Related

skg1008geart.jpg

Life-Saving Gear

Skis and boots will only get you so far in the backcountry. Don’t forget all the other stuff you’ll need to get you in and out safely.

Martin Winkler at Nordpark

Austrian Ski Photos

We sent Tom Winter to Austria to see if he could become an Austrian, or at least grind skis in some factories or fit boots in some shops. Turns out, all he did was ski powder. Here are shots of his trip.

$435 We love the Marker Baron so much that we borrowed a fleet of them from Marker to mount on all of our backcountry test skis. When the Baron's predecessor, the DIN-16 Duke, debuted in 2007, it was the only alpine-touring binding that truly skied like a real alpine binding. Word spread, and shops literally could not keep it stocked. Marker released the Baron in 2008. It has the same alpine-style performance as the Duke—solid, secure, and confidence-inspiring—but is 150 grams lighter (thanks to the use of nylon instead of magnesium), and $60 less expensive. And with a DIN range of four through 12, it's more of an everyman's binding. If you're skiing the resort most of the time, but want touring capability for occasional side- and backcountry laps, you won't find a better binding.

Backcountry Bindings

Whether you're going on a day-long tour or just heading out the gates, you need a binding that works as well going uphill as it does going down. Here is a collection of some of the best AT and telemark bindings out there.

Silver Bean Coffee, Julia Mancuso Blend

An Olympian Made My Hat

Olympic skiers do more than work out and bash gates. Some make goggles, coffee, hats, and notecards. Introducing four Olympians to watch out for at the 2010 Vancouver Games—and the products and businesses they've launched to provide a little job security after the big show. By Liz Yokubison.