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Spring, summer, and fall tend to blend into each other here in the mountainous desert that is Utah.  But that’s starting to change. Winter is just around the corner and people are pulling out the gear and trying to shore up injured joints. The first drips of wax are falling off the hot iron, so it’s time to go over what kind of weather we’ll be seeing for the majority of the winter. Long-term forecasts like this are based on historical data and certain wind anomalies. We look at current conditions and then at what happened in other years when [...]

Wally’s Weather: Winter 2014-15 Outlook


Backcountry travel has really increased in popularity over the last couple of years, due to heightened emphasis on exercise and major technology improvements making the backcountry more accessible. But there’s hidden danger in this blissful paradise. Areas like these aren’t controlled by ski patrol and don’t have a continuous parade of skiers, snowboarders, or snow groomers consistently rolling over them. It’s up to you and your group to figure out what the mountain will do. If one wrong decision is made, this can happen: Thankfully, you and your group aren’t really alone in the backcountry. Organizations of backcountry scientists are [...]

A Day in the Life of an Avalanche Forecaster


3 5

When you buy a pair of Carhartts, you usually are buying a hybrid work/casual pant and you do get that here. The material is super bomber as it does not stretch very much but can still take a beating so work or play these will hold up but make sure the fit is right from the start.

Speaking of fit, things are a bit weird here as I did label them True to Size but I'm kind of balancing out a few fit aspects. I bought a 34x32 size for me as I'm 5' 11", 183lbs with a waist of around 33 and an inseam of 31.5". The size is right, but the cut of the legs are weird as the the waist is just a hair big which I like, the length is slightly long so good there two, but the upper leg is cut a little less relaxed than the lower leg and this is a bit of an issue as my skier legs end up being a bit tight on the top of the inseam yet loose at the bottom. I'm thinking that Carhartt is starting to go toward the more casual wear of jean as most fashion jeans have legs that fit this way.

A good jean for sure as it is something that I can work and chill in, but I'd look elsewhere if your upper legs are more than a bit bulky.


4 5

So, yeah. Never have worn a glove with a leash before so the new territory that the Armada Duffy JP Auclair Signature Gore-Tex Glove led to some great results and I enjoyed the first tour with them as I could drop them on a whim yet they wouldn't need to be picked up off the snow. Good thing too as there was 20" of cold smoke on the ground at the time -_-

The weatherproofing is exactly what you'd expect from a GORE Tex membrane (no wetness or wind) and I could feel the 100g of thinsulate pretty well.

The fit is a bit tight at first, the leather however should stretch out so don't worry if it is running a bit tight at first. More updates to come, but pretty good so far.


As we all emerge from our post-Halloween sugar comas, we turn from jack-o-lanterns and sticky candy wrappers to what’s coming next: winter and the forecast. Our brains might still be a bit foggy from late-night costume parties, but the forecast, at least, is getting clearer than it was recently. Let’s run down what we’ll see short term, then focus on a more broad time range. EAST Big swings are in focus for the next couple of weeks. A normal temperature pattern will give way to a large high pressure ridge near the end of the next two weeks. We’ll most [...]

Wally’s Weather: November Part 1


Hey folks!  Wally again here, bringing you my update for the next two weeks.  Since I’ll be doing this sort of things more often (every two weeks), I’ll be following a format in which I’ll dedicate a section to each US region and maybe save the end for something that interests me.  Ready? Let’s begin: EAST I know I said in an earlier post that this winter was to bring a bit of a change for all our peeps near the Atlantic, but these next two to four weeks won’t support that.  From the NCEP (Government’s shut down, but weather [...]

Wally’s Weather: October Part 1


3 5

Socks are socks. But, in my older age, I'd rather start looking better with my clothing as my looks are starting to run. I do really like the old-schoolish looks of these Spectrum Crew Socks and the sizing is pretty much as stated.

I must be getting spoiled however as the cotton factor made me cringe a bit. Also, a bit thicker of a weave so don't wear these in warm to hot conditions.


Above Photo By: Re Wikstrom Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. From Gearhead Wally Phillips: Hey-o, folks!  This is a fun time of year for us winter aficionados as the drag of summer heat is getting us antsy and the prospect of white stuff falling sooner than before puts a bit more kick in our step and widens the smile on our faces.  I’ve been brushing up on the trends of what the globe is showing me and am going to bring [...]

Wally’s Weather: A Preliminary Winter 2013-14 Forecast


The profile shape of a ski is a primary determinant for how a ski will interact with the snow, making profile an important feature to consider when selecting a pair of skis. But with the seemingly inexhaustible supply of proprietary profile shapes that debut year after year, choosing the right profile can seem like a daunting task. Worry not, the Backcountry video crew caught up with gear guru Wally Phillips so he could cut through the fluff and break down the basic know-how you need to choose the perfect ski profile.   Video Transcription Hey everyone! Wally here from Backcountry.com [...]

Rocker Camber Rocker: How to Choose a Ski Profile


If you’re just getting into skiing, the terminology can be confusing. We take a selfish pride in explaining confusing things, so sit back, read on, and learn about ski categories. The Obvious Let’s say you’ve literally never been on skis before in your life, and you’ve just opened a catalog, gear guide, or web page in hopes of figuring out the sport. The ski categories prescribed by retailers and manufacturers stay relatively consistent year to year, and for the most part, the skis themselves do fit into those roles. But what do carving, park and pipe (a.k.a. freestyle), all mountain, [...]

From Carving to Powder: How to Choose the Right Ski