Recess is Over

Avalanches are serious stuff. You can go out and play, but getting caught in slides is inexcusable behavior. What’s worse is when folks jump on social media sites and the local avalanche center pages to tell stories about how they “didn’t mean it but didn’t get hurt. What’s the big deal?”

The Mountain Why: Cody Townsend, Michelle Parker and Bjarne Salén find answers on the road

For the last two years, Cody Townsend has been on a mission to ski all 50 lines listed in the book Fifty Classic Ski Descents in North America. Then in March 2020, Covid-19 hit and states instituted stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, and Townsend had to get creative in order to ski some of those lines before the snow melted. The Mountain Why, a film released December 2020, tells the story of how Townsend devised “a plan to travel safely, away from people.”

Gearbox: Goggles

Editors’ Choice: Anon M4 Backcountry skiing often requires sacrificing style for functionality. Luckily, Burton’s goggle and eyewear company, Anon Optics, finds the balance between the two with their M4 goggle. The next iteration to the M2 and M3, the M4 hit the market in 2019 with an upgraded frame shape that features a slightly deeper […]

Utah Records its First Avalanche Death on Historically Fatal Slope

Utah recorded its first avalanche fatality of the 2020/21 season last week. On Friday, January 8, Kevin Jack Steuterman, 31-year-old snowboarder from Clinton, Utah, was caught, carried and buried in the Dutch Draw area just beyond the boundaries of Park City Mountain Resort.

Gearbox: Helmets

Editors’ Choice: Petzl Sirocco They say the best helmet is the one you’ll wear. And for skiers who climb and climbers who ski, the dual-certified Petzl Sirocco gives no excuses to leave your helmet behind, even on the longest tours. “This helmet is uber light! You might just for-get that this thing is strapped to […]

Solving for Z: Zahan Billimoria Balances Risk and Reward

Zahan Billimoria, better known as Z, is a Jackson, Wyoming-based mountain guide with an extensive résumé. He’s guiding seasoned athletes and professional skiers alike. He’s guided for Teton Gravity Research (TGR), Redbull, works with Exum Mountain Guides and runs his own training and big mountain-focused company, Samsara Experience. Through it all, Billimoria has learned that […]

Travel Wisely: How to safely explore and enjoy the backcountry through a global pandemic

With Covid-19 still spreading across the globe, the only answer to the question, “What happens next?” seems to be “Who knows?” Ski resorts are just one example of a disrupted industry, and while a season with minimal chairlift use might be standard operating procedures for some, a human-powered winter is a brave new world for […]

Four fatalities recorded in single weekend, amid “especially dangerous” avalanche conditions

The U.S. recorded its first four avalanche fatalities of the 2020/21 season over the weekend, amid what the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is calling “especially dangerous” avalanche conditions. On Friday, a snowmobiler in Wyoming’s Sheep Pass area perished in a soft slab; also on Friday, a “legendary ski patroller” died west of Crested Butte, […]

Alone in the Andes

Gliding along the crest of the ridge in the bright spring sun, Jorge Kozulj and his partner look down at Argentina’s Bariloche lake district. They are alone in the Andes. Instead of managing the needs of a diverse clientele from across the globe, Kozulj, an IFMGA guide, has been free to explore his backyard for […]

The Death Couloir: The evolution of a forbidden fruit in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

Around midnight, I pull into my parking lot bivy for the evening. The trees gently sway back and forth, and the sky is eerily dark. Winds are forecasted to dissipate by sunrise, but intermittent gusts say otherwise. Nervous excitement is typical before a big day on a new line, yet for some reason I can’t […]