Mammut Barryvox S Avalanche Beacon – Review

By Jonathan Cooper | April 23, 2018  
BarryvoxS with larger icons. The running man tells you the victim is far away so get a move on!

Mammut Barryvox S.

The avalanche beacon has come a long ways since inception. I have only witnessed this process for a little over a decade, and even during that short span I’ve seen huge progress. Along those lines, when the Barryvox S Beacon hit the market last year it was apparent Mammut had achieved ever more leaps in technology and features — a slew of items addressing the needs of both recreational and professional users. Check out our first look post here.

Although age-old saying “the best beacon out there is the one you know how to use,” still rings true, considering the latest tech it may be time to learn how to use something new. To that end, I upgraded to the “S,” with resulting review.

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Antarctica Gear — Part 3 — DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1 Skis

By Bob Perlmutter | April 20, 2018  

Cassiar do tour.

Cassiar do tour.

After much use, including Antarctica, my new favorite all round ski is the DPS Cassiar 95 Tour 1.

I first mounted the Cassiars at midpoint and knew I was on a good ski — but they didn’t quite sing for me. Then I moved to +1 (as with all my other DPS) and it was like Renee Fleming hitting a high note. I can now state without equivocation: this ski does it all. With a less pronounced rocker and different tip and tail configuration than the Wailer series, you get more effective edge. This allows you to really lay them over and feel a carve that fully engages in the tip and continues through the entire arc of the ski regardless of turn radius. The edge engagement also allows the ski to build up energy in the turn with great rebound for the next turn.

Due to low snowfall in Aspen during the first part of winter, most of my skiing was relegated to fitness uphill at the areas. So I got a good sense of how the 95 Tour 1 performed on firm and groomed snow. I was impressed with the lack of chatter and dampness for a light, carbon build. As a result the ski/snow contact was superb which goes hand in hand with the above comments about effective edge and clean arc. I found myself approaching speeds typically reserved for alpine skis. I ventured into some bumps with some relatively soft, chunky snow and found the 95 Tour 1 tracked with confidence and was very directional in nature.

My first experience with corn or funky conditions was in Antarctica and the 95 Tour 1 was as predictable then as on the groomers. They proved to be as smooth as the corn snow and unflappable in the weirdest junk (and believe me, junk snow in Antarctica can get weird). It wasn’t until I returned to Aspen and the snow began to fall with some consistency that I got to run them in some powder. If they didn’t perform in powder than everything above would be somewhat for naught. After all, skiing powder is my job.

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Ski Touring News Roundup — April 2018

By Lou Dawson | April 19, 2018  

In local WildSnow news with international import: Through the funding of a variety of private sector sources, including publishing partners Cripple Creek Backcountry and The North Face, Colorado Avalanche Information Center will continue daily regional for an additional week, but more importantly, instead of virtually shutting down their operation while people are still snow recreating, they’ll provide various types of forecasts through Memorial Day. Anyone know how this compares to European avalanche forecasting operations? Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Clearly, big (belated and well covered elsewhere, google it) news is Mike Foote’s record uphill/downhill of 62,000 vertical feet in 24 hours. I’m told he did 1,020 vertical foot laps at Whitefish, Montana. North Face sponsored the effort, which was quite elaborate though nicely grass roots. “Amenities” included a grooming cat assigned to keeping his route smooth, and a TNF dome tent at the bottom of his route where helpers maintained several pairs of skis so Foote could simply ski into the tent, step out of his planks, then step into another pair ready to uphill or downhill. More than 60 laps… it’s said the lapster couldn’t walk for a week afterwards. Just a week? Even that is amazing. I like the video.

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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