The Alpinist – Feature Film Movie Trailer As the sport of climbing turns from a niche pursuit to mainstream media event, Marc-André Leclerc climbs alone, far from the limelight. On remote alpine faces, the free-spirited 23-year-old makes some of the boldest solo ascents in history. Yet, he draws scant attention. With no cameras, no rope, and no margin for error,… Read More
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.
Winter 2021-22 Ski Season Forecast It’s still mighty early to be shouting about favorable ski season forecasts and predicting what the weather gods may or may not bring for winter 2021-22, but the current ENSO research hints at La Niña conditions taking shape. Based on sea surface temperatures being near-to-below average in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific, forecasters have… Read More
How to Store Your Skins, Skis and Avalanche Beacon Over the Summer When it comes to summer gear storage, a few easy steps will make sure your backcountry equipment – skis, climbing skins and avalanche beacon – are ready to roll when the snow flies in the fall. Summer Climbing Skin Storage Tips Proper summer gear storage for your climbing… Read More
A Versatile Softshell Jacket for Uphill Pursuits You gotta get up to get down when backcountry skiing. And as much as we all love the down, it’s the up that really requires good layering and planning to regulate your body temperature over the course of a full day in the mountains. Every day is a little different, and every skier… Read More
Winter is solidly in the rearview mirror at this point, but here’s a little crash reel from Matchstick Productions to help you reflect on your ski season. The adage – if you ain’t flyin’, you ain’t tryin’ – comes to mind. Huck Yeah . . .
Go Tubeless or Go Home If you aren’t using tubeless tires on your adventure gravel bike, you should be. Imagine bombing down gravel descents and across rough ground without concern for flats. Going tubeless is the key to reducing tire issues on adventurous rides. Tubeless lets you run lower tire pressure without fear of pinch flats and essentially eliminates routine… Read More
Castelli Entrata Cycling Vest – Windproof Front, Breathable Back Cycling vests are essential gear for shoulder season rides – or any cool weather riding, really. A good vest balances breathability and wind resistance. It lets you control your temp on climbs and blocks cold wind on descents. With GORE Windstopper® across the front and stretch breathable material across the back, the Castelli… Read More
Light-is-Right or Fully-Featured There are enough tech binding options available these days that choosing a binding requires some real homework. Generally, the first step in narrowing down tech binding options is to decide whether you want a fully-featured model or a light-is-right model. Typically, fully-featured tech bindings have brakes, heel elasticity, a wide release setting range, multiple heel lift options… Read More
GORE-TEX 101 GORE-TEX is synonymous with reliable storm protection. GORE literally pioneered the waterproof, breathable membrane technology that dominates the outerwear we all use, but understanding all of the GORE options takes some research. How much do you know about all the variations of GORE-TEX? Read on to learn the details about the GORE variations as well as the latest on… Read More
Made-to-Order Outerwear Have you ever wished your ski jacket fit better? Would you like to choose the jacket features that you actually want? Well, the time has come to the outdoor world. MADE, a new startup outerwear brand, is founded on offering made-to-measure outerwear. Started by outdoor industry veterans Dustin Butcher, Capri Phillip and Cheryl LeBarr, the MADE crew brings a… Read More
Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Newbie We’ve all been there. New gear or new to the sport, the Newbie is both endearing and embarassing. The Newbie You needn’t search far afield for the Newbie. This species is ubiquitous around North America and commonly sighted at sidecountry locations and roadside attractions made popular by their easy access and moderate terrain. A Newbie… Read More
Breathable Performance I’m a longtime advocate of ditching the full-on waterproof, breathable hardshell ski jacket in favor of a more breathable softshell version. Nonetheless, I keep a shell in my pack for windy ridge tops and to pull on when the weather deteriorates. A hybrid jacket like the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell walks the line between highly breathable softshell… Read More
A Lightweight Ski Helmet for the Backcountry While helmets are the norm for resort skiing, their use in the backcoutry is still mixed. There’s no doubt that a ski helmet has the potential to save your life, and the excuse that a helmet is too heavy for backcountry skiing is no longer a valid argument. Today’s ski helmet designs are… Read More
Avalanche Rescue and Snow Pits – The BCA RCS EXT Shovel Does It All Avalanche shovels are the kind of gear we hope to never really use for their intended purpose of recovering a buried ski partner. But the shovels we all carry have many other uses, primary being to dig snow pits in search of weak layers and to… Read More
Backcountry Skier Personalities One could argue that a Rando Racer is not really a backcountry skier, and that the easiest way to take the fun out of backcountry skiing is to time it. But there’s been some bleed over between the rando race scene and the lightweight touring world, so here is the Rando Racer backcountry skier profile. Stay tuned… Read More