Archive | avalanche safety

avalanche safety articles from Off-Piste Magazine. Making wise terrain choices, understanding the avalanche forecast, latest avalanche safety gear reviews. Advice from professional mountain guides about route planning, communication and on-the-fly snow stability evaluation

avalanche beacon reviews

Avalanche Beacon Reviews

If you’re in the market for a new avalanche beacon (also known as avalanche transceivers), today’s units are incredibly proficient search tools. Three-antenna construction, digital processing of the signal and directional guidance are all standard fare. We handed a collection of newest avalanche beacons to rank novices with no tips or explanation for use beyond how to switch to search… Read More

Read More
IMG_5205

Avalanche Beacon Testing

We’ve been practicing with an assortment of current model avalanche beacons for an upcoming article in the print magazine. The bulk of our testing has focused on mid-level beacons aimed at solid recreational users like the BCA Tracker 3, Barryvox Element, Ortovox 3+ and Pieps DSP Sport. All of these avalanche beacons feature three-antenna technology and a signal marking function (suppression… Read More

Read More
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

Read More
Avalanche Essentials by Bruce Tremper

Avalanche Essentials

There’s no shortage of books on avalanche safety, and Utah Avalanche Center Director, Bruce Tremper, is the author of one of the best, Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain. One thing books like Staying Alive and others lack, however, is a readability and first person approach that appeals to readers with a less technical background or approach. This readable, first person… Read More

Read More
avalung1

Avalanche Footage and Imagery

It’s been a wild February and March for avalanche footage and imagery from around the world. There have been many high profile slides around North America and Europe including slides that have hit homes and ski resort infrastructure. In case you have any question as to the destructive potential of an avalanche, here’s a collection of footage from around the… Read More

Read More
black diamond alias ski pack

Black Diamond Alias Ski Pack

It’s not always easy to let go of a favorite old piece of gear in favor of a replacement but strapping on the Black Diamond Alias ski pack has been an easy transition this season. Redesigned for 2014, the Black Diamond Alias Ski Pack offers a clean, simple interface reflective of BD’s alpine climbing packs but with added ski features…. Read More

Read More
BD Jet Force Halo 28

Tradeshow Highlights – Avalanche Airbag Packs

Tradeshow Highlights – Avalanche Airbag Packs There’s no shortage of Outdoor Retailer (OR) trade show beta on the interweb, but I’d feel amiss in my duties I didn’t add something about the newest backcountry ski gear we saw while walking the halls at OR. In the big picture, I’d say the two biggest themes for backcountry skiers were avalanche airbag packs… Read More

Read More
avalanche safety off-piste magazine

Avalanche Safety & Awareness

Avalanche safety has been making the news more than ever this season. Given a few  recent high profile avalanche accidents (Wyoming avalanche, Utah avalanche, BC avalanche) and a highly variable and generally shallow snowpack across much of North America, avalanche safety is on the minds of many. In addition, there’s more interest and effort than ever by the media and… Read More

Read More
avalanche airbag pack reviews

Avalanche Airbag Pack reviews

Avalanche safety equipment has long revolved around what most skiers will agree are the three essential companion rescue tools – beacon, shovel and probe. Of course, having these tools in your pack doesn’t make you any safer unless you have the knowledge to use them and at least a basic understanding of how to recognize potentially hazardous conditions and terrain…. Read More

Read More
Snow and Avalanche Workshops - avalanche education

Fall Snow and Avalanche Education Workshops

We’re all looking forward to winter and a great way to build the stoke and, believe it or not, learn something too is to attend one of the fall Snow and Avalanche Workshops that now happen in just about every region around the country. These avalanche education workshops are a great way to broaden your snow science and hazard evaluation… Read More

Read More
NY Times Tunnel Creek

New York Times Special on Tunnel Creek Avalanche

The New York Times just launched a very impressive article covering last year’s tragic avalanche incident in Tunnel Creek near Stevens Pass, Washington. The piece offers incredible depth and detail of the day, plus super impressive interactive graphics including an incredible realtime reenactment of the slide complete with skier locations that is best viewed on a full-size screen, not that… Read More

Read More

Avalanche Awareness

The first big winter storm of the season has launched skiing around the West. With the snow comes the first  avalanche death of the season up in British Columbia. The incident involved survey work, not skiing but, nonetheless, serves to remind us that even a shallow snowpack is subject to avalanche danger. Here is a new avalanche awareness movie that… Read More

Read More
Black Diamond Avalung - cornice drop

Avalanche Airbags

Avalanches are a backcountry skier’s worst nightmare, and the three basics – beacon, shovel and probe – have long been considered required equipment for responsible ski touring in avalanche terrain. There is no question that evolving beacon technology has made searching more efficient, and that continued innovation in avalanche safety gear is providing skiers with more options to stack survival… Read More

Read More
North Cascades Mountain Guides Avalanche II Class

Avalanche Education

Winter seems to have gotten up to speed mighty fast. The first powder turns of the season are already old news and the first avalanche fatalities of the season have already made the news (Colorado and Utah), and it is only November. British Columbia has issued a high avalanche hazard warning for the South Coast and storms appear to be… Read More

Read More