Nearly a foot of snow fell on Crested Butte Mountain Resort over the weekend, and while the mercury will spike today, more snow is in store for the 2017 Board Test. “We’re looking at ideal conditions for all-mountain board testing,” said Test Director Adam Broderick. “We usually get a few days of firmer conditions and pow later in the week, and that’s what’s on the books for this week.”
Max Taam and John Gaston of Aspen, Colo., were crowned winners of the 19th-annual GORE-TEX Grand Traverse. But they—and some 200 other teams—didn’t arrive in their hometown of Aspen after racing through the night from Crested Butte as expected. Instead, they completed the fourth-ever so-called Grand Reverse in a time of 6:30:18.
“Might as well cut to the chase,” Grand Traverse Race Director Andrew Arell said to begin this year’s pre-race meeting. “We’re going over to Aspen!” With that, the 550 racers packed into Crested Butte’s Grand Ballroom at Mountaineer Square erupted with applause and cheers.
As spring approaches, the days get warmer and the snow on the ground changes; the daily cycle of snow warming and freezing heals many of the deep instabilities that persisted throughout the winter; typical instabilities become easier to predict. And while wet avalanches—either slab or loose—are easier to predict and run more slowly, they can still pack a punch. Therefore, getting off a slope before it becomes dangerous is important.
It is not every year that we are lucky enough to have incredible snow conditions during our Gear Test Week, held annually at Powder Mountain, Utah. This year, the snow gods must have taken pity on us—having to live through the worst winter the East Coast has seen in a long time—and so presented us with powder that gave way to blue skies.
At exactly midnight on Friday night, some 200 two-person teams will line up in Crested Butte, Colo., with a singular purpose—skiing and skinning through the night to cover 40 miles and nearly 8,000 vertical feet to reach Aspen. But for a few of those teams, they’re racing for more than just the finish line.
Since February 8, everything has taken me a bit more time. That day, I was skinning and had earned 9,000 feet when I tripped and put my hands before me to catch my fall. It was nothing major; I was going uphill at a walking pace, but my left hand landed on a pointy rock.
Gear Test Week 2017 came to an end on Saturday, after five days of bell-to-bell skiing for more than 40 testers at Powder Mountain, Utah. The week ran the gamut of conditions, starting on Monday with heavy snowfall that lasted through Wednesday. This provided perfect conditions to test skis with a little bit more girth underfoot. […]
Craig Dostie is one of those personalities that has made the backcountry ski world what it is today. As Founder and Publisher of Couloir Magazine, running from 1990-2007, and current blogger at Earn Your Turns, his vision for ski publications has shaped our understanding of snow ambulation on the up and the down. But this past week at Powder Mountain, Dostie had a different role— head tech in charge of helping testers get fitted for skis from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days in a row.
A blisteringly bright sun rose on Powder Mountain for the fourth day of Gear Test Week and signaled a great day ahead. As the second to last day of testing, skiers were starting to exhibit the signs of leg fatigue—and maybe a few hangovers—but this did not stop them from rallying next year’s toys on […]