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The Roundup

Our monthly roundup of the best from the backcountry and beyond

December 2020

The Right Direction for the Right Whale

After being hunted to near extinction, the critically endangered Atlantic right whale just added two new members to their pod, and its numbers are back on a slow rise. In other whale-sized news, a new species has been discovered off the coast of Mexico.

Gearhead Take: A reminder from the animal world that 2020 hasn’t been a bad year for all of us here on the third rock from the sun.

Skier Hig Roberts Chooses Happiness

Concerned about the lack of LBGTQ+ representation in the masculine-dominated sport of ski racing, two-time national champion and former U.S. National Team skier Hig Roberts just came out and hopes to encourage others in doing so.

Gearhead Take: Hig exemplifies our mission of connecting people to their passions. Inclusivity remains one of our top priorities as we believe the outdoors are for all.

When “Black Ice” Is a Good Thing

Last winter, legendary alpinist Conrad Anker invited a group of gym climbers from Memphis, TN to try out ice climbing in the Bozeman backcountry. There were a lot of firsts: winter camping, skiing, and sending frozen waterfalls. The 40-minute film Black Ice premiered at Reel Rock Film Tour earlier this month and you can stream it and other climbing docs through January 3.

Gearhead Take: A powerful (and fun) story about how a change of pace, fresh environment, and pushing limits outside can make a major difference.

December’s Epic Read: Fenn’s Treasure: The Finder Comes Forward at Last

Back in June, the decade-old treasure buried in the Rocky Mountains by an art dealer was found, but the finder (and exact location) remained a mystery. Just a couple weeks ago, Jack Stuef, a medical student from Michigan, stepped forward—but not everyone is buying his, or Fenn’s, story.

Gearhead Take: Geocaching on steroids? Precursor to the monolith? However you file this story, we love that it’s probably prompted more people to go exploring.

Van Life: Winter Edition

Does the bohemian life on four wheels lose its appeal when the snow starts to fly? One intrepid #vanlifer shares her tips for vanning it straight through ski season.

Gear of the Month: Weston Japow Splitboard

Since we can’t currently get to Japan’s legendary powder, we can at least ride the board inspired by their snow. Our Gearheads have set their sights on the Weston splitboard and not just because it’s gorgeous—this swallowtail surfer delivers all the tools you need to lay long, clean lines and execute controlled turns in nearly every condition.

Tailgate Hot Toddy

Few things hit the spot like a parking lot toddy. Not only is it warm and delicious, but it’s also been reported to reduce cold symptoms (though that’s probably more the lemon and honey than whiskey)!

Here’s how it’s made:

¾ cup hot water
whiskey of your choice (we like High West)
2 teaspoons honey
1 round of lemon
1 cinnamon stick

Throw it all in a YETI Hotshot at home and leave it in your car while you ride. Return to car, remove ski boots, and enjoy!