Fanfare: Scott and Alpride take the avalanche airbag to a futuristic level

The inner workings of Scott’s new supercapacitor-powered avalanche airbag sound like something out of Back to the Future. And while the Backcountry Patrol AP 30 doesn’t have the time-travel capabilities of Dr. Emmett Brown’s DeLorean (thanks to its flux capacitor), this pack is more travel-capable than many airbags.

Tom Murphy, Karl Klassen & Jean Pavillard: American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) Founders

Today, the acronym AIARE (“airy”) is practically a proprietary eponym—like Kleenex or Spandex—for an avalanche courses. Less than two decades ago, however, there was very little that was standard in American avalanche education. Tom Murphy, Karl Klassen and Jean Pavillard would change that.

Montgomery Atwater: Father of U.S. Avalanche Work

Early in life, Montgomery Atwater’s aspirations weren’t to work with snow and avalanches. In fact, after graduating from Harvard in 1926 with a degree in English literature, the Oregon native began writing works of nonfiction. But World War II brought Atwater, who went by the nickname Monty, to Colorado’s Camp Hale where he’d join the 10th Mountain Division.

The Battles for Bear Creek

Four years ago, when I dropped into the San Joaquin Couloir beyond Telluride Ski Resort in the upper Bear Creek drainage, the greatest challenge before me lay the firm, moguled surface of the thinly-covered, shale-walled chute.

Higher Learning: The nuances of how, when, where and why to take a course

Two Marches back, as I stood on the edge of the frozen Bell Lake in Montana’s Tobacco Root Mountains, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. Together with a half dozen no-longer-strangers, I pondered aloud the best route to safely ascend and later ski the face before us that stretched its rock-lined […]

Two skiers die after inbounds avalanche in Taos, New Mexico

An avalanche at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico on Thursday, January 20 took the lives of two skiers. The accident occurred inbounds on Kachina Peak, terrain that had opened for the season earlier in the week. According to a statement issued by Taos Ski Valley, the avalanche took place shortly after 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, […]

Student dies in Colorado avalanche-safety course, San Juan avy danger remains elevated

An avalanche on the afternoon of Saturday, January 5 in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains took the life of Peter Marshall of Longmont, Colo. Marshall, age 40, was among six individuals in an avalanche safety course who were caught in the slide. The other five survived.

How to get the most out of gear

There’s no denying it—backcountry gear is expensive. And while touring may offer freedom from purchasing lift tickets or a season’s pass, the cost of a new setup can quickly creep well above $2,000, which isn’t an annual line item in many a skier’s budget.

Make it Count: How to get the most out of travel

There’s a difference between a vacation and a trip. Vacations are stress-free, feet-up affairs spent sipping cocktails in luxury’s lap. Trips are relaxing in a high-paced, flow-state way, filled with activity and energy, often leaving one begging for a vacation by the end. Resort skiers go on vacations to carve corduroy and eat filet; backcountry skiers go on trips to find adventure. And while the latter is easily more rewarding, earning those rewards takes proper planning and preparation. Here’s how to maximize a trip for all it’s worth.

The Friendly Frankenboot: With their new Hoji Pro Tour, Dynafit builds a more accommodating monster

If pro skier Eric Hjorleifson’s first Dynafit boot, the Vulcan, went by the nickname Frankenboot, his newest model, the Hoji Pro Tour, falls more in the image of the hairy, blue Monsters Inc. character Sulley—big, strong and hardworking, but with a friendlier side. Dynafit’s Vulcan, launched in 2012, earned its sobriquet from Hjorleifson’s work cobbling together parts […]

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