Tag archives for backcountry

See our favorite secret ski towns >> I knew the moment I dropped into Spacewalk Couloir, a backcountry ski run in Jackson Hole, that my recent avalanche class was both serving me well and scaring the crap out of me. The snow gods had delivered 19 inches overnight, delighting powderhounds while also creating high avalanche…

See our favorite classic, emerging, and secret ski towns. On March 1, the very first day of 38-year-old ski mountaineer Greg Hill’s own version March Madness—to climb and ski 100,000 vertical meters (300,000+ feet) in just 31 days—he took his two kids, ages 7 and 8, to their first summit on British Columbia’s 8,086-foot Mount Mackenzie.…

The snow fell in a heavy blanket of silence. Fat, wet flakes floated down through the pines as we made our way along the sled trail. An hour before, I had rendezvoused with our group of friends in an empty parking lot four miles up an unplowed road from the last claim of civilization in…

In the empty parking lot of the Apgar visitor’s center on the west side of Glacier National Park we click into our skis, stick hand warmers in our gloves, and start gliding northeast, up Going to the Sun Road, which is sitting under several feet of snow. From July to September, Going to the Sun—the…

For two months, I have traveled over 300 hours in the Colorado winter backcountry with one mission: to learn how we can all travel safer in avalanche territory. Statistically speaking, I should have already had some idea. Winter backcountry guides love to joke that women make smarter, less “ego-driven” decisions regarding avalanches and snow travel,…

I live in Kars, a snowy, cold eastern Turkey town that author Orhan Pamuk describes as  “the edge of the world.” Sometimes when I am staring off the dramatic dropping cliffs of the Anatolian plateaus, I couldn’t imagine a place that would better fit the description. Everywhere I look, it is white rolling mountains uninterrupted by…

See previous dispatches from the Powder Highway Road Trip >> A remote lodge trip may be the signature experience of the Powder Highway. Enough of my friends have returned home, minds blown, from a weeklong trip to interior B.C. Few regions in the world are blessed with so much cold, dry snow; and when you’re…

Don’t you love it when you set out on an adventure knowing it’s going to be fun …  and then it blows your mind? This is what happened when I ventured into the Jackson Hole backcountry recently. We headed to Jackson to check out the ski resort. But when a friend said you can’t fully…

Strong from ARC’TERYX on Vimeo. “We are all going to make mistakes. It’s truly learning from them that makes life really sweet,” says skier, climber and parent Roger Strong. On April 6th, 2011, the veteran backcountry skier was skinning up his favorite backcountry run when he triggered an avalanche that swept him and two friends…

I’d put myself in the fairly adventurous category, but when it comes to backcountry skiing, I’ve never really given it a fair shake—despite having many “pinhead” friends who‘ve been trying to convert me for years. This perplexes me. Why the heck am I not ripping up untracked pow pow in the backcountry? By all measure,…

Five lessons of outdoor expedition leadership that will make you a better indoor leader The Google team was stumped and their indecision continued to build. Should they hike the longer, easier way to the left and get drenched in a stream crossing? Or take a direct dry path which would involve some bush-whacking and then…

By Casey Dean, NOLS Backcountry travel requires planning: route planning, anticipating weather, organizing gear with travel-mates, and much more. Meal planning doesn’t often get much attention, what with the relatively tasty and ridiculously convenient freeze-dried meals (and beer?) at our fingertips. Nonetheless, backcountry cooking is a wonderful way to spend an evening in the most…

It was a slow start to winter for resorts in the U.S. In order to find snow in the early season, for many passionate skiers, it meant getting creative. Based out of the Wasatch this season, due to drier conditions, I decided to drive north for four to Jackson, Wyoming, to poke around the Tetons…

  We've just updated our popular America's Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking, heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure for you. Check in each day for a…

  We've just updated our popular America's Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking, heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure for you. Check in each day for a…

  We've just updated our popular America's Best Adventures feature with 50 new trips, bringing our grand total to 100 iconic escapes (see the map, state-by-state list, and photo gallery, too). So no matter what your pleasure—hiking, heli-skiing, surfing, climbing, biking, or paddling—we've got the perfect adventure for you. Check in each day for a…

Snow is coming early to the West this year. While El Nino recently brought in two feet at Tahoe, the Rockies are now getting an early-season dumping with projections upwards of 18 inches of snow over the next few days. Few ski resorts have opened their lifts yet, but it's not too early to break…

If Japan doesn't come to mind when you think of world class backcountry powder, it should.  "It's the best snow I've ever skied in my life," said Nick Waggoner, Director of Sweetgrass Productions. "The best. Ever. …It's known as a powder Mecca." Fresh out of six months in Hokkaido, Japan, Waggoner and the group of…