Category: Backcountry Skiing

Catching Up with ‘Shred-Sticker’

Cody Townsend has had a big year. As if taking second at the invitation-only Big Mountain Freeskiing and Riding Comp in the European Alps (only eight international skiers were invited) and winning the Red Bull Cold Rush’s Chinese Downhill Championship this past winter, he also had the luck to ski with Chris Davenport in the Chugach Range in Alaska for a segment in the latest Warren Miller installment, Playground.

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Ice, Wind, Cold, and Sierra Cement

Four days into a 50-mile winter trek, our team reached a steep and formidable icy slope. We quickly recognized that this grade was our most hazardous obstacle so far, because to climb it we would have to risk a wild slide down an incline that would drop a skier several hundred feet below, and not at all gently.

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Train for Snow

What’s the deal with winter? If you are anything like me, winter is generally a bad time for fitness and outdoor sports. Oh sure, I try every year to resist the lure of massive holiday overeating, but inevitably I am ten pounds heavier and in lousy shape come spring. Then I spend spring and summer getting back into shape and the whole cycle starts again—fit and motivated in the summer, lazy, fat and uninspired in the winter. Gaining fitness in the summer; gaining weight in the winter. You get the picture.

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GEAR: Tele vs. AT — A Matter of Preference

Telemark and AT (Alpine Touring) gear are all the rage these days. They’re proliferating at ski areas as fast as in the backcountry. The latest gear is half the weight and twice the performance of what you might expect. With one setup, you can comfortably tour the Sierra backcountry and hit the steeps at Squaw Valley. The choice to drop your knee or not is a tough one. Don’t sweat it if you can’t decide; the skills you develop in one discipline will help you conquer the other should you wish to switch later.

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Shasta Climbing Season Extended

Wet spring helped preserve snow for summer climbing and skiing Don’t put away those skis and crampons yet! Weeks of cool temps and steady moisture through June have kept Mt. Shasta’s snowy flanks in prime shape leaving the window open for stellar late season climbing and skiing well into July and perhaps beyond.

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