Backcountry Tips from a Pro - Ski Mag

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Ingrid & Emma

Tips for Women Freeskiers

Pro skiers Ingrid Backstrom and Jessica Sobolowski share tips during their recent freeskiing camp at Squaw Valley to teach women how to tackle big-mountain skiing, from scouting lines to self-arrests. By Olivia Dwyer

Driving on I-70 between the mega-resorts of Copper Mountain and Vail you crest 10,600-foot, Vail Pass, which gets a ton of snow because of it’s elevation and location right in the middle of the state. The west side of the highway is a popular spot for snowmobile use, as well as a starting point for some 10th Mountain Division Huts. The east side of the highway is a haven for human-powered ski touring.  Uneva Peak, at 12,520, is a perfect objective for a first visit to Vail Pass. The grade to the summit is relaxed, and 2,000 vertical feet of elevation gain is realistic for most weekend warriors. There are abundant slopes on which to play depending on weather, avalanche danger, and motivation levels. The south and west slopes are good for basic decision making, but the north and east are a bit more complicated.  To get there, follow I-70 to Vail Pass, and park on the west side of the highway. There is a ranger station, and day use will cost $6 per person. Chat with the rangers, get a handle on current conditions, and feel good about where your money is going. Cross the overpass and start skinning right at the summer trailhead.  

Backcountry Destinations: Colorado

As touring gear gets more sophisticated and bomber, backcountry skiing is gaining popularity across the country. But, for a variety of very good reason, it can be intimidating. And finding appropriate entry-level trips can be hard. To help make the transition to touring, we’ve got some beta to get you started. Each month, Donny Roth, owner of Alpine Ambitions, will share a few destinations that are great starting points for skiers looking to get out and explore. The first installment is from Colorado, check back soon for ideas from other states.

David Page shows how cold temps allow Sierra cement to adopt a more Coloradoan consistency.*Kevin's Note: David is the editor-in-chief of Beta Magazine. Check out the website here.

From Mammoth, With Love

Skiing editor Kevin Luby flew into Mammoth Mountain, California, last Thursday. Since then, 13 feet of snow have fallen on the Sierras and he is stuck there. Somehow, we don't feel bad for him.

Detail

French Olympic Uniforms Are Really Pink

The French skiercross team likes bright colors and shiny things. We asked their coach why they’ll be wearing pink and silver uniforms for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. By Olivia Dwyer

Ride the Granite Chief chairlift on a powder day if you feel like showing off—small and large cliff bands are located right under the chair for prime spectator heckling."Make sure that every line you’re going to ski is in plain view for everyone to see," jokes pro skier and Squaw local Elyse Saugstad. "Right before you drop into your line, claim aloud how cool you are." Eben Mond at Squaw Valley.

Squaw Valley: 5 Insider Tips

There have been whole books (like Squallywood, by Robb Gaffney) written about how to ski the gnarliest lines at Squaw Valley, California. So there aren't a lot of secrets left. But we uncovered a few insider tips (with help from local pro skier Elyse Saugstad) that might help anyone planning a visit to Squaw.