2017 SKI TEST & GUIDE
Last March, and for the ninth year running, the annual Gear Test Week reigned over Powder Mountain, Utah. Three days of furious flakes welcomed our 40-person tester team as we mowed through more than 200 skis and almost every backcountry boot and binding available. And after ripping, railing and hiking on the latest, our testers produced 1,300 test forms from which we've designated the best 140 skis, boots and bindings for this season. Find out what to add to your quiver beginning on p. 46.
2017 BOARD TEST & GUIDE
Splitboarding is transitioning from niche to mainstream— that's a good thing and that's what 30 testers found last March at Crested Butte, Colo., where they celebrated a splitboard superabundance. Over the course of a week, and while riding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and its surrounding backcountry, the crew threw down on a diverse selection, testing and reviewing everything from top-rated, all-mountain boards to playful, freestyle-inspired decks. Head to p. 98 to find their top picks for this winter.
Wintertime wordsmiths, gear gurus and cover capturers
The Denim Ghost
Tele credibility, pining for boots and a call for the climate
BACKSTORY: HOW A SEASON AWAY BROUGHT ME BACK
A reader reflects on his desert winter while the snow fell deep in his home range.
STRAIGHT LINES: MIRACULOUS RECOVERY
Telemark skiers are diehards. But is the sport simply dying out? Ryan Stuart, a freeheel instructor himself, investigates and opines.
There's a fine balance between the benefits of guidebooks—like sharing notable lines and well-thought-out routes—and blowing up quiet stashes. And the increasing numbers of skiers and riders heading into the backcountry raises questions about how guidebooks are written and what role they play in safety and etiquette. To find answers not necessarily found between the pages, Devon O'Neil heads into Colorado's Front Range with guidebook author Fritz Sperry to talk local secrets, transparency and the search for good snow.
A lesson in technique. A message of caution.
LAST COL: ARRIBA!
El matador takes flight.