Backstory: Sunbowl Retreat

Whether on cross-country or backcountry skis, I enjoy the beauty and quietness of simply being out there—but there are other aspects even more compelling, which rouse more primal, visceral and satisfying feelings within me. Sitting at my desk, I thought of the past weekend, when Mike and I went to Lassen Volcanic National Park, with its jagged peaks amid ancient volcanic remnants.

The Last Hill Until the Next One

For an offbeat crew taking the long route from Reno, Nevada to the base of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, slow is better and biking is best. 

Backstory: Brown Shorts By Night

The snow of the surrounding mountains shoots back rays of the setting sun. Yellow, red and then purple. I’m amazed at the variety of colors in the sky and reflecting on the snow. Everything seems perfect. But deep in my mind, unpleasant thoughts grow with the lengthening shadows on the mountainsides.

Beer Guide 2018: Porters, stouts and lighter styles to transition from deep days to endless spring tours and tailgates

Beer may not make skinning faster or descending smoother—well, maybe for some it does—but it’s pretty much guaranteed to make post-ski hangouts a bit more lively. And with the right brews, you may just make some new parking lot friends to boot. Here are a few of our Editors’ Choice après picks for 2018 that’ll give you the motivation to shred harder so you can kick back and enjoy a malted beverage.

Backstory: The Struggle for Enlightenment

As a young medical student at the University of Colorado, I would often visit the bookstore during lunch, perusing shelves of anatomy atlases and medical textbooks. One day, I happened upon Ski the 14ers, a collection of photographs from Chris Davenport’s yearlong quest to climb and ski all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.

The Spearhead Doctorate: JD Hare traverses from the mountains to the blueberry patch and back

He may spend the summer months tending blueberry bushes, but JD Hare is far from being put out to pasture. In 1996, at age 18, Hare came achingly close to ascending Canada’s tallest peak, Mt. Logan, but turned back just shy of the 19,551-foot summit when altitude sickness affected most of his party. While that mission would have made Hare the youngest person to summit Logan, it still helped propel his freeskiing career toward steep and creative lines. But his inclination to migrate west from his native Ontario was sparked much earlier.

Skintrack Sketches: Lori LaBissoniere finds her inspiration in the Pacific Northwest’s remote landscapes

For painter Lori LaBissoniere, her artwork and environmental ethos go hand in hand. Through her work on reclaimed wood, she depicts the remote landscapes of the Pacific Northwest that she loves and her feelings about environmental degradation that are threatening her places of inspiration. We spoke to Labissoniere to learn more about her medium of […]

Returning to Shasta: How a mountain created a loyal following of world-class guides

Far into California’s northern Cascade Mountains sits the 14,179-foot volcanic peak, Mt. Shasta, a long-time destination for those looking to expand their ski mountaineering repertoires. For Shasta Mountain Guides—one of the leading guide outfitters in the area—Shasta is more than just a mountain.

Skintrack Sketches: Artist Dawn Gerety paints her love of Alaska and the Chugach Mountains

rtist Dawn Gerety, 48, was raised in Girdwood, Alaska and has always found inspiration in the peaks of the Chugach Mountains. Her biking, skiing and paddling pursuits instilled in her a desire to capture her passion for her natural and social communities.

Probing for data: How a new backcountry citizen science effort is growing the snow-depth database

Data collection for scientific research can be a tedious task at times, especially when it comes to building a database of snow depth data. But a group of scientists based out of Oregon State University, the University of Washington and University of Alaska have joined forces to create a new method for gathering crowd-sourced snow depth data and are developing an army of backcountry skiing citizen scientists to help out.