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2018 Testers’ Choice: Gavin Cooper’s picks

“I rock a two-buckle boot. lightweight skis, bindings with no brakes and 70/30 mohair skins. I look for the right combo to ski 10,000 vertical feet, travel 25 miles or just enjoy the tree skiing behind my house.”

First avalanche-related deaths of the 2017/18 season a heavy blow to climbing community

Bozeman resident Inge Perkins, 23, was killed in an avalanche on Imp Peak in Montana’s southern Madison Range on October 7. Alpinist Hayden Kennedy, 27, Perkins’s ski partner and girlfriend, later took his own life on Sunday, October 8.

2018 Testers’ Choice: Becca Cooper’s Picks

Testing skis for the Backcountry Magazine Gear Guide can be a grueling endeavor—with hours upon hours of hot powder laps, edge-to-edge action on groomers, the occasional crud-busting run, and of course, flip cup practice—and our testers for the 2018 Gear Guide found it all at Powder Mountain,

2018 Testers’ Choice: Matteo Campbell’s picks

“I’m typically looking to get up to get down—I don’t mind the extra suffering on the way up at all. Usually i’m not out for a long enough trek that the weight is an issue, and I kinda like the added workout.”

2018 Testers’ Choice: Cat Ambrose’s Picks

Testing skis for the Backcountry Magazine Gear Guide can be a grueling endeavor—with hours upon hours of hot powder laps, edge-to-edge action on groomers, the occasional crud-busting run, and of course, flip cup practice—and our testers for the 2018 Gear Guide found it all at Powder Mountain, Utah. Skis, boots and bindings are all put through the ringer to find the standouts, with each ski tested eight times, three for boots and bindings. To get a sense of who’s putting in the work, we introduce Testers’ Choice profiles and picks, so you can be sure you’re getting the info right from the source. 

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Touring Skis

This year, we’re mixing things up. We’ve historically organized skis solely based on width, but we’ve realized this approach can ignore a ski’s purpose. So for 2018, we dove into the psyche of our testers—who hammered the slopes of Powder Mountain, Utah for a week in March—to hone in on what skis were best suited […]

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Freeride Skis

These skis are all about the descent, prioritizing downhill-focused stability over weight. They target the upper end of width (118 to 98 mm underfoot) and offer varying degrees of rocker and stout construction for confidence in conditions from crud to hardpack. They’ll bring power into the backcountry, but demand muscle going up and down.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Powder Touring Skis

These wide-bodied boards (124 to 104 mm underfoot) balance girth and grams for soft-snow pleasure lap after lap. Rocker is plentiful, as are attributes like playfulness and easy turn initiation. And while the following skis are most at home in deep, consistent conditions, many can hang beyond their comfort zone, too.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Boots

An emergent trend for 2018 wasn’t just easy to pick up on at the outset of late March’s Gear Test Week; it was easy to pick up. This focus on weight was hyper apparent in boots, where nearly half of the 77 pair tested sported two buckles or fewer. And even the stouter options meant to charge have made major strides for the ascent.

From the largest set of boots we’ve ever tested, these are the ultimate standouts, the 2018 Editors’ Choice-winning AT boots.

2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Splitboards

How do we cram a season’s worth of splitboarding into Board Test Week? It’s an admittedly imperfect science, a chemistry of constant tinkering. But after a week in and around Crested Butte Mountain Resort, these splitboards, boots and bindings won out over the rest.

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