Community Minded

A user-generated backcountry safety app gets a facelift.
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A user-generated backcountry safety app gets a facelift.
Mountain Hub

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The idea of crowdsourcing real-time info about snow conditions, terrain hazards, and other pertinent info via smartphones is going mainstream, and trickling into other outdoor sports as well. The company Avatech, originally founded in 2012, started as a way to share up-to-the-minute conditions from backcountry users to their peers, and even patented a high-tech probe that could provide snowpack composition data without digging a pit. Victims of their own success, Avatech was quickly adopted by a majority of snow safety professionals, saturating the limited market and slowing the company’s ability to grow.

To expand the user base and bring the same crowdsourced safety elements to more sports, the award-winning company has rebranded as Mountain Hub. The new app contains all the same safety info as Avatech, plus features for hiking, mountain biking, climbing, whitewater rafting and more. Spot a natural slide that ran within the past 48 hours? Snap a photo, upload it, and the app automatically geotags it to show what’s happening where. Same goes for trees across trails in the summer. Our favorite feature? The 3D flyover provides detailed views of the territory surrounding routes, which allows you to modify your path should there be unexpected terrain traps. The app works best when more people use it, so help the backcountry community near you and we’ll do the same. Read more at


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Zero Tolerance

The key to avoiding backcountry fatalities may lie in hiring a guide. But not everyone is on board with that idea... yet.