Brighter Skies: How Backcountry Resorts are Changing the Game

Colorado’s Bluebird Backcountry is a fully human-powered ski area, complete with rentals, instruction, guiding and lodges and devoid of chairlifts. In a time of uncertainty and change within the ski resort business, this model, and variations of it, may be the clearest way forward.

Mountain Skills: How To Become A Better Ski Partner

Trusted partners add life-saving value to a tour, from additional eyes looking for instability to providing wisecracks and nips of whiskey. And while it’s essential to make sure your partner is attuned to you and the mountains, relationships go both ways. Here’s a list of tips and suggestions to help you uphold safety and stoke within your group on your next tour.

Wisdom: Photographer Sofia Jaramillo on diversifying the outdoors

As a teenager on a road trip with her father, a Sofia Jaramillo borrowed his Nikon point-and-shoot to capture scenes along the California coast. She pointed at a lighthouse and, she says, “out of pure magic, I got this image that was composed perfectly. It was like opening a present.” That moment, along with influence from her journalist mother, helped shape a photography career for Jaramillo. Since those early days, Jaramillo spent time in Jackson, Wyoming, in 2015 for an internship at the Jackson Hole News and Guide. After an assignment to photograph a trip up the Grand Teton, she began focusing on adventure photography and, after a few more years of freelancing and newspaper work elsewhere, she returned to Jackson in 2018 to dive into outdoor photography, all while capturing, embracing and advocating for diversity in the outdoors.

Summer Storage: Maintain Your Beacon, Shovel, Probe and Airbag in the Off Season

Most tips for summer storage serve as practical time-savers: clean, waterproofed gear and waxed skis make it that much quicker to get on the skintrack when the snow starts falling again. But for beacons and avy equipment, summer storage is even more important. Proper storage, and testing equipment before heading out again, is crucial to […]

Mountain Mentors: Going It Together

Mountain Mentors, a nonprofit that serves communities in Vancouver, Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton, B.C., offers a new way to venture into the mountains. The volunteer-led organization began in 2016 and works to pair and facilitate one-on-one mentor/mentee relationships, with the overall goal of creating backcountry spaces where everyone belongs and can safely participate. Mountain Mentors president Rosie Langford expands on what their mission means and what growth may look like for the community-driven organization in her own words.

Leader of the Pack: ACMG guide Jasmin Caton navigates guiding, running a lodge and motherhood

The fact that I am responsible for the safety of my guests is something I take very seriously. I manage the risks by repeatedly checking in with my brain, my environment, my coworkers, my guests and my gut. I am big on creating good habits, little things I do daily that might decrease risk a hair here, a bit there. I guide in terrain that is really familiar to me, which can be helpful but can also breed a sense of complacency, so I am constantly guarding against this.

Longtime guide Dan Escalante Killed in Crested Butte, Colo. Avalanche

Dan Escalante, a longtime mountain guide and former town councilman based in Crested Butte, Colo., has died in an avalanche. On the morning of Tuesday, April 28, while skiing Climax Chutes on the northeast side of Crested Butte’s Mt. Emmons, Escalante, 44, was caught in a wet slab avalanche. The slide swept Escalante, who was […]

After Avalanche and Two-Day Search on Jackson, Wyo.’s Taylor Mountain, Body of Missing Snowboarder Found

Jackson, Wyo. After a two-day search, volunteers with Wyoming’s Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) have found the body of a snowboarder who went missing yesterday in an avalanche on Teton Pass. According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the deceased has been identified as 28-year-old Trace Jordan Carrillo of Dubois, Wyo. On April […]

Blurred Borders: For resorts with inbounds avalanche terrain and lift-accessible backcountry, managing boundaries proves challenging

Phrases like “inbounds backcountry” and “sidecountry” are frequently tossed around by resort-goers, referencing terrain they view somewhere in between proper backcountry and controlled resort territory. But according to patrollers and avy educators, both terms should be eliminated and these zones approached with a backcountry mentality. “We don’t have ‘inbounds backcountry,’” says Doug Richmond, Patrol Director […]

Teton County SAR coordinator, from dispatch to mental health

In 2006, Jess King, 40, began volunteering with Teton County Search and Rescue as a way to give back to the Jackson Hole, Wyo. community. She remained on the volunteer team until 2013, when a search and rescue coordinator position opened up with the county’s sheriff office.