Backcountry News

The first issues of Powder and Backcountry are in the hands of skiers around the country, and the reach of summer is waning a bit here in the Northwest. The first issue of Off-Piste Mag is not due until October (we are firm believers that August is too early to get distracted from reality), but we are lining up a great season of stoke-filled content and opinions of backcountry ski gear. We’ll be sending out subscription renewal notices at the end of the month and are looking forward to another great winter chasing untracked lines.

In the meantime, the ski industry news wheel is picking up steam, and we have a few stories of interest to pass on and help keep you in the know on all things ski . . .

First off, our friends over at Backcountryskiingcanada.com just posted an interesting video interview with Greg Hill. Hill answers questions about his recent move from Dynafit to Salomon and his interest in helping Salomon delve into the world of backcountry skiing. Although Hill does not spill the beans about specific Salomon backcountry products (i.e. tech bindings and lightweight touring skis), he lays it out that we all know his focus and we should be able to figure it out ourselves . . . check out the Greg Hill interview.

Other news of note is that the USFS has granted approval for the Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion plan. The expansion pushes Breckenridge’s operational boundary to include Peak 6, the next alpine summit to the north. The plan adds over 500 acres of ski terrain, a new lift and at least one new lodge structure. There is a healthy opposition to the plan in town and for good reason. The Peak 6 area has long been one of the few easy access touring areas for Summit County backcountry skiers. It’s not exactly world-class gnar, but it is an undeveloped area close to town that offers quick access to several day tours and holds one of the few healthy spruce forests in the area. Many view the expansion as resort marketing fodder, so Breck can claim new terrain and more lifts to help boost visitor numbers versus truly offering improved or more varied ski terrain. I’m not sure how the decision will play out, but you can read the details and follow updates at the Summit County Voice. They’ve got details, draft maps and ongoing coverage of local opinion related to the Peak 6 expansion plan.

Finally today, you may have read back in June or July about the closure of June Mountain Resort in California. June Mountain is one of those small ski hills that offers access to incredible terrain for touring. The resort is, however, owned by Mammoth Mountain, and from what I can infer from reading a bit of the details is that the closure may well have a politcal component that revolves around the desire to expand real estate development in the area (imagine that), but that might just be the conspiracy theorist in me coming out. Eitherway, local residents are not happy about the closure and a Save June Mountain group has rallied to well, you guessed it, save June Mountain.

Follow the June Mountain story here.

Read a great Jaded Local opinion piece here.