Personal log of a novice backcountry skier in his backyard
I’ve got a problem: and it’s called Black Diamond Factor 130‘s insoles. I really ski much better when I use them (uphill and downhill), but when I do they give me horrible heel blisters. When I don’t use them… no blisters… but my feet are far too loose, specially skiing down. What to do? I don’t know… I’ll have to think about it.
Yesterday David, another member of the catalan surfing diaspora living in the Basque Country, called me and said he had today off and felt like trying out the splitboard he’d been working on all Xmas. I said why not? The forecast was for a fine day (the last until who knows when), my flu was almost over and I had little work. We settled for San Lorenzo (alt 2,271m) in La Rioja, just above Valdezcaray. It gets less snow than the Pyrenees but it’s close enough for a one-dayer and neither of us had ever been there.
We got there at 10h30 this morning; the carpark was almost empty and it was damn cold. We suited up and started our way through the lower slopes. Later we moved E to get to the upper ridge. By then we were in the sun but a nasty wind was picking up, getting stronger and stronger. We got to the top lift of the resort (shut down btw) and put on our skiing knives… except I broke one in the process… damn! By then my feet were in pain -specially my right heel, where I suffered a nasty blister in Saioa a month ago and where the skin is still very tender-, the wind was very cold and there was no one else. We climbed up and then it was my left heel that started hurting badly. The wind was getting stronger again and it was blowing away the powder. About 70m short of the summit the situation was not getting any better and we decided to abort, peel our skins off and ski down.
The snow was nice all the way, specially the non-groomed part at the top. Once back at the carpark, I checked my heels: right heel ok, sore and tender but no blister (due to the protective Compeed strip I put on right at the start). But my left heel showed the beginning of a blister not unlike the one I have had on my right heel. Definitely time to think of what to do with those boots. Can’t really sell them as the market for second hand skiing boots is very small and I’d get only peanuts!
Keep suffering? Use them without the insoles? Don’t know…