THE SKILLS GUIDE
PRACTICE AND PROGRESS
Learning never stops, even for the most experienced. Whether for dialing in navigation, understanding decision-making processes or learning new rescue best practices, there are courses, workshops and opportunities out there for backcountry travelers of all levels. And there's always more knowledge to share, too. This year's Skills Guide covers the full spectrum, from gear and classes oriented toward first timers all the way through skills and tools that even the most veteran skier will appreciate brushing up on. Get practicing on p. 65.
LEADERS IN THE FIELD
The mountains aren't any more or less dangerous than they were 50, 100 or 1,000 years ago. But we who travel through them in winter are immeasurably safer today than even a decade ago. That's thanks to an expansive cohort of visionaries, scientists, engineers, educators and innovators. These individuals have worked tirelessly, pouring their lives into awareness, science and research, and their efforts have rippled through mountains across the globe. These are the most influential individuals in the world of mountain safety.
PERSPECTIVE: FOR THE TAKING
EDITOR'S NOTE: TRUE GRIT
Barriers to entry for female ski mountaineers, Rocky Mountain National Park's new climatic normal and a triumphantly non-rad day.
EARN YOUR INTERNS
Aspiring guides and forecasters look to mentorship and internships to get a boot in the door. But is a season or three spent hauling gear for free or cheap the real ticket to earn the dream job?
WISDOM: LEADER OF THE PACK
For Jasmin Caton, the owner of Valhalla Mountain Touring, taking the lead comes in many forms. After recently giving birth to twins, she talks guiding, motherhood and how she expects each will complement the other.
MOUNTAIN ACCOUNT: BODY MECHANICS
Scott and Alpride's hyper-functional, travel-friendly avalanche airbag, insulating layers for the uptrack and eight powder-day essentials.
The telemark skiers have spoken—and their turn ain't dead as long as they keep speaking.
DEPTH: BEACON SONG
LOCAL LEGEND: TOM KIMBROUGH
LAST COL: NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK'S FORBIDDEN TRAVERSE
BIFF AMERICA: LUST, TURNS AND DIRTY SECRETS