BC Banter: Our 100th Issue, the Northwest’s First Snow, Utah Avy Workshop and a Zombie Fortress

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Backcountry Magazine kicks off the holiday season with a celebration of our own—the 20th anniversary issue hit newsstands on Tuesday, Oct. 28. After 100 issues, we commemorate the legends, turns and tech that have progressed the sport, and our gang of art directors, photo editors, photographers and publishers weigh in on their BCM favorite covers, from 1994 to present.

Biff America: On Inflatables

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Jeffery Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, is a monthly columnist for Backcountry. Each week, Biff provides anecdotes about some of our favorite things: beer, sex and skiing. He can be seen on TV-8-Summit and read in several newspapers and magazines. Reach Biff at biffbreck@yahoo.com. For signed copies of his book, “Steep, Deep and […]

Backstory: Dawn Patrol

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It’s 5:37 a.m., and I’m in a gas station. The woman behind the counter has tiny feet and an underbite. Small wrinkles fracture her shadowed face in ways only years of cheap tobacco and regret can form. I look into the copper stillness of her eyes while placing food on the scratched glass surface. Memories […]

Mountain Skills: How to prepare for avalanche conditions in unfamiliar locations

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It’s October, and you’ve already booked a hut week in the Monashees, a yurt trip in the Sawtooths or a weekend in the Wasatch. But how will you know what conditions will be like at, say, the end of February? And, more importantly, how can you be familiar with the snowpack and deal with avalanche conditions when you arrive in an unfamiliar backcountry zone?

Biff America: On Sauna Etiquette

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Jeffery Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, is a monthly columnist for Backcountry. Each week, Biff provides anecdotes about some of our favorite things: beer, sex and skiing. He can be seen on TV-8-Summit and read in several newspapers and magazines. Reach Biff at biffbreck@yahoo.com. For signed copies of his book, “Steep, Deep and […]

Women’s Specific: Are female-focused skis necessity or preference?

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Changes in skiing technology—think the first parabolic shapes, fat widths and rocker—usually bring excitement, not controversy. That is, until you consider women’s specific gear. So are women’s-specific skis preference, necessity or a change in marketing culture?

Mountain Skills: Get the Most Out of the Uphill

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While backcountry skiing or riding, we tend to spend more time going up than going down. And, simply put, skinning done poorly is not fun. There are three primary ingredients to a good day of touring: establishing a proper pace, setting an appropriate skintrack angle and avoiding kick turns whenever possible. You’ve likely come into the backcountry to escape the rat race, so learn to enjoy the climb up and the whole experience will get a lot better. Here’s how.

BC Banter: Brownsville, Vt. Buys Ascutney Trails, GoPro Faces Investigation and DPS’s New Films

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  Town of Brownsville, Vt. Buys Ascutney Trails Brownsville, Vt. On Tuesday, October 14, the townspeople of Brownsville, Vt. voted to purchase 470 acres of the former Ascutney Mountain Ski Resort, which closed in 2010, for $600,000. Three-hundred-thirty voters packed the town’s Story Memorial Hall and confirmed the purchase first through a voice vote, followed […]

Going Deep: In Seattle, a little avalanche education in the evenings

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If you’re like most experienced backcountry skiers it’s been more than 50 backcountry days and a few years since your last avalanche course. According to Scott Schell, the program director for the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC), that’s not cool. So, in an effort to fill the avy education gap, Schell developed an affordable way for Seattle skiers to keep up on their avy training.

Throwback Thursday: Ski Racing Takes Off

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Contributor Dave Dornian saw it coming back in 2001—the bike-helmet-wearing, spandex-clad, skinny-ski toting explosion. Citing races like the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse and European events sanctioned by the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competition (ISMC), Dorian predicted a boom in ski-mountaineering racing. “The ISMC’s current five-year plan calls for an increasing number of continental and intercontinental races,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, in the North American backcountry, the though of organized competitions is about as foreign as raclette or glügwein.”

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