Category Killers: Middle-weight boots


These backcountry-focused boots balance weight and power for a smooth climb up and stable ride down. Lightweight yet stable, they might not be a one-quiver boot but they come close.

Photo Gallery: Hokkaido’s Heli Debate

Adam U finds the quieter side of Shiribetsu-dake. [Photo] Freya Fennwood

In “Hokkaido’s Heli Debate,” Whittaker investigates a brewing issue on Japan’s north island, where backcountry and helicopter skiers are squaring off over the shadowy trees and sunny bowls of Shiribetsu-dake (3,632 ft.). “Can there be enough for everyone?” Whittaker ponders.

Apogée: Celebrating JP Auclair and Andreas Fransson


Last year, Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair set out to film a project they called Apogée, which means the highest point in the development of something. The project was cut short, a year ago yesterday, when the both Fransson and Auclair died in an avalanche on Monte San Lorenzo on the Chilean/Argentine border. Exactly one year after their deaths, close friend Bjarne Salén, of Endless Flow Films, released a 15-minute cut of the film.

Testers’ Choice: Movement Trust 108


Tester Miles Kochalka loves to be in the woods skiing untracked lines around Smugglers’ Notch, Vt. And if he is not shredding treed lines, he is happy anywhere else with snow, so long as he has skis on his feet. He looks for well-rounded skis and that is what he found in the Movement Trust 108.

Infinite Wisdom: Wisecracks and Wit For Ski Travel


When it comes to ski travel, everybody has an opinion—where to go, when to go, what to pack or how to adhere to international sauna etiquette.

Category Killers: Female Favorites


The lady testers have spoken and mid-fat skis are their tool of choice this coming winter. While not exclusively women’s specific, these skis offered up stability and mobility that impressed the women who took them for a spin.

Testers’ Choice: Dynafit Hokkaido

Fredrik making sure he stays safe in the field. [Photo] John Webb

Steep and deep—that’s what tester Jason Layh wants to ski. He doesn’t mind a slightly heavier ski if it means better performance all around. To him “form and function need to be complimentary.” Here is his review of the Dynafit Hokkaido.

Remembering Bela Vadasz: Skier, Guide, Groundbreaker


Ski mountaineer and guide Bela Vadasz died last Tuesday. Outside of California’s Sierra Nevada, many may not know his name, but his impact on the backcountry community stretched far across the world. Vadasz was cofounder of Truckee, Calif.-based Alpine Skills International and was among the first internationally certified American mountain guides. He is survived by his wife, Mimi, and two sons.

Category Killers: Quiver of One


Every skier is in search of a unicorn—the ski that can do it all. Our testers have chosen these four skis for their power inbounds and out—balancing weight and performance with all-conditions versatility.

Testers’ Choice: Salomon MTN Lab


Tester Carter Snow likes steep, technical, playful terrain with features to jump off. When he’s not in the backcountry, he’s training for big-mountain competitions—and he needs gear that can make that leap too. He picks the Salomon MTN Lab for its skinning, charging, and hucking abilities.