Remembering Doug Coombs, 10 Years Later

This year marks the 10th anniversary of ski pioneer Doug Coombs’s passing, which occurred on April 3, 2006 in La Grave, France. Coombs fell to his death while trying to reach aspiring mountain guide Chad VanderHam, who’d fallen while descending the Couloir de Polichinelle, a line Coombs skied often. VanderHam also died that day.

Backcountry Magazine to Focus Strictly on The Stash Outback

Following a heated and lengthy in-house discussion on the dangers and uncertainty of the unknown, Backcountry Magazine has decided to refocus its content to solely cover popular backcountry zones. As Backcountry transitions away from “The Untracked Experience”—a catchphrase encouraging ill-advised and remote trips to harsh and untrammeled environments—we aim to better cater to the public at large.

Rodent Resource: An unlikely solution to avalanche rescue

You may have heard of avalanche rescue dogs, but in a recent study from the Rodent Avalanche Technologies Society (R.A.T.S.), based in Athabasca, Alberta, a new mammal has been identified as highly effective in stressful rescue environments that have other mammals chasing their tails—a beloved family pet to millions of middle schoolers around the country, the Guinea pig.

Nor’easter Set to Wallop New England

Following a winter that’s left many New England skiers starved of powder, contemplating their life choices, trimming and adhering paper snowflakes to their windows and tuning and retuning their skis in anticipation of the next big dump, a colossal Nor’easter is forecasted to bring two to three feet of snow to parts of the Northeast.

2017 Board Test: Midweek Dispatch

A bluebird day on Monday gave way to clouds and fresh snow Tuesday night into Wednesday, much to the delight of the Board Test Week crew. And after a quick dawn patrol into the mountains on Tuesday morning, testers arrived back at Crested Butte ready to put more splits through the paces.

Remembering Mitch Weber, Founder of

This past weekend, Mitch Weber, a man known for his writings and musings on the website, passed away two days before his 60th birthday after an extended fight with cancer. Weber is survived by his wife Laurie, daughter Allison, son Neil and step-son JT. Craig Dostie, founder of Couloir Magazine and a senior editor of Backcountry, wrote […]

Avalanche Canada releases public avalanche alert for this week

In Canada this week, the avalanche conditions are cause for growing concern among forecasters in the western region, with warming temps posing the primary threat to backcountry safety. Avalanche Canada has officially released a special public avalanche warning to all backcountry users.

The Price of Paradise: Backcountry users struggle with strict enforcement of Mt. Rainier National Park’s winter access

From mid-November to mid-April, a gate controls access to Paradise from Longmire—elevation 2,761 feet. The 20-minute ride up is surreal in the best kind of Pacific Northwestern way, as towering pines and neon green mosses give way to Hokkaido-sized roadside canyons of snow and the Tatoosh Range’s jagged alpine, all capped by the glacier-encrusted crown jewel of 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier.

2017 Board Test Week: Testers New And Old

All week long in Crested Butte, Colo., some 40 testers will run countless snowboards, boots and bindings through the test paces, down the resort and up and down in the backcountry. Among those 40 testers, a core crew of a dozen riders who have traveled from across the country will test from bell to bell […]

A snowpack seasonal disorder: forecasts in late March reflect both winter and spring-like conditions

As we near the end of March, spring-like weather is hitting certain areas of the west. But along with tailgate season comes a heightened risk of wet avalanches and concerns for melt-freeze layers that can lead to other dangers in the snowpack, such as slab avalanches. Meanwhile, other areas are experiencing heavy, fresh snowfall and high winds, which have produced […]