Down Cloud: Mammut Biwak Jacket

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I got this jacket about six years ago before a mountaineering trip in Alaska—a cold, four-week NOLS course in the Talkeetna Mountains. It was my puffiest, warmest layer, and I wore it every night.

Softer Touch: Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody

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With fewer frills than a fancy pair of ski socks, my favorite jacket, a bare-bones softshell from Outdoor Research, could hardly be considered a shell when placed next to some fully-featured jackets that ring in at five times its price.

Not For Sale: Arc’teryx/Gore-Tex Pro Demo Jacket

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The late bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn had a great line in Blues Brothers: “If the shit fits, wear it.” Never an image guy and, frankly, a tough fit for jackets, I can abide. Enter this sample Arc’teryx/Gore-Tex piece that I picked up at a press event last year in Chamonix. Made of Gore-Tex Pro throughout, it’s like nothing in the Arc’teryx line. Well, aside from its high-quality construction and anatomical cut.

Tried & New: Suunto Vector

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I might have been drunk when I found this beat-up, scratched Suunto Vector pinched between two rocks in Vermont’s Brewster River. From a distance, its black housing looked faintly like a tin of chewing tobacco (which is why I actually ran to check its contents). Upon further inspection, what appeared to be a can of […]

Pack ‘N’ Play: What to Bring on your Next Hut Trip

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If you’ve ever been winter camping, then you’re all-too-familiar with the crushing heft of an expedition pack. But carrying a load for a hut trip is far less weighty—that is, unless you’re on 30-rack duty. Hut essentials vary depending on location, approach method and amenities offered, so check in with the operation for a final packing list (and consult your partners for their thoughts on appropriate sauna attire). Regardless, these necessities should keep you covered.

Tried & New: Black Diamond Razor Carbon Pole

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As a ski magazine editor, I’m fortunate enough to upgrade my quiver, boots, apparel and accessories almost annually. But one constant in my gear over the last several years has been these Black Diamond poles. In fact, beyond some foot beds, a few pairs of underwear and one particular flask, my poles might be the […]

Shred Test 2015: It’s A Wrap

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I gave away an avalanche airbag today. And the winner deserved it. She worked hard all week. They all did. My splitboarding gear testers kick ass. I only wish I had more airbag packs to give away…. Fortunately, conditions were stellar in Crested Butte this past week, stoking the crew for long, productive days of […]

Back to the Butte: 2015 Board Test

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Backcountry Magazine’s annual Board Test kicks off on Monday, attracting riders to Crested Butte, Colorado from across the country for a week of testing next year’s boards, boots and bindings. Fortunately, Mother Nature has favored Crested Butte this winter, and the mountain is open with wall-to-wall fun and technical terrain.

2015 Gear Test Week Dispatch: Day Zero

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Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week, our annual pilgrimage to Powder Mountain, Utah, kicks off tomorrow. More than 40 testers will evaluate some 200-plus skis and 100 AT and telemark boots for five days to create next fall’s 2015 Gear Guide. Here’s how the first day unfolded.

Testers’ Choice: DPS Wailer 99

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A five-year ski tester, Marla Bailey has teled exclusively for 12 years since her start in Winter Park’s “No Pain, No Jane” bumps. She enjoys skiing what she calls “balls-deep powder, knee-deep powder and piles of powder from other people’s knees or balls.” Her pick of the test? The DPS Wailer 99.

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