Ed & Dolores LaChapelle: Prolific Authors and Avalanche Avant-Garde

As Ed delved into a life deep in snow science and innovation, Dolores, a lifelong mountaineer, forged ahead in her own right. She’d grown up in Denver, had stood atop all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot summits by age 20 and had joined Ed in Davos, Switzerland before the pair had settled in Alta. There, she’d claimed the first descent of Baldy Chute in 1956.

Betsy Armstrong reflects on deep research and deeper turns

From Washington’s Mt. Olympus to the Himalaya, Betsy Armstrong has centered her life around research—whether on avalanches, snow safety or publishing. After an early start in glacier research with snow scientist Ed LaChapelle, Armstrong went on to work with the University of Colorado’s San Juan Avalanche Project, forecast avalanches with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, teach at Colorado’s Silverton Avalanche School and the American Avalanche Institute and help create The Avalanche Review.

New Heights: Scarpa enters a new orbit with their Alien RS

Last year, Scarpa took that tried-and-tested Alien and reformed it for improved downhill capacity with the Alien RS. It retains many of the original Alien’s touring-focused attributes, including a scant weight of 3.9 lbs.—making it the lightest boot at our 2019 Gear Test Week. But other updates mean it can better handle descents and mid-fat skis.

Connecting the Spots 

In 2016, R.J. Thompson struck up a conversation with the then-executive director for Vermont’s Catamount Trail Association, Amy Kelsey. What started as a discussion about a potential yurt in Stowe, Vt.’s Nebraska Notch transformed into Kelsey connecting Thompson with Devon Littlefield, a Mainer-turned-Vermonter also curious about the lack of cohesive backcountry accommodations in the state.


Today, Ortovox announces an upcoming recall, effective May 25, of its 3+ avalanche transceivers relying on the company’s software version 2.1. The software error, not evident in prior testing, was found to temporarily disrupt the transceivers’ transmission function, potentially increasing search times in a burial. While Ortovox says there have been no known accidents as […]

Splitboard Tester Quick Takes Day One: Gear Test Week 2019

New this year, we’re combining forces with the annual splitboard test to make our Gear Test, held for the 11th year at Powder Mountain, a bigger, more comprehensive event. As splitboard testers get familiar with the newest boards, boots and bindings during their first test day at Pow Mow, we catch up with a handful […]

Nordic Extreme: From the Olympics to Aspen, XC champion Simi Hamilton makes tracks

There are those who go to Aspen for the parties and those who go for the X Games. Some visit for the foliage and others settle down for a season or two. And then there are those who made the trip decades ago, jostling and tumbling across the plains and into the Rockies. Such is the legacy of Simi Hamilton, a fourth-generation Aspenite who’s made a few treks of his own including to two Winter Olympic Games and on the Nordic World Cup circuit. But if there’s a rest day in sight, Simi would spend it on fat skis.

Alpenglow’s Golden Hour: A Tahoe-based ski shop’s annual mountain festival

After five years, a February storm was helping to bring California’s drought, the worst in 1,000 years, to a soft, white halt. In fact, it was halting everything. Alpenglow Sports, the Tahoe City-based backcountry and mountain-running shop, was hosting its fourth-annual Mountain Festival, offering a smattering of events like guided tours, avalanche courses and the Winter […]

Local Legend Chris Landry: Lessons from a phantom pioneer

Landry is a recluse, that’s a totally fair word. I think he might even characterize himself that way. He was a very influential skier in the ’70s and ’80s not only doing the first descent [of the Landry Line] on Pyramid Peak but also the first descent of Liberty Ridge on Mt. Rainier, which was huge and not repeated for many years.

Aspen’s Mountain Man: Lou Dawson

Lou Dawson’s name is synonymous with backcountry skiing. He’s known as a pioneer, historian and walking gear encyclopedia, between countless first descents—like Snowmass, South Maroon Peak and Capitol Peak, to name a few.