The Art of the Up: Tips for Skinning Ease and Efficiency

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Look at any beginner skinner, and you’ll likely see an act of distress akin to uphill roller-skating on black ice. Look at someone who’s been at it for a while, and they might appear as comfortable sidehilling a sheen of breakable crust as a child frolicking through a meadow. Here’s how to become that skinner.

Ruthless Ambitions: Scouting steeps in Alaska’s Ruth Amphitheater

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Like a trip to Chamonix, one to Alaska’s Ruth Amphitheater is a prerequisite to earning your “Serious Alpinist” merit badge. Andrew McLean had never been to either, and was painfully aware of his lowly Webelo (We Be Loyal Scouts) status until last spring when he had a chance to redeem himself with a trip to the Ruth. The Powderwhore’s captured the trip in this year’s film, “Elevation.”

Working for the Weekend: Meathead Films’ New Series

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Can you spend an entire season just skiing backcountry out East? Can you make it happen only on the weekends? Ben Leoni, an attorney from Portland, Maine, thinks so. And the new web series, Working for the Weekend from Meathead Films, captures his story.

Happy Winter: Andreas Fransson’s Musings

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Andreas Fransson may seem like the maddest man on skis, ticking off unimaginably steep descents around the world. But he’s also a yogi and deep thinker with endless musings on life in the mountains. Backcountry Managing Editor Tyler Cohen got to know Fransson last April on a trip to Chamonix, France, and he profiled the extreme […]

Pit Maneuvers: Snow pit tests and digging protocol

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When was the last time you dug a snow pit? During that Avy 1 course you took a few years back? On that one hut trip last winter to a zone you’d never skied before? Digging pits is often seen as time consuming, but, in reality, there’s no better way to understand the snowpack upon which you’re traveling. Here are four videos to refresh your skills.

Bare-Ass Backcountry: Sweetgrass “Valhalla” Segment

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Beacon? Check. Shovel? Check. Probe? Check. Anything else? Nope. We hereby approve of Sweetgrass Productions’ bare-ass backcountry protocol.

Heaven on Earth: Holden Village, Wash.

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“We came up to Holden in search of spirituality,” says splitboarder Neil Provo. And he and the Powderwhore crew found it in the snowy peaks, pillow lines and steep couloirs above the Lutheran retreat at Holden Village, Washington.

Getting Caught in the Coast Range

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Last April, pro skier KC Deane joined photographer Mason Mashon and friend Kye Peterson for a photo session near the Pemberton Icecap in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains. KC and Kye skied a test run, made several ski cuts on their intended line and dropped a cornice nearby to no hazardous effect. But when KC dropped into his intended line, he took a wild ride.

Mountain Skills: Cutting a Cornice

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Dropping a cornice onto a slope can be an effective way to see if it will slide, simulating the weight of a skier on the snow. Here’s a video demonstration of proper cornice cutting technique.

Mountain Skills: Ski Cutting a Slope

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By skiing quickly across a slope you can test stability without hanging yourself too far out there. Here’s a video that demonstrates proper ski-cutting technique.