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 […]

Salomon and Atomic’s new tech/alpine Shift MNC 13 aims to do it all with enhanced safety

Quite simply, the Shift is an alpine binding that becomes a tech binding for the ascent. More specifically, the Shift meets the DIN ISO standards for both tech and alpine—it’s a best-of-both-worlds binding that some skiers may lament because of its lack of specialization while others will offer praise due to its quiver-of-one status.

Light, Not Lame: As construction advances, skis drop weight and keep the fun factor

Lose the weight, keep the performance—it’s an intention that brands have long been striving for. And while finding the pinnacle of ounces saved to oomph retained may be as Sisyphean as skinning in plug boots and Alpine Trekkers, many testers say skis are finally hitting the right performance-to-weight mark. “The lighter, touring-focused skis are getting […]

The Sweet Spot Gets Sweeter: Which underfoot width is best for everything?

Not that long ago, a mid-fat ski meant something in the realm of 85 mm underfoot. Over the last decade, that measurement has swelled as eccentric and experimental skis of exponential girth hit the market. While 85 mm may never again be average, the sweet spot in skis is becoming codified.

Light and Free: Freeride skis catch a weight-saving wave

The Gear Guide used to have an unofficial 10-lb. limit. We wouldn’t consider heavier skis. They flat out would not make the cut, and even the most freeride-focused testers would begrudge those portly profiles. But things have changed.

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