2016 Gear Test Week: The Round Up

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After a week in Powder Mountain, the 50 gear testers and Backcountry staff have dispersed back to their respective mountain towns. Like the Annual Board Test, the Gear Test was a huge success; the squad tested 200 skis and 50 boots, as well as a range of tele and AT bindings, all while enjoying the surprise […]

Board Test: Day 1 Update

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With the rapid escalation of splitboarding’s popularity, combined with technological advances in the winter sports industry, the selection process that goes into building a backcountry snowboarding setup is more tedious than ever. Boards are lighter. New bindings and touring hardware increase the speed of transitions from tour mode to ride mode, and vice versa. The […]

Gear Preview: 2015 Outdoor Retailer Highlights (Part 2)

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The trade-show floor of Salt Lake City, Utah’s Salt Palace is a proverbial candy store, a seemingly endless display of shiny, bright and new ski and snowboard gear to come. And there’s good news for backcountry skiers and riders at the candy store, with continued focus on lighter gear designed to keep up, increased bc-designed offerings by big brands and a whole host of nuanced accessories that might make earning turns easier.

Gear Preview: 2015 Outdoor Retailer Highlights (Part 1)

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The trade-show floor of Salt Lake City, Utah’s Salt Palace is a proverbial candy store, a seemingly endless display of shiny, bright and new ski and snowboard gear to come. And there’s good news for backcountry skiers and riders at the candy store, with continued focus on lighter gear designed to keep up, increased bc-designed offerings by big brands and a whole host of nuanced accessories that might make earning turns easier.

The Avy Lab: How AvaTech will change the way we see snowpack

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Brint Markle was living in Zurich, Switzerland in 2010 when he had a major wakeup call. The Philadelphia native was working overseas as a management consultant and skiing at Verbier, as he often did, when one of his friends was caught and partially buried in an avalanche on the backside of Mont Fort.

Timeless Tools: Backcountry items that never lose their virtue

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Beyond our skis, boots and poles, beyond our shovel, beacon and probe, there are certain very valuable items we all take into the backcountry. Each one transcends the virtue of creature comforts into backcountry civility, safety and style. They are the standard by which we live and breathe. When it comes to bring it or don’t, it’s like sex; it’s better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it. So it goes for my list of compiled must-haves.

Black Diamond Issues Voluntary Whippet Recall

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Yesterday, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Black Diamond Equipment issued a voluntary recall on their Whippet and Carbon Whippet self arrest ski poles. The models, produced between May 1, 2013 and January 15, 2014, feature a notched, polished, stainless steel tip that has been found to break under certain circumstances, though, according to the CPSC, no injuries have been reported.

Tech Binding Boom: For 2015, Safety Becomes a Tech Binding Cornerstone

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In the November 2014 issue, Editor Tyler Cohen explores the recent boom in tech bindings that have an increased focus on safety—and DIN certification. While researching this story, he posed several questions to four leaders in the binding industry, Fritz Barthel, the inventor of the Low Tech system, Edwin Lehner, lead binding designer with Dynafit, Jeff Campbell, a PhD candidate studying binding mechanics, and Dr. Irving Scher, chairman of the American Society for Testing and Materials’ International Snow Skiing Committee. Here’s what they had to say.

The Smartprobe: AvaTech Launches SP1 and AvaNet

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“Saving lives starts with understanding the snow under our feet and avoiding avalanches before they happen,” says Brint Markle, co-founder and CEO of AvaTech, a new company focused on developing proactive avalanche safety technology. Their new probe, the SP1, launches today alongside AvaNet, a cloud platform for sharing avalanche data.

Dynafit Announces Beast 16 DIN ISO Certification

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On the heels of Marker’s Kingpin tech binding launch, Dynafit is announcing the TÜV certification of their Beast 16 binding. Both products now meet DIN ISO 13992:2007, the TÜV certification standard for safety release in alpine touring bindings. And while the Kingpin and Beast are the only tech bindings with this certification, the Beast is the sole DIN-certified tech binding currently available.

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