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Joshua Barnes

During treatment for osteogenic sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, Nicole Roundy’s right leg was amputated above her right knee. She was only eight years old at the time. Less than a decade later, Nicole was on skis, but triple track skiing didn’t quite do it for her, so she set her sights on snowboarding. Today, she’s one of the top-ranked adaptive snowboarders in the world, recently taking bronze for Team USA in the IPC World Cup in La Molina, Spain, and she’ll represent the United States in the Paralympic Games in Sochi. Contents Nicole’s Story Updates from Sochi Welcome [...]

Cory Akin

Rappelling on ice, when there are no manmade anchors, requires a bit of ingenuity. You can use ice screws or nuts/cams if there’s rock, but then you are forced to leave your gear behind. Not only does this take a toll on your wallet and junk up the wilderness, but after enough rappels, you will find yourself out of gear, maybe even before the rappelling is over. The key to rappelling multi-pitch ice in the backcountry, then, is the V-thread, or Abalakov thread. While the thought of using ice as a rappel anchor seems initially daunting, scores of in-field tests [...]

Molly Baker

As skiers, we either have them or we have friends who have them—those furry creatures that freak out in a snow frenzy anytime they’re let loose on a mountain. We have dogs. They’re Saint Bernards, Labs, Australian Shepherds, Poodles, mutts, and everything in between. They’re big and small with long hair, short hair, tails, and no tails. And no matter what they are, they love you. They adore skiers and snowboarders because they appreciate a day in the mountains just as much as we do. They’re keen to burrow in the snow and play with friends. They enjoy charging downhill [...]

Rob de Luca

The shot ski is an instant party-starter. Something about the combination of skis and synchronized shooting really brings out the camaraderie. Learn how to make a shot ski in a single afternoon, and enjoy warm, fuzzy memories for years to come. What You’ll Need A drill Safety glasses and a disposable particulate mask A 1-3/8in Forstner drill bit Measuring tape A permanent marker Heavy-duty clear silicone adhesive (I use Loctite Stik’N Seal Outdoor) Four or more thick polycarbonate or acrylic shot glasses. This thing is going to be dropped, stepped on, strapped to the roof of your car, and generally abused [...]

Andrew Bisharat

An ice climber with a blunt set of picks on his ice tools is no different than a sushi chef trying to cut through a chunk of fine ahi tuna with a set of chopsticks. Bad form! Ice climbing is already miserable enough: There’s no reason to make the bitter, frozen, painful but ultimately incredible experience of climbing frozen water any more difficult than it needs to be. But using dull picks does just that. The pick is actually the most important part of the entire ice tool. Not even the whole pick, either: only the most forward few millimeters [...]

Austin H.

There’s something alluring about running at night. The daylight hours bring the same sights, sounds, traffic, and predictable daily grind;  at night, everything changes. Darkness brings cooler temperatures during the summer, less foot and car traffic, the chance to spot otherwise elusive nocturnal animals, and the opportunity to see your city or town in a new light. Running at night also allows you the flexibility to schedule your workout around your job or other life obligations. Although it might seem like a chore at first, with a little extra gear and the right mindset, it’s easy to run at night [...]

Austin H.

Take a flight over Salt Lake City and there’s a chance you’ll spot a Godzilla-sized mountain goat on the roof of a building just west of downtown. That building is the backcountry.com distribution center, and the goat is the backcountry.com logo. You’ll see this very same logo on our vehicles, our business cards, and our office, as well as on backcountry.com gear and stickers. Goat stickers have been sighted all over the world, and they continue to travel as our customers, athletes, and employees seek out new, exciting adventures. Originally, backcountry.com was known as “The Backcountry Store,” and the logo [...]

Dena MT Eaton

Trail running, for many, is a respite from staring at the white line on the side of the road. Variances in surface, small obstacles such as roots and rocks, and frequent elevation changes provide you with ample distractions that seem to make the run go by faster.  If you’ve run a few 10ks and have been thinking about trying a half marathon, why not take your training a step further and try a trail half marathon? Contents Tips for Trails Fuel, Hydrate, Recover Race Day Training Plan The accompanying 12-week training program is designed for runners who have run, at [...]

Toni Isom

There’s an art to making party in the mountains, and the morning aftermath is the true measure of a masterpiece. Here are 25 signs of success. 1. Your muscles are sore. Maybe you did several sets of tree-branch pull-ups. Maybe you invented backcountry bowling. Maybe you won a stump-kicking contest. Evidence of any feat of strength is a sign of a good time. 2. Your throat is sore. Preferably from singing “Ghost Riders in the Sky” or “The Goddamn Dutch” on repeat, but we’ll also accept throats that are sore from howling at the moon or gargling hot toddies. 3. You woke [...]

Molly Baker

In ski areas around the world there are stories that live in the parking lot: vans, RVs, buses, and campers host ski bums, families, keeners, and winter road warriors. In an epic conglomeration of winter culture grows the parking lot scene. Pre-powder prep, après celebrations, and late-night snow dancing can be found in these temporary little winter cities with everyone sharing just one common connection, a love for the snow. Everyone knows the guys, gals, and campers that religiously flood their local hill’s parking lot every winter. They know the campers from the outside and the characters within—the frenzied skiers [...]

Toni Isom

The Backcountry goat has appeared in some pretty incredible places over the years, thanks to our beloved community of customers, athletes, and employees. It’s done cameos at the top of Everest, the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and in thousands of lesser-known and rarely seen corners of the wild world. For many who live and breathe the outdoors, the goat has become a kind of talisman—a symbol of adventure, exploration, and unbridled fun. Here’s a peek at some of the places it’s been sighted: Crossing the road at the 2013 Tour of Utah. — On Backcountry athlete Suz Graham’s wingsuit. [...]

Tristan Greszko

Cody Peak, the first prominent summit on the skyline south of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, is a dominant feature in the Jackson backcountry and home to a number of ultra-classic ski descents.  The top of the tram, with Cody beckoning to the south, is one of those places that’s impossible to forget, where the memory of the view seems to get more spectacular as it ages. Cody’s rocky north ridge is one of my favorite spots on the planet, and arguably one of the best approach hikes in the world of skiing. It’s an incredible backyard adventure in serious, consequential [...]

rory bosio

The number one question I get as an ultra runner, besides “Where you go to the bathroom during a 100-mile race?” (in the woods, as nature intended—hopefully out of view, but not always), is “How can you run so many miles without getting injured?” People are usually skeptical when I tell them that I’ve never—knock on wood—had any major injuries and have perfectly functioning knees despite running up to 100 miles per week. I wish I had a pithy one-liner as a response to their doubts, but alas, I’m not clever enough to come up with anything. In reality, there [...]

Joshua Barnes

You get one chance to get things started, and then it’s either a love-sprinkled snow romance or the most awkward lift ride of your life. See if you can tell which of these ski resort pick-up lines actually work. (Hint: pretty much none of them.) Nice Skis It’s a fine opener, but if you aren’t ready to follow up with something … I don’t know, interesting? … you’re going to land on your face. Wanna get a few turns in on my corduroy? Back to the bunny hill, buddy. Can I nose press your box? And they say romance is [...]

Mountain Athlete

After six months of nonstop training, Rebecca Gerber headed to Crystal Mountain to compete in her very first Freeride World Qualifier competition. Here, she describes the comp, the conditions, and her unwelcome insomnia. Find out whether or not she made the cut. The butterflies in my stomach were boiling. There I was, standing in the starting gate on Northway, the Day 1 venue for the Crystal Mountain Freeride World Qualifier last Tuesday, and it was “go” time. “Rebecca Gerber,” yelled the starting official into his walkie talkie, “Three, Two, One … Dropping.” “Bec,” I whispered.  “You love skiing. Just ski.” [...]

Andrew Bisharat

The life of a sponsored climber is one to envy. Unlike other professional athletes who are beholden to such duties as playing for teams, meeting structured training regimens designed by coaches, and being evaluated by easily measurable and comparable performances from game to game and season to season, the sponsored climber floats along in an individualistic, relativistic vacuum. He answers to no one or nothing, least of all the alarm clock. He wakes up and wonders, “Which rocks in which forest wilderness shall I spend my day brushing?” Companies actually pay people to live like this, but it’s only one [...]

Allen Lim

The conventional wisdom regarding nutrition, if you’re a runner, is to eat a diet that is high in carbohydrate (≈ 60%) with the balance of your calories coming from protein (≈ 20%) and fat (≈ 20%). During an actual run, depending upon it’s length, intensity, and the environment, that advice generally shifts even more in favor of carbs, where we’re commonly told to stick to simple sugars in the form of gels, blocks, or a sports drink that also allows us to hydrate and replace valuable electrolytes lost in sweat when thirsty. But, as simple and perhaps conservative as these guidelines [...]

Backcountry Video

Before he headed off to the Black Sea for the Sochi Olympics, five-time Olympian and World Cup champion Billy Demong stopped by the Utah Olympic Park to offer up some pointers on how to improve skate-skiing form. It’s not every day that you get tips from an Olympian, so pay careful attention and perhaps you, too, can become a rocket-powered racer. Skate skiing breaks down into three primary styles: V1, V2, and V2 alternate. All are similar, but have different applications—think of them as gears, just like in your car. V1 is the slowest technique, used for climbing steep hills and [...]

Jeff Stewart

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the adjective form of “fat” is defined as “(of a person or animal) having a large amount of excess flesh”—not quite a fitting description for a bike. In my experience, referring to something as “fat” has always been less than flattering, even if the “f” is dropped in favor of a “ph” for a positive affirmation. However, I’ve never been a fan of pigeonholing, either, which is what the term “snow bike” truly does. The Borealis Yampa is far more than that, and as my time with the Yampa has proved, powder conditions are [...]

Adam Riser

Even those of us with easy access to quality boulders and crags often find ourselves wanting an indoor space. Sometime weather shuts us down, and sometimes we just want to train in a more structured way than we typically can on granite or limestone. Even if you have a climbing gym nearby, nothing beats a home climbing wall when it comes to getting strong. No crowds, no kids’ birthday parties, no membership fees—just you and the woody and a desire to be bone-crushingly strong when spring hits. You can build a woody just about anywhere. Back in the day I [...]

Molly Baker

Have you ever jumped on a chairlift with a stranger who changed your day? Someone who wasn’t your age and didn’t like to ski where you do, but made you stoked and smiley because they just love moving over snow? We’ve met so many of these people during the 16,000 miles that we’ve traveled with the tiny house. From folks who could be our grandparents to kids who looked at us as “old,” the people of winter have time and time again reminded us why skiing is so powerful. Alta, Jackson, Whitewater, Myoko, Steven’s Pass, Sun Valley, Valle Nevado, Bachelor, [...]

Lexi D.

Backcountry.com’s online community encompasses passionate wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, athletes … and dogs. Get the rundown on the raddest happenings within the Backcountry.com community in You Are Backcountry, your connection to the best reviews, product photos, and videos created by the savviest outdoor experts around. In this installment we celebrate outstanding canine community members. Grab a bone and revel in the adventures of the dogs of Backcountry. If you think your pup is worthy, learn how to submit your pooch for consideration below. Community MVP Brandon Riza probably owns the most photogenic canines you’ll ever lay eyes on. Brandon equips his [...]

Bruce Edgerly

Are multiple fatalities in avalanche accidents becoming more common? And should this influence your decision when you’re buying snow safety equipment? Let’s look at the statistics, the gear, and the realities around multiple burials. “Five killed in Loveland Pass avalanche.” “Three die in out-of-bounds snowslide near Stevens Pass.” “Seven perish in guided trip near Revelstoke, BC.” Attention-grabbing headlines like these can lead people to think that multiple fatalities are happening at a higher rate. However, statistics indicate that multiple burials have actually decreased over the past decade. And they also indicate that you’re much better off using your brain than [...]

Backcountry Video

Fancy yourself a backcountry legend? The Sultan of the Skin Track? The Poobah of Powder? Maybe, but all your carefully edited headcam videos and skin-ripping glamour shots will be consigned to the junkyard of broken dreams if you end up as the latest avalanche statistic. Staying safe’s the raddest thing you’ll do this winter—learn how to properly dig a pit and analyze the snowpack, and you’re way more likely to make it home still able to brag about what you just sent. To get your snow safety career started, we caught up with the Utah Avalanche Center’s Bruce Tremper for [...]

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