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Check out our feature stories about backcountry skiing.

backcountry skiing off-piste magazine

Winter Snow Forecast – ENSO, PDO and Optimism

Winter Snow Forecast 2016-17 UPDATE – October 15, 2016 – NOAA Climate Center moves back to La Niña forecast! Skiers and weather forecasters talk a lot about El Niño and La Niña when gazing into their crystal balls in search of the winter snow forecast. And for good reason, El Niño (warm Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures) and La Niña (cool Equatorial… Read More

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2017 backcountry skis

2017 Backcountry Skis – Beta part III

2017 Backcountry Skis Finally, a third installment previewing 2017 backcountry skis! The weather patterns shifted this week to yield a glimpse of fall. There’s nothing quite like the first dust of snow in the mountains to turn your thoughts toward ski season. The big picture for 2017 backcountry skis is lighter weights, modest widths and impressive performance through a range of conditions. Basically, skis… Read More

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training for the new alpinism

Training for the New Alpinism

Book Review: Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete Steve House and Scott Johnston $35.00 from Patagonia Books “You can’t coach desire, and no matter how fancy your training plan or how high your stated goals are, it comes down to getting out the door and doing the work day after day.” – Steve House… Read More

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mt. hood ski descent

Cascade Volcano Ski Conditions

Winter 15/16 has left the Northwest mountains with a good healthy snowpack this spring and, for those keen to continue their ski season, Cascade volcano ski conditions are at their prime. We’ve hit that magic point where access roads are clear and the snowpack is still robust. Warming days and cold nights deliver the best volcano ski conditions, so keep an eye… Read More

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wapta traverse

The Wapta Traverse

The Wapta Traverse – A Canadian Rockies Classic High Pressure and bluebird conditions prevail and the views stretch as far as my eyes can see in all directions. Dozens of stunning, rocky peaks dressed in white vie for my attention. I wander the ridge toward the summit of a small peak near the Scott Duncan Hut and contemplate the surroundings…. Read More

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avalanche safety systems

Avalanche Systems – Managing Your Human Factor

What’s Your System? Managing Your Human Factor – Joe Stock I’ve never been caught in avalanche. Maybe it’s because I’m good at mountain travel. Maybe it’s because I maintain a healthy margin for error. Maybe it’s luck. In any case, I work hard to avoid avalanches. I’m in the snowy mountains most of winter. The odds are against me. One of the… Read More

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avalanche accident

Avalanche Accident – A Perfect Storm

A Perfect Storm – Reflecting on an Avalanche Accident by Larry Goldie and David Waag Never have I fought so 
hard to suppress the 
overwhelming urge to panic. Before I realized what I was doing, I 
heard my own muffled screaming. I told 
myself to calm down. Again, I realized I was
 screaming. A few deep breaths later, I gained… Read More

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DPS skis powder day

It’s Always a Powder Day Somewhere

It’s Always a Powder Day Somewhere The road comes and goes from my vision as the wind alternately whips the falling snow into a frenzy and wanes to let the flakes follow the call of gravity. I switch between my hi-beams and normal headlights in the hopes that the road comes into better focus as it unfolds beyond the windshield,… Read More

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jumbo wild

Jumbo Wild – Sweetgrass Productions

JUMBO WILD We’ve all been witness to the classic them-versus-us scenario of mountain development in the name of economic progress. Jumbo Wild, a new film by Sweetgrass Productions and backed by Patagonia, digs into the story of Jumbo Glacier Resort, a proposed ski resort development in British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains. On the surface, the Jumbo story is a classic development… Read More

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backcountry skiing

In The Pocket – the cycle of the seasons

In the national forest around the volcano near my home, there is a pocket formed by the near-perpendicular intersection of two ridges. There’s a steep, old logging road that winds its way up to the ridgetop above this cleft in the earth, past a small spring that seeps downhill and is gathered by a creek and continues onward. I am… Read More

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alpine single tarck sol mountain lodge

Alpine Singletrack – Sol Mountain

Alpine Singletrack on the Rise Story and Photos by Steve Shannon A hundred kilometers south of Revelstoke, British Columbia, tucked away in an alpine meadow in the Monashee Mountains, sits a growing alpine singletrack hotspot: Sol Mountain Lodge. Sol has operated as a ski touring lodge since 2005 but with the lodge accessible by car after the snow melts, owner, Aaron… Read More

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mountain soles gear repair

Outdoor Gear Repair – Repair, Renew, Reuse

REPAIR, RENEW, REUSE All in a day’s work at Mountain Soles In an era of disposable products where cheaper equals better to many consumers, there stands a testament to quality and longevity in a small shop in Portland, Oregon. Mountain Soles, a fixture in Northwest outdoor gear repair since 1979, has been quietly repairing, altering and renewing quality outdoor footwear,… Read More

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hillmap.com

HillMap.com web-based mapping

In the age of ubiquitous digital data, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been slow to use digital maps and images when planning my mountain adventures. But a recent discovery, Hillmap.com, is changing how I research and plan adventures. Hillmap.com is a free, web-based mapping application that lets you review and compare terrain in multiple high resolution formats, add layers,… Read More

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dynafit Radical ST binding

Dynafit Radical Binding Review

The proliferation of new tech bindings this past season is proof that the system has gained mainstream appeal. That’s right, the masses have finally figured out the advantages of the lightweight, tech-pivot for backcountry skiing; and the binding design has progressed far enough to appease much of the criticism non-users have weighed against it. Of course, all the new options are… Read More

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fritschi vipec 12

Fritschi Vipec 12 Binding Review

The Fritschi Vipec 12, having weathered a few initial glitches last season, hit the market in 2015 refined and I’ve spent the past couple months logging hours on the current model in the backcountry and at the ski resort. The bottom line is that Fritschi has set themselves up as a viable player in the tech-binding market and the Vipec offers… Read More

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