2015 GEAR TEST WEEK DAY 5 DISPATCH

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A rough day skiing is better than no skiing at all. After the bleary eyes left behind from the “Progressive Party” finally subsided, testers hit the slopes once again and finished off the rest of the boots and skis, completing the 11th Annual Gear Test Week. The warmest day of the test made for perfect spring […]

2015 GEAR TEST WEEK DAY 4 DISPATCH

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Day four of Gear Test Week was full-on spring skiing—hard corduroy groomers and chundery woods that softened to corny utopia in the afternoon. Testers continued to give a solid effort, some of whom busted out a dozen or more skis and tested a handful of boots. With three days of testing under everyone’s belts, the […]

2015 Gear Tester Profile: Jason Layh

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With a thick Australian accent, Jason Layh is one of our most seasoned testers. He was recruited during the Couloir Magazine gear test days and carried over to our Gear Test Week when Couloir merged with Backcountry in 2007. Layh chased winter storms for most of his twenties before finally settling down in the Tahoe area. Name: Jason […]

2015 GEAR TEST WEEK VIDEO DISPATCH: DAY Three

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The snow gods have halted their powdery offerings, forcing testers to strap on their skins and push farther out into Powder Mountain’s backcountry zones in search of shaded slopes. Others found soft spring snow between trees and ripped down groomers, ticking off as many different skis as they could in one day.

2015 GEAR TEST WEEK DAY 3 DISPATCH

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For the third day in a row testers took advantage of cat rides up Lightning Ridge in their continuous hunt for shaded pow. The sun continued to shine, taking its toll on snow conditions, but determined testers found hidden pockets of fresh on northern aspects. By the end of the day testers pushed around soft […]

2015 GEAR TEST WEEK VIDEO DISPATCH: Day Two

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While skiers polished off the remaining pockets of fresh snow on the slopes of Powder Mountain, a contingent of testers snuck out to James Peak to hunt down some untouched powder. Lathered in sun screen and equipped with avalanche gear, they found what the were looking for—untouched white stuff under bluebird skies.

2015 GEAR TEST WEEK DAY 2 DISPATCH

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On day two of Backcountry’s Gear Test Week, the tool of the day was sunscreen. A few low-hanging clouds drifted around the sky, but the sun was in full force. Big globs of white gew were passed out and beards and skin were pasted. Once everyone was lathered up, a posse of testers snuck out […]

2015 Gear Test Week Video Dispatch: Day Zero

The test crew, and friends new and old, rolling in from ski towns across the country. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week, our annual pilgrimage to Powder Mountain, Utah, kicks off with more than 40 testers evaluating over 200 skis and 100 AT and telemark boots for five days to create next fall’s 2015 Gear Guide.

2015 Gear Tester Profile: Marla Bailey

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Marla (a.k.a. Cookie) Bailey is a veteran tester, a ripping tele skier and wife of the king of testers, Shaggy Bailey. She’s the first to compliment your turns or your pooper, but the truth is her skiing is the prettiest of all. Cookie is a “must” on your ski partner list, and if you’re lucky […]

2015 Gear Test Week Video Dispatch: Day One

On Day 1 of Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week, the crew of testers pulled out the fat skis. With eight inches of fresh snow, anxious testers grabbed skis, adjusted bindings and hit the slopes and backcountry at Powder Mountain quicker than Shaggy fowling the resort’s bathroom.