Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing on a Dime: Ymir Ski Lodge, British Columbia

The helicopter ride was only about 10 minutes but it was pure euphoria. No one could believe the views. I looked around the heli and everyone was grinning ear to ear, including our pilot, Jeff. Clouds were barely hanging on the snowy Kootenay peaks and the sun’s golden-red cast a sweeping glow into the horizon, […]

One Year of Adventure in Park City, Utah

Sunrise above Park City I take a bite then watch as a red bead of chili oil squeezes through the folds of my tightly wrapped burrito; it’s that moment we all know and dread. The oil free-falls in slow motion, landing just to the right of my crotch zipper. Shit. But before I can reach […]

The Ptarmigan Traverse Summits

The Ptarmigan Traverse is a high elevation route in the North Cascade Range of Washington State. It was first done in 1938 by a group from the Ptarmigan Climbing Club and didn’t become popular with mountaineers until much later. Nowadays, many groups tackle the traverse every summer. For experienced mountaineers, this trip has a lot […]

Why Are Avalanche Deaths Rising Despite Better Safety Gear?

Standing at the top of a chute at Whistler, Kim Miller, CEO of SCARPA North America, tallied the red flags in his head: new snow, high winds, steep angle. “I’m not trying to be that guy who’s trying to be the know-it-all,” said Miller. “It’s just experience that told me, today’s not the day for […]

A User Guide to Summit County Colorado

Sandwiched between the continental divide and a spectacular array of 13- and 14,000-foot mountains, Summit County boasts the highest elevation stretch of I-70 as it crosses central Colorado. With four world-class ski resorts, multiple 14ers, one of the main headwaters of the Colorado River, and an endless amount of alpine terrain, there is a reason […]

Backcountry Skiing near Snoqualmie Pass

Snoqualmie Pass’ 3,000-foot elevation isn’t impressive even by Washington standards. So why are there four separate ski areas? And even stranger, why is there a high concentration of backcountry skiing routes in the area? Well it’s a combo of high snowfall amounts above that elevation and the proximity to a couple million people down the hill. […]

A Tribute to Adam Roberts

Reading about an avalanche death causes a flood of emotion – sorrow for the loss, pain and anger from those close to the deceased, fear and uncertainty as you run through the list of people you love that call the backcountry home. Then the analytical mind kicks into gear. What happened? Where were they riding? […]

Rewarded for the Climb: Reflections of a Skier’s Spirit

A wild view rewards the climber who summits iconic Whitehorse Mountain. Three Fingers and the surrounding slopes shine with fresh snow in the sharp mid-winter light – an invitation for the ambitious. Darrington, WA   Beau Fredlund carves his signature turn through seracs on the upper Tasman Glacier in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. […]