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Lexi Dowdall

Chris Rennau is a Montana-based freeskier and a team athlete for Liberty Skis. He has attempted to huck the infamous Class 6 cliff at Big Sky Resort on three separate occasions piloting his trusty Liberty Helix Skis. We were keen to learn a bit more about how he manages fear in the face of such an extreme feat. Chris, before we launch (pun intended) into your infamous attempts, tell us a little bit about Liberty Skis. What makes them different from other ski companies? Liberty Skis, based out of Avon, Colorado, has been in business since 2004. Liberty incorporates a [...]

Pace

This is a story about a man and his cat, but mostly the cat. Since Millie’s story debuted on Backcountry last May under the title, “My Climbing Partner Eats Chicken Liver,” she’s attained celebrity status. Thousands shared her story on social media and continue to follow her adventures, cat food companies are shipping grub to her doorstep, and she’s even had photo ops with internationally renowned publications (which legally, I can’t name prior to their being published). So it was a real pleasure to get out with Millie and her partner Craig to experience the action firsthand. Climbing partnerships require [...]

Lexi Dowdall

Backcountry.com’s online community encompasses a passionate group of wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, and athletes. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the Backcountry community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best product reviews, photos, and videos submitted and uploaded by our athletes, our employees, and you! In this installment of You Are Backcountry we’ve compiled the best community-submitted gear reviews with beards on Backcountry.com … and we’re running a contest!  Vote for your favorite Backcountry beard in the comments below – the most votes wins this manly Patagonia Fjord Flannel to complement his facial achievements. And, in support [...]

Sweetgrass Productions

We’re very excited to present a clip from the latest Sweetgrass production, Afterglow. As you’ll see, it’s a completely new take on night skiing, featuring a ton of lighting equipment and some very, very cool outerwear. Check out the video, and read on after for an exclusive short interview with the filmmakers, Nick Waggoner and Mike Brown. We’ll let Sweetgrass introduce it: “As our most ambitious project to date, Afterglow is a lifelong dream realized, on an imaginable—but completely ludicrous—scale. From deep pillows to Alaskan spines, it’s all filmed at night, with massive lights, custom-made LED suits, and a national [...]

Stephanie Nitsch

It often comes off as an insult, but the 14 of us were thrilled to ski like girls. Photos by Abby Dell I was surrounded by 13 other women—many of them strangers—on an eight-day splitboard and ski mountaineering tour in Canada’s Selkirk Mountains. Together, as eleven students and three guides, we had enrolled in the Alpine Finishing School, an introductory ski mountaineering course hosted by the Salt Lake City-based non-profit SheJumps, whose mission is to “increase female participation in outdoor activities.” Run in conjunction with the Selkirk Backcountry Lodge and ACMG guide Anne Keller, this annual, girls-only Alpine Finishing School [...]

Mountain Athlete

Rob Shaul’s Mountain Athlete Gym in Jackson, Wyoming, is where Backcountry.com athletes like Kim Havell, Griffin Post, and Pip Hunt, as well as The North Face Global Ambassador Kit Deslauriers develop the strength and endurance required for high-stakes mountain sports. Here, Rob Shaul, owner of the Mountain Athlete training center in Jackson, Wyoming, runs through a must-do routine to get ready for the ski season: My biggest mistake as a strength and conditioning coach occurred the first year I designed a dry land training cycle for local skiers here in Jackson. Skiing is leg-intensive, and so was my program. My [...]

Lexi Dowdall

Backcountry.com’s online community encompasses a passionate group of wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, and athletes. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best product reviews, photos, and videos submitted and uploaded by our athletes, our employees … and you! Here at Backcountry we are pretty darn excited about the launch of the GoPro Hero4 and to celebrate we curated a collection of our best community-submitted GoPro shots and videos!  Let ‘er rip! Backcountry.com community high flyer Denis, from Russia, captured this shot while piloting a hang glider with the Hero 3 Silver [...]

Lexi Dowdall

In British Columbia, Canada, tucked alongside the Columbia River, you’ll find the tiny town of Revelstoke nestled under a multitude of lofty glaciated peaks. Yearning for an escape from Utah’s summer inferno, I stuffed my Subaru with my mountain bike, paddleboard, and backpacking gear to see what this famed ski town had to offer. Photos by Bruno Long Surrounded by National Parks, Revelstoke boasts a rich heritage in forestry, the railway industry and ski jumping.  My adventure began with a mountain bike ride on the high alpine singletrack of Frisby Ridge. I marveled at stunning panoramic views of glaciers clinging [...]

Griffin Post

“Where should I go in Alaska?” I hear the question every season, and for good reason: Alaska is where the proverbial stars of terrain, weather, and snowpack align. The last frontier delivers access to stable, steep terrain more consistently than virtually any other place in the world. World-class athletes and film crews return there year after year and have helped perpetuate a belief that all that stands between you and the runs of your dreams are skill and a big, fat bankroll.  And while partially true–being a good rider and having coin will definitely get you somewhere in AK–the truth [...]

Pace

If you’ve ever seen deep-water soloing, you know how compelling it can be. Rock climbers dangle free and untethered far above the crashing surf, falling violently into the waves when the stone spits them off. Spaniards invented the sport on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca—a place where orange limestone cliffs jut out over the sea. They called the new climbing style ‘psicobloc,’ and for years I’ve watched video, but I’ve never had a chance to make the trip. Recently, though, I was able to get a taste of what it’s all about at the Utah Olympic Park—conveniently located across the [...]

Travis McKnight

Dogs, with their zesty attitudes and unrivaled sense of adventure, are wonderful backpacking companions. Their exuberant romps through the wilderness add a tinge of playful innocence to any excursion, but that fervor to explore also gets them into trouble. Unfortunately, dogs are a bit oblivious and tend to jump in first and then figure out the consequences of their actions later, which eventually leads to an injury. Sometimes these mishaps are small and the adventure can continue as planned; other times it’s a life-threatening injury and your preparedness means the difference between life and death. Having fun … and looking [...]

Pace

Lake Powell is a bit of a paradox; it’s a crystal-clear ocean of bath water surrounded by an endless expanse of fiery red sandstone. But nature didn’t make it that way, and Glen Canyon Dam stands as a monolithic testament to what men can do with an infinite amount of concrete. I did get a melancholy vibe when I stopped playing and thought of the shaded canyon bottoms and Native American sites lost beneath the surface, but it’s hard to not be seduced by the place all the same. With 2,000 miles of coastline and nearly 100 side canyons, Powell [...]

Griffin Post

Chamonix, or Cham (pronounced “Sham” if you’re an American), is to skiing what Fenway Park is to baseball. There’s no ski area in the world that has the high profile of Chamonix, and for good reason: the terrain, town and general vibe of the valley is completely different from anything else in the world of winter sports. It’s beautiful, it’s extreme, and it’s a melting pot of cultures from around the ski world. Individually, any of these elements would make Chamonix worth the visit, but it’s the combination of factors that make the north side of Mont Blanc something truly [...]

Pace

For a few short months each summer, alpine landscapes are changed from frozen wastes of rock and ice to idyllic grassy meadows—it’s pure mountain magic. When hot temps chase you from the city, these alpine paradises are the undisputed bee’s knees for summer backpacking. But as we were reminded when visiting Priord Lake in the High Uinta Wilderness, the alpine is still a harsh place that requires good gear (daily thunderstorms and hordes of mosquitos are often par for the course); lucky for us, we had some of the best. Osprey Packs Atmos 50 Backpack The Osprey packs we took [...]

Arc'teryx

“Few things combine simplicity and complexity so thoroughly as a zipper.” ZIPPER: An Exploration in Novelty, is a book by Robert Friedel which explores the amazing 100-year history of the zipper, that most ordinary of novel technologies with which we interact daily. It’s compelling reading, believe it or not, and reveals much about the culture and values of twentieth century America. Where ZIPPER ends off, however, is where we begin – with the invention of the WaterTight™ zipper. “People will tell you an idea is bad, even when it’s a good idea.” Fortunately, Mike Blenkarn isn’t one to give up [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Sport climbers fall a lot, and as a result, they wear out their ropes quicker than other types of climbers (who don’t fall multiple times a day). Typically what happens is that ropes will wear out in one particular spot: about three to five feet away from the end of the rope that you are tied into. Why? Because this is the spot on the rope that gets raked across a carabiner gate as a fallen climber winches him- or herself back up to the quickdraw. The rope rakes across the carabiner gate as you pull yourself back up and [...]

Pace

The thought of a mosh pit scares me to death, and even being packed in a crowd like sardines makes me anxious, but I’m growing rather fond of outdoor concert venues. Beyond seeing great musicians, there are a couple reasons why I like these things. First, you can spread out a big blanket with all of your concert gear and lay claim to a healthy-sized personal space. Second, (and this is huge because I hate shelling out 17 bones at a concessions tent for a single beer and a stale pretzel) you can bring in your own food and booze. [...]

Omar Muhyar

Today’s digital reliance on GPS navigation has all but relegated compass and map use to hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, orienteering clubs, and geography buffs. Using your cell phone’s GPS is fast and effective if you’re within cell range or you cache (download) maps for offline use. Better yet, bringing a GPS receiver that’s compatible with the Russian GLONASS system offers even faster location pinpointing and better overall accuracy, thanks to its additional 24 satellites. That being said, both cell phones and GPS receivers rely on technology that’s subject to failure,  whether you forget to charge a battery or inevitably drop your [...]

John Tribbia

The day my Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller was delivered to the door, the first thought that came to my head was “freedom.” No, not the kind of freedom you feel when you are wearing nothing but a bathrobe. I’m speaking about the kind of freedom John Steinbeck writes about in his travelogue Travels with Charley: In Search of America, his account of a 1960 road trip around the United States with his French standard poodle. In it, he describes the freedom to explore and learn about your surroundings, the freedom to travel the open road and choose your own [...]

Andrew Whiteford

Pedaling away from home after work ride, I bust through a quick mental checklist. Helmet, shoes, gloves: on. Water, tools, snacks: yes. GoPro: check. Bear spray: affirmative. Wait, what? GoPro? Why bother carrying that around on a quick evening ride? Why, simply to share and relive the awesome moments! From my own fun and frequent outings last summer, I present a montage from some of the trails around Jackson Hole. Let it prompt you to enjoy your own adventures, and make the trip to Jackson and ride these trails yourself! To help facilitate your explorations, I’d like to present a [...]

Andrew Bisharat

Few sport-climbing areas are surrounded by as much myth, mystique and ill-repute as Rifle Mountain Park in Rifle, Colorado. Rifle is often called the prototypical sport-climbing “scene,” replete with perma-draws, bro-brahs, radsters, spray lords, sandbags, grade-boasting, grade-debating, down-grading and more beta-beta-beta than a Greek fraternity. The truth is, many of those impressions and stereotypes are actually true. But once you can get past the scenesters, you will find not only a warm, genuine, friendly community of devoted sport climbers, but arguably the highest-quality concentration of varied 5.13 rock climbing in the world. Yes, there are plenty of other good routes [...]

Chloe Woodruff

TJ and I have been on the road for three weeks with our dog, Maja. We’ve got two weekends left in our big five-race road trip and Maja is about to become an international traveler as we’re bringing her along to Canada for the World Cup in Mt. Sainte-Anne. It was a very long three stretch with some hiccups along the way, but two National Championship medals, multiple podiums and a couple of wins is a great few weeks of racing for the team.  WORS Cup Pro XCT Our five-week stint of racing started in Portage, Wisconsin at the WORS [...]

Andrew McLean

My first experience with a center pole tent left me running through the sagebrush in the black of night with my three other tent-mates, all of us in our bare feet and underwear.  It was not a good first impression, and it took me a decade to forgive and forget before I finally saw the light. Center pole tents, also known as single-pole tents, and more commonly called megamids, mids or pyramids, have been around since the cave man and are one of the oldest designs out there. In theory, they are only two parts – a pole and the [...]

Shannan Hansen

I am a trail runner, a yoga teacher, and a single mother. I am not sure which of these causes me the most joy or the most suffering. They each have their moments, I suppose. Today I am choosing the joy and suffering of running nine miles in the mountains. I feel tired, tight, and satisfied. As a yogi, I understand the intense effect running has on the body and I value the importance of stretching to keep my joints and muscles in balance. At the end of a long run my soul is soothed, and I take a moment to [...]