Mountain Skills: Plan Like A Pro

How an effective morning meeting can lead to better days out.

Mountain Skills: Learn From the Best

Good mentors aren’t always easy to find. Editor in Chief Betsy Manero shares insight from her mentor on what to look for.

Outclassing the Old Guys: The College Student Notching First Descents in Alaska

First descentionist Zack Little has absorbed lessons from an impressive roster of mentors to become a leader among his peers.

Happy Place: Grace Staberg finds her flow on the Skimo World Cup

When Grace Staberg starting skimo racing during her freshman year of high school in Summit County, Colorado, she was the slowest kid on the team. Now age 20, Staberg is living in Europe and competing on the Skimo World Cup.

Wisdom: Liz Riggs Meder Shares the Skintrack

An engineer-turned-avalanche-educator looks deeper at the backcountry’s underlying issues.

Fuel: Madison Rose Ostergren talks working relationships, music and finding her own track

You might not have heard the name Madison Ostergren yet, but the key word there is yet. On the heels of starring in a Warren Miller film, signing with Völkl Skis and moving from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jackson, Wyoming, the bubbly 24-year-old recently released a short film, “Fuel,” with photographer Iz La Motte. In between ski movie premieres, meeting up with old friends at the Killington World Cup and writing a few new songs, Ostergren made time to hop on the phone and answer a few questions.

Tools of the Trade: When, where and how to use your ice axe, crampons and rope

Jackson, Wyoming-based internationally-certified guide Mike Poborsky has three basic considerations when planning for a day out: Is the mountain going to fall on him? Will he fall into the mountain? Could he fall off the mountain? The first question helps him avoid avalanches, while the second two dictate what he needs for technical gear, like an ice axe, crampons or rope. For those looking to step into steep couloirs, onto exposed faces or around glaciated terrain where a slip could mean falling off or into the mountain, both carrying these tools and knowing how to use them is crucial.

Behind the Memes: Uphill Fiend share more than just jokes

Three years ago, an eight-year-old explained memes to me. I wish I’d written his definition down, because I’m sure that it was better than my own descriptions of the combinations of pictures and captions to create culturally relevant jokes. Now, in 2021, there are memes for every niche, from movies to politics to—you guessed it—backcountry skiing. In the past year, two anonymous memers under the Instagram handle Uphill Fiend have entertained us backcountry skiers and riders and now have over 10,000 followers. But the fiends have more to say than just poking fun at tele skiers and splitboarders. With ever posting, they take the time to think about how to educate the backcountry community and create a more inclusive space in the mountains.

Traslin Family Traditions

Andy Traslin first ventured into the backcountry as a teenager while on a family ski trip to Whistler, B.C., in the mid ’90s. Inspired by Scot Schmidt in Blizzard of Aahhh’s, he wandered out of bounds and started hiking along a ridge. “I just started walking randomly with no gear. It was definitely a learning curve,” he says. Mike, Andy’s older brother, remembers him heading off, adding, “We were like, where did Andy go? I guess he saw where he wanted to be and went and tried it.” This Forest Gump-like attitude of getting an idea in his head and going all in has earned Andy the nickname “Andy Gump” from his older brother. It’s also been a driving force for the brothers’ many endeavors, which for three decades have exemplified the sort of understated yet bold skiing for which the Sea to Sky is known.