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~ Friday 24th January 2014

 Second car in the Evolene car park for the morning skinning today, with 5-10cm of cold fresh snow - extra points scored for skinning on powder days of course. Higher up it was pretty windy - the top of Evolene lifts is around 2600m and the amount of drifting snow was impressive.

The piste patrol had already blasted and ski-released lots of small-medium windslabs but you could see snow drifting everywhere. The old deep weak layer still exists on steep north-facing slopes, but yesterday and today's northerly wind is creating a big windslab risk on the other aspects, so today's bulletin mentions avalanche risk on all aspects again. Great.

I've just been asked for opinions on the Dynafit TLT5 and 6. My trusty TLT5s are now on their last legs - I'll be sad to bin them but bits are falling off faster than I can repair them! It's not really the boots' fault as they've been my main boot for 3 seasons and skied 200+ days, lots of lift access and day touring, ice climbing, etc. The tally is now up to 6(!) forefoot buckles replaced, both ankle pivots replaced, and both spoilers broken. Here's the latest:

Looks like the pin broke ages ago - the broken end is rusty. 

These have been great boots and you can find them fairly cheaply now so they're still a good buy. I've replaced them with the new TLT6, which seems to be an even better ski boot. It doesn't have the forefoot flex (which I quite liked for skinning) so feels much more solid downhill. The buckles are much better too - they stay closed while skinning and skiing for a start - although it remains to be seen how long they'll last. The shell has a bit more volume than the 5 but you'd be hard pressed to tell in a blind test. I got a shell size smaller (28.5 instead of 29) then had to get them stretched lots. The 6 comes with 2 tongues - stiff and very stiff. Even with the softer tongue they feel fine skiing a big ski (K2 Sidestash) Without a tongue they're great on small skis and it's still one of the best uphill boots around.