Each year, for a few days in January, outdoor retailers, brands and media take over Salt Lake City, Utah, for a maelstrom of new technology, flashy gear, buzzwords and big news. Wade through it all and there’s a lot to talk about for backcountry skiing and riding, from new boots and beacons, to noteworthy innovations in skis, shovels, screwdrivers (yes, screwdrivers) and more. Here are more highlights of next year’s gear from the trade-show floor in Salt Lake City.
Each year, for a few days in January, outdoor retailers, brands and media take over Salt Lake City, Utah, for a maelstrom of new technology, flashy gear, buzzwords and big news. Wade through it all and there’s a lot to talk about for backcountry skiing and riding, from new boots and beacons, to noteworthy innovations in skis, shovels, screwdrivers (yes, screwdrivers) and more. Here are some highlights of next year’s gear from the trade-show floor in Salt Lake City.
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 […]
In last year’s Gear Guide, we reviewed Fischer’s new—indeed, their first—AT boot, writing, “Like all Fischer Vacuum boots, the Transalp liner and shell are moldable to accommodate an enormous range of foot shapes.” (97-107 last width.) The testers included myself and then-Photo Editor David Crothers, both of us a 28.5 shell. The similarity ended there. […]
This month’s cover features splitboarder Mark Hartley descending a puckering face outside of Revelstoke, B.C. And Hartley, who proudly rips on a hardboot setup, is intimate with the debate between traditional, soft snowboard boots versus plastic-shelled alpine-touring ski boots. As Hartley puts it, that debate can be quite controversial. “Softbooters seem to see hardbooters as […]
“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.”
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.
Meet the Burton Tourist, a new, touring-specific splitboard boot due out this month. Built off the design of the iconic Ion, Burton’s team-favorite freeride boot, the Tourist offers a rearward flex for more efficient skinning and a crampon-compatible Vibram sole featuring a heel welt, positioning it as the ultimate all-around splitboard boot for going up and down the mountain.
“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.