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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.

waterproof socks standing in water

Waterproof Socks – Tested

Whether you set out for a ride in the rain or get caught out by a surprise squall, cold, wet feet are hard to escape. We’ve all been there. And it’s never fun. Short of not riding, it’s difficult to guarantee dry feet when cycling in cold, wet weather.  Overboots and waterproof winter riding shoes help. Fenders help too, but… Read More

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showers pass basecamp merino hoodie

Merino Rules – Showers Pass Basecamp Hoodie

Merino — Breathable. Lightweight. Warm Wool has been part of the adventurer’s layering kit for a very long time. So long in fact, it’s sometimes associated with an old school vibe. Turns out though that wool’s natural temperature regulation, sweat-wicking and odor fighting qualities are difficult to match with modern synthetics. Add into the mix the naturally soft and resilient… Read More

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Volkl Blaze 106 product shot

Volkl Blaze 106 – A Daily Driver

Carve or Slarve – The Blaze 106 is Right at Home By the numbers, the Volkl Blaze 106 is an intersting ski. It specs out with a 146mm tip, a 106mm waist and a 128mm tail for all lengths. It’s wide shovel and strong sidecut are the first details to jump off the page, but upon closer inspection, it features… Read More

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ortovox diract voice beacon

Ortovox Diract Voice – Voice-Guided Avalanche Beacon

Ortovox Adds Voice Direction to the Beacon Search Equation The advent of digital signal processing was a game changer for avalanche beacon technology. Directional arrows and distance readouts are standard fare. There are a few more pieces to the puzzle — like multiple antennas — but the point is that technology has made using avalanche beacons faster, easier and more… Read More

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TargheeFT35 backcountry ski pack back view

Gregory Targhee FT 35 Ski Pack

Made for Big Days Traditional backcountry ski packs get less attention in this age of avalanche airbag packs. Airbags certainly have their place, but so do regular ski packs. For example, the Gregory Targhee FT 35. It’s a ski pack that’s ready for big loads, overnight trips and technical objectives. Targhee Pack Design The Targhee FT 35 is a traditional top… Read More

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artilect lightweight merino baselayers

Lightweight Merino Baselayers

Artilect Boulder – Next Generation Merino Baselayers Your layering system is only as effective as its foundation. So, it pays to wear a good baselayer. Breathable, sweat-wicking and quick-drying baselayers are the key to staying warm, dry and comfortable when backcountry skiing. I’ve tried countless baselayer materials over the years — synthetics, merino, blends. Synthetics breathe and wick well, but… Read More

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patagonia snowdrifter ski pack

Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L Ski Pack Review

The Best Backpacks Keep it Simple Backpack design is a funny thing. Designers are always looking for new ways to reinvent the wheel. When, in my opinion, the hallmark of a great backpack is simplicity. The newest Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L ski pack nails it with a clean, user-friendly and ski-ready design. It also happens to be made with 100% recycled… Read More

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Pagoda Tour ski review

DPS Pagoda Tour 112 Review

Light, Playful Powder Touring Machine – The Pagoda Tour 112 RP In the words of DPS, “The best untracked snow is worth walking for.” And that’s the motivation behind the new DPS Pagoda Tour skis, including the Pagoda Tour 112 RP. Following in the playful powder tracks of their lightweight Tour 1 skis, the design wizards at DPS bring us… Read More

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scarpa maestrale ski boot product shot

Scarpa Maestrale Review – Versatile and Utilitarian

The 2022 Scarpa Maestrale AT Ski Boots Renowned for balancing uphill walkability and downhill ski performance, the Scarpa Maestrale ski boot is like the Toyota Tacoma of ski boots. It’s versatile, utilitarian and appeals to a wide range of skiers. You can find bigger, burlier boots. In fact, too many people overlook the Maestrale in favor of the stiffer Maestrale… Read More

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Sportiva Vanguard ski boot

La Sportiva Vanguard Ski Boots Review – Uphill Efficiency and Downhill Power

Lightweight and Powerful with a Wide-Ranging Walk Mode Alpine touring ski boots need to balance weight, power and durability with walkability, flex and comfort. Generally speaking, the more powerful the ski boot, the less walk-friendly and heavier the design. The new La Sportiva Vanguard ski boots break that trend by being lighter and more powerful than similar boots while setting a… Read More

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Big Ski Mountain Products Climbing Skins Kit

Big Sky Mountain Products Climbing Skins – Made is USA

Essential Backcountry Equipment — Climbing Skins Climbing skins don’t get nearly as much attention as skis, boots and bindings when building out a backcountry ski kit. Nonetheless, skins are essential equipment for backcountry skiing and deserve some real consideration. The big questions when looking for skins are: What’s the best plush — nylon, mohair or a blend? What’s the glue reputation?… Read More

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DPS R10 Tech Binding

DPS R10 Tech Binding – Lightweight and Fully Featured

Featherweight Tech Binding DPS adds to their touring binding lineup this season with the DPS R10 tech binding. It’s a lightweight yet descent-minded AT binding that weighs in at a featherweight 260 grams (9 ounces) each. It’s a binding for all-day tours and quick skin track laps alike.  The R10’s weight and appearance might lead you to assume that it’s… Read More

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ski goggles for the backcountry

Best Ski Goggles For The Backcountry

What are the Best Ski Goggles? What makes one ski goggle better than another? It’s a combination of factors including lens shape, optical quality, venting, tint, fit — the list goes on. How do you decide which goggles are best for you? Without getting too bogged down in the tech, we recommend narrowing down the lens shape that suits your budget… Read More

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on the skin track in arxteryx procline ski pants

Made for Ski Touring – Arcteryx Procline Jacket and Pants

Go Light. Go Breathable. Go Far. You can backcountry ski in a fully waterproof, breathable hardshell ski jacket and pants, but I’m not sure why so many people do. Waterproof membrane shells like traditional two- and three-layer GORE-TEX — or any of the myriad of alternatives — are essential when skiing at the resort. However, they’re just not necessary for… Read More

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