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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 [...]

Allen Lim

Skratch Labs’ Dr. Allen Lim has some pretty radical thoughts when it comes to nutrition for athletes. Among them are eating food that tastes good and putting your body’s feedback above the latest articles in nutrition journals—not to downplay his devotion to research or his extensive credentials. The Feed Zone Cookbook, written by Dr. Lim and Chef Biju Thomas, is packed with 150 simple, delicious, athlete-friendly recipes that provide excellent fuel for endurance workouts. The book includes breakfasts, portable snacks, post-run-or-ride dishes, dinners, desserts, and recovery drinks. Below are four favorites (and if you love these recipes, you’ll love the new [...]

Mountain Athlete

For the past six months, Rebecca Gerber has been training nonstop for her first Freeride World Qualifier competition. Here, she describes her initiation into the Jackson big-mountain-skiing scene and the tough road she’s traveled on her way to achieving competitor status. I’m so friggin’ nervous. Actually, I’m freaking out. But damn, I’m so excited, too. It’s Friday, January 31st, and I’m four days out from my first Freeride World Qualifier event at Crystal Mountain, Washington. I grew up in Maine and ski raced throughout high school, but was never anything special at the gates. I moved to Jackson in 2011 to [...]

Bruce Edgerly

Riding out of bounds, “sidecountry,” and “slackcountry” have all become more popular in recent years, and some skiers and riders make the mistake of thinking these areas are safer than the backcountry. They aren’t. The quote from legendary ski film, “The Blizzard of Aaahs,” was right on when it was released in 1988. “Liability laws had driven us from the United States—land of the lawyer, home of the insurance company—to France. Here, the concept of recovering money for ski injuries is laughed at.” However, times have changed in America. In fact, you could argue that nowadays ski area boundaries in [...]

Andrew Scarcella

In the mountains, if you don’t know a deadman, you could be one. Snow anchors are an essential skill for any budding mountaineer, and the deadman is the bread and butter. Whether you’re roped up and traveling on a glacier, climbing a peak, or caught cliffed-out in the backcountry, a snow anchor can be the difference between a seriously bad day and a seriously good story. Think you already know everything about snow anchors? Stick around. It never hurts to go over the basics. Almost laughably simple, the deadman is a versatile and, when done right, incredibly secure snow anchor. [...]

Derek Newman

Your harness is one piece of climbing gear that you absolutely don’t want to fail. Cams and bolts can break, but it’s still possible to survive a fall depending on what backups you have underneath you. Your harness doesn’t have a backup, and you rely on it just like you rely on your rope. So how do you know when your harness should be replaced? The lifetime of a harness is difficult to pinpoint because each harness has a different lifetime, even if it’s the same brand and style of harness. Every climber climbs different difficulties, in different styles, and [...]

Jesse S

Made with a WindStopper membrane, the Gore Running Wear Mythos WindStopper Softshell Jacket is a slim-fitting piece of substantial outerwear for high-output aerobic activities in less than perfect weather. The jacket is soft to the touch without being flimsy and offers a rear vent to minimize overheating. I tested this jacket while running in a light-ish snow in downtown Salt Lake City when the winds were still and the temperature hovered around 20F. I also tested it on long runs in town and sprints at a high school track in both balmy and breezy 40F and 25F weather, and on [...]

Jeff Stewart

Make no mistake about it—the Nordic bug is spreading throughout our office. Perhaps it’s because we’re buried in snow for five months out of the year, or maybe it’s because skate skiing provides one of the best damn workouts on the planet. Regardless, though, we’ve grown accustomed to Bill Demong being part of Park City’s surrounding landscape—that is if he’s not competing on the other side of the globe. For some background, Billy Demong is a four-time Olympian, a Cat.1 road racer, and the first American to win Gold in the Nordic Combined in over 86 years. On top of all [...]

Ian McIntosh

This “Behind The Line” episode was one of my favorite runs of last season. Angel Collinson, Todd Ligare, and myself spotted this face days before and the dream of skiing these lines began. From the top to the man-swallowing double bergschrund, it was 1700 vertical feet and scary to say the least. The hardpack icy snow on the lower portion of the face made it no easy task and demanded smart skiing. We all made it out alive, but not without a small scare when Todd Ligare slid out on the ice right above the huge schrund. He recovered like a [...]

Brian Mohr

For backcountry skiers, making the most of the Northeast’s notoriously fickle winter requires a good bit of creativity, some rose-colored goggles, and a true quiver of terrain options. When the steeps, for instance, are coated with an unedgable crust—thanks to a recent rainfall and a 50-degree temperature drop—it’s probably worth spending the afternoon ripping your local farmer’s pastures or laying fresh tracks through low-angle hardwoods. If the powder is belly deep, aim for the steep creeks and conifer alleys of higher elevations. It’s that simple—sort of. While the Northeast is ultimately a mecca for backcountry skiing, especially when it’s capped [...]

Backcountry Video

In the most recent episode of Salomon Freeski TV, “24 Hours,” we criss-cross through the lives of athletes Bobby Brown, Mark Abma, and Seb Eaves over a 24-hour period. It’s a day-in-the-life of freeskiing like you’ve never seen it. Switchback Entertainment’s Jeff Thomas delivered the post below, reflecting on the dynamics of one production being in three different places at once. Jeff Thomas, Switchback Entertainment Freeskiing is a diverse sport with many disciplines, and as the sport continues to evolve, skiers find themselves focusing on their own passions within the world of freeskiing. In the 24 Hours episode, we wanted [...]

Alex Bass

Despite the large number of Boa and Speed Lace boot options available on the market, most pro riders still use boots with traditional lacing. Why is that? Because traditional lacing offers the most customizable fit out of any of the lacing systems, allowing you to dial in the perfect fit to match your riding style, foot shape, and personal preferences. But you have to know how to tie your boots properly before you can take full advantage of traditional lacing’s benefits. The beauty of traditional lacing is that each set of lace hooks or eyelets creates a separate zone that [...]

jro1233628314

You’ve probably encountered numerous skiers (alpine racers, mogul skiers, big-mountain skiers, professional ski instructors), who have told you that their technique is superior. I’m here to tell you that they’re all correct. Luckily there are a few key things that transcend any specific technique, and they’re things that every single professional skier will tell you are critical to your success and improvement as a skier. 1. Keep Your Vision And Body Downhill Keeping your vision high, instead of down at your skis, will allow you to see the terrain in front of you so you can ski more proactively. This [...]

Griffin Post

While I’ve made close to a dozen trips to Canada in my ski career, this is the scene that immediately comes to mind whenever anyone asks me about our neighbors to the north: It’s been snowing for days. Not flurries, either. Fat flakes. Flakes the size of Wheaties have been coming down, seemingly endlessly, day and night. Save for a few branches poking out, the evergreens are so caked they look more like inverted snow cones than trees. The skiing has been so good that run discussion is moot. Each chairlift ride we enthusiastically recap the intricacies of our runs [...]

Beth Lopez

The weekend clearly comprises the best two days ending in –y, besides “holiday.” But unfortunately, the days we don’t have to go to work are the same days most people don’t have to go to work. And many Salt Lake locals have the same idea on a sunny Saturday: schussing. (Hence the sad nickname Wasangeles.) Fortunately, the masses concentrate in just a handful of well-known places. And you have better fish to fry—with a tiny bit of effort and experimentation, you can find some killer spots untouched by anyone but you and your posse. Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler Mineral [...]

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