Shaping The Future Of Fun: Unique New Boards For 2017
How To Choose The Right Ski Length And Width
Choosing The Correct Goggle: A Guide To Ski And Snowboard Goggles
Take it from Bruce Tremper: the Utah Avalanche Center’s head forecaster and resident snowpack whisperer has spent more time digging in the snow than some of us have breathing—he’s been at UAC since 1986, worked in Montana and Alaska, and written the definitive book about avalanche safety—so it’s a good bet he knows a thing or two about making good decisions in avalanche terrain. We were able to grab him as he headed out for a ski, and he was gracious enough to crack an egg of knowledge all over our heads; check out the video, read on for some [...]
The farther you go into the backcountry, the more fatigued you’ll feel dragging along heavy gear. Here’s how to lighten your load without sacrificing performance. What’s Got You Down? You know the feeling. You’re slogging like an Everest climber in the Death Zone up the skin track, one leaden foot in front of the other, not sure if that clicking sound is your bindings or your heart valves about to give out. You look up and see your friend and partner (who you’re sure, at this point, must possess bionic legs) 200 yards in front of you, paused mid-stride, looking [...]
Backcountry.com’s online community comprises a passionate group of wanderers, adventurers, Gearheads, athletes, and guys and girls who make mincemeat of that 5.12b you’ve been eyeing. Community Connection profiles outstanding individuals within the Backcountry herd. Meet Brandon, a 3D Visual Effects Artist based in California with a passion for climbing and mountaineering and an uncanny talent for photographic arts. Brandon started out as a young skate punk and gradually flourished into a multi-continental alpinist. Brandon, would you rather spend your time bagging summits or ice climbing? I’ve had this similar conversation with lots of people. There are some rabid opinions out [...]
Beat – er: | ˈbētər | noun 1. A person who uses bravado in an effort to make up for his or her lack of skill. 2. A person who mistakes having fun for being “rad.” Everybody knows the highest accomplishment in skiing is to go fast and big while looking like you aren’t trying at all. But you don’t have to be able to sail smoothly over every gap to hold your own at the resort. Even if you can really only French fry somewhat proficiently, the main thing is to avoid being a beater. Here’s how. Ski-Bro Lingo and When [...]
The beacon leads to the probe, the probe leads to the shovel, and the shovel leads to your partner. Finding a probe and shovel combo that fits your needs can be difficult with all the options out on the market today. Various sizes, shapes, and lengths proliferate the landscape. To aid in your decision-making, we’ve assembled a guide that lists the pertinent features of each product and highlighted what kind of user they are designed for. The right kit for the right use If you are the Andrew McLean super-tour type, lightweight equipment is paramount. Smaller blades and shorter probes [...]
Have you ever wondered what’s hiding beneath the visible parts of your ski? What gives your ski its pop or edge hold? Or what the fuss over carbon fiber stringers is all about? This guide to ski construction takes you from the center of your ski to its edges, explaining how skis are built and how materials and manufacturing techniques can affect your skiing. Table of Contents Ski Cores Composite Layers Plastics Metals Ski Cores Manufacturers have explored a bunch of different materials for ski building over the past 40 years. While some materials have enjoyed a fair bit of [...]
Choosing between avalanche beacons can produce deer-in-headlights paralysis if you aren’t quite sure about all the features, what they do, and what you need. This article will break down the features and give advice according to what user group you’re in. Photo Credit: Tommy Chandler I have divided the market into three user groups: Recreational users are defined as riders who mainly ride the resorts and seldom go beyond the gates. Enthusiast users are defined as riders who spend quite a few days of their ski season in the backcountry and travel with a group of competent rescuers. Professional users [...]
Skis today are labeled as skis and women’s skis. So if you’re a woman, do you need a women’s ski? This is a question I’m often asked. The straight answer is no, you do not need one. The not-so-straight answer looks into how, for most women, a women-specific ski can have the potential to help your skiing in some unexpected ways. Above Photo: Backcountry.com Athlete Ingrid Backstrom slaying some powder. Photo Credit: Re Wikstrom The Right Fit Let’s anthropomorphize for a second (mainly so I can use that word, because it’s awesome), and think of each ski as an individual, [...]
In August of 2013, we traveled to Bolivia. It was the craziest place we’ve ever been! This remote country has been on our radar ever since we became obsessed with riding mountains and fly fishing, but it always seemed untouchable. All we wanted to do was catch a big golden dorado on the fly in a jungle choked, Amazonian headwater stream, but the trip evolved into something much greater. With the help of our friends Patrick Taendler, Federico Marancenbaum, and The Green Forest Lodge at Caño Negro, we had a rare opportunity to fish for a grand slam in the [...]
One of the good things about tele skiing is that you automatically have skis, boots, and bindings that work for touring. But you aren’t ready to hit the backcountry just because you have a free heel. Here are a few tips to help make your first time as enjoyable as possible. Photo Credit: Tommy Chandler 1. Avy Safety Make sure you know what you’re doing: learn about the backcountry, practice with the equipment you’ll be using, and practice with the buddies you’ll tour with. It’s ideal to have your own probe, shovel and beacon, but that’s not always realistic money-wise, [...]
Sometimes you can get so caught up in making sure you have all the right gear for ski touring (beacon, shovel, probe) that the proper layering is an afterthought at best. And when you haven’t layered right, it can be supremely uncomfortable, with day-ruining potential. Above Photo: Backcountry.com athlete Ingrid Backstrom getting ready to drop in. Photo Credit: Re Wikstrom I’ve made all the mistakes there are to make when it comes to layering for backcountry skiing, and I’m sure I’ll continue to be sweating off one body part while simultaneously freezing off another many, many more times. But here are a [...]
An hour outside of Vancouver, there’s a beautiful temperate rainforest unlike any place I’ve seen before. The land is green with trees, moss, and other forms of vegetation, in the middle of which are boulders, boulders, and more boulders. There are granite boulders everywhere. This place is called Squamish, and I might just call it my bouldering paradise. When to Go I’d been hearing about the bouldering opportunities in Squamish for a long time, so this past October a friend and I decided we’d make the trip. Going to Squamish in October is risky; it rains a lot there, and [...]
In this Sweetgrass Productions short, Backcountry athlete Molly Baker reflects on how skiing has provided her with direction, purpose, and the most compelling challenge of her life. Living the life of a ski bum, Molly has come to feel that big mountains and wide open spaces are more like home than anywhere else, and it’s those places that make her feel the most alive. As Molly says, “Whether it’s wind on your face, or feeling sunburnt, or feeling really happy in a powder turn…people want to feel something that’s real.” Check out Molly Baker in the Tiny House Tour 2014: [...]
What started as a way to make cheap tequila ever-so-slightly more palatable has evolved into an ongoing game of mixological one-upsmanship with no end in sight. Whether you’re headed to the desert to ring in the new year on ribbons of singletrack, diving deep into the woods for an avoid-the-crowds yurt trip, or taking in the closing-day shitshow at the resort, these five cocktails add a bit of celebratory spirit to your sport hydration drinks. That means they’re good for you, too. Skratcharitas The Skratcharita is a favorite, and for good reason. Pick your delight—lemon-lime, raspberry, or orange—and kick back [...]
This list of huts and lodges has no real geographical rhyme or reason; the huts are assembled together here mainly as I can vouch for their high quality. I’m a hut-ophile, though I’ve only been to about 10 official ones (I don’t count extended stays in abandoned houses, camping in storage units, or holing up in a fuel-storage locker as a legit hut experience, although that might be an interesting article in itself). My first hut trip had some rocky moments. We triggered avalanches, accidently insulted the helicopter pilot to the point that he threatened to make us walk back [...]
Anchors are extremely important. Whether you’re going up or down, at some point your anchor will be the only thing connecting you and your partner to whatever you’re climbing. Pulling a piece of gear in a lead fall usually just leads to a bigger fall. Anchor failures, on the other hand, always result in death (with the exception of some super lucky people). Because of this, sketchy anchors scare me more than just about anything else in the world of climbing. Here are some common sketchy anchors you should look out for. The Death Flake Coming across a big flake [...]
Salomon FreeskiTV’s Episode 6, “The Architect” takes a look at the changing face of ski areas through the eyes of Ryley Thesen, one of the world’s leading ski-resort designers. Backcountry.com athlete Leo Ahrens, Vincent Gagnier, and Simon Ericson met up in China to check out the designer’s work first-hand and experience the potential of an emerging ski industry. In the post below, Leo recaps his curiosity going into this unforgettable episode. As I find myself shuffling through the Salt Lake City International Airport with a pair of ski boots on my shoulder and a plane ticket in my hand, I can’t help [...]
The possibilities for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering in Washington State are endless. I moved here from Utah five years ago, and though I’m a seasonally employed professional skier whose job is the exploration on skis of my home turf, I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. While there are superb options for backcountry skiing near all of the state’s ski areas, the following ski tours give an idea of the more wild possibilities out there in the thousands of peaks and dozen-or-so volcanoes that make up the Cascade Range. Local resources include the conditions and trip report website www.turns-all-year.com, [...]
Hundreds of ski boots have walked the bamboo floors of the Tiny House. Many different skiers have rested their heads for the night near the small, warm fire. And many ski-fueling meals have been cooked in our small kitchen. After two seasons of living the tiny life, we’ve thought of plenty of ways to keep consolidating, simplifying, and beautifying our small space. A priority for season three was a list of renovations. Small changes in 112 square feet can have major implications. Yes, the Tiny House now has a shower—an outdoor shower, but still a shower. Warm water to rinse [...]
Backcountry ski athletes Kim Havell and Chris Davenport recently sat down together to talk shop on Outside Today. In addition to sharing memories of a past ski mountaineering trip up the Grand Teton and hinting at a future expedition in Antarctica, Kim and Chris both reflect on the great teamwork involved in their recent projects with backcountry.com, which helped to communicate a shared passion for mountain sports.
This week we sat down with four of our sponsored athletes and asked for tips to spotting a douchebag mountaineering or skiing partner. We spoke to Exum Guide Andy Tankersly, Exum Guide Garrick Hart, Arc’teryx Athlete and two-time Freeski World Tour Champion Crystal Wright, and Dynafit Athlete and US Ski Mountaineering Team Member Meredith Edwards. Below are 6 tips and some advice along with them. Above Photo By: Tommy Chandler 1) Watch for Big Talkers “Right off the bat, they talk too much,” said Andy Tankersly. “They’re talking about all the stuff they’ve done. Most people who really get after [...]
Tri season’s looming or even under way, which means it’s time to gear up for racing. For many triathletes, particularly less experienced ones or those without a competitive swimming background, the prospect of swimming through open water with others thrashing away close by is terrifying. But by increasing your comfort level and de-stressing the whole swim leg, you can likely realize nearly as significant gains in performance as you can by piling on the training yardage. Even if you’re limited to getting most of your training done in a pool, it’s possible to address some of the conditions you’ll encounter in the [...]
Mountain Hardwear proudly presents Days of My Youth, a new film from Red Bull Media House and MSP Films, featuring backcountry.com athletes Cody Townsend and Michelle Parker. Days of My Youth will portray the joys and struggles of shredding in the big-mountain arena and will showcase the delight of childlike discovery that skiing can offer as more than just a form of recreation, but as a way of life. Look for it Fall 2014. For more great MSP Films check out McConkey and Superheroes of Stoke.
Bill and Casey are two of backcountry.com’s finest Gearheads. They recently summited Denali, and they’re currently attempting to ski the top 50 greatest descents in North America. These guys tour every chance they get, and they happen to know a lot about the best gear for the job. Below are the kits Bill and Casey prefer to pack for their backcountry missions. Bill Porreca Backpack: I carry the Black Diamond Alias Pack. I used to roll with a 27L, but this 32L is a bit bigger and allows me to carry some extra layers without everything overflowing. I can even [...]
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