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Catherine Greenwald

Day three of your ski trip finds you near-crippled with pain and exhaustion, barely able to strap on the boots and clomp up to the lift. And although your body is screaming for you to stop, you press on—it’s your big ski trip of the year, and you want to make the most of it. Or you’re on vacation with people to whom you have something to prove (still got it!) and don’t want to slow the group down or miss out. But skiing when you’re stiff and sore just isn’t as fun. Worse, it may lead to injury when [...]

Kim Havell

Three weeks before I was due to go to Antarctica for my third trip to ski-guide for Ice Axe Expeditions last fall, my plans fell through thanks to last-minute guest changes. I was still itching to go somewhere, so I turned my focus to a new project. The goals were to find an adventure, check out new mountains, do some ski reconnaissance, and embrace and enjoy a new culture. My partner, Jackson Hole Ski Patroller Pete Linn, and I honed in on Peru, and then quickly found the perfect challenge. National Geographic lists the Salkantay Trail (ST) as one of [...]

Camille Barile

On your next backpacking trip, why would you choose to lumber along like a weighed-down pack mule when you could spring up the trail like a mountain lion? When it comes to hefting a backpack during multi-day treks over rugged terrain, cutting total weight to below 20 pounds for weekend excursions and below 30 pounds for anything longer brings a slew of benefits. A lightweight or ultralight load means fewer blisters, aches, and pains, and makes it possible to hike in lightweight trail running shoes rather than heavier hiking boots (a pound added to the foot is equivalent to five [...]

Geoff Conner

Silverton, CO is a small mining town nestled away in southwestern Colorado. Located in the San Juan Mountains, this town gets its fair share of snow, to say the least. The silver-mining industry eventually slowed, and in 2002 two visionary skiers decided to open up a ski area, not a resort—Jen and Aaron Brill put in one two-person lift to access some of the best snow and terrain the contiguous 48 states have to offer—and we all hope it stays like that. Getting Settled Our drive took us from Salt Lake through Grand Junction and 120 miles beyond, with the [...]

Casey Glaubman

Ouray, like so many mountain towns, started out as a mining town. Though there’s still plenty of mining around, today Ouray is known more for the outdoor recreation it has to offer than the precious metals pulled from beneath. Anyone with a passion for the outdoors, from hiking to skiing, will find something to love about this place. In the winter however, this town is all about two things: ice climbing and soaking in hot springs. Ouray is home to one of, if not the largest, manmade ice climbing areas in North America. The park is owned and operated jointly by the [...]

Benjamin Goforth

A pair of stylish sunnies might make a fashion statement around town, at the beach, or on the deck of an après-ski bar, but they are also are absolute necessity for many active pursuits. Primarily, they serve the vital function of protecting your eyes from UV rays. Like your skin, your eyes can also literally get sunburned; specifically, your corneas (the transparent ‘shield’ at the front of your eye that covers all of the important bits behind it) are at the highest risk. And since these kinds of sunburns are essentially irreparable, you’ll want to try to protect your eyes [...]

Pace Measom

Having the right avalanche safety gear—and the know-how to use it—is critical before heading into the backcountry. Learn how to choose the beacon, shovel, probe, and airbag pack that are right for you. Beacons Avalanche beacons, also known as transceivers, are essential for both transmitting your own location as well as finding others buried in the snow. Today’s digital avalanche beacons are easier and faster to use than ever before. Get one, practice like your life depends on it, and then do everything in your power to keep from having to use it. A beacon does not have to have [...]

Skratch Labs

The new Feed Zone Table cookbook by Skratch Labs founder Alan Lim and Chef Biju Thomas picks up where their Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables left off. Inspired by feedback from these books, they created a new set of recipes that are simple, healthy, and nutritious. But it goes beyond the food, to the way cooking and eating well can bring people together. As they say in the book’s forward: “We’ve always believed that physical activity and sport are central to our individual and cultural health. More important, we know that proper nutrition is fundamental to supporting an [...]

Pace Measom

In cold weather, the trick to staying warm is layering with the right insulation, and not all insulation is created equal. While the type of jacket you need has a lot to do with the activity you’ll be doing, learning a few basics about the different types of insulation, and waterproof technologies, will go a long way in choosing the insulated jacket best suited to your needs. Down or Synthetic? There are two main types of insulation used in jackets: down and synthetic. Both have specific strengths and weaknesses, making each superior in certain situations. Regardless of the type of [...]

Adam Riser

Everything went wrong. You misread the snow conditions and the first one to drop triggered a massive slide. The whole crew watched as closely as they could, but you lost sight of your friend and don’t have a clue where he is. This is the moment you’ve feared (and prepared for) since the day you started backcountry skiing. You unzip your jacket, pull your beacon from its chest pouch, switch it to receive, and begin one of the scariest things you’ll ever do in your life. This is what will happen during those hour-long minutes … Transmitting Any beacon made [...]

Phil Parrish

Health and fitness trackers are becoming more and more popular, with over 8.5 million sold last year. People are clearly interested in getting fitter, healthier, and improving their performance. Fitness trackers do exactly what their name entails. They track fitness data ranging from steps to heart rate to location and distance. The downside of the huge variety of devices out there is that it can get confusing when it comes to selecting one. You want to get the functionality you need and want, but don’t want to spend extra money on capabilities you won’t necessarily be using.   Below are [...]

Alex Blackmer

Alpine skiing gets most of the glory, but Nordic is where it all began. Gliding across a frozen landscape with nothing but birdsong and dappled sunlight for company is a magical experience, and whether you’re in it for the solitude or the exercise, there’s a discipline, and a ski, that’s right for you. Skinny skis can be broken down into three types. The most well-known type is the classic ski, which utilizes the stride-and-glide technique most people start out with. Classic skis are at home in specially groomed tracks, on packed trails, or in wide open, rolling spaces like meadows [...]

TJ Parsons

Teaching yourself to ride a snowboard switch—leading with your opposite foot compared to your natural riding stance—can feel a lot like regressing back to your first painful days of learning how to snowboard. So why would anyone bother? First, riding switch is a crucial building block for freestyle and park riders, as comfortably controlling yourself in both directions is a prerequisite for learning even basic tricks. But even if your aerial aspirations are limited to perfect powder landings, riding switch is a great way to keep things interesting on a not-so-powdery day at the resort, and getting comfortable using both [...]

abbydell photography

It’s that time of year, the good time. The time when you bust out the splitboard and backcountry gear, or get new equipment ready to go. With any luck this means you’re looking to mount some new Karakoram bindings to your splitboard. Karakoram is one of the most innovative splitboarding brands, and the Prime system is the tightest mount out there—pun intended. But seriously, it will keep you closer to your board—around 5cm away—than any other split binding, let alone regular binding. The level of response is next-level. All of the Prime bindings are lightweight, built tough, and easy to [...]

TJ Parsons

The right pair of boots often makes the difference between an awesome day on the mountain and an afternoon spent whimpering in the lodge. With the huge amount of available options, knowing what features you want and how your boots should fit can be a big help in narrowing down your choices. Flex and Support When you’re choosing a new snowboard boot, the first place to start is to look at a boot’s flex. The flex of a snowboard boot refers to the amount of support it provides, and how quickly it transfers energy to your board. Manufacturers generally rate [...]

Andrew McLean

In the past there has only been one Golden Rule for backcountry skiing: There are no friends on powder days. This is always said tongue-in-cheek and implies that powder days should be feeding frenzies where it’s every man for himself, but with the stratospheric rise in backcountry popularity, just the opposite is now true: There’s nothing BUT friends on powder days. Or at least there should be. What used to take a week is now tracked out in a day. In popular areas with easy access like the Central Wasatch Mountains, Teton Pass or Tahoe the rise in backcountry skier [...]

Rachael Burks

In the past few years, Iceland has been put on the map as a ski destination. There are a few helicopter operations based out of northwestern corner of the country, but overall, touring is the easiest way to ski Iceland. In the winter, snow covers almost everything, making the ski possibilities endless; awe-inspiring views and adventure can be found everywhere. Two of our crew had previously been to Iceland and therefore could not wait to further explore this relatively off-the-radar ski destination. Hence, it became our target for a trip spring of 2015. Our crew of skiers and riders—Julian Carr, [...]

Joshua Barnes

Nothing beats coming in from skiing to meet a blazing fire and a warm shelter. Basing your skiing out of backcountry huts and yurts mean you can log day after day of pristine backcountry touring and cap them off with cozy nights with an actual roof over your head. You can hole up in a five-star resort in pretty much any mountain town; you can also skin into the backcountry with nothing but your sleeping bag and a candle to keep you warm in an ice cave you dug yourself. Both are legitimate ways to spend the night in the [...]

Catherine Greenwald

Your kid may be one of those who take to the snow like a baby polar bear, but even the hardiest youngster can have a rough day. You know how it goes—pitching a fit on the bunny hill, sniveling about the cold, and whining to be taken home. Whether you’re headed to after-school lessons, a weekend getaway, or a family vacation, here are some tips for maximizing the fun and minimizing the pain of a day on the slopes with very young skiers or snowboarders. Tip #1: Keep them warm … but don’t immobilize them If your kid stays warm, [...]

Jared Downs

When shopping for a new pair of crampons you’ll notice several different designs and configurations. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as an intended use. Whether you’re planning on climbing the DC route on Mt. Rainier or venturing into the wet and cold world of ice climbing, choosing the right crampon will keep your mind off the gear and on the objective ahead. Attachment Type There are three types of attachment systems for modern crampons: step-in, hybrid, and strap-on. Step-In Crampons Step-in crampons provide the most secure attachment between the crampon and the boot. This is achieved [...]

Beth Lopez

My touring buddies call me “the cautious one.” (Also, “burrito hoarder.”) And they don’t mean either as a compliment. But how many times have I died in an avalanche? Zero. That statistic says a lot. Each morning, I carefully study the Utah Avalanche Center’s detailed daily report. These guys know their stuff, and when they say danger is considerable or worse, I figure they mean it. But a high danger rating needn’t mean it’s a couch day. The gods of the Wasatch have blessed us locals with a bountiful array of well-anchored, low-angle glades, and all we need to do [...]

Skratch Labs

By now you may know that the Skratch Labs Cookie Mix makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, berry blondie, and vegan cookie bar, and that all of them fit sweetly in your pocket or pack for rides, runs, and adventures. But you can also put the Cookie Mix to use when you’re looking to make an impression at a dinner party, office function, or Sunday brunch. Here are two can’t-miss recipes that even the most baking-challenged can manage, with impressive results. Apple & Pumpkin Buckle This buckle recipe comes together in just a few minutes. You can swap out the [...]

Pace Measom

Rock climbing is a sport that requires some specialized strength development in your hands and forearms, and training on a board is one of the best ways to build that strength. There are many climbing-specific fingerboards available, but one of the classics is the simple campus board. A campus board is generally just a 20-degree overhanging piece of plywood with different size rungs and grips on it. It was developed by a German climber named Wolfgang Gullich in the late ’80s, to develop the explosive power and finger strength that he needed to make the first descent of a route [...]

Kyle Livingston

We all have our favorite outdoor pursuit, and arguably the most important piece of our gear kit for that pursuit is the jacket. Hikers, climbers, skiers, snowboarders, bikers, or mountaineers have to protect themselves from the elements, but gone are the days of one jacket that works for everything. For example, I use a Gore-Tex 3-layer shell layered with a down jacket for skiing but a lightweight softshell for backpacking and hiking and another jacket for around town. To get you started on the path to understanding your jacket options, we’ve outlined the five most basic styles. The Shell Jacket [...]

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