability to hide or quietly cut ties with people, Pages or applications that offend you.
Content that does violate our terms may be removed from our site and (in some cases) subject to legal or other action. ”


I hope that people will follow my wishes and help those with “ Disability” ! To you that choose to do so , I wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year !