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Traveling Over Snow: Tips on Safe Snow Travel

Snow can be both boon and bane for outdoor travelers. When nice and firm, it can be a pleasure to scuff along, above all the terra firma messiness of brush, gravel, or deadfall. When soft and powdery, it invites long cross-country ski or snowshoe outings. But then there’s the flipside: the half-melted slush absolutely exhausting to traverse for long distances, the rock-hard, ice-glazed slopes, the deep, brittle-crusted drifts you maddeningly posthole your way through. Not to mention, of course, all the outright hazards of the snowscape: crevasses, cornices, avalanches, weakly frozen-over bodies of water, etc. Here we’ve rounded up a … Continue reading

Backcountry Skiing 101

If you’ve watched a ski movie recently (like Rogue Elements or Line of Descent), you’ve probably seen the epic shots that are the bread and butter of the ski film industry: pro athletes unloaded on an Alaskan massif to shred down spines and couloirs to the valley below. While most of us may never ski lines like that, it doesn’t mean we can’t enter into the world of backcountry skiing and go at our own pace. Here are some tips to get you started: Get Educated One of the most important aspects of being a backcountry user is being a … Continue reading

The Wide World of Winter Sports

The ancient roots of many of the most popular winter sports lie, of course, in the realm not of recreation but of practical locomotion in snowy winter and mountain landscapes. Practical, sure, but that certainly doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a strong aspect of pleasure to snow travel from day one: the thrill of skiing down a mountain slope that in summer had to be carefully and laboriously descended, or of floating easily over snowdrifted deadfall and thickets in the white woods on snowshoes, or of cruising at a thrilling clip along frozen riverways by dogsled. Winter recreation—its DNA encoded … Continue reading