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| December 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ski Trab Stelvio Light XL Backcountry Ski



Ski Trab Stelvio XL A pair of the new Ski Trab Stelvio Light XL's showed up just in time for the holidays here at Off-Piste Mag HQ. If you are not familiar with Trab's Stevio line, it is a bit of a departure from their standard ultra-light rando race fare and features what I think is a very cool, traditional wood veneer topsheet.


The Stelvio Freeride has been around for a few seasons now and last season they introduced the Stelvio light - a lightweight construction version of the 84mm waisted Stelvio Freeride. The Stelvio is a great all around ski. I have toured on them in every condition imaginable, but at 84mm underfoot they get overlooked by many North American skiers as being too narrow. Why ski 84mm when you can ski 90-100+ right? Well, there are many sides to that debate, but in the meantime, Trab introduced the Stelvio XL which measures in at 90 mm underfoot - 125/90/112 - a great all around touring dimension. 


The XL skied well in last spring's ski testing. It offered up nice round turns with a medium radius bias. It's light swing weight allow it to come around quickly when needed, but it will run it out pretty well, too. I am stoked to get this pair mounted up and in the snow. Did I mention they are beautiful! More details to follow.


Ski Trab Stelvio XL backcountry ski


Sunday, December 27, 2009

North Cascade Heli and North Cascades Mountain Guides


The slideshow function is my new favorite tool for the blog. I will be back working on the mag and posting some gear realated content next week, but in the meantime, here is a short slide show from a couple of days of heli-assisted ski touring up in the North Cascades with North Cascade Heli and North Cascades Mountain Guides. I know heli-assisted touring sounds like an oxymoron to some folks, but these guys serve up a pretty sweet day of skiing: jump in the machine first thing in the morning, tour all day under your own power, and catch a final ride back to the barn at the end of the day. check it out...



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sol Mountain Touring slide show


I just stumbled on some new functionality with our website - the ability to put up a slide show. Here is a tester from my mid-December trip to Sol Mountain in the Monashees. Oh Canada...Happy Holidays. Let it snow!


Sunday, December 20, 2009

2009 Backcountry Ski Review



backcountry ski reviews - off-piste magazine 2009 ski reviews


The holidays are upon us and it seems everyone is shopping for skis - at least given the requests for copies of our annual ski review. Well, here it is the 2009 Off-Piste Mag Ski Review.


We have been doing an annual ski review for ten years. After looking over our current review and the reviews from other mags, we are working on a new approach to ski reviews for next season. Most reviews offer so little information and so little touring-specific detail. We hope to change this for next season. In the meantime, check out what we have to say about this year's  boards and don't forget to support grassroots ski media....subscribe or get yourself some Off-Piste schwag...Voile straps, organic cotton ball caps, organic cotton hoodies, stickers...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sol Mountain Delivers the Goods

 The Deaver tours mission ridge at Sol Mountain Touring, BC


I managed to slip out of town and into British Columbia last week for a little hut trip to Sol Mountain Lodge in the southern Monashees. I have been up to Sol Mountain numerous times in mid to late December over the years. As usual, Sol delivered the goods.


We were greeted by temps hovering around zero degrees farenheit and a settled snowpack pushing the  two-and-a-half meter mark. The combination served up some fine skiing that could well be some of the finest of the season.


Aaron and Dave (the lodge proprietors) were on hand to serve up some fine BC hut hospitality. They opened Sol Mountain Touring six years ago, and the lodge has developed quite a reputation for deep snow skiing. This year is no different. With over two meters of settled snow, we were able to hit the usual haunts with incredble conditions - and it was only mid-December.


Seeing as though I am a hard working professional, we had a variety of skis, day packs, and assorted puffy coats on hand for testing. The real treat of the week though was when Aaron called me over, "Hey Waagy, you should give these a try..." and handed over his spanky new Prior Husume skis for testing.


I will not go into detail, but the Husume rocked. Once I clicked in, Aaron was unable to get them off my feet and I squeezed in a couple of fine days on the 181cm Husume (125/104/112) and have a whole new perspective on backcountry ripping. More details to follow...

powder skiing at sol mountain touring BC, Photo: Dave Waag


Sol Mountain Ski Touring Dave Waag PhotoDeep Snow Skiing at Sol Mountain Lodge, BC - Dave Waag Photo

Friday, December 11, 2009

Swift.Silent.Deep. in Hood River

  Swift. Silent. Deep. premiers in Oregon on Saturday, December 19 at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River. Swift. Silent. Deep. is a multi-dimensional look at skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the story of the Jackson Hole Air Force, a notorious group of hardcore ski bums who skirted authority as they explored the out-of-bounds terrain of the Jackson Hole Ski Resort. It is not an epic line, deep powder film meant to fuel your inner stoke, but rather a documentary style...

Read More "Swift.Silent.Deep. in Hood River"

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tuesday Time Waster



I have seen some crazy ski footage over the years, but this footage of French skier Antoin Montant is unique. He sounds so calm and collected in the interview, must be part of being French...



Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ski Area Report Card Released

      The Ski Area Citizens Coalition ( has been publishing the Ski Area Environmental Report Card for the past 10 years. The report evaluates the environmental policies and practices of ski areas in the western U.S. based on a system of 35 criteria including: preservation of sensitive lands within the ski resort area, actions related to water conservation and quality, and demonstrated commitment to green programs such as recycling and alternative energy...

Read More "Ski Area Report Card Released"

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More from the vast blackhole of the internet. Who needs fat skis...



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