Timeless Tools: Backcountry items that never lose their virtue


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


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


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


“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


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.

A New Kingpin: Behind Marker’s Tech Binding


Tech bindings have traditionally offered safety release at the toe and/or heel, but the new Marker Kingpin is the first to meet DIN ISO 13992. That means it’s the first tech binding acknowledged by the TUV—the international certification body that validates product safety—to offer a certified DIN safety release. Here’s how Marker built a better tech binding.

Ace of Base(layers): Arc’teryx Phase SV Zip Neck


It’s borderline unsanitary how often I wear this layer. Literally every day that I’ve skinned over the last several seasons, the Phase SV has been my go-to top. It’s surprising that the collar isn’t crusted with sunblock, the cuffs aren’t permanently pasted with snot, and the pits haven’t discolored to a murky green….

2015 Editors’ Choice Awards: Boots


From a crop of more than 50 backcountry boots tested in March at Powder Mountain, Utah, we’ve selected the best six models for 2015 based on overwhelming tester feedback and cutting-edge innovation. Looking for the lightest, auto-locking touring boot or the most versatile, in- and-out-of-bounds option? You’ll find it among these six standout backcountry boots….

2015 Editors’ Choice Awards: Splitboards


From a crop of nearly 40 splitboards tested in March at Crested Butte, Colo., we’ve selected the best eight models for 2015 based on overwhelming tester feedback and groundbreaking innovation. Looking for the lightest, carbon board or the most versatile, all-mountain split? You’ll find it among these eight standouts….

2015 Editors’ Choice Awards: Skis


From a crop of nearly 200 skis tested in March at Powder Mountain, Utah, we’ve selected the best 12 models for 2015 based on overwhelming tester feedback and groundbreaking innovation. Looking for the lightest, carbon-infused powder ski or the most versatile front-and-backside ski? You’ll find it among these 12 standout skis….