black diamond cirque 30

Black Diamond Cirque 30 Backpack Review

Black Diamond Cirque 30 Pack Review Finding the right ski touring backpack is a combination of balancing personal preference, primary use and fit. Personally, I’ve long subscribed to the less-is-more philosophy when weighing design options and choosing a ski touring pack. The fewer zippers, buckles and accessory pockets, the better in my opinion. The clean top-loading style of the Black Diamond… Read More

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mt hood spring ski testing

Spring Ski Testing – Elan RipStick 106 and more

Elan Ripstick 106 and Elan Ibex carbon 94 xlt Theres a healthy snowpack in the Northwest and it’s been a great spring for ski testing.  We’ve been putting skis from Voile, DPS, Black Diamond, Salomon, Elan and others through the paces on Mt. Hood. Yes, you heard that right Elan is entering the backcountry ski market.  It’d been decades since I jumped on… Read More

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Arc'teryx proton lt hoody

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody – more active insulation options

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody – Active Insulation  In my quest to test and understand active insulation, I’ve been putting the Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody through the paces backcountry ski touring. The Proton LT falls right in line with the Patagonia Nano Air and the Outdoor Research Ascendant hoodies. If you missed what I’ve said about the Ascendant or the Nano Air,… Read More

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the art of the uptrack

The Art of the Uptrack

The Art of the Uptrack Larry Goldie – Owner, Lead Guide at North Cascade Mountain Guides First, there was the epiphany. It was a deep day, sixteen inches of new and still snowing. The hookup began as many do, spontaneously meeting at the trailhead with the same objective in mind. I was with my two most regular ski partners. Our… Read More

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outdoor research ascendent hoodie

Active Insulation – Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie

Active Insulation – Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie One of the more interesting outerwear innovations in the last couple of seasons has been the advent of active insulation. This year’s OR show was abuzz with the term. What is active insulation, you ask? Well, it refers to insulated jackets that maintain breathability and air permeability, giving you the ability to wear them… Read More

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the renewal workshop

The Renewal Workshop Goes Live

The Renewal Workshop Goes Live Have you ever wondered what happens to the jacket or shirt that you sent back to the manufacturer because a zipper or a seam blew out? In a few rare cases, it gets repaired and returned to the consumer by the manufacturer. But, more often than not, returned gear simply ends up destined for the landfill. In… Read More

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weak layers - identifying avalanche culprits

Avy 101 – Weak Layers – A low tech approach to identifying common avalanche culprits

Weak Layers A low-tech approach to identifying common avalanche culprits – by Larry Goldie Believe it or not, regardless of what triggers an avalanche, every avalanche has one thing in common: they all fail on a weak layer of snow. Personally, I would much rather be out skiing than standing around in snowpits looking at snow crystals and analyzing weak layers…. Read More

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Fritschi Tectron binding

Outdoor Retailer 2017: Tech Bindings

Tech bindings have evolved quickly over the past few years and the 2017 Outdoor Retailer (OR) show in Salt Lake offered a glimpse of the latest innovations on the tech binding front. Dynafit and Fritschi unveiled new AT tech bindings at OR, while G3 and Salomon continue to refine their offerings. Here’s quick overview: DYNAFIT: The brand that literally invented the… Read More

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Scarpa Maestrale RS and Maestrale Ski boots

Outdoor Retailer 2017: SCARPA Maestrale RS AT Boots

Following up the last post about an industry ski day spent testing the latest SCARPA Maestrale RS AT boot and the new G3 SENDr 112 ski, lets look at the latest edition of the SCARPA Maestrale. Testing new gear is always a good time, but being able to test gear with the very people who helped bring the product to market is… Read More

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G3 SENDr Scarpa Maestrale RS

Outdoor Retailer 2017: G3 SENDr 112

Outdoor Retailer, the annual gathering of outdoor gear/clothing manufacturers and industry pros, was held in Salt Lake last week. We checked out a wide variety of cool new and upcoming products at the show, but one of the highlights was a day of skiing in the Uintas Mountains with SCARPA, G3 and Park City Powder Cats to test the new… Read More

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patagonia stretch nano storm

Insulated Jackets – Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm vs Nano Air

Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm vs Nano Air An insulated jacket is on the must-have list for backcountry skiing. It’s the layer that keeps you warm during breaks or transitions and offers a safety margin should you end up having to wait out a repair, deal with an injury or adjust to changing weather. I’ve developed a preference for synthetic insulation… Read More

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ski crampons

ski crampons

When the snow conditions are firm, nothing offers uphill security like ski crampons or, as they say in German, ”harscheisen”.  Check out the video from the American Mountain Guide Association about when to use ski crampons. Ski crampons attach to your bindings (or ski as in some aftermarket telemark solutions) and pivot under foot as you skin up the hill,… Read More

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