The Fun Factor: Through his guiding company, CaPow!, Marty Schaffer spices up safety education


Marty Schaffer is trying to make mountain safety and avalanche education more fun. A certified ski guide through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, the 28-year-old grew up at his family’s Revelstoke backcountry lodge, Blanket Glacier Chalet, began patrolling out of high school and was one of Canada’s youngest avalanche professionals at age 20. Now, along with childhood friends and pro skiers Chris Rubens and Eric Hjorleifson, he’s building his own safety curriculum, teaching teens backcountry skills and offering pro-taught courses through his guiding company, Capow!

Mountain Skills: How To Become A Better Ski Partner

This way to the volcan. Michi Buechers and Martin Volken navigate near Nevados de Chillan, Chile. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

Trusted partners add life-saving value to a tour, from additional eyes looking for instability to providing wisecracks and nips of whiskey. And while it’s essential to make sure your partner is attuned to you and the mountains, relationships go both ways. Here’s a list of tips and suggestions to help you uphold safety and stoke within your group on your next tour.

The Kickstep Project: Chapter Three


Here’s the third installment of photographer Greg Stafford’s Kickstep Project, a three-part video series documenting Alaskan locals’ quest for powder in a dismal snow year. In the third chapter, The West Ridge, a group of five skiers head back to Kickstep Mountain, where they find and rip the turns they’ve been looking for all winter. The Kickstep Project […]

The Loveland Five: Five Reasons To Live


Today marks the second anniversary of the Sheep Creek avalanche, a catastrophic accident that occurred near Loveland Colo. in 2013, claiming five young men. Four expert snowboarders, Chris Peters, Rick Gaukel, Ryan Novak and Joe Timlin and one expert skier, Ian Lamphere, were skinning near Scotty’s Corner, an oxbow near U.S. Highway 6, when the avalanche unleashed. The […]

The Kickstep Project: Chapter Two


This winter in Alaska brought warm temperatures and notably low snowfall and snowpack, and as a result, finding skiable terrain proved more of a challenge than in years past. For a group of locals, however, steep lines and accessible terrain were simply a seven-mile skin away. Turnagain Pass, located south of Anchorage in the Chugach National Forest, boasted stable and enough […]

BC Banter: Snow Returns to the West, Avy Fatality on Beehive Peak, Mont., Davenport In Hall of Fame, Austrian Man Survives 10 Hours in Avy, Teton Valley Locals Die in Plane Crash, Arc’teryx Begins defineFEMININE Contest


Snow Returns to the West As winter winds down on the East Coast, the Western U.S. received some serious end-of-the-season snowfall this week. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through Saturday for Western Colo., with expected accumulation of 12-24 inches. In Utah, Alta is reporting 34 inches of new snow, and Snowbird […]

The Kickstep Project: Chapter One


This winter marked one of the warmest winters in Alaska’s history, and while it’s one for the books, the temperatures should come as no surprise. In the past 50 years, Alaskan temperatures have increased by an average of 3.4°F, and winter warming has increased by 6.4°F, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And with temperatures on the […]

A Note From the Editor: To The Extreme

Andreas Fransson: Writer, thinker, yogi. April 15, 1983 - September 24, 2014 [Photo] Daniel Rönnbäck

I ’d just arrived from Boston to Chamonix, France to profile the Swedish extreme skier Andreas Fransson when I received an e-mail from his girlfriend, Alejandra Campos. She was excited about my visit, and invited me to their nearby apartment in Taconnaz for his tropical-themed 30th birthday party.

Backcountry Basecamp: Smugglers’ Notch Dispatch

The Basecamp scene under sunny skies. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

Smugglers’ Notch skiers across northern Vermont might be calling in sick today after the weekend wrapped up in rowdy fashion. As temperatures crept into the 60s, the grills and Adirondack chairs came out in Lot 1 to close out the final day of the final stop of the Backcountry Basecamp, this time presented by GORE-TEX, Mammut, Voilé and AIARE.