Vasu Sojitra is a highly accomplished skier and mountaineer. Yet he finds summiting technical peaks, skiing narrow couloirs, and landing 720s are not really about the accomplishments themselves. It’s far more about how these activities make him feel. A self-described “brown kid with one leg,” Vasu found community in the mountains. Now he’s on a mission to empower everyone, especially those from diverse backgrounds, to discover courage, resiliency, and joy through moving their bodies outside. Tune in to Vasu’s story on the Out and Back podcast.
Exploring great backcountry terrain often goes hand in hand with the threat of avalanches, but with careful route planning and rational terrain management, dangerous slides can largely be avoided. Before you head into the backcountry, brush up on how to use the best maps to identify avalanche terrain and plan the safest routes.
Winter hiking offers the ability to test out new skills, push your physical limits, and experience the beauty of a snowy landscape. But the same things that make winter hiking wonderful, can also make it more dangerous. Read our winter hiking safety guide to learn about winter hazards and how to pack for a snow-bound excursion.
Now you can get official, up-to-date avalanche forecasts directly from the map on your phone. Simply pair the Avalanche Forecast layer with your favorite map to get the color-coded North American Avalanche Danger scale for your region. Whether you’re skiing couloirs or snowmobiling the back bowls, add this must-have feature to your avalanche safety toolkit. Read more about the Avalanche Forecast layer.
Identify avalanche terrain quicker and easier this winter with the new Slope Angle – Avalanche map. Designed in-house, this map expands our coverage globally and integrates high-resolution data to help make picking out steep slopes on the map a snap. Add the new slope angle layer to your favorite base map to help plan a safer route through the snow-bound backcountry.
Bruce Tremper nearly died in an avalanche. Tune in to hear this harrowing tale, and how getting buried alive changed the trajectory of this avalanche expert’s life.
From staying on course to checking avalanche forecasts, navigating with Gaia GPS proves even more valuable during winter. But you can’t use your phone if it dies in the cold. Learn how to preserve your phone battery when the temperature drops.
When you think of the Himalayas, images of Everest and K2 probably come to mind. But scaling those formidable peaks only scratches the surface of what the region has to offer. Ski mountaineer Luke Smithwick has made it his goal to ski 500 beautiful and iconic backcountry lines in the world’s highest and most expansive mountain range. Tune in to the Out and Back podcast to learn why Smithwick thinks Himalayan backcountry skiing is worth a trip halfway around the world.
The transition from resort skiing to the backcountry can seem daunting, but you no longer have to go it alone. Bluebird Backcountry ski area is a totally new concept that is designed to mentor backcountry skiers through the steep learning curve of winter travel in the mountains. Tune into this conversation with Bluebird Backcountry co-founder Erik Lambert to discover why this brand new ski area without lifts is so hot this year.
Get the low-down on avalanche safety from the man who’s written the literal avalanche safety books, Bruce Tremper. This week on the Out and Back podcast, Tremper nerds out on snow science, shares his backcountry safety playbook, and busts some long-standing avalanche myths. You won’t look at backcountry zones the same again.