Tag Archive for: travelling

Review of the High Trail Evotec Skins

Nova Sport AG, the Switzerland-based parent company of the High Trai brand, was founded in 2005 by Yvonne Rochat and since then has tried to perfect climbing skin technology. For years it offered the Classic, which is a glue-based, 100 percent mohair skin, but now the company has ventured into the “glueless” market with its Evotec skins, which are 65% mohair and 35% nylon. There are other companies that have been attempting to perfect the “glueless” skin but just like the traditional ski skin market there have been some growing pains along the way. The challenge is coming up with an adhesive formula that works in all kinds of conditions, from -30°C to +5°C and in light and dry snow or soaking wet slush. Not an easy feat but High Trail claims to have created a silicone-based adhesive coating that it says “has remarkable performance characteristics that are ground-breaking when compared to conventional adhesive skins.” In this review, we put to test the company’s claims about the Evotec skins.

To read the full review, log on to Backcountry Skiing Canada.

Review of the Mountain Hardwear Compressor Jacket & Pants

There have been very few moments in my lifetime when I wished I had a pair of down pants. The exceptions have been skiing at Mont Tremblant in Quebec during a -30°C spell and snowshoeing in Manitoba in -40°C weather. I suppose if I was scaling Everest or mushing dogs in the Yukon then I’d purchase a pair but usually a good set of thermal long john’s and a shell will see me through most backcountry excursions. A down jacket on the other hand is a part of my daily wardrobe in the winter months and for a lot of the shoulder season too. I’ll wear one belaying, skiing, hiking, climbing in the alpine, walking around town and, inevitably I’ll stuff one in my backpack for a mt. bike or fat bike ride as well, just in case. Needless to say I was excited to try out the Mountain Hardwear Super Compressor Hooded Jacket, with it’s Thermal Q Elite insulation that the company says is “designed to mimic the structure of down to create the highest warmth-to-weight ratio available in synthetic insulation.” (In other words it’s supposed to be as warm as down but will retain its loft and perform well in damp conditions.) As for the company’s insulated Compressor Pant that were also sent to review, well, let’s just say I wasn’t as keen to try them out. But, wow, was I ever surprised.

To read the full review, log on to Backcountry Skiing Canada.

Best Damn BBQ Oyster Recipe on the Planet

This time last year I was floating on the waters of Tomales Bay in California interviewing kayak guides and hearing about how the area was responsible for farming some of the best oysters on earth. When asked what their favourite way of eating them was, the responses were a toss-up between “raw” and “barbecued.” Having never had an oyster off the BBQ before, I asked them to indulge me, so after our interviews we went to the nearest seafood shack and I ordered some. They were delicious! Here’s the recipe for the best damn BBQ oysters on earth. And to read more about that day and the kayak guides, log on to:


Barbecued Oyster Recipe

  • 16 very fresh, large, whole live oysters
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • a few dashes of Tabasco
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Heat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the olive oil and the butter. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, tabasco, salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

Shuck the oysters and spoon a little sauce into each. Place oysters on a very hot, preheated grill, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the edges of oysters curl slightly.

If you’re not a skilled shucker, no problem. Just place the oysters, cup side up on a very hot, preheated grill, cover and cook for 1 minute. The oysters should now be slightly open. Don an oven mitt, remove them and use a clean screwdriver to pry open the oyster. It should easily open. Spoon sauce into each oyster and return oysters to the grill. Cover and grill 4-5 minutes. Garnish with more hot sauce if desired.