Former U.S. Ski Team member Sophia Schwartz on Becoming a Jack of All Trades

Former U.S. Ski Team member Sophia Schwartz is all about setting goals. It used to be going to the Olympics for moguls, but after narrowly missing out on making the Olympic team in 2014, she’s pivoted and sought out new, diverse goals. This past season, that included landing a double backflip, skiing Wyoming’s Grand Teton […]

2021 Testers’ Choice: Jason Layh’s Favorite Skis & Boots

This year at Powder Mountain, Utah, our testers gathered for the 2021 Gear Test Week to review 121 products just before Covid-19 sent us into lockdown. Now, we’re debuting the skis, boards, boots, bindings and apparel that you need to go remote—in the backcountry, that is. At the end of the week, we asked each […]

Two Peas in a Pod: Mali Noyes and Lani Bruntz complete the winter WURL

“I had been obsessed with the WURL on the running side of it in the summer,” says professional skier Mali Noyes, a resident of Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. “So obsessed that I started thinking about skiing it, because, really, skiing is my favorite.” The WURL, or the Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup, is […]

Mountain Skills: Set a Plan and Stick to It

You’ve been playing it safe all day. Even though the avalanche bulletin called out “Considerable” hazard for the day (natural avalanches are possible and human-triggered are likely), you haven’t observed any signs of instability while skiing lower angled terrain in the trees. Close to where you’ve been skiing, there’s an untracked slope—and it’s only slightly […]

The Ski Guide Manual: “The path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty”

The Ski Guide Manual is almost a misnomer. After flipping through the carefully planned pages, I found myself considering new and different ways to work with my ski clients, but I also kept floating back to my recreation ski days, thinking of new and better ways to be more efficient in everything from trip planning […]

Hips Don’t Lie: How a solid foundation leads to strong skinning

In 2014, when Exum guide and longtime skimo competitor Janelle Smiley entered a hospital for double hip surgeries, she worried she might never skin again. She and her husband Mark, an internationally certified mountain guide, had built a life around uphill skiing—Janelle is a three-time winner of the National Skimo Championship, a two-time North American Championship winner and won the team division of the 2013 Swiss Mountaineering Championship with partner Stevie Kremer.

Pemberton, B.C. Slide Sparks Concern, Criticism and Class Action Claim Over Beacon Design

While filming with Teton Gravity Research (TGR) this past spring in Pemberton, British Columbia, professional skier Nick McNutt was caught in an avalanche on March 9 after a large pillow in his line became dislodged. The slide carried McNutt into a section of trees and, given how the slope transitioned to a lake below, quickly […]

Olympic Dreams: Benjamin Alexander Trains for Speed in the Backcountry

“I absolutely love speed,” Benjamin Alexander says. “I love any sport that allows you to go fast, especially when your method of propulsion is simply gravity.” The love affair came later in life for Alexander, who started skiing at 32 and is now training to downhill race in the 2022 Winter Olympics. And when lifts […]

Worried About Climate Change? For These Guides, It’s a Numbers Game

On any normal winter day, Informalex, the email list that ski guides across western Canada rely on for beta, is active with discussion about avalanche conditions and route information. In the off-season, the list, only accessible to members of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, serves as a forum for bored members to debate guiding-related […]