Backcountry booms

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Backcountry booms

Lift-ticket sales descend, but a budding ski genre heads for the summit

Backcountry booms

Brandon Mathis carefully traverses 13,220-foot King Solomon Mountain near Silverton, before descending on his splitboard, a snowboard that disassembles into skis for uphill travel.
Backcountry skiers head off into the snow-covered terrain earlier this month on Coal Bank Pass.
Avalanche beacon technology has improved greatly over the years. Today’s advanced transceivers, such as this model by Ortovox, sold by Backcountry Experience, can send and receive strong signals quickly, allowing backcountry travelers to accurately locate someone buried in an avalanche.
Collapsible probing poles, or probes, are used to determine where to dig for an avalanche victim, after their position has been located by a transceiver.
An essential tool kit used to make detailed snow observations in the backcountry would be one that includes an inclinometer – a tool that measures slope angle; a snow crystal card and loupe to study snow crystal forms; a thermometer; and a snow saw, that Backcountry Experience sells.
Carey Carlson, with Backcountry Experience, demonstrates a Jetforce Technology backpack, the Halo 28, a fan-based avalanche airbag system. Other packs use rechargeable air canisters that rapidly inflate air bags to keep skiers and boarders buoyant in an avalanche.
Carey Carlson, with Backcountry Experience, wears an Avalung, by Black Diamond. These snorkel-like devices divert carbon dioxide away from buried victims, prolonging their ability to breath under snow.
Carey Carlson, with Backcountry Experience, demonstrates La Sportiva backcountry skis, with a mohair climbing skin that adheres to the ski’s base for traction during uphill travel.
Durable, collapsible shovels, like this one by Backcountry Access, are a crucial tool used in avalanche rescues, and are also needed for snow study applications, like digging to analyze the snowpack.
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