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There’s a range in America’s most populous state that’s hemmed in by desert and people. Each year, millions come to California's Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to collectively attempt to climb Mt. Whitney or ogle Yosemite’s Half Dome or ski at Mammoth or hike the John Muir Trail. In the spring of 2016, Adam Howard, Craig Dostie and John and Tyson …
 
Given the epic demand for touring gear and the unprecedented way Backcountry Magazine had to test it last year, we pulled together some of our veteran testers to talk about their experience, because it's from their insight that our editors made selections for this year's Gear Guide. We get into those details a bit. We talk about a range of topics—f…
 
Backcountry Magazine Contributing Editor Heather Hansman is a recovering ski bum. In her new book, Powder Days: Ski Bums, Ski Towns and the Future of Chasing Snow, Heather threads her own personal narrative—you know, the way she came to once call herself a ski bum—into the American story of ski bumming itself. It sounds so simple on the cover, as i…
 
Like most ski bums, legendary photographer Lee Cohen was only planning on skiing at Alta, Utah, for one season. Forty years later, he’s still there, shooting skiers in the Wasatch. Since his first image was published in the late ’80s in Powder, he continues to be one of the top shooters in the game. One of his favorite subjects is his son, Sam, him…
 
A 22-year veteran avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center, Drew Hardesty doesn’t simply give the avalanche forecast for the greater Wasatch. He tells the snowpack’s story. He’s part scientist, part philosopher. Part skier, part poet. What other forecaster might relate a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s book The Crossing to a blown avalanche …
 
In April, we reached out to gear and apparel manufacturers to get their take on what the coronavirus pandemic might mean to the outdoor industry. It ended up being our most listened to episode and, in response to the many calls for a follow-up, that’s just what we did. Joining host Adam “Howie” Howard are Thor Verdonk, Alpine Technical Product Dire…
 
Like all mountain pros, Nancy Bockino has had a lot of gigs to make it all work. Unlike a lot of mountain pros, Nancy seems to do what she loves year-round. Based in Jackson, Wyoming, Nancy spends the winter ski guiding and teaching avalanche classes for Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons. Come spring she’s off to the Eastern Sierra to ply her craf…
 
No matter the job, Todd Walton’s work stumping for outdoor brands has never taken him far from backcountry terrain. As the executive director of Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA), Todd’s latest efforts focus on advocating for the very places and experiences he’s known throughout his career. Once a small, grassroots nonprofit focusing on the mountains…
 
November 20 was a sad day for the ski community. It was the day POWDER magazine officially halted operations after 49 years of production. It was a staggering turn for the magazine many feel influenced the sport like no other. Among those reflecting on the loss are former editor-in-chief Steve Casimiro, former associate editor Mike Rogge and former…
 
Powder, stoke, spines—they’re ski movie staples, but they don’t fully show what goes into a successful day in the mountains. Swedish filmmaker Bjarne Salén is changing that. As he captures Cody Townsend’s The Fifty, a project to ski all the lines in the heralded book 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America, Salén speaks up from behind the camera, …
 
What will backcountry ski travel look like this winter? How will the skiing economy deal with the uncertainty Covid-19 presents? Will trailheads be packed? (Yup!) Backcountry’s Adam Howard joins backcountry pioneer Andrew McLean, film star Mike Hattrup and freelance writer and editor Megan Michelson to discuss what Covid-19 means to the backcountry…
 
With supply chains throughout the world interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, no industry has been left unaffected. And though we’re nearing skiing and riding’s offseason, even next season’s gear—whether that’s boots made in Italy, apparel made in China or skis made domestically—may be on the line. To get a perspective from across the globe and at ho…
 
How have adventurers and adventures been impacted by the current Covid-19 pandemic? And what was it like for those out in the mountains when the crisis emerged? What about those who earn their livelihoods in the backcountry? In this episode, we go out there and back, connecting with Leavenworth, Wash.-based splitboarder Ryan Irvin, who has widely s…
 
These days, we’re seemingly looking at everything through the Covid-19 filter. Today, Backcountry’s Plan B Facebook Live Podcast looks at climate change with Bill McKibben, author, climate activist and founder of 350.org; Sam Killgore, communications manager at Protect Our Winters; and Dr. John Hausdoerffer, director of the Master in Environmental …
 
After a few weeks of adjusting to the new normal of social distancing and self isolation, host Adam Howard is joined by editor in chief Lucy Higgins to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the backcountry community. Higgins and Howard chat with Nick Sargent, president of SIA (SnowSports Industries America), about the organization’s #curb…
 
OK, we’re bragging here, but the CEO of Icelantic interned at Backcountry Magazine in 2004. That was just after she earned degrees in Spanish and International Business from UVM and just before she started at a brand-new ski company with her high school friends in Colorado. Through Icelantic’s meteoric rise to near fall, Loevlie found her voice and…
 
Dana Gleason retired a millionaire after selling his company, the legendary pack manufacturer Dana Designs, in the late ’90s. But he was adrift and having too much fun skiing powder to feel purpose. His daughter changed that with a simple request: build me a minimalist hip pack. Soon after Mystery Ranch was born, and it’s been going strong for 20 y…
 
From making avalanche probes in his Vancouver kitchen, Genuine Guide Gear founder Oliver Steffen has been at the forefront of a slew of trends in backcountry skiing. Known for clean, inspired design, G3 has been a leader in telemark bindings, probes, shovels, skins and, now, tech bindings. We talk to Steffen about the culture of innovation that kee…
 
The iconic traverse between Blackcomb and Whistler, B.C. is a paradox. It’s super crowded near its entry and exit points, yet you still have to winter camp if you want to complete the multiday route. But with huts going in, will it be more popular than ever? Or more controlled? Filmmaker of the new movie Spearhead Seth Gillis shares his opinions.…
 
Like many of us, Canadian ski mountaineer Greg Hill is concerned about how his travels to the trailhead and around the world were contributing to climate change. So in 2017 he decided to realign his priorities and sold his F350 and his snow machine and got an electric car. The result was a short film and a changed man. [Photo] Anthony Bonello…
 
Over his three-decade career in skiing, Mike Hattrup has worn many hats: Freestyle athlete, film star, product innovator, mountain guide. He’s also a hus- band and father. How has Hattrup kept it together for more than 30 years? A new knee helped. But mostly it’s been hard work and living on the cheap.…
 
When Olympic Downhiller Wiley Maple wrapped up the 2018 World Cup season, he and some in his Aspen gang called “The Freaks” went to Chamonix, France to scare themselves on some legendlines—badas- sery of the sort we fully approve. What kind of mind manages these wildly different forms of skiing? And, after his best friend and World Cup ski tech die…
 
When you think of Cody Townsend, you think TGR and Matchsticks star, Freeride World Tour podiumer and the dude who went straight down “The Crack” and into an otherworldly viral reality that landed him on broadcast morning shows. But then he read a book: 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America. Now he’s dumped the heli and bought some skins (OK, he…
 
Equal parts athlete, influencer and activist, Caroline Gleich has changed the way we look at pro skiers. And, over her career, she’s changed the way she looks at herself. Unapologetically “open book,” Gleich dishes on putting up with social media trolls, wedding-day stress, the Trump administration and recovering from injury.…
 
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