Archive | General

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.


Wallowas get new avalanche center

Skiers bound for Eastern Oregon’s hidden gem known as the Wallowa Mountains can add the newly created Wallowa Avalanche Center (WAC) to their list of resources.  Until now, avalanche conditions in the Wallowa Mountains were not officially monitored and the nearest center to the Wallowas was the Payette Avalanche Center in Idaho. With an increasing number of winter visitors enjoying… Read More

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Snow report reliability

Anyone obsessed with skiing enough to be reading this blog probably does not need an academic paper to prove that ski resorts often embellish thier snow report numbers, but the following report from a couple of Associate Professors in Economics from Dartmouth College is a pretty entertaining read. In addition, it raises the i-phone issue again. Apparantly, there is yet… Read More

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Ski bum contest

I posted a blog referring to the Ski Bum contest sponsored by a consortium of BC ski areas a couple weeks back. The contest is a take on the widely successful campaign run by  Queensland Australia Tourism last winter. I just checked back on the Ski Bum site and am surprised to see only two entries thus far, and they… Read More

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off-piste mag issue 42

Subscribe to Off-Piste

October is here and snow is gracing the high country once again. The latest issue of Off-Piste Mag (Issue 42) is at the printer this week and will begin shipping next week. Subscribe or renew now to be in the loop for a full season of Off-Piste Mag delivered to your door. If you subscribe online by October 11, 2009,… Read More

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Slacklines Skiing may be scarce in the northern hemisphere right now, but there are plenty of options for staying tuned up. My latest pursuit is slacklines. I am no pro in pursuit of heart dropping highline antics, but I was keen to get good enought to actually walk a decent line. I have set up a few lines with one-inch… Read More

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Sondre Norheim's home and workshop

Sondre Norheim’s home and workshop

Jarl Berg from Berg’s Ski Shop in Eugene, OR has been traveling in Norway and had a chance to visit Sondre Norheim’s home. Norheim is recognized as a pioneer of modern skiing. He lived from 1825-1897 and helped to pioneer early ski techniques and equipment. Jarl sent us a couple video clips from his visit to Norheim’s home and workshop…. Read More

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white pass map

White Pass moves ahead with expansion

Following 20 years of litigation, White Pass Ski Resort has begun clearing and construction for its 700+ acre expansion this summer. White Pass is located about 50 miles west of Yakima, WA, and cleared the final hurdles for the expansion back in September when US district Court ruled in favor of the Resort in the last of a string of… Read More

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Mt Hood May 2009


Spring arrived in force this weekend in the Northwest. The bike was calling so I do not have a snow report, however, the lower elevation mt bike trails around Hood River are primo right now. Benj Wadsworth from the Friends of the NW Weather and Avalanche Center (FOAC) reports that "…NWAC was able to provide forecasts throught he end of… Read More

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WyEast Nordic Telemark Ski Clinics on Mt Hood

Mt Hood Tele Camp

WyEast Nordic is hosting its 26th season of Summer Tele-Camp June 13-14.  Summer on Mt. Hood is an excellent time to take a ski clinic. Creamy corn snow, mild temps and a variety of instructors make for a great weekend of skiing. The  clinic includes tour days before and after that offer a chance to explore some of the summer… Read More

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Bend Backcountry Update

The Bend Backcountry Alliance (BBA) has been working to protect human powered access around Bend, OR with recent efforts focused on a non-motorized Tumalo Butte. Here is the latest update from the BBA. We’re making headway toward a quieter, cleaner Tumalo. We are writing to thank you for your continued support for the preservation of winter trails and to give… Read More

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Off-Piste - The Backcountry Skier


          I just posted the current season’s issue as PDF’s on the site. All back issues of the mag are available online as PDF’s. To help encourage you to subscribe, we wait until our publishing season is over before posting the current season’s issues. We now have ten years of Off-Piste Mag available online for your… Read More

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Public Lands Bill back up for vote

I just read an interesting article describing the various dynamics at play on the SB 22 – the public lands bill that failed to pass the House a couple of weeks ago. It sounds like the bill is now an amendment to another low controversy bill that is pending vote any day. Rather than pretend I know what I am… Read More

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Off-Piste Back Issue PDF’s

We get a lot of inquires for back issues. Rather than charge money to ship them out, we offer them online as PDF downloads. All back issues are available here. We only offer PDF’s for previous seasons. Current season issues are available at ski shops or by subscription. The idea here is to encourage you to subscribe and support what… Read More

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Avalanche Incident Report

In late January, an avalanche near the Eisman Hut in Colorado’s Gore Range buried three folks (one skier, two boarders) out touring. All three survived. The story is pretty interesting and worth reading. The guys involved did a variety of things wrong, but obviously, given their survival, they did a few things right, too. Hopefully, the incident report does more… Read More

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Tordrillo Range, AK - joe stock photo

Hans Saari Memorial Fund

  We just received this note from the good folks at Backbone Media regarding the Hans Saari Memorial Fund. Start planning and get your grant applications in by March.     The Hans Saari Memorial Fund (HSMF), a Bozeman based non-profit, reminds ski mountaineers that the deadline for submitting Ski Exploration Grant applications is March 1, 2009. Information on Grants… Read More

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