February 27, 2012 Nordica Fire Arrow 80 Pro Gear

Nordica Fire Arrow 80 Pro

Nordica’s Fire Arrow 80 Pro was one of the most popular skis at this year’s SIA demo. I waited diligently for a chance to ride the updated Fire Arrow, and I’m glad I did. This is a significantly improved ski, taking last year’s Fire Arrow 80 and giving it a much-needed jolt of energy. For (more...)...

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February 24, 2012 The Liabilities of the Leash Kids

The Liabilities of the Leash

Forgive me for sounding dramatic, but the use of a leash turns out to be something of a two-edged sword. When it comes to teaching your kids to ski, it’s worth taking a moment to contemplate the good and the bad of the leash so that you can use it to best effect (if you (more...)...

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February 23, 2012 Blizzard Cochise Gear

Blizzard Cochise

Of all the skis I tried at this year’s SIA show, the Blizzard Cochise was easily the biggest surprise. The Cochise didn’t just win best of show—it changed how I look at rocker. Let’s call the Cochise a rocker evolution: the maturing and perhaps finally the true realization of rocker’s full potential. To really understand (more...)...

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February 21, 2012 Salomon Enduro XT 800 Gear

Salomon Enduro XT 800

Salomon’s Enduro XT800 is another one of those carving-oriented All-Mountain skis that finds itself reclassified by today’s standards as strictly a frontside carver. Yes, the ski employs some tricks to improve floatation and soft snow performance, but a 79mm waist may as well be a needle these days, so let’s just call the Enduro XT (more...)...

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February 20, 2012 Atomic Smoke Ti Gear

Atomic Smoke Ti

Atomic’s Smoke Ti is a frontside carver that makes shop owners and skiers happy alike—it sells well, and it delivers a lot of ski for the money. Probably Atomic wouldn’t exactly push this as an economy-class ski, but you can’t help noticing that the Smoke Ti trades at a noticeable discount compared to everything else (more...)...

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February 19, 2012 Everyone Has Fun, No One Gets Hurt Kids

Everyone Has Fun, No One Gets Hurt

‘Everyone has fun; no one gets hurt’ has become my motto when I’m skiing with my kids. As a mission statement it is simple, concise, and appropriately catchy, but before you nod your head in agreement and then move on to something more interesting, let me first take a moment to try to convince you (more...)...

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February 15, 2012 Chasing My Brother Video

Chasing My Brother

Really there’s no better motivator than having a little brother who’s faster than you in the gates. I spent damn near my entire young adulthood chasing him, and, well…it looks like I’m still trying to catch him. 🙂 Hard to say who’d be faster if we jumped into a course today, though I do like (more...)...

Posted in Video | 2 Comments
February 15, 2012 Volkl RTM-84 Gear

Volkl RTM-84

Volkl’s RTM 84 has been highly regarded in print reviews, topping many a frontside-carver list. Oddly enough, however, during my own on-snow testing at Winter Park, the RTM 84 proved to be one of my least favorite hard-snow skis. The RTM (“Ride the Mountain”) is what we might call a ‘modern’ frontside ski: extra girth (more...)...

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February 14, 2012 News

Avalanche Fatality – Airbag Deployed

Great sadness fills me as I learn that 38-year-old Telluride resident Nate Soules was killed by an avalanche yesterday in the Bear Creek backcountry. The Telluride Watch says Soules was wearing an airbag pack, which he successfully deployed. However, the airbag was reportedly found by rescuers in a ‘shredded’ condition (more...)...

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February 12, 2012 GoPro HD Hero2 -- First Look Gear

GoPro HD Hero2 — First Look

Here’s some HD Hero2 test footage, shot today. Right away I like the GoPro’s color rendition, and the cam seems remarkably free of rolling shutter distortion. Sharpness for a helmet cam is quite good. Definitely one of the strengths of the GoPro is the broad array of mount options, and the picture’s wide angle of (more...)...

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When there is snow, SierraDescents is Andy Lewicky's California backcountry skiing and mountaineering website. Without snow, sierradescents becomes an ill-tempered hiking and climbing blog.

Pray for snow.