Archive | The Vault

newbie backcountry skier

Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Newbie

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

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rando racer

Backcountry Skier Personalities – Rando Racer

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

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Bro Brah

Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Bro Brah

Backcountry Skier Personalities We all know a Bro or two. A classic ski bum stereotype, the Bro Brah is found all over the world.  Stay tuned for the still to come Rando Racer and Newbie profiles. The Bro Brah Few skiers are as easy to identify as the quintessential Bro Brah. The Bro Brah is part ski bum and part… Read More

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luddite

Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Luddite

Backcountry Skier Personalities No backcountry skier profile would be complete without a look at the Luddite. Sometimes grumpy and always enthusiastic, the Luddite is like a snapshot in time from ski gear history. Stay tuned for the still to come Bro Brah, Rando Racer and Newby profiles and be sure to read the Gearhead, Luddite and Jaded Local profiles. The… Read More

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skier personality gearhead

Backcountry Skier Personalities – The Gearhead

Backcountry Skier Personalities 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 a mix of stereotypes, but in the spirit of making fun of ourselves, we broke backcountry skier personalities into six classic stereotypes – Gearhead, Jaded Local, Luddite,… Read More

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avalanche hazard rating

What’s The Problem? Understanding Avlanche Hazard

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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communication

The Art of the Uptrack

The Art of the Uptrack – How to Make an Efficient Skin Track 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… 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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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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