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Gear Talk: Grivel 'Duetto' Helmet

To helmet or not to helmet? We asked Alan Rousseau what his favorite piece of gear was at the moment and this is what we found out...                When I was a kid I never skied without a helmet.  Largely I feared my mother’s wrath if she found out I didn’t have my lid on that day.  As I fully transitioned from resort skiing to ski touring, somewhere along the way my helmet stopped making it into my pack.  I went from skiing with a helmet every day to only bringing one along on the rowdiest of ski objectives.                  A big reason for this was carrying the weight of a traditional ski helmet on the uphill was unpleasant, and it’s one more step to do on the change over from skinning up to downhill skiing.  Fortunately, last year a very lightweight climbing helmet was released that is rated to handle both a climbing and a ski fall.  Weighing in at 215 grams (just shy of ½ pound) the Grivel ‘Duetto’ helmet started to find its way into my pack more days. Also, since there is no i
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Wasatch Mavens | Women's Backcountry Series

ma·​ven /ˈmāvən/: an expert or connoisseur. Wasatch Mavens is a backcountry ski & snowboard mentorship program geared toward those who identify as she/her/they/them,  led by professional female guides based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.  The goal is for participants to become their own expert in the backcountry by tapping into their human-power, building better judgement in avalanche terrain, gaining new perspectives, learning from experience, bonding with like-minded individuals and forging life-long partnerships.  The mission of the Mavens is to cultivate more opportunities where women can be inspired and motivated to get outside the confines of the resort and become a part of the mountain community on a deeper level. So, What Makes It So Unique?.... Mavens with Superior Photo by Anna Wright Spans An Entire Season...   When most courses wrap after a day or two, this course runs the entire season.  Participants experience early season snowpack, enjoy dry powder skiing, harvest spr

What Avalanche Class Is Right For You?

Utah Mountain Adventures offers the full spectrum of recreational avalanche classes. Avalanche courses are for ANYONE, regardless of method of  travel, who want to recreate or work in or near avalanche terrain (snowshoers, ice climbers, mountaineers, backcountry skiers & boarders, forest service employees etc.) US Avalanche Education officially starts with an 8-12 hour  Avalanche Awareness or Skills Class,  generally including an evening lecture and 1 day in the field. No previous experience or snow travel skills are required. Learn the essential of snow pits, rescue and safe travel  before  your first tour. Use brand-new touring gear or a pair of snowshoes to get around in the snow. Avalanche Rescue can be taken before, or as a refresher after a Level 1. Snow travelers should refresh rescue skills regularly. Focus is on making a save: finding and digging out a buried companion, who’s wearing a beacon, in a timely manner. Rescue Class is required in conjunction with

Recreational vs. Professional Avalanche Education Track

US Avalanche Education is now divided into two tracks at the upper levels: Professional and Recreational. Everyone is encouraged to start with an 8-12 hour Avalanche Awareness or Skills class. A one-day Companion Avalanche Rescue training session is the next step, and/or a 24-hour Level 1. After the general Level 1 for all, the Pro and Rec tracks diverge. UMA has chosen to focus primarily on Recreational snow travelers, including backcountry skiers and snowboarders, snowshoers, mountaineers and ice climbers. The Pro-Rec Split began in 2017-18, and aims to deliver better, more focused courses to each user group. The previous structure wasn’t serving everyone as well as it could. Recreational backcountry users have different needs from professionals, and having courses for both audiences meant everyone had to compromise in what they were learning.  Pros include ski patrollers, avalanche forecasters and mountain guides. Their next class after Level 1 is the 5-day Pro Level

A Mid-Summer Dream

The Lisa Cottonwood Traverse  By Lead Guide Tyson Bradley  Ten minutes after leaving the trailhead we start climbing.  Water-polished granite in a steep-sided gorge requires our full attention. Scanning for hand and footholds with headlamps, our bodies and minds must wake up, although it’s only 4 am! Most big mountain scrambles require a long, boring slog up a trail before the fun begins, but not Lisa Falls. It’s one of the many great attributes that sets  this class 4 scramble route at the top of my Wasatch summer fun list.  It’s also cool and shady here, and we’re wearing extra layers, in spite of a forecast high of 100 in SLC. An hour into the odyssey the friction moves on smooth, white granite gets even more committing. To avoid the beautiful pour-offs along the watercourse, we must climb up and right, away from the creek and stem up a flaring chimney feature. Pulling out of it onto easier ground I traverse back left then up again, catching a glimpse of the strea

Beat the Heat: A Guide's Secrets to Climbing in the Wasatch at the Height of Summer

Beat the Heat Where to climb this summer in order to stay cool  by UMA guide Alex Lemieux   Rock climbing in the Wasatch on a hot summer day can be a treacherous endeavor if you don’t choose your venue wisely. Between rattlesnake encounters, greasing-off a polished handhold while sweat is running into your eyes or simply trying to stay hydrated, climbing in the heat is just no fun. When the temperatures rise, otherwise do-able routes can suddenly feel like an impossible task. Put the odds in your favor, and consider these tips in order to stay cool throughout the summer. While you may already be familiar with some of these suggested Wasatch summer climbing areas, hopefully this will help you expand your hot weather climbing “repertoire”… Happy climbing! Photo: Alex taking advantage of some cloudiness on  S-Curve Overhang, 5.11c , Big Cottonwood Canyon. Credit Lane Peters Stick to The Shade I always try to consider the aspect of a wall depending on the sea

Superior Chute Skiing

Despite the meager snowpack this past season, there was still some exciting skiing and climbing to be done on Mt. Superior, one of America's 50 Classic Ski Lines. On Jan. 5, we climbed and skied Suicide Chute, then continued up the knife-eged South Ridge with skis on the back. We finished by dropping the "W" or "Pinball" Chute, another East-Facing couloir. It required 2 small "mandatory airs" and a bit of creative route-finding. But, all in all, a fine day on the mountainside. Crampons recommended for the lowest portion of Suicide Chute, aka, Country Lane. Paul gets it done in the well-travelled, but smooth-skiing Suicide Chute. The Knife-edge section of the South Ridge. Note the quality snow in Couloirs below. This old goat had no harem, but seemed to be living out his years alone and happy. The final slab crux before topping out on the "Sharks Fin" where the Quartzite ends, and Slate/Shale friable rock leads to