Winter

Ski, snowboard, ice climb, snowshoeing… and anything else on ice and snow.

Book Review — “Backcountry Skiing”

This 344-page textbook is a guide to all things backcountry and skiing. It covers topics from avalanche safety and navigation to gear, ski-mountaineering, fitness information and nutrition for the high peaks. . . Read More...

March 28, 2008

Gear Review — Timberland Rime Ridge

The Timberland Rime Ridge boot pulls characteristics from technical wintertime footwear as well as from the realm of the snow boot. At $190, they are not something most people will buy for tromping around the yard. But for snowshoeing, hiking and even easy mountaineering these pseudo Moon Boots offer an interesting option. . . Read More...

March 19, 2008

Spyder’s $2,000 Ski Suit

What do 2,000 clams get you from Spyder in the realm of high-end ski outerwear? How about a shell jacket with RECCO avalanche-transceiver reflectors? Included. GORE-tex Pro-Shell fabric with 3M Thinsulate insulation? You bet. Morse code printed on the jacket lining? Check. A whistle. . . Read More...

February 5, 2008

Gear Review — Glacier Gloves

It's been 25 years since Glacier Glove of Reno, Nev., started selling its line of stretchy, spongy, hand-molding gloves that have the same water-tolerating qualities as a wetsuit. To be sure, the company founder incorporated neoprene into his handwear design, a first at its time, creating a glove that could get wet and still provide warmth and enough dexterity for swinging an ice ax or spinning a fishing reel. This is my test of one of the company's original standby models. . . Read More...

February 5, 2008

Trip Report — Skiing Mt. Ogden’s Banana Chute

Last weekend, after two days at the Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, I snuck off into the mountains to try out some new ski gear on a big descent. Indeed, at more than 5,000 vertical feet, the Banana Chute off the west side of Mt. Ogden is among the largest sustained ski descents in the region. . . Read More...

January 29, 2008

Scarpa Spirit 4 ski boots

And the final piece of my new alpine setup is. . . the Scarpa Spirit 4. These high-performance touring boots handle demanding downhill terrain with a rigid build, but they convert to a touring mode for skinning high faces or long ridgelines in search of perfect backcountry snow. . . Read More...

January 21, 2008

Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus bindings

Yesterday I drooled onscreen about the Black Diamond Kilowatt skis sitting here in my office ready to cut deep snow in Utah's Wasatch Mountains next week. But what about my bindings? For this trip I'll be testing the Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus, which are essentially alpine bindings with a touring mode. They are solid in any type of terrain going down, but then with the flick of a switch you can enable a free-heel mode for climbing up-mountain with skins. . . Read More...

January 18, 2008

Black Diamond Kilowatt Ski

The deep snows of Utah beckon. Next week I head west to Salt Lake City for some business, and then a weekend of pleasure, skiing the fluffy white at Alta Ski Area in Little Cottonwood Canyon. My skis of choice? Oh, let me now drool. Black Diamond just shipped me a demo pair of its Kilowatt skis, which are stable and wide-bodied sticks perfect for. . . Read More...

January 17, 2008

Slope Style 2008

The new ski season is here -- and so is the new gear. For a story in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune, I polled industry buyers, ski magazine editors and professional snow-sliders to create a list of innovative skiing and snowboarding products for the '07-'08 season. Here are my top picks. . . Read More...

November 28, 2007

Gear Preview — Atomic Hawx 110 Ski Boot

The superlative-heavy press release for Atomic's new Hawx boot line touts claims like "the most significant innovation to downhill boot technology in 25 years" and "The Next Revolution in Skiing is not a Ski." (It's a boot.) But what the Hawx does is significant: This boot promotes natural forefoot flexibility and movement by incorporating a shell that bends in unison with the metatarsal zone of the foot. . . Read More...

November 26, 2007

K2 HellBent skis

The fattest of the fat in this year's lineup from K2 is the HellBent, a deep-snow defying reverse-camber plank that touts fast planning on powder without requiring the "speed or effort" associated with traditional fat skis. . . Read More...

November 23, 2007

Volkl’s Tigershark

Turn it on. Turn it off. The new Tigershark ski from Volkl has spring-loaded carbon rods that engage off and on at the flip of a switch. Volkl calls the Tigershark "the ultimate cruising ski with two speeds, " as you can change the feel and response of the ski to match mountain conditions at will. . . Read More...

November 16, 2007

Bridgedale Precision Fit Ski Socks

Bridgedale wants to make bulky ski socks a thing of the past. The company’s Precision Fit line features “anatomic knitting” that contours the shape of the leg, ankle and foot with varying fabric thicknesses and elasticity to ensure proper fit and performance in a ski boot. The ankle, calf and bottom of the foot feature […] Read More...

November 16, 2007

Marker Duke Ski Bindings

Marker is touting its Duke Binding as "the first significant ski binding breakthrough in years." A big claim for sure. But what the Duke does is cool: These hearty alpine bindings have a free-heel mode, letting skiers experiment with skins, adjustable poles, avalanche transceivers and all other gear associated with backcountry travel. . . Read More...

November 13, 2007

Kahtoola MICROSpikes

Yes, these are crampons. Well, sort of. Pedestrian crampons. But with 10 spikes, each one 3/8-inch long, and made of stainless steel, the Kahtoola MICROSpikes could do real work paired with hiking boots or running shoes to provide traction on snow and ice. A "shoe harness" made of a stretchy rubber flexes as you step in, then cinches tight. And they're so packable and light that people (me, for example) will be tempted to try and employ them for easy mountaineering. My pair arrived in the mail yesterday, and I can say I am intrigued. . . Read More...

August 22, 2007
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