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Category: Introduction to the Backcountry

Early Season Avalanche Safety Refresher

Early Season Avalanche Safety Refresher

I was lucky enough to get out into the mountains this past weekend for some early season powder turns, and was reminded of how complex the decision-making process can be in the backcountry. We ended up having two great days of skiing with no incidents, but I thought it would be worthwhile to remind readers of a few things that may have been forgotten over the summer to help keep everyone safe in the upcoming season. If you’re really new to backcountry…

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5 Essential Pieces of Gear for Backcountry Skiing

5 Essential Pieces of Gear for Backcountry Skiing

If you’ve read my backcountry gear for beginners article, you know that you need a beacon (transceiver), shovel, and probe, along with some touring skis/bindings, climbing skins and a pack as the absolute bare minimum to get out in the backcountry. There is obviously a bit more to it, but those are the basics. This article is about a few pieces of essential gear for the backcountry that you might not have thought about and that can come in handy to keep…

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How to Get In Shape for Backcountry Skiing

How to Get In Shape for Backcountry Skiing

As summer comes to an end, the mornings start to cool off, and we start thinking about the peaks we want to summit this winter, some of us might glance down and notice that all of those backyard margaritas and barbecue have found a new home in our waistline. That doesn’t bode well for our ski touring performance this season! Luckily I’m here to give you some tips to prep your body for some backcountry adventures. Maybe you haven’t been…

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10 Tips To Be A Great Touring Partner

10 Tips To Be A Great Touring Partner

Being comfortable and familiar with the people you spend time with in the backcountry is important from an enjoyment and a safety perspective. There’s nothing worse than a bluebird, stable day in the backcountry that gets ruined by the schlub your buddy brought without telling anyone beforehand. You know the type: talks a big game but has a transceiver that’s older than dirt, wears headphones the whole tour, and has to stop for smoke breaks every 20 minutes to ‘catch…

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Alpine Bindings for Touring Boots

Alpine Bindings for Touring Boots

One of the problems with having only one pair of boots for both touring and resort skiing is binding compatibility. The best touring boots have fully rockered rubber soles that don’t work in most alpine bindings. The best alpine boots are heavy as bricks and tour like crap. To further complicate things, there are all kinds of different boot sole standards and they aren’t all interchangeable. You may not know it, but there are a few alpine bindings that are…

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Tech Bindings vs Frame Bindings

Tech Bindings vs Frame Bindings

When you’re ready to buy your first backcountry skiing setup, you might be wondering whether you should you get tech bindings or frame bindings. Each style has its pros and cons and is better suited for different skiers with different needs. We’ll go through each and help you decide which is right for you. When you’ve finished this, you should read our article that breaks down the best touring bindings on the market – it covers both tech and frame…

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Top Reasons to Get Alpine Touring Boots

Top Reasons to Get Alpine Touring Boots

A question that many skiers ask at some point is ‘Should I get touring boots or use my alpine boots for backcountry skiing?’ I know when I first started exploring the backcountry I asked myself this question. I used my alpine boots (which were freaking heavy) for the first 5-10 days of backcountry skiing. Once I got a pair of touring boots (the original Tecnica Cochise in my case – check out my review of the new one), I never…

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The Best Avalanche Safety Books

The Best Avalanche Safety Books

There is nothing that can replace practice in the field and learning first hand from avalanche experts, but it doesn’t hurt to read as much as you can about avalanche safety. This list of the best avalanche safety books range from covering the basics to pretty advanced topics. There is something here for everyone. Personally I find it helps to do a bit of reading at the start of each season to refresh my memory. After a long summer of…

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2018 Ski Movie Trailers

2018 Ski Movie Trailers

It’s a bright summer day as I write this, but I’m finding myself thinking about powdery days in the mountains. ‘Tis the season for teasers from this years big ski and snowboard movies, and this will have to be enough to keep me entertained until the snow flies again. It’s only a few months away!!! Matchstick Productions MSP has brought us classics like Seven Sunny Days, Claim, In Deep, McConkey, and last year’s big hit Drop Everything. Their newest release, All In is sure…

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The Best Satellite Messengers and Personal Locator Beacons of 2018

The Best Satellite Messengers and Personal Locator Beacons of 2018

If you are someone that spends time in the backcountry, you should definitely consider getting a PLB (personal locator beacon) or a satellite messenger. The nature of backcountry travel means that you are often out of the range of cell towers. Having a device that communicates via satellite can literally be a life saver if things go awry. Read on for an overview of the best personal locator beacons (PLBs) and best satellite messengers that are available today. Whether your…

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