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Choosing your Ice Axe

 

Part 2: If you grab your crampons, chances are you’ll want an ice axe too.

{Read Part 1:  How to Pick Crampons}

Ice Axes and Crampons often go hand in hand, and similarly to picking the right pair of crampons, choosing the proper ice axe will make your day in the mountains all the more successful. With ice axes, the use of the tool dictates the type of tool you need. A technical ice tool isn’t great for self arrest, and neither is a piolet for climbing steep ice. Below are some of our favorite activities,…

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Backcountry Skiing in Chile with Sydney Duncan

 

Sydney Duncan spends her winters in Tahoe as a ski guide, AIARE Avalanche Course instructor, and Squaw Valley ski patroller. In summer, she migrates north, alpine guiding on Shasta, Rainer, and Baker. This September, she’s gearing up to co-guide a backcountry ski trip to Chile, an adventurous backcountry ski destination that is off the beaten path.

Our newest ski expedition to the volcanic peaks of southern Chile is a great way for intermediate/advanced backcountry skiers to expand on the backcountry skills and experiences they’ve built in their home mountains. In the following interview, Syd gives us the…

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How to pick Crampons?

 

While the use for crampons is all the same, not all crampons are created equally.

Some are made from aluminum, others from steel. Some have 8 points, others 14. In general, crampon selection can be best determined based on the terrain that you’re climbing. What we choose for walking on snow while ski mountaineering will be much different than when we head out to climb vertical waterfall ice. Below are some of our favorite activities, and the crampons we choose for each. Most crampons come with different attachment styles, which are dictated by the boots they’ll adhere…

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Backcountry Education: What’s the next step?

 

Advanced Resort Skiers/Beginner Backcountry Skiers & Riders

 

Step Zero: Advanced Ski/Riding Skills

Be able to ski black diamond runs and off-piste at the ski resort. You don’t have to jump off cliffs or anything, but you do need to be able to maneuver around complex unmarked obstacles in the backcountry. Don’t start thinking about heading into the backcountry until you are an advanced skier or rider.

 

Step 1: Try Backcountry Skiing or Riding for the First Time

– Intro to

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10 Next Steps after your AIARE 1 Avalanche Course

Words by Tim Mincey

So you just finished an AIARE 1 course. Congrats! Nice work taking a huge step in your avalanche education, and making yourself a much more valuable touring partner and member of the backcountry community. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit intimidated by the awesome power of avalanches, but hopefully, you’re mostly feeling empowered to step into the backcountry with the knowledge and tools to identify avalanche terrain and make good decisions with your partners, however conservative those decisions might be.

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Alpenglow Backcountry Gear Guide

 

Backcountry skiing and riding may be all about going light, but that doesn’t mean it’s “gear-lite.” You’ll need a lot of specialized equipment to have a safe and successful day in the mountains. Here at Alpenglow, we field a ton of questions from people purchasing new backcountry gear and from people buying their first backcountry setup. If you’re in the market for something, our team has compiled a list of some of our favorites for men, women, splitboarders, and skiers. Here are the basics that you’ll need for a day out-of-bounds.

 

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What’s Great About the “End of Summer” in Tahoe?

It’s that peculiar time in Tahoe past Labor Day when everyone seems to be worried about the “end of summer.” There’s a frenzy to squeeze in one more beach day at Donner Lake or one more mountain bike ride on the Flume Trail. But here at Alpenglow, we’re kind of wondering what everyone is getting so worked up about. After all, autumn is tied with spring and summer as our second favorite season (of course, winter is our first love!) September and October are prime for a good time: the Tahoe crowds dwindle, temps are pleasant, and…

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One Couple, Two Distinct Climbing Careers

How does one couple balance their two distinct climbing careers? We asked Emily how she and Adrian manage to make it work and how their new YouTube series, DangerStik TV, plays into the mix.

Q: You and Adrian are both working on some pretty big projects. Can you give us a rundown of what you are both working towards?

“Adrian has guided Everest every spring for the past 12 seasons. He’s there now, as an expedition leader for 40 people- basically a small village. His personal goal is to climb K2 this summer without supplemental…

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Spring Road Trip to the High Sierra

En route to Wahoo Gullies in the Bishop zone. Buttermilk road ends and the trek continues along the dirt road until you hit the snow.

“If you don’t like spring skiing, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

On Tuesday, the Department of Water Resources measured the Sierra Nevada snowpack at 161% of average, the fourth best reading in 40 years. This is good news as it relates to California’s water supply, but before that snowpack melts out, we plan to ski it!

Skiing in April and May is our reward for enduring winter’s heavy storms. When…

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Why hire a mountain guide?

Dave Nettle’s signature grin

Professional mountain guides are integral to educating mountain travelers and safely leading adventures into the mountain ranges of the world. We sat down with veteran ski guide Dave Nettle to ask him a few questions about the value in hiring a professional mountain guide in the context of backcountry skiing. 

-What are the benefits of hiring a mountain guide for backcountry skiing or riding?

When anyone goes into the backcountry the first considerations are usually, “where do I go and where are the best and safest conditions?” A guide dials in these…

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