Backcountry Skiing

Telemark Evolution

I always take my hat off for tinkerers, people who sit in the shop or their garage late at night and try to make stuff better. Drilling holes, taking things apart, and maybe even involving a saw or hammer (and beers or whiskey) - making something different or new requires some destruction and enlightened thinking. Tele skiers are truly tinkerers. I've seen some Frankenstein bindings built in the shop myself, but with risk often comes reward. And some smart folks get it right and creat...

Backcountry Skiing

Heli skiing in British Colombia

Mark Fischer, co-founder and managing director, recently got the chance to go heli skiing with Bella Coola Heli Sports up in British Colombia for a week. We're all envious. Here are some excerpts of his daily reports about the experience. Fresh tracks and gorgeous views in the backcountry of British Colombia The scenery up here is pretty dramatic and the weather has been rolling in and out so the clouds have added to the drama. In low visibility situations we try to stay ...

Backcountry Skiing

Seasonal Forecasts: Speculation at its Best

Summer is now unofficially and officially over. Labor Day has come and gone, the kids are back in school, and the fall equinox is behind us. We are squarely in fall, and for most of us who enjoy sliding on snow; we're looking to winter with some level of excitement.
Looks like it's going to be warmer than usual in some places, colder than usual in some places, and, wait, average in some places! Amazing! If you are fortunate enough to live in the western mountains of North...

Backcountry Skiing

DPS Wailer 112RP2 Tour1 Review

Expert Review As more and more ski brands break into the backcountry ski genre, a local Utah company is doing things a bit differently. DPS, headquartered in Salt Lake City, has been producing carbon and carbon-hybrid skis for years. With the backcountry market in mind, their designers went all in when designing a quality ski worthy of the Wasatch Range. So allow me to introduce the DPS Wailer 112 RP2 featuring Tour1 Construction. That's a bit of a mouthful, so I'll b...

Backcountry Skiing

A Step Ahead with Our Avalanche Education Program

When you first meet Scott House, you'd assume that the gregarious local has lived in the West his whole life. His passion for recreating in the mountains is unparalleled and he knows the ins and outs of Park City's over 450 miles of bike trails like the back of his hand. In addition to being an expert mountain biker who was instrumental in getting Park City named the International Mountain Bike Association's (IMBA) first Gold Level Ride Center, Scott also has an affinity for b...

Backcountry Skiing

How to Buy an Avalanche Beacon

So you're thinking about backcountry skiing, eh? Being in the backcountry has its merits: gorgeous views, no lift lines, untouched snow, and more. But with that can come unfamiliar terrain, adverse snow conditions, and a serious lack of ski patrol. When entering uncontrolled terrain, the risks are demonstrably higher and you're going to need a certain set of tools to be able to travel safely. While there is a myriad of tools and skills you need to have, one of the most important i...

Backcountry Skiing

How to Be Prepared for Backcountry Ski Touring

Backcountry ski touring has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. It used to be limited to local die-hards who ate, slept, and breathed life in the mountains. Now, with increasing pollution in the Salt Lake valley, overcrowded resorts, and the overall push from society for more health and fitness, ski touring has become a lifestyle sport embraced by more people. The natural elements and length of adventure can make deciding what to bring for your day in the backcountry a ...

Backcountry Skiing

What are Skins for Skiing?

A very common question and cause for much confusion among those not familiar with backcountry skiing is about skins. What are they? Why do you need them, and more importantly, why are they important to you?

What Are Skins?
Ever seen someone walking uphill on skis and wonder what was going on? They have skins on their skis. Made from a fiber material, which like animal fur, has a grain, these handy attachments to the bottom of your skis mean that when you go to take a step, the fiber opens...

Backcountry Skiing

AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course from Jans

In an avalanche there are no second chances. Which is exactly why Jillian Ritter, Content Manager, enrolled in an AIARE Level 1 avalanche course. Over the course of three days, Jillian participated in eight hours of classroom instruction and sixteen hours of on-snow training to become proficient in avalanche safety and rescue. She learned everything from how to efficiently pack a backcountry pack to how to conduct in-depth snow studies. “People looking to get into the backcountry ...

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Backcountry Skiing

What to Pack in Your Backcountry Pack

Backcountry skiing can be a lot of fun and a great adventure. Before you head into the great white unknown it’s important to be properly prepared. Unlike skiing at one of Utah’s many world class resorts; you are completely on your own when you head into the backcountry. You are responsible for handling any rescue or emergency situation and being prepared is of the utmost importance. Read on to find out what you absolutely need in your pack for a day of backcountry skiing and some opt...

Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing in Park City, Utah

When most people think of skiing in Park City, they usually think of three world-class ski resorts, Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons and Deer Valley Resort. What many people don’t realize is that Park City also has some exceptional backcountry skiing. It may not be as obvious as the granite rimmed bowls of our neighbors in the Cottonwoods, but it’s less crowded, just as beautiful, and for those staying in Park City or Kimball Junction, just out the door. Backcountry skiing in P...

Backcountry Skiing

Avalanche Course for Skiers in Chile | AIARE Courses

I had the great opportunity to teach an AIARE 1 Course (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) while down in Chile this fall. I’ve been going to South America for four years now, working at a small gold mine in the central Andes Mountains and doing avalanche forecasting and control. Diego Allolio and my colleague at the mine, Colin Mitchell, had been hard at work translating the materials for the past two years. Diego invited me to work with him and his company, Aprendica...

Backcountry Skiing

Mountain Biking & Skiing - White Pine Touring Goes to Moab

Desert skiing is an obvious oxymoron. Sand and heat do not normally coexist with mountains and snow. The exception is in Utah where we have some of the wildest playgrounds and most diverse landscapes. Up North we have the rocky peaks of the Wasatch and down South we have the slick rock of Moab.

Two Sports in One Weekend
What many do not know is that a mere 25 miles is all that separates these dramatically different landscapes. During the right time of year and with the correct storm flows...

Backcountry Skiing

Know Your Backcountry: Avi 1 Classes at Jans in Park City, UT

Getting out into the backcountry is in the back of every skier’s head. Every time we get off the chairlift and look down at the swarms of “moderate” skiers shredding the mountain we see the untouched out-of-bounds areas that are only accessible by backcountry gates and skin tracks.

And then you think to yourself, “man, that looks like a lot of fun.” And then you think, “I’m going to become a backcountry skier from now on.” So you saddle up wit...

Backcountry Skiing

Top Ten Things Backcountry Skiers Need on a Yurt Trip - From Jans & White Pine Touring

The best thing about going on a yurt trip is being able to ski some really sick terrain while still having a lot of the comforts of home. The worst thing is spending a lot of time, energy and money and getting skunked with bad conditions.

While the experts at Jans and White Pine Touring can’t control the snow gods, we can provide helpful tips to make your adventure more comfortable. Check out the following list of “must haves” for your next yurt trip. And be sure to get yo...

Backcountry Skiing

Skiing with Park City Powder Cats: Take it Off Your Bucket List

Cat Skiing: How We Did It and Why Everyone Else Should

Cat skiing is on every skiers bucket list. More accessible than heli skiing, cat skiing takes you to new terrain that is full of fresh snow. If you’re looking for a new skiing experience, you should definitely be looking up your local cat skiing company., Arc’Teryx, GORE-TEX, and Park City Powder Cats recently teamed up to bring our fans the Ultimate Powder Day Contest. Two winners were randomly selected from w...

Backcountry Skiing

Layering For Backcountry Touring: The Kit System

With all the emphasis on rescue gear, terrain and snowpack knowledge, and avalanche training, it's easy to forget about something as simple as what to wear while touring in the backcountry. Proper apparel selection can make the difference between a great day in the outdoors and a private suffer-fest of your own making, not to mention the possibility of real danger from hypothermia in cold conditions.
The easiest way to prepare for a backcountry trip, or ...

Backcountry Skiing

Brian Campbell, JANS St. Regis Ski Technician, Completes the American Mountain Guides Association Ski Guides Course!

Words: Brian Campbell
Photos: Jayson Simons-Jones, Nick Pope

Jans St. Regis ski technician, Brian Campbell, recently completed an American Mountain Guides Association Ski Guides Course, here’s what he has to say about it… I first discovered the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) when I was in college. I was researching guiding services and when I looked up mountain guide certifications I discovered the AMGA and the international certification process. That ...