Backcountry Bulletin: April 3 – Tuckerman Ravine Closure, Teton Pass Death, Making PPE, Avalanche Center Approaches and More

In light of all the stories brewing in the world right now related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re bringing back our weekly news roundup to share what’s happening nationwide and beyond related to the mountains and the backcountry community.

After Avalanche and Two-Day Search on Jackson, Wyo.’s Taylor Mountain, Body of Missing Snowboarder Found

Jackson, Wyo. After a two-day search, volunteers with Wyoming’s Teton County Search and Rescue (TCSAR) have found the body of a snowboarder who went missing yesterday in an avalanche on Teton Pass. According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the deceased has been identified as 28-year-old Trace Jordan Carrillo of Dubois, Wyo. On April […]

U.S. Forest Service Closes All Of New Hampshire’s Tuckerman Ravine, Huntington Ravine and Gulf of Slides

Announced today, the U.S. Forest Service has closed all Forest Service land within the Cutler River Drainage of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range. This closure affects the entirety of the classic spring-skiing terrain of Tuckerman Ravine and Hillman’s Highway, as well as Huntington Ravine and Gulf of Slides. The unprecedented action expands on Monday’s closure of the Headwall section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and was enacted in response to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utah Avalanche Center reports 11 human-triggered avalanche incidents in three-day window, urges users to make more conservative decisions

In response to these accidents, and in light of resort closures and the strain being placed on the healthcare system by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) is urging backcountry users to make more conservative decisions in the mountains.

Toeing the Boundary Line: Should we still be skiing?

When I drove up Utah’s Cottonwood Canyons this past Saturday, parking lots were a zoo—more so than usual, that is. Stickered Subarus and trucks cozied up mirror to mirror. Groups of diehards and new users alike spilled out into the Wasatch’s infamously well-beaten network of skintracks. And with greenlit avalanche conditions and a balmy weather […]

As Resorts Close, Sales of Backcountry Touring Gear Spike

Toilet paper and canned goods aren’t the only commodities flying off the shelves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Vail Resorts’ stock fell along with the rest of the market, and as ski resorts across the nation closed for the season earlier this month, the demand for touring setups has spiked. “Ski resorts […]

Amid Closures, Select Ski Resorts Continue to Allow Uphill Skiing

Over the last week, ski resorts closed en masse due to concerns and restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A few, however, will still let you skin uphill. But remember: It’s a go-at-your-own-risk affair, with no rescue services available and no avalanche mitigation at closed resorts. When ski resorts across the country announced mass […]

Splitboarding in the time of COVID-19

Last weekend I was on a ski retreat deep in Washington’s Central Cascades. I found myself talking with another group of skiers who happened to be nurses from my small town of Leavenworth, Washington. I joked with them about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), asking what all the hype was about. On the way back to […]

Blurred Borders: For resorts with inbounds avalanche terrain and lift-accessible backcountry, managing boundaries proves challenging

Phrases like “inbounds backcountry” and “sidecountry” are frequently tossed around by resort-goers, referencing terrain they view somewhere in between proper backcountry and controlled resort territory. But according to patrollers and avy educators, both terms should be eliminated and these zones approached with a backcountry mentality. “We don’t have ‘inbounds backcountry,’” says Doug Richmond, Patrol Director […]

Near Russia, With Love: Norway’s Finnmark Alps

You’ve heard of Lyngen and Lofoten. You’ve seen pictures of sailboats bobbing in the Arctic beneath staggering lines that rush to the sea like the Grinch dropping in on Whoville. But go even farther north and there’s a forgotten range that even many Norwegians don’t visit. And for the natives of this place, that’s just fine. No guidebooks, no waypoints. Just local knowledge, a skipper and unlimited access to the prettiest range you’ve never heard of.