Mountain Drones: In Vail and Telluride, Avalanches Could Soon be Drone-Controlled


For photographers and production companies, drones have become a standard in the backcountry for capturing aerial angles without the high expenses of helicopters. But now, Mountain Drones, a Vail-based start-up company, is taking drones one step farther. The company, which started with a group of friends concerned about avy safety, is planning to use drones […]

Mountain Account: Unstable Intuition

Sun God Mountain. Christie and Miertinello slid below the major rock face on the peak's left shoulder. [Photo] Chris Christie

In April 2013, photographer Chris Christie and three friends ventured north of Pemberton, B.C. to Sun God Mountain and its popular, steep, north-facing terrain. The group split up, and after observing natural avalanche activity backed off from their intended line. Christie and friend Jimmy Martinello chose a nearby north-facing couloir, that from their snow pits and intuition, they deemed skiable. But their intuition was wrong.


Miles and Elizabeth Smart seek an alternate route near the Vignettes Hut, Switzerland.

Being a mountain guide in Chamonix, France can be as romantic as it sounds, but it’s also hard on the mind and taxing on the body. And romance and fatigue usually don’t go together. So what if your lover is also a guide? Maybe your business partner, too? Meet Miles and Elizabeth Smart. They can get you into some of the hairiest places on the planet. And they share socks.

BC Banter: Avalanche Deaths in Europe Top 75, Grand Traverse Launches Instagram Contest, Sherpas Cinema Release JP Auclair Tribute, First Lady Shreds in Aspen


Avalanche Deaths in Europe Top 75 To date this season, avalanches have caused 75 skier deaths throughout Europe—a five-year high. Twenty-four of these occurred in France, 20 in Switzerland, 15 in Italy, 14 in Austria and two in Germany, reports The latest victim, a British skier—one of three skiers killed over the weekend—died in […]

Romancing the Skintrack: How to find (and keep) love in the backcountry

Backcountry skiing, love and chocolate go together as well as backcountry skiing, love and whiskey.  [Photo] Irina Pastrascu

Public service announcement: Saturday is Valentine’s Day, so don’t forget to toss a few truffles into your pack. To further improve your moves on February 14, we’ve polled our field of experts—namely a crack team of editors and contributors—for their best advice on how to maintain a relationship in the mountains. Here’s what the romantics had to say.

Mountain Skills: Skiing with Sharp Objects


Ski crampons, boot crampons and a simple ice axe should be a part of every backcountry skier’s kit. You won’t need them everyday, but knowing when and how to use them can greatly improve security and enjoyment. Here’s how.

BC Banter: Avalanche Canada Adds Crowdsourcing Feature to App, SCARPA Issues Voluntary F1 Evo Recall, Eight Die in Swiss Avalanches, Slide Suspends Freeride World Tour in Austria


Avalanche Canada Adds Crowdsourcing Feature to App Revelstoke, B.C. Avalanche Canada—previously known as the Canadian Avalanche Centre—added a significant update to their free avalanche app, available for Android and iPhone. The upgrade allows users to post real-time observations, photos and comments via the crowdsourced Mountain Information Network (MIN). These geo-tagged MIN postings display on both […]

Book Beta: Andy Sovick on his guidebooks, Project Zero and protecting local spots


Andy Sovick, Colorado native and owner of the guidebook company Off-Piste Ski Atlas LLC, has produced two books since 2013, “The Essential Guidebook for Backcountry Skiing: Crested Butte” and the same titled book for Silverton. In his books, he’s careful to strike the balance between helping skiers explore the backcountry and spilling local secrets. “Instead of talking about keeping places a secret, we should be talking about how to keep everyone traveling well, smart and safe,” Sovick says. “It’s only going to get more crowded, whether or not there’s guidebooks.”

Salomon and Atomic to Launch Safety-Focused “Mountain Academy”

[Photo] Courtesy Salomon

At last month’s Outdoor Retailer trade show, Salomon and Atomic announced plans to launch an online, backcountry education platform dubbed Mountain Academy. The program, set to debut at the end of this summer, will feature online courses and videos focusing on backcountry and avalanche safety and created in conjunction with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), Avalanche Canada and U.S.-based avalanche centers.

Scarpa Issues Voluntary F1 Evo Recall


Today, Italian AT and telemark boot manufacturer SCARPA issued a voluntary recall for their new F1 Evo ski boot. The AT boot features SCARPA’s patented “Tronic System,” which automatically switches from walk to ski mode when engaged in a pin-tech binding. According to SCARPA, under certain conditions, the mechanism can unexpectedly switch from ski to walk mode while locked into a binding. For the full details on the recall, here’s the official word from SCARPA.