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airbagpacks01

Avalanche Airbag Packs – What’s New

When avalanche airbag packs first began hitting the North American market, they were expensive, heavy and somewhat awkward in design compared to non-airbag packs. Airbag pack design, however, has evolved quickly the past couple of seasons and, though they are still spendy compared to a traditional ski pack, fit, design and pack options have come a long way. As evidenced by the growing number of airbags I saw on the backs of backcountry skiers this past season, they are quickly becoming more than just a safety tool for snow professionals and heli skiers. And, given the number of different manufacturers adding airbag technology to their ski pack lines for 2014-15, I expect the coming season will reflect even greater growth. There are those who suggest airbags…

Tuesday Timewaster: Spring Skiing the Cascades

Here’s a little Tuesday time waster ski movie for ya. Check out this crew enjoying spring skiing in the Cascades . . . Makin’ Bacon – Ski Traverse from Blum to Bacon Peak from Jason Hummel on Vimeo.

smith vantage ski helmet

Gear Review: Smith Vantage Helmet

I’ve been slow to adopt helmet use for backcountry skiing. As I’m fond of saying to those who question my lack of helmet (namely, my family), “My head’s not a vital organ, so why worry.” Joking aside, I certainly understand the value of wearing a helmet. I don’t get on my bike without one, and I’ve been known to wear… Read More

Gear

airbagpacks01

Avalanche Airbag Packs – What’s New

When avalanche airbag packs first began hitting the North American market, they were expensive, heavy and somewhat awkward in design compared to non-airbag packs. Airbag pack design, however, has evolved quickly the past couple of seasons and, though they are still spendy compared to a traditional ski pack, fit, design and pack options have come a long way. As evidenced… Read More

La Sportiva Spectre Boot Review

Gear Review: Sportiva Spectre AT Boots

Finding the right backcountry ski boot has a lot to do with good fit, but it’s also important to find the right combination of uphill functionality and downhill performance. La Sportiva nailed both in the Spectre alpine touring boot. The Spectre AT boot offers great walkability with the flick of a lever and excellent downhill performance without being uber stiff…. Read More

powder skiing

Ski Testing – 2015 Backcountry Ski Reviews

Ski testing season is here at Off-Piste Mag. And though no one seems to respect how much work it really is to test backcountry skis, boots and bindings, we’ve been hard at “work” checking out 2015 gear. Mount Hood has served up a classic mix of spring powder, bluebird days and everything in between. There’s nothing quite like six inches of… Read More

Patagonia Knifeblade

Softshell Ski Jackets – Patagonia Knifeblade and OR Enchainment

Having trouble regulating your temp on the up track? In addition to wearing too many layers or simply too warm a layer, too many backcountry skiers wear waterproof/breathable shells (top and bottom) for touring. I’m here to tell you that less is more and, more often than not, a fully waterproof/breathable shell (Gore-Tex pioneered the fabric, but there are many… Read More