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La Nina, El Nino and your ski season

La Niña, El Niño and Your Ski Season

La Niña, El Niño and Your Ski Season “Hey Ethel, you seen how fat the squirrels are this fall? It’s a sure sign, we’re gonna have a whopper of a winter” Yup, it’s that time of year again. It’s time for pro and amateurs alike to expound on their weather and climate theories. Honestly, I love to hear it all:… 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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Dream Job Avalanche Forecaster

Dream Job – Avalanche Forecaster

Dream Job – Avalanche Forecaster An Interview with ChugachNational Forest Avalanche Center Forecaster Wendy Wagner by David Waag We all appreciate the value of our regional avalanche forecast centers and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t dreamed of working as an avalanche professional. It’s all face shots, field observations and free gear right? Well, it turns out there’s a lot more… Read More

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Uptrack Outdoor Research Ascendent Hoodie

Darkside Calling – Telemark vs AT

Darkside Calling – Telemark vs. Alpine Touring by Paul Butler Right before the end of the year, I went out skiing. After a week of torrential and monumentally depressing rain turned Christmas into Slushmas, cold from the east brought December back to the way it should be in these parts. Two friends and I began making our way up “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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The Great White Highway grumpy old shop guy

Grumpy Old Shop Guy – The Great White Highway

The Great White Highway by the Grumpy Old Shop Guy, aka Don Pattison It’s the inevitable and ponderous start to another ski season, and I’ve got a worried mind. Driving my old Jeep over the local pass last weekend, a couple of thoughts popped out – I need new wiper blades and the good December snow reminds me that a… Read More

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avalanche hazard rating

What’s The Problem?

The classic backcountry ski checklist – shovel, probe, beacon, brain – has also come to include the avalanche forecast, and most of us make the effort to check the forecast before we head into the mountains. But an important question that’s often overlooked is; “Are really absorbing the most important information contained in the forecast?” Sure, the avalanche hazard rating… Read More

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bro brah

Backcountry Skier Personalities – part II

Backcountry skiers can be a curious bunch. We come in a variety of flavors and there are several easy stereotypes to poke fun at. Of course, we all hold traits from multiple stereotypes, but in the spirit of making fun of ourselves, we offer Backcountry Skier Personalities part II – read part I here THE BRO BRAH Few skiers are… Read More

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backcountry ski packs

Avalanche Safety – Morning Meeting

Morning Meeting The importance of a clear plan and conditions dialogue – Larry Goldie, IFMGA Mountain Guide, North Cascades Mountain Guides When asked why they are taking an avalanche safety class, the number one response I hear from students is, “to be safer in the backcountry.” While you can argue that this is a difficult task in a three-day course,… 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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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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skier personality gearhead

Backcountry Skier Personalities

Last year, we ran a piece offering six backcountry skier personalities that garnered a bunch of mail. The personalities included: the Gearhead, Jaded Local, Luddite, Bro Brah, Rando Racer and Newby. More than likely, we all hold traits from a variety of the stereotypes, but in the spirit of making fun of ourselves, here’s a look at the first three:… Read More

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