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Welcome to the home of the backcountry skiing blog from Off-Piste Magazine. Here we post backcountry ski gear reviews, feature stories and avalanche safety advice, plus ski news, events and more.

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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voile shovel and probe giveaway

Voile Shovel and Probe Giveaway

Voile Shovel and Probe Giveaway We’ve teamed up with Voile to give you a chance to win a Telepack-mini Shovel and Tourlight Avalanche Probe. Just sign up below for our e-news letter (sent more or less monthly) before December 4, 2016 and you will be entered into the drawing. If you already receive our e-news, you can still enter to win the shovels… Read More

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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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candide thovex edit

Who Needs Snow – Candide Thovex Edit – Tuesday Time Waster

Tuesday Time Waster – Candide Thovex Edit The weather seems to have turned toward fall as the calendar turned to September this year. The Northwest mountains have only seen a trace of snow but the cool temps and grey skies help fuel thoughts of the winter ahead. But who needs snow to ski. Apparently, Candide Thovex doesn’t. This clip is… Read More

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methow valley skiing

Copper Mining Threat in the Upper Methow Valley

THE THREAT: COPPER MINING IN THE UPPER METHOW The North Cascades of Washington hold some of the finest backcountry skiing in North America. In the northeast corner of the range sits the Methow Valley, a sleepy albeit “discovered” community surrounded by some the most inspiring terrain in the range. Anyone who has visited the valley, in summer or winter, knows what a rarity… Read More

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backcountry ski review fleet

2017 Ski Test Beta part II

The opportunity to ski a wide variety of backcountry skis back to back for direct comparisons is the foundation of our ski testing program and our subsequent ski review write-ups.  This season’s fresh crop of backcountry skis includes a few highly regarded favorites like the Voile V6, the DPS Wailer 112 and the Volkl BMT 94 but it also includes… Read More

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black diamond couloir ski mountaineering harness

Ski Mountaineering Harnesses

As a skier first and a mountaineer second, it’s not that often I use a harness while ski touring. But when the going gets technical or crevassed, you don’t want to be left wishing you had a harness with you. Here are two great ski mountaineering harnesses that give you no excuse to leave them at home. They are so… Read More

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backcountry ski review fleet

2017 Ski Testing Beta

Spring ski testing is behind us! We tested and compared over 30 new backcountry skis in April. Everyone rolls their eyes when they hear how much work is involved with ski testing – kind of like saying, “. . . and then we had to try another beer to compare flavors . . .” Anyway, it is a fair bit of… Read More

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mount hood climbing routes

Mount Hood Climbing Routes Poster

Mount Hood is a Northwest mountaineering icon and offers climbing and ski descent routes for a wide range of ambitions from modest South Side routes to the technical North Chutes. If you have ever thought about climbing Mt Hood or have climbed it many times, check out our Mt. Hood Climbing Routes poster. The poster shows all of the classic… Read More

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ski reviews

2016 Backcountry Ski Reviews

2016 Ski Reviews As winter fades, it’s time to release our 2016 ski reviews into the archives. If you’re still in the market for new skis, now is the time to score a deal on hold-over inventory. Take a look at what our ski reviews have to say and stock your quiver with an end of the season deal. We ski… 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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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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petzl tikka

Backcountry Skier Gift Ideas

Here’s a few backcountry skier gift ideas from the product testing crew at Off-Piste Mag: Petzl Tikka Headlamp: We’ve abused a lot of different headlamps over the years and hands down the most reliable and functional headlamp we’ve used is the Petzl Tikka. It’s a great blend of compact brightness and just enough options to make it usable for almost… Read More

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telemark skiing

Freeheel Stoke from Jake Sakson

Just in case you thought telemark skiing was dead, here’s a little freeheel stoke from Jake Sakson – the “last remaining professional big mountain telemark skier” (those are his words). After years on the freeskiing circuit and a very respectable third place finish in the North American Freeskiing World Tour, Sakson has returned to his backcountry roots in search of adventure… Read More

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