Airbag Assessment: This winter’s avalanche safety packs and accessories reviewed

Avalanche airbag and backpack choices can be hard to navigate with a range of prices, safety features and sizes to pick from. While not definitive, these selects have caught our eye. From vests to battery-powered inflation, we looked at the ins and outs of five avalanche safety tools for winter 2015-16. Mammut Alyeska P.A.S. Vest […]


December is here and with it comes avalanche center fundraisers, new educational programs, and speaker series. Here are some of the events to put on your schedule this month.

First U.S. Avalanche Fatality Involves UCLA Grad Student

The body of Michael David Meyers, a 25-year-old grad student at Los Angeles, Calif.’s UCLA, was found over the weekend buried in avalanche debris in California’s John Muir Wilderness. Meyer reportedly went missing earlier this month, and his death marks the first avalanche fatality in the country this winter.

Testers’ Choice: DPS WAILER 99 TOUR1

“DPS, you have done it again. The Wailer is the ski I would like to walk away with. You ask, they do. This ski is the fountain of youth—they make everything feel easy. Turn initiation is effortless; they are incredibly light; they cut through the chunder and make you feel all-around sexy. I would equate the Wailer to my Subaru, the all-terrain vehicle, a true one-ski quiver.”

Avatech Launches Updated Backcountry Observation App

Avatech, the Park City, Utah-based maker of proactive avalanche safety tools, launched an updated version of the Avanet app today. The redesigned app, available now through the iTunes store, incorporates route-tracking and observation-reporting functions, aiming to bring safety-information sharing to the masses.

Photo Gallery: Green Mountain Snow Soldiers

“The drill hall at Jericho, Vt.’s Ethan Allen Firing Range looks like a cluttered, dimly lit high-school gymnasium,” Tyler Cohen writes in the November 2015 issue. “And on a snowy January morning, it’s filled by more than 100 young-faced National Guardsmen, each preparing for a week of tactical and on-snow training.”


Tory Hayssen is clear about her preferred direction of skiing, saying, “I like the downhill best.” When asked what conditions she most enjoys, she told Backcountry that she prefers to go to “Pow Town,” but that “it’s all fun”—a good attitude to have no matter where you choose to shred. Here is what she thinks of the Black Crows Corvus Freebird.


Eric Tiffany is more interested in the downhill performance of his gear, but admits that as he gets older, he looks for that balance between weight and chargeability. Really, all he needs to have fun, however, is a few inches of fresh snow. Here is what he thinks of the Völkl V-Werks BMT 109.

Backcountry Bulletin: November Avalanche and Backcountry Community Events

With less sunlight drawing you outside, November is the perfect time to brush up on avalanche skills and hang out with friends. Here are some of the events to put on your schedule this month.

Testers’ Choice: Armada Kufo 103

“The less weight on my feet going uphill means I can carry more Grey Goose for my Black Russians,” says tester Jamie Krakowiak. She wants a skis that is “efficient and trustworthy at a reasonable price point,” and looks for deep snow in open bowls, but is willing to hunt a little for fresh in the trees if she has to. Here is her review of the Armada Kufo 103.