Aside from how rewarding those first human-powered turns felt, the thing I remember most from my first time alpine touring is that I was hot -- ripping off layers and unzipping vents at a pace much higher than I had expected -- and then I was cold -- really, really, finger-freezingly, bone-chillingly cold.
After that first time out, I thought that maybe skinning just wasn't for me. I couldn't handle the swing from high-output climbing, to standing dead still, to zipping downhill in temps capable of frostbiting cheeks or a nose in just a few minutes. Fortunately, I found it in myself to take the plunge into the backcountry a couple more times. Over the course of a couple more tours, I found out that it was not that I was simply not cut out for alpine touring, but rather that I didn't really know how to properly layer my clothes for such a wide range of needs and experiences.Read More