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Pace Measom

For us, mountain towns don’t get any better than Park City, Utah. The powder skiing, Western heritage, and small-town feel with big-city style have a way of inspiring the creation of great brands. Founded twenty years ago by two Park City ski bums, Backcountry.com is counted among them. To introduce Basin and Range, the latest creation inspired by Park City, we shot the clothing on location at the new High West whiskey distillery at Blue Sky Ranch, another great Park City establishment. Featuring Utah’s first legal distillery since 1870, High West has been breaking some serious trail―we can get behind [...]

Elliott Woods

In Bozeman, we think it’s just plain ridiculous that après season ends in some towns when the ski lifts stop rolling. Our après season extends well into summer. Actually, it’s pretty much year-round, though the time of après changes based on available sunlight. Après fishing, après mountain biking, après rafting, après elk bratwursts—there’s an après for just about everything. Our breweries have long been trusted to wash away the soreness in our legs after a powder day at Bridger Bowl or a long ride on the Bangtail Divide, but there’s a newcomer to the Bozeman après scene—craft booze. Montana is [...]

Elliott Woods

Skinning through the timber above the creek that leads to Astral Lake in Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, you catch glimpses of mouth-watering pillow lines and wide-open bowls of untracked cold smoke powder. Film by Greg Cairns / Photos by Elliott Woods Sunrise over the Beartooths, seen from the Mt. Zimmer Yurt. You’re surrounded on all sides by lines that would make just about anyone want to quit their job and find a dishwashing job in the closest town. The good news—or bad news, if you’re seriously considering becoming a dishwasher—is that the closest town, Cooke City, on Yellowstone National Park’s northeastern [...]

Kyle Livingston

More than 60 years ago, Jack O’Neill, a northern California surfer, opened up a surf shop in Santa Cruz and began selling his creations: the first neoprene surfing wetsuits. Surfers and water-sport aficionados around the world can thank him for extending their seasons beyond a few short months of summer and their range of surf spots outside of balmy beaches. Wetsuits enable us to enjoy our favorite sports in colder waters by keeping our core body temperature above 95 degrees Fahrenheit and preventing hypothermia. From scuba divers to triathletes to surfers to freshwater rafters and kayakers, there are many outdoor [...]

Jeff Catalano

Your friend just dragged you to the climbing gym where you schlepped your way up some chunks of plastic. Now you’re hooked, and already looking forward to taking your new love outside. When you got home, you and your raw, painful hands typed “rock climbing” into the Google machine and you immediately got overwhelmed. Don’t worry; we’ve all been there. There are so many styles of climbing out there, not to mention so much lingo that it’s easy to get lost. Below you’ll find a breakdown to get you started. Climbing without a Rope Bouldering Backcountry Employees Diana Jenson and [...]

Adam W. Chase

Fair warning: I have a running shoe fetish. There is a reason I am known among my friends as the “Shoemelier” and the “Imelda of Running.” As a gear editor for a number of publications, I’ve had the chance to test more than a thousand running shoes over the years, which probably hasn’t helped. That being said, I still believe that there are very good reasons why you too should have your own ‘quiver’ (in sporting parlance, a collection of different types of a piece of sporting equipment) of running shoes. A die-hard skier has her quiver. It includes powder [...]

Andrew McLean

Skiing in the dark is hardly a new idea. In the Pacific Northwest, night skiing at the resorts—in the rain, no less—can almost be as crowded as skiing during the day. As a means of approach, climbers have been getting “alpine starts” at midnight and skinning through the dark to ensure they beat the sun to their climbing objectives for generations. Avalanche forecasters and snow safety patrollers routinely start work hours before sunrise and the crowds show up. And of course, there is always the most popular form of skiing in the dark—by accidentally getting lost in the mountains and [...]

Bill Porreca

When you ask most people for advice about winter camping, their replies can usually be summarized in one or two words: “Don’t,” and “Why?” To many, heading out into the wilderness when there’s snow on the ground and temperatures are in the single digits is totally crazy. But there are actually a lot of good reasons to go winter camping: quiet, solitude, having your pick of camping locations, and freedom from bugs and bears (which are most likely in hibernation), and, if your trip includes backcountry skiing or snowboarding, access to all the untouched snow you could want. The key, [...]

Catherine Greenwald

A pair of stylish sunnies might make a fashion statement around town, at the beach, or on the deck of an après-ski bar, but they are also are absolute necessity for many active pursuits. Primarily, they serve the vital function of protecting your eyes from UV rays. Like your skin, your eyes can also literally get sunburned; specifically, your corneas (the transparent ‘shield’ at the front of your eye that covers all of the important bits behind it) are at the highest risk. And since these kinds of sunburns are essentially irreparable, you’ll want to try to protect your eyes [...]

Skratch Labs

The new Feed Zone Table cookbook by Skratch Labs founder Alan Lim and Chef Biju Thomas picks up where their Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables left off. Inspired by feedback from these books, they created a new set of recipes that are simple, healthy, and nutritious. But it goes beyond the food, to the way cooking and eating well can bring people together. As they say in the book’s forward: “We’ve always believed that physical activity and sport are central to our individual and cultural health. More important, we know that proper nutrition is fundamental to supporting an [...]

Pace Measom

In cold weather, the trick to staying warm is layering with the right insulation, and not all insulation is created equal. While the type of jacket you need has a lot to do with the activity you’ll be doing, learning a few basics about the different types of insulation, and waterproof technologies, will go a long way in choosing the insulated jacket best suited to your needs. Down or Synthetic? There are two main types of insulation used in jackets: down and synthetic. Both have specific strengths and weaknesses, making each superior in certain situations. Regardless of the type of [...]

Phil Parrish

Health and fitness trackers are becoming more and more popular, with over 8.5 million sold last year. People are clearly interested in getting fitter, healthier, and improving their performance. Fitness trackers do exactly what their name entails. They track fitness data ranging from steps to heart rate to location and distance. The downside of the huge variety of devices out there is that it can get confusing when it comes to selecting one. You want to get the functionality you need and want, but don’t want to spend extra money on capabilities you won’t necessarily be using.   Below are [...]

Alex Blackmer

Alpine skiing gets most of the glory, but Nordic is where it all began. Gliding across a frozen landscape with nothing but birdsong and dappled sunlight for company is a magical experience, and whether you’re in it for the solitude or the exercise, there’s a discipline, and a ski, that’s right for you. Skinny skis can be broken down into three types. The most well-known type is the classic ski, which utilizes the stride-and-glide technique most people start out with. Classic skis are at home in specially groomed tracks, on packed trails, or in wide open, rolling spaces like meadows [...]

abbydell photography

It’s that time of year, the good time. The time when you bust out the splitboard and backcountry gear, or get new equipment ready to go. With any luck this means you’re looking to mount some new Karakoram bindings to your splitboard. Karakoram is one of the most innovative splitboarding brands, and the Prime system is the tightest mount out there—pun intended. But seriously, it will keep you closer to your board—around 5cm away—than any other split binding, let alone regular binding. The level of response is next-level. All of the Prime bindings are lightweight, built tough, and easy to [...]

TJ Parsons

The right pair of boots often makes the difference between an awesome day on the mountain and an afternoon spent whimpering in the lodge. With the huge amount of available options, knowing what features you want and how your boots should fit can be a big help in narrowing down your choices. Flex and Support When you’re choosing a new snowboard boot, the first place to start is to look at a boot’s flex. The flex of a snowboard boot refers to the amount of support it provides, and how quickly it transfers energy to your board. Manufacturers generally rate [...]

Pace Measom

Having the right avalanche safety gear—and the know-how to use it—is critical before heading into the backcountry. Learn how to choose the beacon, shovel, probe, and airbag pack that are right for you. Beacons Avalanche beacons, also known as transceivers, are essential for both transmitting your own location as well as finding others buried in the snow. Today’s digital avalanche beacons are easier and faster to use than ever before. Get one, practice like your life depends on it, and then do everything in your power to keep from having to use it. A beacon does not have to have [...]

Andrew McLean

In the past there has only been one Golden Rule for backcountry skiing: There are no friends on powder days. This is always said tongue-in-cheek and implies that powder days should be feeding frenzies where it’s every man for himself, but with the stratospheric rise in backcountry popularity, just the opposite is now true: There’s nothing BUT friends on powder days. Or at least there should be. What used to take a week is now tracked out in a day. In popular areas with easy access like the Central Wasatch Mountains, Teton Pass or Tahoe the rise in backcountry skier [...]

Rachael Burks

In the past few years, Iceland has been put on the map as a ski destination. There are a few helicopter operations based out of northwestern corner of the country, but overall, touring is the easiest way to ski Iceland. In the winter, snow covers almost everything, making the ski possibilities endless; awe-inspiring views and adventure can be found everywhere. Two of our crew had previously been to Iceland and therefore could not wait to further explore this relatively off-the-radar ski destination. Hence, it became our target for a trip spring of 2015. Our crew of skiers and riders—Julian Carr, [...]

Jared Downs

When shopping for a new pair of crampons you’ll notice several different designs and configurations. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as an intended use. Whether you’re planning on climbing the DC route on Mt. Rainier or venturing into the wet and cold world of ice climbing, choosing the right crampon will keep your mind off the gear and on the objective ahead. Attachment Type There are three types of attachment systems for modern crampons: step-in, hybrid, and strap-on. Step-In Crampons Step-in crampons provide the most secure attachment between the crampon and the boot. This is achieved [...]

Skratch Labs

By now you may know that the Skratch Labs Cookie Mix makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, berry blondie, and vegan cookie bar, and that all of them fit sweetly in your pocket or pack for rides, runs, and adventures. But you can also put the Cookie Mix to use when you’re looking to make an impression at a dinner party, office function, or Sunday brunch. Here are two can’t-miss recipes that even the most baking-challenged can manage, with impressive results. Apple & Pumpkin Buckle This buckle recipe comes together in just a few minutes. You can swap out the [...]

Kyle Livingston

We all have our favorite outdoor pursuit, and arguably the most important piece of our gear kit for that pursuit is the jacket. Hikers, climbers, skiers, snowboarders, bikers, or mountaineers have to protect themselves from the elements, but gone are the days of one jacket that works for everything. For example, I use a Gore-Tex 3-layer shell layered with a down jacket for skiing but a lightweight softshell for backpacking and hiking and another jacket for around town. To get you started on the path to understanding your jacket options, we’ve outlined the five most basic styles. The Shell Jacket [...]

Colter Hinchliffe

“Did we bite off more than we can chew?” I’m asking myself as we stand atop the 14,131-foot Capitol Peak in the notorious Elk mountains of Colorado. Photo: Jordan White The answer is a matter-of-fact “No, we have to finish.” This day began at midnight, and this mission began a week ago, and this dream began a few years ago with a taste of this big, lonesome, beautiful north face. Capitol Peak is the holy grail of all Colorado’s fifty-four 14,000 ft peaks. The easiest way up is via the infamous knife edge with a thousand-foot cliff on either side. [...]

Backcountry Video

Burton Presents is a web series showcasing Burton’s top riders doing amazing things on slopes and streets all over the world. The latest episode (above), focuses on Danny Davis as he prepares for X Games by exploring the snow-choked forests of Hokkaido, Japan, with Mark McMorris and Terje Haakonsen. Whether it’s in the pipe or some misty forest, few humans truly embody the concept of balance quite like Danny, and when it comes to “training,” Danny does it right. Previous Episodes This installment features Mikkel Bang and Mikey Rencz, two names that run deep in Burton’s history and evoke thoughts [...]

Phil Parrish

The faster you can recover from a workout, the sooner you can train again. By increasing training frequency, you can achieve a desired result faster or complete a higher volume of training in a desired time. To achieve this end, many athletes and weekend warriors are turning to compression clothing as an aid to training and recovery. But, what is compression clothing? And how does it work? Benefits of Compression Garments Depending on who you ask, compression garments make a huge difference, or they’re just really tight underwear. Some controlled studies have yielded interesting results, while others are completely inconclusive. [...]