Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week, our annual pilgrimage to Powder Mountain, Utah, kicks off with more than 40 testers evaluating over 200 skis and 100 AT and telemark boots for five days to create next fall’s 2015 Gear Guide.
On Day 1 of Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week, the crew of testers pulled out the fat skis. With eight inches of fresh snow, anxious testers grabbed skis, adjusted bindings and hit the slopes and backcountry at Powder Mountain quicker than Shaggy fowling the resort’s bathroom.
“We’re trying to create a new norm that really embraces avalanche safety skills,” says Tom Murphy, director of operations at the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), of the Project Zero initiative. Project Zero aims to reduce the number of avalanche fatalities to zero. And the initiative’s latest project is a community-sourced video contest and education campaign called Know The Snow.
“Wendy is a pioneer in every true sense of the word,” skier and writer Molly Baker said in our January Issue. That’s why Wendy Fisher made the list of the 37 most influential women in the backcountry. “It’s still relevant to watch her grease Alaskan spines..her kind of impact just never goes away,” Baker added. The latest episode of Salomon Freeski TV captures Fisher’s influence from her early ski racing career to today.
“I knew we were in trouble when the contraband ran low,” Sheldon Kerr writes in the February-issue Mountain Account, Escape from Glacier Bay. “We had to face the facts,” she continues, “this storm was not letting up. That meant the pilot wasn’t coming for us.” Here’s a video of the whiteout, crevasse-ridden, thorny Alaskan epic.
Beacons get all the glory. They’re expensive, tech-packed pieces of gear that backcountry users covet for finding partners and getting found. But shovels and shoveling deserve more credit. After all, when avalanche debris sets up like concrete, and your partner is buried deeply, your job doesn’t stop at pinpointing them with a fine search and a probe strike. Here’s a video of how to dig safe and dig fast.
“As a young ski racer, I couldn’t find any women I could relate to as role models in the sport,” Lynsey Dyer writes in the our January issue (which hits newsstands on January 7). So she sought out women who followed their passion fearlessly, whatever that passion was. Now Lynsey is one of those role models, and she’s bringing together others like her to produce “Pretty Faces,” an all-female ski and adventure-sports film.
“I want to show people that it’s possible to be good at skiing if you have a disability,” says Vasu Sojitra (“That Guy,” BCM 93). Well, good seems like an understatement, and disability seems like a relative term. Vasu crushes it, as shown in this early-season edit. He and his friends at T-Bar Films produced it […]
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.
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.”