Backstory: Adventurers Anonymous

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I watched Maria and Bob pore over a map of the Icefields Parkway on the hostel wall at Lake Louise with some trepidation. They were committing the topography of the Rocky Mountains to “memory” and I was right to be nervous. Once they memorized the map off we went to the pub for a few […]

Gear Test Week: A Family Affair

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When you read the dispatches from the Backcountry Mag crew on the status of their annual Gear Test Week at Powder Mountain Resort, you can’t help but think what a party the whole affair is. Indeed, a festive atmosphere does dominate the whole scene. How could it not? After all, a week of skiing where […]

Neighborhood Watch: The Wasatch Backcountry Alliance

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No greater metropolitan area has a larger population living so close to the mountains than Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Front is home to more than 1.7 million people, 11 ski resorts and near-constant, seemingly ceaseless battles over open spaces. A lifelong Wasatch backcountry skier and president of the newly formed Wasatch Backcountry Alliance, Jamie Kent is now at the forefront of advocating for the protection of Salt Lake’s backyard bc. Here’s what he and his organization are up to.

Soul Patrol: The Backcounty’s Original Rescue Squad

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Each spring, a 20-person volunteer crew works alongside New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Avalanche Center to educate Tuckerman Ravine skiers and provide rescue assistance. The group is officially known as the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol (MWVSP), and John Kneiriem, a 25-year Tucks patroller, leads the force. Here’s his perspective on patrolling The Rock Pile. Backcountry: […]

Spaceman: Greg Hill’s March Odyssey

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“I hiked to outer space and skied back down in a month,” Greg Hill said over the phone as he boarded a Revelstoke gondola last week. “That’s pretty rad.” Hill, who is known for vertical challenges like climbing and skiing 2-million feet in a season (2010) or 50,000 feet in a day, set out to […]

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 […]

The Third Reverse: The 17th Annual GORE-TEX Grand Traverse

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This weekend marked the 17th skiing of the GORE-TEX Grand Traverse, which typically stretches 40 miles from Crested Butte, Colo. to Aspen. But this year, the race was rerouted due to avalanche danger and run as a reverse from Crested Butte to the Friend’s Hut and back. Still, some 200, two-person teams toed the line in Crested Butte to compete in the third running of the Grand Reverse.

Soultrain Skimo: Kicking Off The Grand Traverse

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“This is the best night of the year,” second-time Grand Traverse racer Adam Ferrow yells. The bus from downtown Crested Butte, Colo. to the resort is equally packed with afroed and bedazzled Soul Train partygoers and softshell-clad, skinny-ski toting Elk Mountain Grand Traverse racers. And while this year’s race course, which typically runs 40 miles from Crested Butte to Aspen, has been altered due high avalanche danger, the energy in Crested Butte is electric.

The Grand Traverse: New Snow and Blisters

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In a little more than 24 hours, a contingent of professional athletes, hobbyists and amateurs alike will converge upon Crested Butte, Colo., for the 17th Annual GORE-TEX Grand Traverse. Racers will test their mental and physical ability in the 40-mile race to Aspen, roughly retracing what was once a mailing route between the two towns. […]

The Yurt: Backcountry’s Basecamp

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Would a yurt by any other name smell so…pungent? Maybe. The Turkish word, meaning homeland, is short and sweet, apropos of the squat shelters that the nomads of inner Asia called home for thousands of years. In ski culture, we know yurts as the perfect home base—somewhere to hang up our skins, crack open a […]