Sam Coffey, well-known Aspen skier and industry representative, dies at age 29

Sam Coffey, a well-known skier from Aspen, Colo. and an industry representative who’d worked with brands like Salomon and Strafe, died unexpectedly on Monday. Coffey, the son of longtime Snowmass housing director Joe Coffey, was 29.

All-Day Warmth: New and advanced synthetics offer lighter weights and breathability

Skinning is typically a sweaty affair where a lightweight baselayer and a thin shell will most often suffice. But some days—when the tempo is slow, the wind is blowing or the temperature hovers around zero—require a little extra warmth. Insulation-makers have honed in on this need, introducing new synthetics meant to offer warmth and exceptional breathability. These layers, intended for all-day wear, are soft to the hand and stretchy with a sweatshirt-like feel. But they’re also among the most technical pieces of insulation out there.

Deep Threads: Eight essentials for powder-day touring

Ultrawide skis and swallowtail boards draw all the hype surrounding deep-snow gear. But a day breaking trail through waist-deep fluff requires more than just floaty tools underfoot. Fresh and falling snow can make an ill-prepared skier a soggy mess, and turning back early due to wetness and cold is even more lame than doing it because of foggy goggles.

In Memoriam: Richard “Woody” Wood, Powder Mountain’s Legendary Driver

Backcountry’s extended Gear Test Week family lost its greatest legend earlier this week. Richard “Woody” Wood, Powder Mountain, Utah’s smiling, steady-handed, always-punctual bus driver, passed away on Monday. He was 81.

Get The Gear: Four Navigation and Safety Must-Haves

When traveling through the backcountry becomes old hat, don’t revert to complacency. Instead, with bigger objectives comes more responsibility to safety and navigation—here are five gear essentials to help push into the unknown.

Get The Gear: Five Tools to Level Up

An Avalanche Level 1 course can open up terrain options, but there’s still plenty more to learn about terrain and avalanche management. To help propel your knowledge to the next level, consider these five essentials to further off-piste proficiency and get you ready for the next stages of your education, from an Avalanche Level 2 or refresher course to becoming a mentor or even a guide.

Get The Gear: Five Out-Of-Bounds Essentials

You’ve been skinning at the resort and want to take your backcountry skills to the next level with an avalanche course, but need the gear to best equip you for the next stage in your skintrack education.

Get The Gear: Five essentials to get you to the skintrack

To help first-timers ascend and descend with ease, we’ve put together some gear selects that aid in making strides in the backcountry.

Evan Stevens’s Shared Knowledge

Internationally certified guide Evan Stevens, 40, is no stranger to academia. His interest in working in the mountains started with his undergraduate education, where he studied cartography and geographic information systems with a focus on avalanche science. He then applied his degree while working for five years with the Utah Avalanche Center before moving to British Columbia, where he now guides, teaches and oversees ACMG courses and exams.

Sheldon Kerr’s Constant Learning

Ridgway, Colo. resident Sheldon Kerr, 33, is up front about her drive toward excellence. It’s that personality trait that’s motivated her to stay in the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) training program for a decade and to pursue becoming an internationally certified mountain guide.