New-School Ski Mountaineers: At Sugarbush, Vt. junior skimos head off piste

Diggity, Rickety and the Skimos. [Photo] David Crothers

A three-mile section of Central Vermont’s Long Trail links Sugarbush’s Castlerock Peak and Mt. Ellen. It’s routinely traveled by backcountry skiers, and today a group of ski mountaineers are lined up to make the tour. But, instead of being kitted out with spandex and race gear, they wear mondo size 17 boots and 140-cm long skis. They are a part of Sugarbush’s Ski Mountaineers program, a development group of 15 kids ages 10 to 17 who meet each weekend to learn backcountry skills.

The Grand Traverse: New Snow and Blisters


In a little more than 24 hours, a contingent of professional athletes, hobbyists and amateurs alike will converge upon Crested Butte, Colo., for the 17th Annual GORE-TEX Grand Traverse. Racers will test their mental and physical ability in the 40-mile race to Aspen, roughly retracing what was once a mailing route between the two towns. […]

2015 GEAR TESTER PROFILE: Richard “Woody” Wood


On the ride up Highway 158 to Utah’s Powder Mountain Resort, you pass a 1,200-acre skiing zone known as Powder Country. Skiers can ride from the top of the resort down to the road and get shuttled back up. That’s where veteran bus driver Richard “Woody” Wood comes in. Woody has been sitting in the […]

2015 Gear Test Week Day 1 Dispatch


They were calling for a trace of snow last night at Powder Mountain, Utah. But that trace was a quick eight last night, and it’s the snow all the testers are talking about. You can feel the anxiety building on the bus ride to Powder Mountain; no one is sitting still in their seats. Outside, […]

Backcountry Basecamp Dispatch: Old Skis, Old Pals and Sipping Whiskey


Below a line of old National Park Ranger hats hung on a Wyoming wall and hidden in a barrel of nordic skis rests an ancient pair of edgeless wooden planks. Warped with curved tails and splintered bottoms, they look like they would make better firewood than skis. “Those are my grandfather’s,” Tyson Philips says holding […]

A Window of Opportunity: Second Descent of Aiguille Blanche du Peuterey


Imagine living with the rocky east face of Aiguille Blanche du Peuterey staring at you every winter. The 50-degree face drops 1350 meters from the Italian side of Blanche’s 4100-meter summit, and a narrow band of snow only skied once winds among the rock. Every season it leaves you wondering when conditions and opportunity will […]

Tour de Mount Washington


Nobody likes waking up to the sound of a screeching alarm clock, but when conditions are forecasted to be as…