The midwinter issue goes deep to celebrate the deep. Inside, we head to Valemount, B.C., where the developers behind the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort are returning to the drawing board to bring economic revival and European ski-touring culture to a quiet town tucked between the Rocky, Monashee and Cariboo Mountains. Then, we traverse California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, capturing the stories of the pioneers and adventures that arguably gave birth to North American ski mountaineering. Also, we go on location to Mosquito, Pass, Colo., the seldom-skied, high-alpine neighbor to Breckenridge where a new hut system is growing out of the abandoned buildings of Colorado’s gold boom. Plus: Reviews of a new breed of high-tech climbing skins, an Editors’ Choice freeride setup and the puffiest puffy, alongside the tools, tips and tricks to plan more successful, fun and safe adventures in the mountains.
California's Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains are arguably home to the birth of American ski mountaineering and long-distance touring, where generations of guides and visionaries have linked unthinkable traverses over some of the U.S.'s highest terrain. And while much has changed in the mountains that John Muir once deemed the Range of Light since Orland Bartholomew's 100-day solo ski from Mt. Whitney to Yosemite in 1928, a few constants remain: the zone is breathtakingly high, there's still no one here and, in winters like last year's, it can get insanely deep.
MINING FOR TURNS
Just south of Breckenridge, Colo. and in the backyard of the town of Alma (population: 280) sits Mosquito Pass, part of the state's oft-overlooked Mosquito Range. The region, once home to a booming gold-mining operation, could use a boost. Enter a small but determined crew, including guidebook author Fritz Sperry, visionary Jeff Crane and Joe Harrington, who owns 3,000 acres along the pass's Alma side. Their mission? To turn the land and its abandoned mining structures into a hut system modeled after that of the 10th Mountain Division. And to ski some couloirs along the way.
EDITOR'S NOTE: TICKET TO RIDE
A genius in the skintrack, ditching the Wi-Fi in the Purcell Mountains' Boulder Hut and one woman's mission to rise above it all.
How an Italian architect and newspaper reporter are attempting to bring European touring culture across the pond, in the form of British Columbia's expectant, massive-scale Valemount Glacier Destination.
THAT GUY: JEFF SCOTT
An adaptive skier tears down the limits of backcountry sit-skiing, snagging pow shots along the way.
WISDOM: TOUGH AND TONED
Guide Lel Tone talks avalanche forecasting, dropping bombs and educating rookies and women to better understand risk.
How a little pre-trip planning can keep you safe and blowout free.
Fractured fibulas and self-rescue in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Myth becomes reality with one puffy's technology, how advanced chemistry is changing skins and an Editors' Choice freeride setup.
Nevada's spokesperson chimes in, the nuance of "feedback" and a call for more lady shredders.
DEPTH: DEER, YARDING
LOCAL LEGEND: GLEN POULSEN
LAST COL: MT. WILLIAMSON'S GIANT'S STEPS
BIFF AMERICA: HALLUCINATING NEW FRIENDS
Tresspassing and hallucinations aren't always the best combination.