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.

Powderwhore Productions presents Elevation: A Backcountry Ski Film

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“Spread the gospel of snowy mountain love,” read the e-mail from Powderwhore Productions co-pilot Noah Howell. For nine years, they’ve been doing so, with their telemark and, now, backcountry ski flicks. Here’s the trailer and background info on their latest installment, Elevation, in their own words….

Video: 2014 Gear Test Week

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Backcountry Magazine’s annual Gear Guide hits newsstands on August 13, but there’s a whole lot of content we couldn’t cram into the issue. That’s because we spend five days in late March testing more than 400 new products at the industry’s largest and most unbiased gear test. Here’s how it all went down.

Chill Videos: Because It’s 96 Degrees Outside

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The image for today’s forecast is a glowing ball of orange—high 90s with humidity somewhere around 80 percent. The fluorescent lights in my office are off, fans are blasting and my dog is sprawled on the floor in a collapsed heap of fur. Here are just a few videos I’ve been watching to help keep […]

A Window of Opportunity: Second Descent of Aiguille Blanche du Peuterey

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Imagine living with the rocky east face of Aiguille Blanche du Peuterey staring at you every winter. The 50-degree face drops 1350 meters from the Italian side of Blanche’s 4100-meter summit, and a narrow band of snow only skied once winds among the rock. Every season it leaves you wondering when conditions and opportunity will […]

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