Playing in the mountains is not without risk. For those of us who spend their work and pleasure time in the mountains, managing that risk is the key to staying safe and helping others to stay safe. Over the last few years, the numbers of folks heading into the backcountry has increased significantly and as a result of that we are starting to see more and more situations, specifically with avalanches, where inexperienced groups are getting caught in slides. There have even been cases where the convergence of different user groups in the backcountry have led to incidences of avalanches where one group has caused a slide to take out another group. [...]

Halloween is bringing snow to Montana this weekend. NOAA is forecasting 4-8 inches of snow above 4,500-feet in Western Montana for Saturday and Sunday. Big Sky, MT got a big 460″ of snow last year. Lets hope they can do it again. NOAA Missoula: Snow is looking better and better for this weekend…especially in mountainous areas! Our confidence is much higher today regarding this weekend’s wintry system, with mountains [...]

Cartoon avalanches start with a snowball merrily rolling downhill, picking up more snow as it travels. That’s not how it really works, say avalanche experts, which explains the deadly results of recent avalanches that caught hikers off guard in Nepal. “Avalanches are a crazy thing,” says Karl Birkeland, director of the U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche Center in Bozeman, Montana. “They are natural disasters that we can trigger ourselves.” In Nepal, blizzard-driven avalanches have been blamed for the death of hikers on the [...]

Halloween is my favorite holiday. This year, it’s everyone in NorCal’s favorite holiday. C’mon, do I even have to explain why? The Giants just won their 3rd World Series in 5 years & it’s gonna snow 14″ in Tahoe this weekend with snow levels down to 4,500-feet! It truly doesn’t get much better than this if you’re a NorCal resident. Fired up doesn’t even begin to explain it. A Pacific Frontal system is forecast to move into northern California on Friday afternoon with the frontal passage through the central valley expected early Friday evening. Therefore trick or treaters could see fairly wet conditions throughout the evening hours [...]

“Beans and Rice Freeride is back for a second season with more backcountry freeride action and humor. Episode one takes you into the winter day dream of a telemark skier who only cares about pow and skiing with his friends. Follow Jake Sakson and crew of freeheelers Morgan Boyles and Luke Lubchenco as they ski endless pow in the sick zones and secret stashes of Teton Valley. Beans and Rice Freeride – it is what hippies eat!” This is a good video. Powder, Tele-triples, face shots and stomps.. But it’s not the content that I am overwhelmingly moved by. What speaks to me most is the message this video conveys about knowing when to say no. [...]

Jalaskapan? Yes, it exists. This video only shows a hint or two of it, but these guys got it good. Most of the video simply stuffs annoying deep, fun, playful Japanese terrain buried in neck deep blower snow down our throats. If you haven’t heard by now – it snows in Japan. A special nod to our good buddy Eliel who skis in and narrates this movie. Deep stuff, buddy! Get it? Deep? As in deep snow and deep thoughts? Never mind… There are no ski areas on the peaks above the historic village of Shirakawa-go, but it’s surrounded by great skiing—as long as you’re willing to hike for it. Join Carston Oliver, Eliel Hindert, Pep Fujas [...]

You’re getting ready to move to a mountain town. You have your job lined up and you have saved a few thousand to make sure you get setup well when you get there. There are a few things you can do to make your transition easier. 1) Change your morning alarm clock. The above distant explosions sound or perhaps the sound from a violent war movie could work as well. You may wonder why anyone would want to wake up to the sound of bombs, but in ski town world, it’s crucial. It means there was enough snow last night that they are bombing for avalanches. It’s the only time in your life where you’ll love the sound. [...]

You really just have to watch this video to appreciate it. Surfing happens so fast. The rides are so short. The airs are so quick. Slowing things down to this degree allows us to witness and appreciate what actually occurs during those rapid but intense moments that continue to define and push this incredible sport. Airs? Airs are the future. Guys are just starting to land some insane tricks. Kelly Slater just stomped a 540 last week. A guy named Leif has footage of a rodeo flip. Kelly Slater recently stated he’s working on a 720º invert. Things are about [...]

Six seconds after takeoff, the Antares rocket exploded violently at 6:22pm EST today. NASA officials are calling the explosion of the un-maned Antares Rocket a “casastrophic anomaly.” NASA still doesn’t know what caused the explosion. Antares mission was to deliver goods to the International Space Station. The Cygnus spacecraft atop the rocket was carrying 5050-pounds of cargo and the Arkyd-3 satellite. William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator of Human Exploration [...]

Montana. I mean, it means ‘mountain’ in Spanish, what more can you want. We have a state in the USA named ‘Mountain’. What’s not to love about that. Clearly, the place must have some gorgeous mountains and some great skiing. It does. Last year, Montana had a record year with Big Sky getting 460″ of snow. Blower snow, that is. Montana is kind of a different universe. It’s certainly the our only state that feels a bit like a different country. Maybe not that exotic of a different country. Kinda just feels like Canada, but that’s enough. You can head to Montana and get a truly unique experience and ski some of the best mountains and snow [...]

Julia Mancuso is from Squaw Valley, California and it shows. She actually lives in Maui now. Anytime she’s not skiing, she’s in Maui. Oh, and she does big wave tow-in surfing in Fiji. No biggie. Julia’s latest video features her wearing a Wonder Woman swimsuit while sleeping, surfing, skiing pow, ski racking, riding bikes, rollerblading, surfing, and generally having a pretty spectacular life. After watching this, we think it’s safe to say that Julia is enjoying a [...]

Question: “What is the most important piece of ski gear in skiing?” Answer: “Your boots” Why are ski boots the most important piece of in skiing? Because your boots are the only thing that actually touch your body. They are the adaptor between you and your ski. If your boots are low quality, your skiing will be as well. If you boots are loose, your feet will be moving and your ski will not. That foot motion won’t translate to ski motion and your sweet moves will be lost in translation. So, [...]

After a start to the autumn characterized by unusual warmth, with low snowfall across Alpine ski mountains, the first real precipitation dropped 50cm of snow, mainly in South Tyrol, in the Ortler Alps in Alto Adige (Italy) last week. The winter scenery and the good whether conditions have prompted me to take a tour in the area of Madaccio glacier. The climb, at sunrise from Passo dello Stelvio to Punta degli Spiriti, then down for the long slope to glacier of Madaccio, dominated by Tuckettspitze, skiing on the first powder [...]

NOAA is forecasting our first “decent” storm of the season this weekend for Lake Tahoe, CA. They’re forecasting a foot or more of snow. Snow levels will start at 7,000-feet on Friday before dropping to 4,500-feet Saturday. We know two things for sure: 1. If this storm happens it will be the official beginning of winter stoke in Tahoe 2. If this storm happens people will be out skiing powder in Tahoe and we’ll be reporting IT STILL APPEARS THAT A FOOT [...]

It’s that time of year again when skiers, and snowboarders start getting anxious wondering when it’s going to start snowing? What kind of year are we going to end up having? The start of the seasons are always exciting. There are three teleconnections that are going to be the driving mechanisms to Lake Tahoe’s winter. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO),the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), and the development of a weak/moderate El Nino. We have been in a cold PDO since approximately 2005/2006. It is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, because it is a long lived El Nino like pattern poleward of 20 degrees [...]

14,162-foot Mt. Shasta in Northern California is a monster. Shasta rises 10,000-vertical-feet above the surrounding rolling terrain. Mt. Shasta gets the most snow in California. Mt. Shasta set the US single storm snowfall record at 189 inches of snow (15.75 feet) from February 13th until February 19th, 1959. Shasta is no stranger to big snowfalls and we’re hoping that 2014/15 will be no exception. While Shasta isn’t skied much during mid-winter, it’s a hot-bed for spring skiing as Shasta holds good snow deep into August most seasons. Mt. [...]

The Flagstaff/Sedona trip was an afterthought. A half hour prior to leaving Vegas for Moab I got a text from a friend who was struggling to find a camp site saying “Don’t come, this place is a zoo.” Fall recess in the Utah schools corresponding with a half marathon made Moab the kind of busy that rivals Easter jeep week (albeit, less wife beaters, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and bud light.) So we left Vegas and headed eastbound instead. Scoring a tent sight just outside of Flagstaff we headed into town looking for a bit of food and some craft brew. We ended up [...]

NOAA is forecasting 3-6 inches of new snow for Wyoming’s western mountains, including Jackson Hole today. Grand Targhee ski resort opens on November 22nd. Jackson Hole ski resort opens on November 27th. will have weekly snow conditions reports from each of these ski resort all winter long. Warm and breezy conditions will continue for today. A few isolated showers will also be possible across the northwest. Warm and mainly dry conditions are then expected through the day Saturday. Saturday night into Sunday, a cold front will push across the region bringing colder temperatures and chances for rain and snow [...]

Earthquakes… Four earthquakes over magnitude 5.0 Just last night… I have still have PTSD from California’s 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989… There have been eight earthquakes here in Chile over magnitude 5.0 since I arrived here two weeks ago… I’m living in a building made of shipping containers… I’ve run out of the house at least 4 times… The surf at Punta de Lobos, Chile has been spot on. Many around here say that this is the most consistent wave in the world and I’m starting to believe it. I’ve been here for 16 days now and the surf has been pumping everyday. There is a big cliff to the south that blocks the ever- [...]

A snowstorm came down hard on the European Alps yesterday. Today, they awoke to up to 3-feet of new snow in parts of Autsria and beyond. This early season storm is the result of the remains of hurricane Gonzalo. It pounded the alps yesterday with winds up to 90mph and snow levels as low as 2,500-feet. As you can see from these photos, certain parts of the alps got dumped on – mainly Austria. Some ski resorts are already open and it looks like Hintertux and Panai in Austria will open tomorrow to a powder day. Winter starts with a bang in the Alps this year. Last year, Italy had record snowfall – the biggest in 15 years – [...]

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