Avalanche Safety

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Lessons Learned – Spring Avalanche on Colchuck NBC

With the recent stint of sun and warm spring conditions has come the annual cycle of wet avalanches in the Cascades. Mountaineers Sherrie Trecker and Nicole Cederblom were on a private climb and shared this close call with us. The two were roping up to begin an attempt on the North Buttress Couloir route on Colchuck Peak on May 24, 2018, when the lower half of their descent route was consumed in a massive wet avalanche. Read more…

Know Before You Go: Avalanche Danger

I feel this is an important topic, especially in light of all the recent avalanche tragedies. Right now, we're transitioning from winter to spring, and the changing weather can increase avalanche risks.  Read more…

Risk Assessment with Josh Cole, North Cascades Mountain Guide

Josh and I first met when we worked together at the Northwest Outward Bound School, and I’ve always been struck by his creativity, analytical skills, approach to teaching, and sense of humor. Josh has a rare ability to champion and role-model the highest values and expectations as an outdoor educator/guide — one of many attributes that make him such an inspiring professional colleague. Read more…

A step Ahead of Avalanches

On December 29, 2002, a party of seven mountaineers were involved in an avalanche accident in Cement Basin near Crystal Mountain. While skiing, they triggered a slide that buried one and partially buried three. One person was killed and another sustained a broken leg.  Read more…

Emergency Contacts: The Most Important People

Three years ago, my friend Loren died in a skiing accident. A huge February storm rolled through the Pacific Northwest, and a bunch of us took extra days off to go skiing. He and a friend were skiing Crystal in-bounds on a Wednesday when Loren fell into a tree well. He suffocated before he could be rescued. Read more…

Gear Review: Small Avalanche Beacons

My first avalanche transceiver was the original Ortovox S1, which sported 3 antennas, a slick grid search, and looked like a transponder from Star Trek. Considering flip phones were just on the way out and Myspace was still relevant it didn’t seem out of place. Read more…

How To: When To Put On Crampons

Crampons are an indispensable tool for any alpine mountaineer. But sometimes it's not so "cut-and-dry" as to when you should use them. Read more…

How to: Purchasing a stove

Purchasing a new stove can be a confusing process. There is a wide range of information on the web, and most manufacturers include a lot of different test numbers. It isn’t always clear what these numbers mean or how they’ll impact real-world performance. In this article I explain which numbers you need to know and which you don’t. Read more…

How To: Pick a Tent

Terry Breaux is what you would call an expert camper. He fell in love with the outdoors as a kid the first night he slept in a tent under the stars. He continues to pursue bikepacking expeditions today, always testing gear and seeking ways to create better shelters for outdoor users.  He's been designing tents since 1989, and for the last nine years he's worked at MSR. Now he's spreading his tent knowledge with you. Read more…

How To: Glissade Safely

A group was recently out on Mt. Baker for an instructional session that was to be immediately followed by a climb of the mountain via the Easton Glacier. Read more…