Backstory: Legends of the Fall

It was the time of year when it’s warm in the city and cool in the mountains, when the clear skies and crisp air beckon you to higher altitudes. Outside the city, leaves were painted in sleepy colors in preparation for the slow, fluttering journey to their final resting place. The hills gleamed gold as we wound up into them; the car’s thermometer registering lower and lower around each rocky switchback. Summer was fading and was winter still waiting. It was time to hunt down fall turns.

Heady Decisions: Should you wear a helmet in the backcountry?

Helmet technology has advanced over recent years with the advent of MIPS, a technology comprised of a layer inside a helmet to help to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain, as well as Smith’s Koroyd honeycomb material that disperses the force of an impact. But even with this evolution in head protection, skiers continue to travel in the backcountry without helmets, citing that convenience is king when it comes to bc travel.

Skis of the Future: A conversation with DPS and Black Crows

DPS is overhauling their carbon skis with the new Alchemist line—that’s touted as having more damping qualities than their previous Pure3 construction—and Black Crows continues to improve and lighten their tester-loved Freebird skis. And both companies are guided by passionate skiers making developments for the future of backcountry skis.

Backstory: The Blizzard of Babies

Yesterday, in the living room, my 10-month old daughter Clover and I watched our favorite movie, Blizzard of Ahhh’s. Her giant blue eyes stared at the screen while Mike Hattrup floated another effortless turn. Clover pointed, squeaked “Da-da,” and giggled, her smile validating my obsession with the snow and mountains. I nuzzled my nose into her chubby cheek. She gracelessly clapped in approval.

From Granite to Grizzlies

Military Outdoors initially started in 2006 and extends from one basic principle: if the Sierra Club is designed to protect and promote exploration of the outdoors, then those who dedicate their lives to protecting these spaces should get a chance to enjoy them. Plus, being outside can help ease the transition from military service to civilian life and provide mental and physical health benefits.

Tough Calls: Caroline Gleich talks mountainside decision making

A few weeks ago, contributor Seth Heller dove into ski-mountaineer Caroline Gleich’s 2016 attempts of Mount Cook and Mount Dixon in New Zealand. In his article, “Just Walk Away,” Heller discusses Gleich’s decision-making process that led her and her team to turn around before the summit of Mount Cook. And in Heller’s interview with Gleich, her motivations and past experiences that informed that tough call are clear. Here’s what Gleich had to say.

Backstory: Hot, Flat and Snowy

My heart jumps. There’s more snow than I expected, covering the summits of Mt. Stirling, the west ridge of Buller and the high edge of The Bluff. Closer to the mountains, I follow the Delatite River, which runs fast with snowmelt, and then, finally, starting up the mountain itself and into the alpine ash forest.

Aaron Rice announces plans to tag 3-million feet in 2018

In 2016, Aaron Rice skinned and skied a record 2.5-million vertical feet in the calendar year. Now, the Wasatch-based skier has announced a new goal for 2018—over the 365 days beginning on January 1, he plans to tag three-million feet.

Gallery: Gear Test Week 2018

A few short weeks ago, more than 40 testers converged on the sunny slopes of Powder Mountain, Utah for Gear Test Week 2018. Along for the ride was photographer Matt Kiedaisch, who documented each day, from the sometimes bleary mornings to raucous nights and the many turns in between.

How Romp Skis crafted the ultimate one-quiver backcountry tool

At 2018 Gear Test Week, 40 testers put more than 200 pairs of skis, 70 pairs of boots and every pair of backcountry bindings through the ringer. But one particular product stood above all the rest—and it doesn’t come as a pair, at least on the descent.