The snow gods have halted their powdery offerings, forcing testers to strap on their skins and push farther out into Powder Mountain’s backcountry zones in search of shaded slopes. Others found soft spring snow between trees and ripped down groomers, ticking off as many different skis as they could in one day.



While skiers polished off the remaining pockets of fresh snow on the slopes of Powder Mountain, a contingent of testers snuck out to James Peak to hunt down some untouched powder. Lathered in sun screen and equipped with avalanche gear, they found what the were looking for—untouched white stuff under bluebird skies.

2015 Gear Test Week Video Dispatch: Day Zero

The test crew, and friends new and old, rolling in from ski towns across the country. [Photo] Tyler Cohen

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.

2015 Gear Test Week Video Dispatch: Day One

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.

Know The Snow: Inside Project Zero’s Video Contest


“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 Fisher: The Iconic Super Mom


“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.

Mountain Account: Escape from Glacier Bay


“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.

Dig Safe: Proven Steps to Fast Excavation


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.

Kickstarting “Pretty Faces”


“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.