In the ski mountaineering world, April is considered prime time for big descents. It is the chosen season for such objectives because avalanche stability is often at its seasonal high, days are longer, and the heat of summer has not yet started to wreak havoc on the snowpack. But this window of opportunity may be closing due to recent climate warming trends that might be here to stay.
The last days of April are approaching fast and, with that, many avalanche forecasting centers across North America end their daily bulletins for the season. Montana’s Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center and Flathead Avalanche Center have already thrown in the daily forecasting towel for the season and other centers, such as the Utah Avalanche Center and the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, are getting ready this week to call it quits for the summer months.
The 2016 Grand Traverse, an annual endurance skimo race, kicked off in the depths of night on March 25 at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. This year’s event drew more than 200 two-person teams hoping to race across Colorado’s Elk Mountains. To document the Traverse, Denver-based Duct Tape Studios interviewed participants upon their return to Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
We lose fluids through perspiration (sweating) and respiration (breathing). While ski touring, high elevation and drier air make this even more dramatic. And during the spring, warm weather further exaggerates the amount of fluid lost. Dehydration leads to a drop of performance—in stages from slowing down to bonking to needing medical attention.
Yesterday, Ski The East released “Chic Choc Chicks,” a short video that follows my friend Paige Fitzgerald and me on a backcountry trip to Québec’s Chic Choc Mountains last winter. The snow was incredible, the mountains were beautiful and big, and the vistas over the Saint Lawrence Seaway were spectacular. What I remember most from trips with Paige, however, is how much fun it is to travel in the backcountry with other women.
Like every gratifying, adventurous inclination, splitboarding involves a sometimes funny, sometimes frustrating progression for resort-turned-backcountry snowboarders. Most riders learn to snowboard inbounds and then make a transition to the backcountry. Because of this, using two planks to climb a mountain and mastering additional uphill travel skills can be daunting. So to glide off on the right foot, here are four, easy-to-practice ascent techniques.
As ski resorts begin to close, more skiers flock to the backcountry to savor the last taste of winter. Spring can be a time of long days and fun ski missions in the sun, but caution must still be exercised as springtime snowpack can be dangerous and variable.
The final day of 2017 Board Test Week was far from uneventful. After a week of riding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and in the surrounding backcountry, a crew of 11 splitboarders put more than 20 standout boards to the test at Irwin Guides, a renowned cat skiing operation in Irwin, Colorado.
Height of Land Publications (HOL), publisher of Alpinist and Backcountry Magazine, is acquiring Cross Country Skier Magazine (XCS). Under the terms of the purchase, all operations of XCS will move from Cable, Wisconsin, to Jeffersonville, Vermont. Current XCS Publisher and Editor Ron Bergin will stay on as an advertising sales representative and will continue to write for the magazine.
It’s been 10 years since the ski world lost pioneer Doug Coombs and aspirant guide Chad VanderHam. While Coombs made a name for himself on this side of the pond, La Grave was his home for 10 years, and that’s were he was skiing along with VanderHam on April 3, 2006 when both men fell […]