skiing

Big Mountain Freeriding Disciple

30 Minutes With: Nicolas Müller

Nicolas Müller is one of the best snowboarders on the planet, but you won’t see him on the podium at the X Games or in highlight clips on SportsCenter. The 32-year-old Swiss native started out as a competitive snowboarder, eventually reaching the top of the international circuit, but hung it all up to push the progression on the sport on bigger canvas: big mountain free riding.

Social Times at a Unique Resort in the Chilean Andes

At Portillo, Ski Season Begins in June

Snow was the last thing on anyone’s mind back home, but there I was in mid-August in Portillo, Chile, adjusting my goggles and cranking down my boot buckles.

Breckenridge's New Expansion Wows

Photo Essay: Capturing Peak Six on Film

More than 50 years in the making, the 540-acre Peak 6 opened on Christmas Day, 2013, bringing a fantastic mix of terrain that fills a surprising gap in Breckenridge's arsenal. The new terrain offers some of the only above-treeline skiing for intermediates in the country and even more of Breck's famous expert terrain. There was no doubt that we had to give it a test -- strictly for investigative reasons, of course.

The Forecast Calls For Pain

Photo Essay: Power Of 4 Ski Mountaineering Race

The basic premise of the sport is to ski up and down a resort or backcountry course as fast a possible -- think trail running, but with ultralight ski gear, winter conditions, and powder turns on the downhill. After spending most of this winter chasing deep powder in Utah's Wasatch Range, we decided to put our months of dawn patrol and long ski weekends of training to the test in one of the sport's most prestigious North American races, the Power of 4 in Aspen, CO.

Killer Pow, Bro

Photo Essay: Skis from a Bygone Era

Skis have become impossibly technical -- not with complicated gadgets and moving parts, but other things that engineers geek out over like ski geometry, core materials and physics. In this photo essay we recall a bygone era of skis when color schemes were impossibly neon, patterns were questionable and bindings were more like door hinges.

Bound for Success

Locked In: 5 Best Ski Bindings

Bindings often go overlooked in favor of the flashiness of a new pair of skis or boots. But as your only contact point for control and power transfer along the 170-180cm boards you’re strapping on, and your final line of safety in a major crash, they’re the most important piece of gear for a successful and safe season. Read on for a breakdown of the best ski bindings for this season.

Sculpting the Mountain

The Architect

Now in its seventh season, the Salomon Freeski TV channel has covered the sport exhaustively. In "The Architect", Vice President of Resort Design at Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners, Ryley Thiessen, explains how resort development has changed from the 1960s to today, bringing us from mom-and-pop mountains (now all but extinct) to four-season resorts in China.

Cold weather, cold smoke, cold beers.

America’s Best Ski Getaways

Most of us calculate Paid Time Off based on formulas that are too sad to enumerate. Suffice it to say those hours rarely add up to week-long ski vacations at our leisure. But parse them out just so and you can be taking long weekends whenever the heavens open up. Make the most of it by choosing mountain resorts with bankable terrain and close proximity to an airport -- like any of these 10 world-class ski areas.

Slope Safety

Snow Guardians

When disaster strikes on the mountain, it's Ski Patrol that comes to save your life. In this teaser trailer for a full-length feature directed by Carson Garner, you'll hear about the lives and work of some of the most grizzled, experienced Ski Patrol veterans at several Rocky Mountain ski resorts, as well as members of several backcountry Search and Rescue teams.

Turn it up to eleven

Stay: Scarp Ridge Lodge

Luxury adventure company Eleven takes its name from the ‘80s "rockumentary" This is Spinal Tap. In the movie, band member Nigel tells new guy Marty that while other bands' amps go up to ten, theirs go to eleven: one louder than ten. Staying at Eleven’s Scarp Ridge Lodge amid the Colorado high country of Crested Butte is, well, an eleven experience, full of luxurious comfort.

Summer? Not so fast.

Photo Essay: Ski Bums, Party On: End-of-Season Ski Shindigs

You can bet that after a few months on the run from ski patrol, when all the rules are thrown out for one weekend, snow bums'll throw a world class party. If your idea of fun is seeing guys throwing down tricks while skiing and boarding in togas and Speedos -- and plenty of ladies hitting the slopes in bikinis -- we've got a few of the best end-of-season parties for you to put on your schedule.

For The Ski Bum In Denial

Kit: Summer Skiing

Every year for Memorial Day a few die-hard friends and I skip the barbecues to indulge our powder habit one last time. Summer skiing is our way of throwing a middle finger to the sun before our precious snow melts for another year. The festivities begin with early morning hikes above the treeline and finish with goggle-tanned, smiling faces telling stories of epic wipeouts and slushy runs around the campfire. Here's the gear we used to tackle the last runs of the year.

Big Waves Keep on Crashin'

Big Wave Skiing

Summer means slapping a coat of wax on your skis and sending them to the back of the gear closet. That is, unless you’re really stubborn (and somewhat deranged), like pro skiers Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend. Sick of waiting for the powder to start falling again, they took matters into their own hands. After...

The Right Boards For Any Mountain

Hotshots: 10 Best Skis of the 2012-2013 Season

It seems that you can’t walk through a ski resort parking lot without seeing a few new brands of skis and boards being toted around. Some of these new styles are grounded in real testing and evaluation, while others miss the mark in favor of design flashiness, but how to tell? Our intrepid ski testers put quite a few sticks to the test this season to make sure you’ve got the best ski out there. Whether you’re searching for a burly, rockered pow slasher for your upcoming Alaska trip, or you're on the prowl for the perfect park-rat set up to impress the ladies with your mute-540s in the half-pipe, the end of the season is often the best time for great deals. We’ve got the skis you should be after right here.

Mr Hasemeyer tests gear, tries not to die

Pampered by Powder: A Day on the Slopes with Skiing World Champion Chris Davenport

Scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, homestyle potatoes, a bowl of oatmeal and two cups of coffee: when preparing to take on Squaw Valley with Chris Davenport, simply a two-time World Champion skier who recently scaled and skied Mt. Everest, one must fuel up. So I did. Sitting on 3,600 acres northwest of Lake Tahoe near the California and Nevada border, Squaw Valley offers skiers the chance to take on wide open runs (groomed and not) of greens, blues and blacks, most of which are clean of trees (death sticks), allowing the average skier to be more daring with less severe consequences. This range in terrain, altitude and weather presented the perfect setting to test my new gear -- a Bern helmet, Gordini gloves, and Obermeyer jacket and pants -- while being guided by this veteran pro.

Skis for the Snowbound Connoisseur

Design Spotlight: Ramp Skis

When picking out a new pair of skis, most of us don’t think to ask about core materials, side cut or vibration dampening -- in fact, even knowledgeable ski bums probably don’t have more than a general understanding of these topics. Fortunately for you, the designers at Park City, UT-based RAMP Sports live and breathe ski engineering and manufacturing. It doesn’t take long after stepping on to their small manufacturing floor to see that building handmade skis is both a passion and a way of life for this small collective of diehards.

Beast Mode

Dynafit Beast 16 Bindings

Much like the carpenter, a skier is often no better than his equipment. Fit matters, weight matters and material matters, which is why freeride pros Eric Hjorleifson and Fredrik Andersson combined their decades of ski experience as inspiration for the Dynafit Beast 16 Binding. Available only in a limited run of 2,500, these bindings employ...

Be Safe, Live Wild

Strong

On April 6th, 2011, veteran backcountry skier (and former crab boat captain of Deadliest Catch fame) Roger Strong was caught in an avalanche in Snoqualmie Pass, WA. Roger and his two friends managed to survive the disaster, but two others were killed. The freight train of snow swept the group through hundreds of feet of steep trees -- and a collision with one tore both of Rogers tibias away from their femurs and destroyed most of his knee's critical tendons and ligaments, leaving him in a wheel chair for three months. In "Strong", produced by Arc'Teryx, Roger revisits the site of the tragedy exactly one year after it happened, reflecting on the choices that brought him there. Is it irresponsible to satiate an inner love for adventure as a family man? Should one dare to test fate again? These are the central questions of "Strong".

Now we're really piste off

Kit: Backcountry Skiing Essentials

With record storms dumping fresh powder in the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, we couldn't think of a better way to ring in the New Year than celebrating with a trip to the nearest ski hill. What fun would a resort trip be without ducking under the safety ropes to sneak a few turns in the untouched backcountry? With that in mind, we've put together a list of gear that will be equally useful bombing through 20 inches of fresh powder and charging lines of freshly groomed corduroy snow inbounds.

Get down(hill)

POC Receptor BUG Communication Helmet with Beats by Dre.

Music and snow sports go together like Rick Ross and cheese covered honeybuns, but squeezing your favorite cans inside a helmet is rarely a formula for comfort. The POC Receptor BUG Communication Helmet (~$330) skirts this dilemma by integrating Beats by Dr. Dre headphones into the helmet neck roll, which combines bass-heavy tunes with a...

Make the best runs yours

Lifts and Bounds Ski Run Art

One of our many joys in life is taking the yearly hajj to our nearest ski Mecca. Days of fresh powder, nights of warm (or warming) beverages and dreamy broken-bone memories make this annual pilgrimage worthwhile. Luckily, even after the snow melts, there’s Lifts and Bounds Ski Run Art ($165) to add a dash of wall...

It's not Jarvis...yet

Design Spotlight: Oakley Airwave Goggles

Oakley’s Airwave goggles are a new breed of advanced snow sport eyewear equipped with a heads up display that simulates viewing a 14-inch screen from five feet away when a user looks in the lower right corner of their peripheral vision. That description sounds confusing, but the important thing to remember is that the technology...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Aether Altitude Jacket

Doing battle with black diamonds this winter means swapping your corporate suit for some waterproof armor. The Aether Altitude ($675) has the technical features to protect you from the slings and arrows of an outrageous fall line, September through May. The jacket’s three-layer Schoeller C_change fabric dynamically adjusts water vapor permeability as the temperature changes,...

Bamboo shoots

Soul Poles

Two former World Cup Alpine skiers, Erik Schlopy and Brion Friedman, had an epiphany: In a world without snow, skiing doesn’t go over too well. So they set out to develop ski poles made from sustainable materials in a climate-friendly fashion. The results are Soul Poles ($99+), high-tech ski poles made from a decidedly low-tech...

A shovel that could save your life

K2 Rescue Shovel Plus

Your average snow shovel works great for cleaning out the driveway or dispatching amateur crooks pestering a prepubsecent Macaulay Culkin. K2’s Rescue Shovel Plus ($60) is the snow shovel of the future. Thanks to a unique modular design, the handle can be affixed to the blade to transform the Plus into a hoe for faster...

Hardside Strong Side

K2 Hardside Skis

If you’re ready to move beyond the rental and want a pair of skis to call your own, the new K2 Hardside Skis ($700) should do the trick — they certainly have for us this (short) season. Their versatility will keep you carving through ice on the crusty days and shredding powder on snowy days,...

A fresh take on slogging to the slopes

The Douchebag Ski Carrier

The brand name is as bad as they come, but the Douchebag ski carrier still deserves credit for its excellent design. The original concept was born in 2009 from a Norwegian triumvirate that includes skiing superstar (and snow camo Gallardo driver) Jon Olsson. Their self-stated goal was to create “the best travel equipment for discovering...

Jack of all grades

Marquette Backcountry Ski

Admittedly, it’s been a pretty wimpy winter everywhere from Colorado to the Alps, causing renewed grumblings about global warming from skiers, both Alpine and Nordic. Getting out on the boards anywhere but in the high country has required either the nimbleness to dodge the bald patches of dirt and grass or a pair of rock...

Everything just clicks

Anon M1 Magnetic Ski Goggles

Plenty of goggle brands have introduced interchangeable lens systems over the last several years. The ability to swap lenses tailored for specific conditions has been a boon for powder hounds seeking an edge, but the changing process is still too tedious to do on the mountain. Rimless iterations made things slightly faster, but users still...

Carving out comfort

Freemotion Ski Boots

When it comes to comfort on the slopes, snowboarders have always had two legs up on skiers because of their boots. Freemotion is an upstart company hoping to balance things out in this area thanks to an inventive new design that combines a flexible and soft “comfort boot” with a rigid exo-frame. The two components...

On holiday, off grid

Gift Guide 2011 | 10 Must-Haves for the Adventurer

No matter the destination or pursuit, there’s one unpredictable constant that entwines throughout the spirit of adventure — the ever-changing natural elements. Rather than limiting your lifestyle or altering your approach, we’ve compiled this list of 10 critical items that belong in your outdoor gear arsenal. Some you may be familiar with, some you may...

Flip Out

Oakley Airbrake

Snow goggles are snow goggles, right? Well, if you don’t care much about ‘em, then yes. But if poor fit and feel, changing weather and slope conditions get you down on your way down, then pay a visit to the Oakey Airbrake, rife with the kind of technology that will make your time on the...

Conquer More

MTN Approach Backcountry Snowboard System

Pure. Uncut. Powder. We’re not discussing Whitney Houston’s daydreams here people. We’re talking about the stuff that transforms passionate snowboarders into giddy Catholic school girls. Sure, if you can commandeer a chopper on a whim, accessing the stuff in the prime backcountry of your choice is an easy affair. For those of more humble means,...

Avalanche Cliff Jump in the French Alps

Many downhill lovers have dreamt of whizzing through the ungroomed powder troves of the backcountry. Skiing off of an enormous cliff face while triggering an avalanche probably isn’t part of those dreams — well at least for you saner readers. That’s exactly what happened though to extreme french skiers Matthias Giraud and Stefan Laude in...

Luge for the lil' ones

L.L.Bean Rambler Winter Wagon

Retire the ol’ Radio Flyer with L.L. Bean’s Rambler Wagon, now available with skis for the powder-bound family. Available in either separate skis or an entire set, the Rambler can go from a 10″ pneumatic tire/wheeled to ski-equipped ruggedized snow-covered field or ice pond runner. The wagon measures 34″ x 16″ and rails are made...

Win(sn)o(w)

Ski Wine Rack

An excellent glass of wine after a long day of skiing is often just what the doctor ordered, particularly when your quads start to remind you how long you’ve been off the slopes. This Ski Rack Wine ($700) could be symbolic of that partnership, or just clever decoration for a chalet. In either case it’s...

Ski Bum Engineers

Folsom Custom Skis

It is time to start thinking about your winter recreation gear and this year might be the year for new skis. Instead of walking into your local mega-outdoor-retailer, consider taking a custom approach and get fitted for a pair of Folsom custom skis ($1,200). As one of America’s first and only fully custom ski companies,...

The Essence of All-Mountain Style and Versatility

Dynastar Big Trouble Skis

By Guest Writer and Outdoor Enthusiast Michael O’Brien The Dynastar Big Trouble ($454) is the perfect solution for the advanced level skier looking for planks that can do it all.  The skis’ versatility is their number one strength, in addition to the twin-tipped design, larger than average widths and contours (124-92-114) allowing you to float...

Because 3 Layers are Better than 1

Burton Ranger Jacket

Fur lined parkas are all the rage for men’s jackets this winter. That doesn’t mean that anything you’ll see on the runway can begin to match the functionality of the Burton Ranger. Designed with both style and purpose in mind, the Ranger is composed of 3 separate layers. On the outside, 2 sheets of DRYRIDE...

The Right Bag For Pow Pow

Dakine Ski & Snowboard Baker Backpack

Ski and Snowboarding season is coming, and we know you’ve been waiting. Your mental preparations may be complete, but before you hit the slopes this year, consider upgrading your pack with the DAKINE Team Baker pack. Affordable and functional, this bag is designed with a back country carver in mind. An insulated hydration sleeves keeps...

Ski Conditions? I Got Your Ski Conditions. 7 Days Worth Of 'Em.

Bushnell Ski FX 7 Day Weather Forecaster

With global warming eroding the once consistent weather forecasts of Old Man Winter, how’s a man to know what to expect on the slopes? Choose the wrong day and the most action you’ll get a forlorn cup of hot cocoa in the lodge. Enter the Ski FX from Bushnell. With wireless delivery of your 7-day...

Ski Dubai

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if there happen to be an endless supply of cash at hand then all the better. Or so the thought must have been with the creation of Ski Dubai, a 242,000 square foot indoor ski/snowboard slope with year round snow. Ski Dubai features 5 runs that fall...

Rossignol Bandit B94 Respect

These Rossignol Bandit B94 Respect skis are built using Rossignol’s B94 Bandit structure which means they are a lighter overall alpine ski, perfect for uphill climbs, downhill bombs, backcountry powder and packed snow. They feature a sharknose and dual tec construction. At an impressive 8.4 lbs these super lightweight skis will almost disappear beneath your...

Voilé Split Decision MOJO

Powder season is nearly upon us and we’re already itching here to get out on the slopes and chow some powder. The folks here at GP are split between skiiers and boarders so the Voile Split Decision MOJO splitboard is something we’ve got our eyes on using this winter. For those of you not familiar...