Last week was the annual Winter Outdoor Retailer trade show, the Consumer Electronic Show for outdoor nuts. And the only thing more glaring than the convention center’s fluorescent lights was the prevalence of backcountry gear. Here are a few highlights.
Jay Prentiss has eight years of racing, 18 years of touring and six years of ski testing experience—plus a first descent of the East Face of Pyramid Peak, Colorado. He skis between 60 and 100 days, and spends down days surfing, mountain biking or sipping tea. His pick of the test? The Atomic Charter.
Beacons get all the glory. They’re expensive, tech-packed pieces of gear that backcountry users covet for finding partners and getting found. But shovels and shoveling deserve more credit. After all, when avalanche debris sets up like concrete, and your partner is buried deeply, your job doesn’t stop at pinpointing them with a fine search and a probe strike. Here’s a video of how to dig safe and dig fast.
“As a young ski racer, I couldn’t find any women I could relate to as role models in the sport,” Lynsey Dyer writes in the our January issue (which hits newsstands on January 7). So she sought out women who followed their passion fearlessly, whatever that passion was. Now Lynsey is one of those role models, and she’s bringing together others like her to produce “Pretty Faces,” an all-female ski and adventure-sports film.
Look at any beginner skinner, and you’ll likely see an act of distress akin to uphill roller-skating on black ice. Look at someone who’s been at it for a while, and they might appear as comfortable sidehilling a sheen of breakable crust as a child frolicking through a meadow. Here’s how to become that skinner.
Like a trip to Chamonix, one to Alaska’s Ruth Amphitheater is a prerequisite to earning your “Serious Alpinist” merit badge. Andrew McLean had never been to either, and was painfully aware of his lowly Webelo (We Be Loyal Scouts) status until last spring when he had a chance to redeem himself with a trip to the Ruth. The Powderwhore’s captured the trip in this year’s film, “Elevation.”