Breaking a ski pole is an inevitable setback for every backcountry skier. Even the best poles break. Sometimes the best poles--the ultra expensive, uber lightweight, pencil thin--are especially prone to breaking. Makes you wonder.... Here's a cheap, easy fix for when it happens to you in the backcountry.
If you have a date for a Valentine's Day tour then you've done 90% of the work already. But we at Backcountry Magazine want to share some tips and tricks to make that tour even more romantic. Here's how.
Want to move safely, efficiently and quickly through the mountains? Want to waste less time and energy on the up so you can maximize the down? Effective transitioning technique—from skinning to skiing, skiing to skinning, and skinning to booting—is an essential skill for any backcountry skier or rider.
On their first outing without their baby son Oliver, Adam Smith, wife Heather and four others left Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a quick lap out of bounds in Granite Canyon at one o'clock p.m. on February 25, 2007. Heather wanted to see a matinee. Adam wanted to ski powder. Both got an epic.
A mountain birch jabs at my throat. I dodge to the left but its white fingers grab my pack, snapping me backwards. I skin forward a few feet and maneuver my skis through the maze of spruce and hardwoods. But when I raise my head to meet the next obstacle, a snow-laden bough clotheslines me while simultaneously ripping back my hood and channeling its frozen load down my neck.
Ok, so I knew the whole time I wasn't close to death, but it did get the adrenaline pumping. I heard it before I saw it. I had hung back to wait for Phyto the dog. She was pooped from a long trek in to Alaska's Pastoral Peak; up a long valley, a saddle, down the other side, then up the mountain beyond, and back.
The fries are done, the vegetable oil is filtered and skier Conor Hurley has hit the road on a five-month backcountry road trip throughout the western states and provinces. The objective: Backcountry ski every day somewhere new, with someone new, getting from trailhead to trailhead in his converted Mercedes diesel.
11/19/06-11/26/06 ~ West Yellowstone, Montana. It is 7 p.m. Sunday night. I've been on the road for exactly one week—though it seems like an eternity has passed since I climbed into my car and bid farewell to my home and friends. After crossing the Montana, I arrived at the West Yellowstone Ski Festival on Wednesday.
The crackle of a cast iron skillet and the smell of French toast woke me. I rolled off the couch and followed my nose towards the kitchen, where I found Mel at the stove and Cookie hunkered down at the table shoveling French toast slathered in peanut butter and drenched in maple syrup into his mouth. In between mouthfuls all Cookie could manage to say was, “I can’t wait to go skiing. I CAN”T WAIT TO GO SKIING!”
I don’t know where to start when it comes to “the crew,” as I will warmly refer to them from now on. Dave, Kate and Tucson have known each other since they were kids. They all grew up in Nakusp, BC—a small town on the shore of the Upper Arrow Lake. Since then they have all gone their separate ways, but recently they have started working together.